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VOLUNTARY SECTOR JOINT LIAISON COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 17th October, 2012.

 

 

Present:  Councillor N. Moore (Chairman); Councillor C.P.J. Elmore (Vice-Chairman); Councillors G.A. Cox, Ms. K. Edmunds, C.P. Franks, Dr. I.J. Johnson,  R.A. Penrose and E. Williams.

 

Representatives for the Voluntary Sector and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board:  Ms. R. Connor (VCVS); Ms. K. Quinn (Atal y Fro); Ms. A. Steere (VVB); and Ms. L. Donovan and Ms. S. Harrop-Griffiths (C&V UHB).

 

 

443     WELCOME –

 

The Chairman welcomed Dr. Ian Johnson to his first meeting of the Committee.

 

 

444     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -

 

These were received from Ms. R. Birch and Mrs. M. Kelly Owen; Ms. T. Burris (Age Concern); and Mr. P. Hollard (C&V UHB).

 

 

445     MINUTES -

 

AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 11th July, 2012 be approved as a correct record subject to the following amendment:

 

Minute No. 130, 2nd paragraph – the insertion of “unwanted” between the words “reduce” and “pregnancies”.

 

           

446     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

Councillor C.P. Franks declared a personal interest in relation to Agenda Item No. 7 – contracts with third sector organisations providing social care services – in that he was a member of Dinas Powys Voluntary Concern.

 

 

447     IMPROVEMENT PLAN 2012/13 (MD) -

 

Council had, on 26th September, 2012 approved the proposals of Cabinet in respect of the above (Min. No. 361) that the Improvement Plan be endorsed given that the Council had a statutory duty to submit the same to the Welsh Government and publish by 31st October.

 

Reference was made in the course of subsequent discussion to the failure to achieve the target in relation to the rate of delayed transfers of care (SCA 001 – page 32) which was a matter of concern to all parties.  Ms. Harrop-Griffiths indicated that an Integrated Discharge Liaison Service had been set up with the aim of improving the situation and the Chairman confirmed that the Council was actively involved in addressing that issue.  Ms. Quinn drew attention to the pleasing reference to the services provided by Atal y Fro as referred to on

page 38 of the Plan in reducing the incidents of domestic abuse repeat offences.

 

AGREED - T H A T the Improvement Plan for 2012/13 as appended to the report be endorsed.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To ensure that action is taken to improve services.

 

 

448     VOLUNTARY SECTOR PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT AND ACTION PLAN - PROGRESS REPORT (MD) -

 

The Action Plan 2012 was appended to the report.  Members noted that the majority of actions were ongoing.  In response to a query as to whether there should be a “comment” in respect of the structure and reporting lines in relation to integrating services and public health (page 2 of the Action Plan), Ms. Harrop-Griffiths undertook to ascertain the position; the Chairman confirmed that information would then be circulated to all Members of the Committee.  Reference was also made to the Castleland Renewal Area (page 3 of the Action Plan), specifically the availability of Welsh Government funding under the ARBED programme to improve the energy efficiency of homes.  The Vice-Chairman, (also Ward Member), indicated that take-up to date had been low and requested all agencies to assist in publicising the availability of funding and the attendant advantages for those who did so.

 

AGREED - T H A T the progress report be endorsed.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To have regard to the information submitted.

 

 

449     CORPORATE PARTNERSHIP TEAM NEWSLETTER -

 

Councillor Neil Moore as Chairman of the Vale of Glamorgan Local Service Board (LSB) introduced the above matter, commenting inter alia that Vale Viewpoint had been recently reconstituted.  Members noted that the results of the first survey were anticipated in early October and would be circulated to all partners.

 

Recently published statutory guidance for LSBs by the Welsh Government (WG) emphasised that engaging with residents, listening to their views and empowering them to have a hand in local decision making was critical in ensuring that the right services were delivered in the most effective way possible to those communities and individuals who were in need.  The newsletter was seen as an excellent example of the partnership working being undertaken in the Vale of Glamorgan which was making a difference to both residents and visitors of all ages.  Reference was to positive comments made at the recently held LSB Forum and, in response to a question as to the immediate way forward, the Chairman confirmed that a feedback report was being prepared which would be circulated to Members and which would inform to the content of the Corporate Plan.  It was noted that feedback would be given to an imminent meeting of the Implementation Board from where it would be transmitted to the LSB.

 

AGREED - T H A T the information presented be noted and that the results of the aforementioned survey be reported to the next meeting of the Committee.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To have regard to the information presented and to allow consideration of the survey results.

