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SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH)

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 5th October, 2015.

 

Present:  Councillor R.L. Traherne (Chairman); Councillor Mrs. M.E.J. Birch (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Ms. R. Birch, R.J. Bertin, E. Hacker, Dr. I.J. Johnson, J.W. Thomas and Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson.

 

Also present: Councillors N. Moore and S.C. Egan.

 

 

454      APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – 

 

These were received from Councillors H.C. Hamilton and S.T. Wiliam.

 

 

455      MINUTES – 

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 8th September, 2015 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

456      DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

457      REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST AUGUST 2015 (DSS) –

 

The Operational Manager – Accountancy presented the report, the purpose of which was to advise the Scrutiny Committee of the position in respect of the revenue and capital expenditure for the period 1st April to 31st August 2015.  In addition, the report also highlighted progress made in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme. 

 

The current forecast for Social Services was a balanced budget.  In addition to increased demand for services, there was pressure on the Directorate to achieve its savings targets for 2015/16 onwards. 

 

A table and graph setting out the variance between the profiled budget and actual expenditure to date and the projected position at year end were attached at Appendix 1 to the report. 

 

In terms of Children and Young People’s Services, it was anticipated to outturn £450,000 under budget at year end.  They key issue for the service continued to be managing the demand for the Joint Budget for Residential Placements for Looked After Children, however, currently it was forecast to outturn with a £250,000 underspend at year end.  Work had been ongoing to ensure that children were placed in the most appropriate and cost effective placements.  However, it was noted that it was still early in the financial year and that due to the potential high cost of each placement, the outturn position could fluctuate with a change in the number of Looked After Children.  There were potential underspends elsewhere in Children’s Services of £65,000 on staffing budgets and £135,000 on alternative means of provision and accommodation costs required for the current cohort of children.

 

For Adult Services, this service was currently anticipated to outturn £450,000 over budget at year end.  This was due to a projected overspend on Community Care Packages of £450,000 as a result of increased demand for services, particularly for frail older clients.  There was continued pressure within this area of the service to manage demand, not only to avoid a further increase in the overspend, but also to reduce the overspend.  Whilst every effort would be made to improve this position, it could not be guaranteed that this position would not deteriorate further by year end as this budget was extremely volatile and there was a continued increase in demand for services.  The annual deferred income budget for 2015/16 had been set at £739,000 and as at 31st August 2015, income received to date was £35,000 under-recovered.   As it was early in the financial year, the year end projection was to breakeven against this budget.

 

Capital

 

Appendix 2 to the report detailed financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st August 2015. 

 

In respect of the Southway Fire Works, the report highlighted that this scheme was now complete, however further works had been identified within the Southway and Cartref residential homes.  It had therefore been requested that £7,000 be vired to the Southway and Cartref residential home upgrade scheme. 

 

Appendix 3 to the report provided non-financial information on capital construction schemes.  For all schemes where it was evident that the full year’s budget would not be spent during the year, the relevant officers were required to provide an explanation for the shortfall which would be taken to the earliest available Cabinet meeting.

 

2015/16 Budget Programme

 

The Directorate was currently required to find savings totalling £3.568m by the end of 2019/20 and this target was analysed by year in the following table. 

 

 

Year

Savings   Required

£000

Savings   Identified

£000

In   Year Surplus/ (Shortfall)

£000

Cumulative   Surplus/   (Shortfall)

£000

Savings   Brought Forward

 

34

34

34

2015/16

1,465

1,541

76

110

2016/17

1,133

1,209

76

186

2017/18

320

320

0

186

2018/19

320

320

0

186

2019/20

330

330

0

186

TOTAL

3,568

3,754

 

 

 

The surplus shown and the savings brought forward figures were as a result of the foster carer recruitment project, which was being developed in addition to the required savings targets.  This surplus could be used to mitigate any increase in savings to be found in future years.

 

Attached at Appendix 4 to the report was an update on each individual area of saving. 

 

In answer to the Chairman’s question relating to the savings target required this year within Adult Services, the Head of Adult Services advised that this would be a challenge, but on the whole this service was on track.  He stated that savings within residential services would largely depend upon the Hafod contract and that the service was also waiting for the registration of two new care homes.  He further advised that savings within the Care Packages budget also represented a significant challenge for which a lot of work was being undertaken. 

