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VOLUNTARY SECTOR JOINT LIAISON COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of an extraordinary meeting held on 23rd March, 2015.

 

Present:  Councillor E. Williams (Chairman); Councillors L. Burnett, G.A. Cox, Mrs. M. Kelly Owen, R.A. Penrose and C.J. Williams.

 

Also present: Ms. R. Connor (Vale Centre for Voluntary Services), Ms. T. Burris (Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale), Ms. L. Donovan (Cardiff and Vale University Health Board) and Ms. J. Grady (Atal-y-Fro).

 

 

1047   APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – 

 

These were received from Councillor N. Moore (Vice Chairman) and Councillors Ms. K. Edmunds, Dr. I.J. Johnson; Ms. A. Harris (Cardiff and Vale University Health Board) and Ms. A. Steere (Vale Volunteer Bureau).

 

 

1048   MINUTES – 

 

AGREED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 11th February, 2015 be approved as a correct record, subject to it being noted that Ms. L. Donovan (Cardiff and Vale University Health Board) had given her apologies for this meeting.

 

 

1049   DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – 

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

1050   WHITE PAPER 'REFORMING LOCAL GOVERNMENT: POWER TO LOCAL PEOPLE' (REF) –

 

The Committee was provided with a report which had been referred from Cabinet at their meeting on 23rd February 2015.  At the Cabinet meeting approval was sought to circulate the White Paper 'Reforming Local Government: Power to Local People' to stakeholders for their comments in advance of the Council’s formal response to Welsh Government.

 

The White Paper "Reforming Local Government: Power to Local People" was Welsh Government's statement of intent about the future of local government in Wales and was made available to view in the Members’ room and via the following link. http://wales.gov.uk/docs/dsjlg/consultation/150203-power-to-local-people-full-en.pdf

 

The White Paper set out Welsh Government's proposals for making changes in the following fields:  local democracy, the roles and remuneration of Elected Members and senior officers, community governance and Community Councils, community rights, corporate improvement, service performance, scrutiny, audit, inspection and regulation and finance.

 

Welsh Government published the White Paper on 3rd February 2015; responses were required by 28th April, 2015.  In order for the Council to give as informed a response as possible, wide circulation of the White Paper locally was proposed.  The White Paper would be referred for comments to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources), Democratic Services Committee, Standards Committee, Audit Committee, Community Liaison Committee, Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee and the Vale of Glamorgan Local Service Board.

 

Cabinet had resolved –

 

'(1)      That the White Paper 'Reforming Local Government: Power to Local People' be circulated to the Council's stakeholders, including Elected Members, for their comments as outlined in paragraph 3 of the report.

 

(2)       That the comments received were considered in formulating the Council's response to the White Paper 'Reforming Local Government: Power to Local People'.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1&2)  To ensure that the Council's formal response on the White 'Reforming Local Government: Power to Local People' Paper to Welsh Government was informed by comments from Elected Members and local stakeholders.'    

 

The Head of Performance and Development informed the Committee that the paper had been referred to a number of internal forums and that the voluntary and third sectors would be submitting their own response to Welsh Government.  The Council’s formal response to the White Paper would be formulated in readiness for determination at the Cabinet meeting of 27th April 2015.  A huge number of issues were to be considered as part of the consultation on this Paper, however, it was suggested that the Committee focused on Section 5 of the Paper, Power to Local Communities. 

 

The White Paper stated that the Welsh Government’s vision for Local Authorities was that they would become activist Councils, taking action to support and improve the wellbeing and resilience of their communities.  To this end, Community Bodies would be given a range of rights which would enable them to become more involved in local services and take responsibility for community assets.

 

In terms of Community Participation, it was proposed that if a Community Body envisaged that they could improve a service, they would be able to make a request to the Local Authority setting out their proposals and that Local Authorities would be required to take these requests seriously.

 

The Paper also proposed that Community Bodies should be able to start the process of asset transfer through a request to their Local Authority, whereas currently it must be initiated by the Local Authority.  Furthermore, the Paper proposed that Communities may also wish to become involved in private ownership, for example the local village pub or shop, and that they would have the right to first refusal when these properties came up for sale. 

 

Community Bodies would be required to meet certain standards with regard their organisation and would be required to have appropriate standards of governance and financial management.

 

The Head of Performance and Development stated that there was a great deal of alignment between the proposals within this section of the White Paper and what was already being progressed in the Council’s Reshaping Services Programme and the Council would endorse partnerships between itself and not for profit organisations. 

 

A Committee Member was concerned at the criticism levelled at the leadership in Local Authorities, which they felt to be insulting.  They expressed the view that Welsh Government had encouraged voluntary mergers, yet had rejected all the expressions of interest that had been submitted, wasting a lot of time in these Authorities.  In addition, the Paper was light on guidance for Local Authorities.