 

 

450     CONTRACTS WITH THIRD SECTOR ORGANISATIONS FOR PROVIDING SOCIAL CARE SERVICES (DSS) -

 

Committee was updated on the arrangements for contracting with third sector providers of social care services in the Vale of Glamorgan.  Whilst the Council was a direct provider of social care services, it was also a commissioner of those services on a large scale from other organisations primarily in the independent and third sectors.  Social Services currently spent about £6.75m. a year on services provided through contractual arrangements and Service Level Agreements (excluding the spend on care home placements and domiciliary care packages).  Of that, £5.172m. was for Adult Services and £1.614m. for Children's Services.  A list of the organisations involved was appended to the report.

 

In 2010 the Welsh Government had provided statutory guidance setting out the responsibilities of local authorities in commissioning social services.  That guidance and good practice identified 13 standards which formed the basis of the actions set out in the commissioning section of the Social Services Change Plan 2011 - 2014.  To assist staff with the complex activities involved in social care commissioning, the Council had produced its Social Service Commissioning Framework 2011, the link to which was included within the report.  The aforementioned Framework provided a uniform approach to the task of producing commissioning strategies.  In order to support the production of specific commissioning strategies for the different areas within Social Services and to monitor delivery of the service specified in contracts, staff from within the Directorate had in place a programme of regular engagement sessions with the relevant organisations, including an annual review.  Each third sector project also had a nominated Operational Manager from Social Services with responsibility for maintaining a dialogue with the service provider about the shape of services and plans for change.

 

The Council's Social Services Commissioning Strategy for Older People’s Services 2011/18 had been approved in November 2011.  A link to the aforementioned Strategy was contained within the report.  The Strategy had helped to inform the dialogue with service providers from the third sector and the independent sector and development meetings would continue with those providers to help shape services in readiness for future procurement exercises.  A Learning Disability Commissioning Strategy was also being drafted, a key feature of which was to maintain constructive relationships with providers and to work collaboratively in helping to determine the overall pattern of services. 

 

During the course of her presentation of the report, the Head of Business Management and Innovation had stressed that discussions had been held with the 3rd sector throughout the process of realigning and reconfiguring services, in full knowledge of the level of savings required to ensure that services commissioned would be focussed and deliverable, thereby reducing the impact on service users and their families.  Ms. Connor commented that it had been an interesting process which had been initially challenging and that the voluntary sector recognised that efficiency savings had to be made.  By way of clarification, it was explained that the efficiency savings required to be made by the Directorate from the funding arrangements with the third sector were 4% year on year from 2011/12 to 2013/14.  Ms. Connor confirmed that services had been tweaked accordingly.  When asked whether there would be statistics evidencing client satisfaction with the realigned services, she responded that it was likely that voluntary sector organisations would have such evidence.

 

AGREED -

 

(1)       T H A T the current arrangements for contracting with third sector organisations be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T Cabinet be asked to consider receiving a future report outlining the arrangements with the voluntary sector across the authority during the budget setting process.

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1&2)  To ensure effective scrutiny of key functions undertaken by the Council.

 

 

(Note: During consideration of the above, Councillor Franks indicated that he felt he should withdraw from the room and subsequently did so).

 

 

451     TOGETHER FOR HEALTH: SOUTH WALES PROGRAMME (CVUHB) -

 

"Together for Health: Five Year Vision for the NHS in Wales" had been launched in November 2011 and set out the Welsh Government's vision over the next five years.  The document clearly set out services had to change to reduce health inequalities across Wales and to improve performance of the service.  An independent national case for change had been commissioned by the LHB Chief Executives in South Wales and represented the first time that the existing evidence had been brought together in one place to represent the overall picture of the issues that were driving change across the NHS.  A link to the aforementioned document was contained within the report.  Some of the main findings of the report, as shown in paragraph 3 of the report, indicated that

  • the current configuration of hospitals did not deliver the best outcomes for patients
  • service quality needs to be improved
  • the need for urgent action to address the shortage of medical staff centralising expert clinical staff led to better outcomes for patients could be improved if certain types of services were brought together on one site
  • the impact of longer travelling distance as a result of centralisation could be lessened by e.g. boosting pre-hospital care and using tele-medicine more widely and effectively.

As regards the South Wales Programme, the five Local Health Boards in South Wales had, in early 2012, established a Programme Board to consider the process of jointly developing strategic plans for health services in Wales.  Clinical summit meetings had been held to provide clinicians and other stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss in detail the core services and how best to plan and deliver those services in the future.  A 12 week engagement programme with the public regarding the issues facing some specialist hospitals in the South Wales region had been launched on 26th September, 2012 with a closing date of 19th December, 2012.  Once the engagement process had been concluded, the Programme Board would meet to consider the outcome and take forward the next stage of development for plans in January 2013.  Cardiff and Vale UHB had already undertaken significant strategic service change since its inception and was not, therefore, proposing any changes to local services through the aforementioned engagement process.