 

A Committee Member, in referring to target C11 around foster carers, queried how the savings would be achieved.  In reply, the Head of Children and Young People Services stated that the main focus for the service was to recruit more foster carers and to avoid using independent foster carers.  The service was also looking at ways of enhancing the support for carers in meeting the needs of children with complex needs, in order to prevent placement breakdown and promote stability.

 

With regard to the £270,000 savings for the contract arrangements for domiciliary care, earmarked for 2016/17, Members were advised that this was a challenging target, which the service considered was achievable.  An important development going forward was the increase in the national living minimum wage, the cost of which may be passed on to social services. 

 

In reply to a Member’s question regarding the total income received by the service, the Committee was advised that information around this would be circulated via e-mail. 

 

Having considered the report, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the position with regard to the 2015/16 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the progress made in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme be noted and referred to Cabinet for information.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To ensure that Members are aware of the position with regard to the 2015/16 revenue and capital monitoring relevant to the Committee.

 

(2)       That Members are aware of the progress made to date on the Social Services Budget Programme.

 

 

458      UPDATE ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES AND WELL-BEING (WALES) ACT 2014 (DSS) –

 

The Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act would come into force in April 2016.  The Committee had requested regular updates on the progress being made in readiness for implementing the requirements of the Act in the Vale of Glamorgan.  This report updated information considered by the Committee in September 2015, which included:

 

  • The work of the Care Council for Wales in developing a national learning and development plan to support implementation of the Act and also an Information and Learning Hub (which was a one stop shop for the wide range of resources being produced as part of this initiative)
  • The successful awareness raising event in partnership with the Glamorgan Voluntary Services
  • The Social Care and Workforce Development Programme (SCWDP) and arrangements for a regional SCWDP partnership across the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff.

 

The report outlined that a draft legislative timetable had been prepared recently, which was shown at Appendix 1.  This set out the proposed timescales for laying the remaining Regulations and Codes of Practice before the National Assembly, for approval.  This information indicated that, despite considerable effort, the Welsh Government could not be certain of finalising the secondary legislation required before the deadline for implementing the Act. 

 

As there was now increased clarity regarding the detailed Regulations and Codes of Practice for the different parts of the Act, the Care Council for Wales had been able to award the national contract for developing the Tranche 2 training materials, won by the Institute of Public Care (IPC).  The four core modules which were being developed by the IPC were as follows:

 

  • Introduction and General Functions, which would cover information and advice as well as prevention;
  • Assessing and Meeting the Needs of Individuals;
  • Looked After and Accommodated Children; and
  • Safeguarding.

 

It was intended that summaries of the main messages from all four modules would be made available to ensure that the entire workforce had an opportunity to understand how the Act would affect their work.  The IPC had also been commissioned to deliver “training the trainer” events.  Officers from the Council were seeking to co-ordinate the national training plan for the Act and the regional learning and development programmes within the Vale and Cardiff.  Virtual teams from both Local Authorities were working together to ensure that training for the Act was managed efficiently and effectively across the workforce.

 

The second meeting of the new Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Regional Social Care Workforce Development Partnership was held on 9th September, 2015.  During this meeting the Partnership considered the first draft of the Mid-Year Monitoring Report and updated Plan.  This would be submitted to Welsh Government on 25th September, 2015. 

 

A major source of concern for Local Authorities and their partners in planning how to implement the Act had been the scale of the change agenda required.  The Association of Directors of Social Services (ADSS) had been looking to secure Welsh Government approval for a national programme that focused upon agreed priority areas, these being:

 

  • Information, Advice and Assistance (IAA)
  • Supporting the development of an assessment and eligibility toolkit
  • Planning and promoting preventative services
  • Workforce
  • Performance management.

 

The report stated that these would not disregard the need for local action that focused on the many other key areas including safeguard, looked after and accommodated children, charging, advocacy, social enterprises and regional partnership planning / working.  However, given the very limited timeframe available and the scale of change required, it was essential that the service concentrated limited resources and programmes of work at the national and regional levels on these areas which would change most the relationship between individuals and public services and which also represented the greatest risk to effective implementation.

 

The Regional Implementation Plan would need to be amended so that it reflected this approach.  This was to be submitted to Welsh Government by 30th September, 2015 but had been pushed back to 16th October, 2015.  In addition to the Regional Partnership Board for the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff operating at a strategic level, the two statutory directors had established a sustainable social services working group which would ensure that the service was making the best use of resources, preventing duplication and also sharing best practice.  The work of the Board would be monitored in the Vale by the corporate arrangements in place for overseeing the social services collaborative programme, which was part of the Council’s Reshaping Services agenda.