 

Ms. Connor, Executive Director of the VCVS, expressed concern in relation to the uncertainty involved with the proposals contained within the Williams Report and stated that in Conwy and Denbighshire, Third Sector organisations had merged, at great cost, due to the recommendations within the Report; however, subsequently the expression of interest for a voluntary merger between these Councils had been rejected. In light of this, she expressed the view that Third Sector organisations within the Vale of Glamorgan would be not make any decisions in relation to the proposals until further down the line, in case there were any changes.

 

Ms. Connor stated that a list of community assets in the Vale of Glamorgan would be helpful as it would assist organisations with expressions of interest in the transfer of assets or services and help to gauge the level of interest across the county.

 

Ms. Connor expressed the view that it would be difficult to ascertain whether a Community Body would be able to improve a service when the costs involved were unknown.  The Third Sector wanted to improve services, however they had significant efficiency savings to meet, therefore they required the full picture, which could hopefully be ascertained via the work carried out as part of the Reshaping Services Programme.

 

In response, the Head of Performance and Development advised that many of the principles within the White Paper were aligned with the Reshaping Services Programme and this Programme would continue regardless and be progressed through various Committees, including the Voluntary Sector Community Liaison and the Community Liaison Committee.

 

A Committee Member expressed the view that one of the main objectives for all involved was greater activism and engagement in the communities, however stated that diversity was an issue within Councils and the Council needed to find a way to increase diversity in elected representatives, yet was unsure whether the White Paper was the right way to go about this.  In addition, one of the main issues and challenges involved in the process of getting organisations more involved in service delivery was capacity building which was essential and was of the view that there was a gap between the strategy and implementation of these proposals. 

 

This Committee Member also informed the Committee that the Creative Rural Communities team had given a superb demonstration of the leader approach, and talked about a local action group, the Vale Market Action Group, which had taken forward a proposal to Cabinet for the Cowbridge Cattle Market.  The Member expressed the view that there were some brilliant ideas in the communities and it was the role of Councils and voluntary bodies to stand beside each other and develop skills in order to help build capacity. 

 

A Committee Member expressed the view that more information was required in regards to the Area Boards mentioned within the White Paper, as certain Town and Community Councils may not have sufficient resources to establish these. 

 

In response, the Head of Performance and Development stated that a great deal of concern had been expressed in the Community Liaison Committee about Area Boards and it was felt that there was no clarity in regard to their role and funding.

 

A Committee Member endorsed the comments expressed by the Committee in relation to the White Paper and stated that it contained little of substance, with no mandate and was contradictory in parts.  Furthermore, the Expression of Interest for voluntary merger submitted by the Council which had subsequently been rejected had wasted a lot of officer time

 

In response to a question from a Committee Member, Ms. Connor, expressed the view that in order to enable organisations to develop a project they would need time to gather expertise and complete feasibility studies.  Furthermore, it would take a long time, if this was to be done for all projects, time which was not available.  A lot was expected of Third Sector organisations and the Vale of Glamorgan Council which involved capacity building, however this took time.  It was a real challenge; however a large amount of money needed to be saved yet resources would need to be invested in order to build capacity. 

 

Following consideration and discussion of the report, it was subsequently

 

AGREED – T H A T Cabinet be informed of the comments and views of the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee as detailed above.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To inform Cabinet of the Committee’s views in order that a response to the White Paper 'Reforming Local Government: Power to Local People' could be forwarded to the Minister.

 

 

1051   SOUTH WALES PROGRAMME UPDATE (CVUHB) –

 

The Committee was provided with a report to update it on the implementation of the South Wales Programme. 

 

Following a detailed options appraisal and extensive public engagement and consultation process, the outcome of the South Wales Programme was confirmed in March 2014.  Paediatric, obstetric, neonatal and Emergency Unit services would be concentrated at five sites, namely UHW, Morriston, Specialist Critical Care Centre (a hospital in Gwent yet to be built), Prince Charles Hospital and Princess of Wales Hospital.

 

It was agreed that implementation would be progressed through an Acute Care Alliance (ACA) network. Together with Cwm Taf Health Board and Princess of Wales Hospital, the Cardiff and Vale UHB was part of the South Central ACA.  The South Wales Health Collaborative arrangement remained in place to drive the next phase of the South Wales Programme, focusing largely on acute medicine and surgical services.

 

At its meeting held on 9th September 2014, the UHB Board considered and approved governance arrangements to implement the South Wales Programme.  A closing Stage 3 Equality Impact Assessment had been completed, which described how Health Boards made the final decision on the South Wales Programme and the steps taken to show how they complied with their duty to show due regard to equality.  The document noted that the process was 'rigorous and robust' and that the South Wales Programme met its obligations and was able to 'demonstrate fully that due regard had been given'.