 

The Assistant Director of Planning at the UHB then gave a presentation entitled “Matching the Best in the World – the South Wales Programme”.  She explained that the purpose of the Programme was to ensure the quality and safety of services which cared for some of the most vulnerable patients, meeting regulatory and Royal College standards, securing the long term viability of important specialist services across South Wales, and making sure that access to “definitive care” was maintained for everyone in South Wales.  The particular services being discussed were obstetrics, neonatal care, paediatrics, accident and emergency, and major trauma.  The proposed change was driven by the need to concentrate expertise to provide the highest quality care and meet standards, to ensure the provision of a “critical mass” of expertise to support the training of junior doctors, and because those services were the most affected by the UK-wide medical recruitment difficulties.  She stated that, in reality, the changes would mean that most (90% plus) hospital-based services would continue to be delivered locally, that community services would continue to be developed to bring care even closer to home and that, for a small number of services, consideration would need to be given as to whether the pattern of services should change.  Those ideas had been driven by clinicians working in those services who believed that the current pattern of service delivery could not continue and that consideration should be given to basing those services at 4/5 specialist centres rather than at the 7 or so sites currently being used.  She then drew attention to the particular issues relating to services referred to above, updating Members on the clinical advice received as to the way forward to date and circulated a paper outlining the challenges facing hospital services, what could be done to make services stable, safe and sustainable and the possible scenarios for concentrating 24/7 consultant led paediatrics, obstetrics, neonatal and accident and emergency care on 4 or 5 hospital sites.

 

As indicated within the report despatched with the agenda prior to the meeting, the aim of the current engagement process was to listen to the views expressed.  The engagement phase would run until 19th December, 2012.  Feedback would then be reviewed and options drawn up for the formal public consultation which was scheduled to commence in late January.  Discussion ensued in relation to the above, including the desirability of being given statistics which would help illustrate the case for change.  Other issues referred to included ways in which to encourage the recruitment of doctors and the need for investment in the field of patient information exchange together with consideration of the means of transporting patients to the specialist centres.

 

The offer of receiving the presentation had been made to a variety of bodies, including town and community councils in order to engage the public as widely as possible. The Committee was pleased to note that the presentation would also be given at the next meeting of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) and that all Members of the Council would be invited to attend.

 

AGREED - T H A T the Assistant Director be thanked for her presentation.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In recognition of the information presented.

 

 

452     ECONOMIC VALUE OF VOLUNTEERING WITHIN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN (VS) -

 

Committee received the annual report on the Economic Value of Volunteering Within the Vale of Glamorgan which also included information on demographics.  In comparison with the previous year the amount had risen from £28,218,456 to £29,487,731.  The Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan had been presented with a cheque for that amount at a presentation evening he had hosted to recognise volunteering within the Vale of Glamorgan.  The statistics were based on 1,925 volunteers who were currently volunteering.  Of those, 1,307 were women and 618 men.  The most popular age group to volunteer were those aged 50+ followed by those aged 16 - 24.  With regards to the employment status of volunteers, unemployed people were more likely to be involved in volunteering followed by those who were retired and then by students.  That, in fact, showed a change from the previous year where most of those likely to be involved in volunteering were those who had retired.  It was generally accepted that there had also been a change in the motivation for volunteering and a move away in certain cases from purely altruism.  Young people in particular saw volunteering as a way, for example, of gaining experience and widening their skills base.

 

Committee was reminded that the Council provided £720,000 to the Voluntary Sector by way of grant assistance and that the investment provided a staggering return in voluntary activity in the Vale of Glamorgan.  Discussion ensued on the accuracy of the economic value of volunteering as currently calculated given that the figure of £10.42 per hour used was based on a figure recommended in 2003. Members asked that the next report on the topic reflect, if feasible, real time figures and show the number of hours spent undertaking volunteer work.

 

AGREED -

 

(1)       T H A T the report be noted, that the 41 fold return on the investment made through grant assistance be acknowledged and that all organisations and volunteers involved be thanked for their efforts. 

 

(2)       T H A T, in recognising the value of volunteering, cuts to voluntary sector funding be avoided where possible.

 

(3)       T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet and all other Members of the Council for information.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To have regard to the information presented, acknowledge the return on the investment through grant aid and to show appreciation.

 

(3)       To inform all Members of the Council.

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