 

Following Ministerial approval, a Code of Practice setting out in more detail the responsibilities of the Director of Social Services would be issued for consultation in October.  It was anticipated that there would be a 60 day consultation period.  Subject to feedback and any proposed revisions, the final Code of Practice would be placed before the Assembly in February 2016 and would come into force from April 2016. 

 

The statutory Code of Practice in relation to measuring social services performance has been issued under Section 145 of the Act.  Work was ongoing to consider the technical guidance and to assess what needed to be done to ensure that the service collected the relevant data from the beginning of the next financial year.

 

As discussed at a meeting of the Scrutiny Committee in September 2015, an event would be arranged for all Elected Members in March 2016 to ensure that they had up to date information on the Act and its requirements. 

 

The Committee raised a number of queries regarding the five key priorities identified by the ADSS.  Members, aware that implementation of the Act was to come into effect from April 2016, queried whether the Welsh Government was content with the priorities identified within the ADSS’s national programme.  In response, the Regional Lead – Sustainable Social Services stated that the Welsh Government had accepted that implementation of the Act represented a big challenge for Local Authorities.  The ADSS had identified key priority areas that the service had to get right.  She referred Members to paragraph 8 of the covering report, which reaffirmed the Council’s approach to ensure that the other important elements of the Act were not disregarded.  She went on to advise that the Welsh Government had been consulted on this approach.  On a regional level there was an expectation around implementation of the Act as a whole, although it was likely that some parts of the Act may take two to three years to fully implement.

 

In addition, the Head of Children and Young People Services commented that whilst two of the areas not in the priority workstreams were Looked After Children and Safeguarding, this did not mean they were not being considered.  She advised that these areas involved less change and she reassured Members that the service would still be working with these children and young people in accordance with their needs.  What the ADSS had recognised was the need to prioritise resources in the key areas of change. 

 

In response to a Member’s query regarding charging for services, advocacy and social enterprises, the Regional Lead – Sustainable Social Services advised that within the ADSS’s national programme, advocacy would come under the information advice and assistance part, whilst charging would form part of the assessment and eligibility toolkit.  Charging was included within the second tranche, for which clear guidelines were still to be produced.  In terms of social enterprises, the Committee was advised that new ways of working and new service models would evolve over time, particularly around preventative services. 

 

A Committee Member, in referring to the timetable attached at Appendix 1 to the report and the consultation exercises undertaken under Part 4 and Part 11, enquired as to whether any issues regarding the Welsh Government proposals had been raised.  In reply, the Regional Lead – Sustainable Social Services stated that following consultation on Tranche 1 of the Act, very little had subsequently changed.  Members of the Committee had previously seen sight of the Directorate’s response to Tranche 2 in which a number of issues and queries were raised.  Members were advised that Welsh Government was still in the process of working through these and that a meeting with Welsh Government officials would be held on 11th November 2015 to discuss details around Tranche 2.  Feedback from this meeting would be provided to the Committee in due course. 

 

The Committee also enquired as to whether there were any concerns raised by staff, particularly in light of the pace of change.  In response, the Head of Adult Services informed Members that the Directorate’s biggest challenge was that the detail around the Act was still not there and so it was difficult to train staff without the detailed changes. 

 

Having considered the report, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Committee continue to receive regular updates about implementation of the Act.

 

(3)       T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet for information.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1-3)    To ensure that Elected Members are kept informed about fundamental changes in policy and the legislative framework which underpins the work of Social Services.

 

 

459      QUARTER 1 SOCIAL SERVICES PERFORMANCE REPORT 2015-16 (DSS) –

 

The purpose of the report was to present the performance results for Quarter 1, 1st April to 30th June 2015.

 

The Social Services Directorate was well on track to achieving the objectives contributing to its service outcomes, with 75% of actions currently either completed or on track.  73% of the Corporate Plan actions were on track for completion (of the 22 Corporate Plan actions, 1 had been completed, 15 actions on track, 5 had slipped and 1 action was not due to have started this quarter).  There were 19 actions relating to the Improvement Objectives, of which 1 was complete, 13 were on track, 4 had slipped and 1 was not due this quarter.  There were currently no Outcome Agreement actions.

 

Of the 68 performance indicators, 32 had met or exceeded target, 7 were within 10% of target, 17 had missed target by more than 10%.