 

Planning work to implement the agreed changes was underway and a programme manager had commenced to develop detailed implementation plans.  Workforce challenges in the short term were accelerating the pace of change and some interim arrangements would be required until the agreed plans could be fully implemented.  The UHB’s clinicians were playing a key role in developing these plans.

 

The UHB was working closely with colleagues at the Community Health Council (CHC) and had set up monthly meetings to ensure effective and continuous engagement.  Joint meetings with neighbouring CHCs were also being established.

 

The South Wales Health Collaborative had commenced a review of acute medical and surgical services in the region.  This considered how these services could be configured across the region.  Any future changes to the configuration of these services would require effective collaborative working to ensure that there were clear protocols in place to repatriate patients closer to their home when it was clinically appropriate.  The UHB would also need to consider the benefit of some services moving off the UHW site.  This work would dovetail into the UHB's clinical services strategy work and the estates master plan that was being developed in response to the changes Cardiff and Vale UHB would need to make over the coming years.  The key milestones were reflected in the UHB Integrated Medium Term Plan.

 

The South Central ACA Chief Executive Officer Delivery Group had given support to exploring a proposed new service model to deliver ear, nose and throat services across the region.  The agreed next steps were to initiate discussions with CHCs, complete an initial Equality Impact Assessment and undertake modelling to explore the impact of the proposed changes on patients and hospital sites.

 

In presenting the report, Ms. L. Donovan, Strategic Partnership and Planning Manager, from Cardiff and Vale UHB, informed the Committee that clinical reference groups were currently looking at clinical models as part of the implementation of the South Wales Programme.  A Committee Member expressed concern in relation to the flow of patients in the South Wales region and the negative impact and pressure this had on services, such as the Welsh Ambulance Service.  In response, Ms. Donovan stated that issues such as patient flow and the capacity of services, such as the Welsh Ambulance Service, were the types of issues that the South Wales Health Collaborative and Alliances were reviewing.  She confirmed that patient mapping was being completed at the South Wales Collaborative level.

 

A Committee Member expressed concern in relation to the high number of different groups involved in the Acute Care Alliance networks and in response Ms. Donovan advised that she would take note of this and feed it back to the UHB.

 

AGREED – T H A T the progress made towards implementing the agreed South Wales Programme changes and the update provided on the next phase of implementation be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To have regard to the progress of the South Wales Programme and confirm that the Committee was apprised in relation to the next phase of implementation.

 

 

1052   INTEGRATED MEDIUM TERM PLAN 2015/16 – 2017/18 (CVUHB) –

 

The Committee was provided with a report in relation to the development of the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board’s Integrated Medium Term Plan for 2015/16 – 2017/18.

 

This was the second year of the new NHS planning system where each NHS organisation was required to provide three year integrated plans.  The University Health Board (UHB) was required to submit a Final Integrated Medium Term Plan for 2015/16 – 2017/18 to Welsh Government by 31st March 2015.

 

A draft Integrated Medium Term Plan (IMTP) had been submitted to Welsh Government on 30th January 2015 with scrutiny undertaken during February 2015.  Subject to the feedback received, the IMTP had been revised and the final Plan would be discussed by the UHB at its meeting on 24th March 2015, prior to submission to Welsh Government by 31st March 2015.

 

The UHB IMTP for 2015/16 – 2017/18 – Progressing Our Future, built on the current IMPT for 2014/15 – 2016/17 approved by Welsh Government in May 2014, and progress made in its delivery throughout 2014/15 recognised its ambitious programme of change and significant savings schedule.

 

The Plan was premised on Challenges, Choices and Change and was a refresh, reshape and roll forward for 2015/16 – 2017/18; and reflected the priorities and focus confirmed at the UHB mid-year review:

  • To secure and sustain improvements in its big five priorities:

-       Cancer Care

-       Stroke Care

-       Planned Care

-       Unplanned – flow

-       Finances

  •  Fast track integration at scale and pace – Its transformation programme
  •  Managing change successfully.

It recognised the:

 

-              Need to respond to the rapid growth expected in the Cardiff population

-              Need to tackle the widening health inequalities experienced by our local communities

-              Need to consolidate the tertiary services it provided for the South Wales population; and

-              Challenging financial environment in which it operated, having made savings in excess of 4% annually for the last three years.