 

The six actions where slippage was reported are as follows:

 

  • SS/A004 (CP/CYP5): Continue to improve multi-disciplinary transition support for young people moving into adulthood. The first attempt to recruit to the Change Manager / Project Officer post to lead the work was recently unsuccessful, and the post was currently being re-advertised.  This area of work remained a high priority for the post holder once appointed, and would be informed by the ongoing multi-agency work on the revision of the transitions policy and protocol.
  • SS/A015: Work to examine how best to secure an increased range of service providers in social care, especially those who use a social entrepreneurial approach has slipped.  A workshop was arranged, but had to be cancelled. This project would start again in September / October 2015 when the Interim Head of Service has been appointed.
  • SS/A010 (CP/H2): The development of a wide range of options for older people requiring support and the preparation of feasibility studies for the provision of an older people’s village or similar has been suspended pending the appointment of the Interim Head of Service in September 2015.
  • SS/A072: The implementation of the LSCB Integration Programme as it relates to agreed priorities regarding children with disabilities, CAMHS provision, and models for entry into Children and Young People Services had slipped this quarter.  A Change Manager Post was currently out to advert and work would commence once this capacity was secured to lead the programme.
  • SS/A043: In relation to the implementation of a brokerage hub for care home placements with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB) and Cardiff Council, a workshop was arranged but had to be cancelled.  This Project would start again in September/ October 2015 when the Interim Head of Service has been appointed.
  • SS/A055b (CSSIW/AREF/IP2/2011) (IO2): The work to consider the options for the delivery of long term care to address any shortfall in independent sector provision, particularly in relation to people with dementia-related illnesses has slipped.  A workshop was arranged but had to be cancelled. This Project would start again in September/ October 2015 when the Interim Head of Service has been appointed

 

Of the 68 measures, 32 (47%) had met or exceeded target, 7 (10%) were within 10% of target, and 17 (25%) had missed target by more than 10%.  Data was not available for 12 measures.  The 17 indicators that had missed target related to:

 

  • SS/M016 and SS/M018: Whilst the number of telecare installations completed within one calendar month and the number of new users missed target, these were cumulative indicators and performance would increase throughout the year.
  • SCA001: The rate of delayed transfers of care for social care reasons per 1,000 population aged 75 and over was a cumulative indicator and should the first quarter's performance continue for the year then the measure would meet and exceed target.
  • SS/M004: The percentage of initial assessments that were completed during the year where there was evidence that the child had been seen by a worker. There would be situations where it was not always appropriate for a child to be seen during the initial assessment; therefore, performance was satisfactory in this context.
  • SS/M009: The percentage of complaints dealt with within statutory timescales did not meet target because one complaint was just out of timescale due to a slow response from a Team Manager.  Action has been taken to increase awareness of the process timescales for complaints.
  • SS/M019a and SS/M019b: Whilst the rate per 1,000 population of over 65s who have had a UA assessment and an Occupational Therapy assessment missed the quarter’s target, the estimate for performance over the year showed both measures meeting target.
  • SCC030a: Both the percentage of young carers known to Social Services who were assessed and those who were provided with a service (SCC030b) missed target in quarter 1.  However, this was because no young carers became known to Social Services in quarter 1.
  • SCC039: Percentage of health assessments undertaken for Looked After Children due in the year.  Following concerns regarding performance in 2014/15, the Head of Service met with the Named Doctor for Looked After Children (LAC) and agreed steps to be undertaken during quarter 2 to look at deficits in how the data was quality assured and to address performance issues.  It would also highlight where the shortfalls were and enable focused attention in these areas.  It was anticipated the UHB, and therefore the Local Authority, would be able to provide a more informed position at the end of quarter 2.
  • SCC042b: The average time taken to complete initial assessments that took longer than 7 working days missed target for this quarter.  Of the 98 initial assessments (IA) completed, 10 were out of out of timescale.  These IAs had skewed performance; especially where information was not provided to the social worker by other involved parties in a timely manner.
  • SS/M020: In relation to the percentage of complaints received by or on behalf of people over 65, which have resulted in service modification or improvement, one complaint had been received during the period which was still in progress. No service outcome had yet been determined

 

A detailed report of the Directorate’s overall performance was provided at Appendix 1. 

 

The Chairman, referring to the slipped actions in regard to an increased range of service providers (SS/A105), the provision of an older people’s village (SS/A010 (CP/H2), a brokerage hub for care home placements (SS/A043) and options for the delivery of long term care (SS/A055b), queried whether these would be completed by the agreed dates.  In response, the Interim Head of Service for Business Management and Innovation stated that the Directorate did face a challenging agenda but there was a commitment to ensure that progress with these actions would be made.

 

In reply to the Committee’s query regarding the percentage of health assessments for Looked After Children during the year that had been undertaken (SCC039), the Head of Children and Young People Services advised that she had met with the Local Health Board’s named doctor for Looked After Children.  Following this, steps to address performance had been agreed but there was also a need to wait for Quarter 2 information which would provide a clearer picture. 

 

A Committee Member queried the work being undertaken around performance indicator SCC033f (the percentage of young people formerly looked after with whom the Authority was in contact, who are known to be engaged in education, training or employment at the age of 19).  Members were advised that there were a number of approaches that were being used to engage young people.  The main focus here was around working with partner organisations in order to give young people a variety of options.  It had been recognised that this was a challenging indicator and was a priority for the service.

 

With regard to a number of performance indicators which had been deleted by Welsh Government, a Committee Member queried whether some or all of these would remain as local performance measures.  In answer to this, the Head of Children and Young People Services indicated that the deletion of these indicators related to the implementation of the Social Services and Well-being Act and for which a new performance framework was being considered.  Welsh Government had also given Local Authorities the opportunity to look at the relevance of performance indicators to free up capacity in order to progress the implementation of the Act. 

 

In answer to a Member’s question regarding the performance of indicators SCC011b and SCC025, relating to initial assessments and statutory visits for Looked After Children, the Head of Children and Young People Services stated that with regard to initial assessments, safeguarding concerns in 20 out of 98 cases had resulted in the fast tracking to the core assessment stage.  With regard to statutory visits, she reassured Members that all children had been seen by a social worker, but not necessarily within the allotted timeframe.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the service performance results and remedial actions to be taken to address service underperformance be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the progress to date in achieving key outcomes as outlined in the Corporate Plan 2013-17, the Outcome Agreement 2013-16 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2015-16 be noted.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To ensure the Council was effectively assessing performance in line with the requirement to secure continuous improvement outlined in the Local Government Measure (Wales) 2009.

 

(2)       To consider the quarter 1 Social Services performance results as at 30th June 2015 in order to identify service areas for improvement.

 

 

460      CORPORATE SAFEGUARDING UPDATE (REF) –

 

On 7th September, 2015, Cabinet was updated on the work that had been undertaken to improve corporate arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children and adults who required specific Council services and to ensure that these arrangements were effective.

 

The report outlined that in 2011, the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (CSSIW) and Estyn published a joint report following their investigation into the way Pembrokeshire County Council was managing allegations of professional abuse and its arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children in education services.  Significant concerns were expressed in the report about the quality of corporate working to safeguard and protect children by the Local Authority.

 

Following that report, a Corporate Safeguarding Working Group was established in this Authority to learn lessons from the Pembrokeshire investigation and to ensure robust arrangements for protecting children and young people in the Vale of Glamorgan area.  The Group produced an action plan to improve safeguarding across the Council and Cabinet had agreed a Safer Recruitment Policy for the Council and Schools in January 2013.  The Policy was implemented in April 2013.  This had been adopted by all the Vale schools and throughout the Council.  Since implementation, there had been a substantial number of changes in the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) eligibility and administrative arrangements.  These had been incorporated within a revised DBS Policy and Procedure, which Cabinet approved in March of this year.  A new action plan was being developed by the Corporate Safeguarding Working Group to address findings from experience, inspection and audit.

 

Attached at Appendix 1 to the report was the Corporate Safeguarding Update – June 2015 that outlined the safeguarding activity undertaken by the Resources, Learning and Skills and Social Services Directorates.

 

Within the appendix, Members attention was drawn to paragraph 33, regarding the screening of Child Safeguarding referrals and also paragraphs 38 to 46, which related to the work undertaken around child sexual exploitation.  In respect to Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA), the disproportionate number of referrals compared to the Vale of Glamorgan population size was highlighted, as were the POVA priorities for 2015/16, which were detailed in paragraph 56.

 

The Chairman, referring to POVA data, queried as to how many of these cases had resulted in criminal proceedings and how many of those cases had resulted in a criminal conviction.  In response, the Head of Adult Services stated that he did not have this information but that the numbers would be small.  It was agreed that the relevant information would be circulated to Members via e-mail.

 

A Committee Member enquired as to the reasons behind a 50% increase in the number of POVA referrals received since 2011 and whether this trend was experienced throughout Wales.  The Head of Adult Services commented that he suspected part of the increase was due to greater awareness among the public following a number of high level media reports, such as the incident within the South Staffordshire Health Board.  In terms of an increase across Wales, he stated that this was unclear but the creation of the Cardiff and Vale Safeguarding Adults Board had allowed the Directorate to better compare trend data and performance information directly with Cardiff.

 

Following a query regarding safeguarding policies, the Head of Adult Services confirmed that all Local Authorities in Wales should use the same, Welsh Government issued guidance but there would likely be small variances around the documentation used. 

 

In reply to a question regarding cases of female genital mutilation, the Head of Children and Young People Services advised Members that she was not aware of any cases within the Vale.  This was often a hidden form of abuse which meant that the service worked closely with its partners, particularly schools, around the monitoring of child absenteeism and holidays abroad where the purpose of the holiday may be for this procedure to be carried out.

 

With reference to the work of the Audit Sub-Group detailed within paragraph 67 of the Appendix, the Committee was advised that this had highlighted that there were some differences around the use of paperwork which had now been rectified.  However, for the Vale of Glamorgan Council, no such issues had been identified.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the update report highlighting the work undertaken to improve corporate arrangements for safeguarding and protecting children and adults be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To ensure that Members of the Committee are aware of recent developments in corporate arrangements in safeguarding.

 

 

461      DISABLED FACILITIES GRANTS PERFORMANCE REPORT FOR QUARTER 1 2015-16 (REF) –

 

On 21st September 2015, Cabinet was informed of the Council’s performance in delivering Disabled Facilities Grants during quarter 1 of 2015-16, and the progress made around changes to the process.

 

The report stated that the Council had a statutory duty to consider and approve applications for Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) where there was an identified need and the property could be reasonably adapted.  DFGs fund the adaptation of privately owned homes to allow residents to live as independently as possible in their own home for as long as possible. 

 

The delivery of DFGs was a national performance indicator.  The Council had previously acknowledged its performance in delivering DFGs had to be improved, but despite the improvement in 2013/14, the Council remained in the bottom quartile of performance for Local Authorities in Wales. 

 

For 2014/15, the Council’s performance continued to improve dramatically both in real terms but also in relative terms when compared to other Local Authorities.  The Local Government Data Unit had recently published its Local Government Performance Report for 2014/15 and one of the indicators included within that report related to the time taken to deliver DFGs.  This indicated that for 2014/15, the average number of days taken to deliver DFGs across Wales stood at 231.  This compared to 199 in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The Vale of Glamorgan was now (for 2014/15) ranked 8th in Wales and sat within the second quartile.  For 2014/15, the Vale of Glamorgan showed the third fasted improvement in performance when compared against 2013/14 figures. 

 

Performance of the DFG service continued to improve during quarter 1 of 2015-16.  During this period, the average time to deliver a DFG had reduced further to 180 days.  This compared to the year end performance of 2014/15 of 199 days. 

 

A detailed breakdown of the DFG service performance at the end of quarter 1 and DFG capital expenditure profile to 25th August 2015 was attached in the DFG performance review at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

The continued improvement in quarter 1 was in part due to the introduction of the framework contract and the more complex cases which had also gone through the process with the new framework contract. 

 

The report also indicated that Cabinet had agreed for an additional £200,000 to be allocated to the DFG capital budget to meet an increase in demand.  In reference to this, the Chairman queried whether this amount should remain as part of the core budget.  In reply, the Head of Adult Services stated that this was difficult to answer as the requirement for DFGs was extremely hard to predict.

 

In referring to the 45% of enquiries that did not progress, it was agreed that further information around those cases where no reason was recorded should be presented within the next update report. 

 

On the whole, the Committee welcomed the additional £200,000 and Members were pleased with the improved performance.

 

Having considered the report, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the report on performance for delivering Disabled Facilities Grants during quarter 1 of 2015-16 be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To advise Members of the improved performance for delivering Disabled Facilities Grants during quarter 1 of 2015-16.

 

 

462      2ND QUARTER SCRUTINY DECISION TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS AND WORK PROGRAMME SCHEDULE 2015/16 (MD) –

 

The purpose of the report was to advise Members of progress in relation to the Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations and to confirm the updated / amended work programme schedule for 2015/16.  Appendix A to the report detailed progress to date for municipal year 2014/15, Appendix B detailed the progress in relation to the 1st Quarter April to June 2015, Appendix C showed progress for the 2nd Quarter July to September 2015 and Appendix D outlined the work programme schedule for the work of the Committee for the forthcoming months.

 

Members of the Committee were provided with a further update by the Cabinet Member in respect of the Committee’s recommendations made at its meeting on 8th September 2015.  In respect of Minute No. 369 – the presentation on the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Members were advised that Cabinet had noted the report and offered its thanks to Members of the Committee for keeping them apprised of developments within the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.  In addition, Cabinet had noted the revenue and capital monitoring report for the period 1st April to 31st  July 2015 and Cabinet also noted the report regarding an update on the implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.  The Committee agreed that these actions were now completed.

 

In terms of the work programme, the Committee agreed that an invitation be sent to the Older People’s Commission for Wales and the Children’s Commissioner for Wales to attend a future meeting of the Committee.  Members also agreed for a report to be presented from the Regional Adoption Services Manager at a forthcoming meeting.

 

In view of the contents of the report and verbal update provided at the meeting, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the progress to date in relation to the Committee’s recommendations be accepted and that completed items be deleted from the schedule as outlined below:

 

15 June 2015 

Min. No. 95 –   Update on the Social Services Budget Programme 2014/15 and 2015/16 (DSS) – Recommended

(1)   That progress made in delivering the   Social Services Budget Programme during 2014/15 be noted and referred to   Cabinet for information.

(2)   That the proposed changes to the 2015/16   programme be considered and referred to Cabinet for approval.

 

 

 

(1&2)   Cabinet, on 27th July 2015,   noted the contents of the report and approved the proposed changes to the   2015/16 Social Services Budget Programme, as set out in paragraph 7 of the   report.

(Min.   No. C2863 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 97 –   Implementation of The Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014 (DSS) – Recommended

(3)   That the report be referred to Cabinet for   information.

 

 

 

Cabinet,   on 27th July 2015, noted the contents of the reference.

(Min   No. C2864 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 100 –   Target Setting 2015-16 (DSS) – Recommended that the proposed targets for   improvement for 2015/16 for all performance indicators reported by Social   Services be agreed and referred to Cabinet.

Cabinet,   on 13th July, 2015, noted the proposed target for improvement for   2015/16.

(Min.   No. C2838 refers) 

Completed

13 July 2015

Min. No. 227 –   Revenue and Capital Monitoring for the Period 1st April, 2015 to   31st May, 2015 (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That progress made in delivering the   Social Services Budget Programme be noted and be referred to Cabinet for   information.

 

 

 

Cabinet,   on 21st September 2015, noted the progress made in delivering the   Social Services Budget Programme.

(Min.   No. C2904 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 229 –   Children and Young People’s Services - Annual Placement Review (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That the Committee receives regular   updates through existing reporting arrangements including the monthly budget   programme report and six monthly reports on the Children and Young People’s   Services Commissioning Strategy and the Foster Carer Recruitment Strategy.

(3)   That the Committee receives a further   Annual Placement Review report in July 2016.

(4)   That the report be referred to the   Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) for information.

 

 

 

(2)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

 

 

 

 

 

(3)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

(4)   Referred to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong   Learning) meeting on 7th September, 2015, which noted the   report and requested that they receive updates on an annual basis.

Completed

Min. No. 230 –   Annual Report of the Director of Social Services 2014-15 – Challenge Version   (DSS) –   Recommended

(3)   That the report be referred to Cabinet for   consideration.

 

 

 

Cabinet,   on 21st September 2015, accepted the contents of the report and   agreed with the comments of the Scrutiny Committee.

(Min.   No. C2605 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 231 –   Implementation of The Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That the Committee continue to receive regular   updates about implementing the Act.

(3)   That the report be referred to Cabinet for   information.

 

 

 

(2)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

(3)   Cabinet, on 21st September   2015, noted the contents of the report.

(Min.   No. C2906 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 232 –   Service User and Carer Consultation 2014 (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That information about consultation   activity be reported on an annual basis.

 

 

Added   to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 233 –   Representations, Complaints and Compliments (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That the Scrutiny Committee continues to   receive an Annual Report in relation to complaints and compliments received   by the Social Services Directorate.

 

 

Added   to work programme schedule.

Completed

 

Min. No. 234 –   Scrutiny Committees’ Draft Annual Report - May 2014 to April 2015 (MD) – Recommended that   the contents of the draft Annual Report for the period May 2014 to April 2015   be approved, subject to any further minor amendments being agreed in   consultation with the Chairman and it be submitted to Full Council in   September 2015.

 

Submitted   to Full Council on 28th September, 2015.

Completed

Min. No. 235 – 1st   Quarter Scrutiny Decision Tracking of Recommendations and Work Programme   Schedule 2015/16 (MD) – Recommended

(2)   That the Work Programme schedule attached   at Appendix C be amended as follows and uploaded to the Council’s website:

-     A report regarding Community Mental   Health Services for Adults be presented at a future meeting which highlights   the pressures affecting the service and the work regarding integration   between health and the Local Authority.

 

 

 

 

Uploaded   to Council’s website on 31st July 2015.

Completed

08 September 2015

Min. No. 369 –   Presentation: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) – Recommended

(2)   That a further update report on progress   be received in 12 months’ time.

 

(3)   That the update presentation be forwarded   to Cabinet for its consideration.

 

 

 

(2)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

 

(3) Cabinet, on 5th   October, 2015 resolved –

(1)    That   the contents of the report be noted and the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care   and Health) be thanked for ensuring that regular updates were received on the   progress being made.

(2)    That   thanks be given to the Cardiff and Vale Community and Adolescent Mental   Health Service (CAMHS) for their ongoing work in the Vale of Glamorgan.

(Min.   No. C2926 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 370 –   Revenue and Capital Monitoring for the Period 1st April to 31st   July 2015 (DSS) –   Recommended

(2)   That the progress made in delivering the   Social Services Budget Programme be noted and referred to Cabinet for   information.

 

 

 

Cabinet,   on 5th October, 2015 resolved that the contents of the report be   noted and thanks be given to the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health)   for their continued Scrutiny of the budgets.

(Min   No C2927 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 371 –   Update on How the Council is Managing Increased Demand for Family Support   Services (DSS) –   Recommended

(2)   That a further report is received in 12   months’ time.

 

 

 

Added   to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 372 –   Update on Implementation of The Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act   2014 (DSS) –   Recommended

(2)   That the Committee continues to receive   regular updates about implementing the Act.

(3)   That the report be referred to Cabinet,   and Cabinet consider the request from the Scrutiny Committee that a briefing   session for all Members around the implementation of the Act be arranged to   take place some time during March 2016.

 

 

 

(2)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

(3)   Cabinet, on 5th October,   resolved that the contents of the report be noted and that a briefing session   on the implementation of the Social Services and Well Being (WALES) Act 2014   be arranged for all Councillors during March 2016.

(Min No C2925   refers)

 

(2)       T H A T the work programme schedule attached at Appendix D be amended as follows and uploaded to the Council’s website:

 

  • The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales be invited to attend a meeting of the Scrutiny Committee – to outline some of her current concerns;
  • The Children’s Commissioner for Wales be invited to attend a Committee meeting to outline some of her current concerns;
  • The Regional Adoption Services Manager to provide an update to Members.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To maintain effective tracking of the Committee’s recommendations.

 

(2)       For information.

 

 

463        EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC –  

 

RESOLVED – T H A T under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 4 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Act, the relevant paragraphs of the Schedule being referred to in brackets after the minute heading.

 

 

464      UPDATE ON THE DISPOSAL OF THE BRYNEITHIN SITE (DSS) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPH 14) –

 

The Scrutiny Committee was provided with an update regarding the progress made in marketing and disposing of the Bryneithin site.

 

In answer to a Member’s query regarding consultation undertaken, the Head of Adult Services advised Members that consultation events were held with the 50+ Forum and also in Dinas Powys.  In total, 129 residents of the Vale of Glamorgan and other key stakeholders had participated.  Further to this, the Cabinet Member stated that he had met with 3 out of the 4 local members on an informal basis and he had been able to update them on the projects’ progress.

 

With regard to the proceeds from the sale, the Cabinet Member indicated that he hoped, but could not guarantee that all the money would be available for the provision of an older people’s village.  He also stated that the Directorate was actively looking as to how this could be delivered.  

 

The Committee was also advised that the retirement homes that would be built on the site would be advertised and sold on the open market.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To ensure that the Scrutiny Committee Members are informed about the progress made in selling land which formerly contained a residential care facility for older people.

 

 

 

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