 

As its clinical services strategy “Shaping our Future Wellbeing†developed, Cardiff and Vale UHB had identified the need to deliver the following as part of its transformation programme over the next three years:

 

  • Continuing the shift in the balance of care closer to home
  • Rebuilding its unscheduled  care system, recognising the important contribution of strengthened and proactive primary and community based care
  • Ensuring that its planned care system was in balance, managing variations in demand and capacity and improving patient pathways
  • Embedding the principles of Prudent Healthcare into the way it planned and delivered care;
  • Further modernising its mental health services with the opening of the new adult mental health unit in spring 2016; and
  • Providing the best in children’s services with the opening of the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales.

The financial environment remained tight and it would be extremely challenging for the UHB to deliver a break even position over the period of the Plan.  In order to do this the UHB would need to make significant efficiencies and service changes in each of the three years of the Plan.  This task would get increasingly difficult year on year as further areas of opportunities became harder to find.  Concerted management action and attention would be required in order to achieve this.  Ensuring that its clinical boards and stakeholders were engaged had been a very important part of its planning process.  Cardiff and Vale UHB would continue to talk to its key stakeholders, knowing that ongoing engagement would be needed as its plans were implemented.  Inevitably a number of difficult decisions would be required in order to deliver ministerial priorities and achieve a balanced financial position.

 

Ms. Donovan informed the Committee that the UHB was currently in the process of a significant rewrite of the Plan and it would therefore look very different to the draft plan received by the Committee.  The final draft would be submitted back to Welsh Government on 31st March 2015.  Ms. Donovan advised that any service changes as a result of the Plan needed to be carried out in partnership with their partners and that a considerable amount of work was still to be done in delivering the plan. 

 

In discussing the Plan, a Committee Member complimented the district nursing in the health board and was of the view that the system worked very well and requested that this be fed back to the UHB.  Another Committee Member stated that it was difficult to ascertain which health boards were responsible for which services, as some services provided within the Vale of Glamorgan came under the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg UHB and some fell under the remit of the Cardiff and Vale UHB.  In response, Ms. Donovan advised that some of the Western Vale services had been transferred to the Cardiff and Vale UHB and would note these comments. 

 

Ms. Connor, Executive Director of the VCVS, advised that there was a tremendous amount of useful information within the draft plan which the Third Sector could use in progressing projects and expressed the view that most of the facts within the report would remain the same. 

 

AGREED – T H A T the draft Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Integrated Medium Term Plan for 2015/16 – 2017/18 and the development of a final Plan for submission to Welsh Government by 31st March 2015 be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

The Committee had regard to and was apprised in relation to the progress of the Cardiff and Vale UHB IMTP 2015/16 – 2017/18.

 

 

1053   PRESENTATION – ATAL-Y-FRO – HELPING FAMILIES BREAK THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE AND ABUSE –

 

Ms. Julie Grady, Education Prevention Worker, provided the Committee with a presentation in relation to work carried out by Atal-y-Fro.

 

Prior to volunteering at Atal-y-Fro Ms. Grady had been a Police Officer for some 24 years, primarily in public protection, and had spent five years as the Domestic Violence Lead in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.  Ms. Grady advised that working for Atal-y-Fro was extremely rewarding.

 

Previously Atal-y-Fro was called Vale of Glamorgan Women’s Aid; however this had been changed to Atal-y-Fro which meant Vale Prevention as it reflected that the service provided was inclusive of all victims of domestic abuse.

 

Atal-y-Fro had introduced an early intervention programme from New Zealand which entailed a holistic, whole family approach with the aim to help families stay together safely or to separate amicably.  This programme was known as EPIC which stood for Education, Prevention, Intervention in the Community.  Ms Grady circulated leaflets at the meeting which detailed the services provided by Atal-y-Fro.

 

The EPIC programme included various elements:

  • Community IDAP / Men’s Groups
  • Couples work / Counselling
  • Children and Young People’s Programmes / Support
  • Pattern changing / Women who use force / Journey beyond abuse
  • Healthy Relations Programme.

The Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme (IDAP) involved working with the adult male perpetrators of domestic violence and was a detailed programme lasting nine months.  It was delivered using a multi-agency approach which included the Probation Service, South Wales Police, Social Services and Education.  In 2014, Atal-y-Fro received the Howard League Award for penal reform in recognition of the work carried out in delivering the EPIC programme.  Ms Grady informed the Committee that the programme worked if individuals wanted it to and that motivation was key, that the programme was very intense and needed to be managed.

 

Atal-y-Fro carried out a significant amount of work within Vale of Glamorgan secondary schools educating pupils ranging from Year 3 to Sixth Form. The school programme involved a soft approach and in 2014 they delivered training to approximately 7,000 pupils and this work was now to become statutory. Ms Grady also delivered training to Social Services and South Wales Police, one of the main aims of which was to educate individuals about domestic abuse and to signpost them to the relevant place should they have any concerns in relation to domestic abuse. 

 

Ms Grady advised the Committee that two thirds of families involved in the EPIC programme stayed together once they had received the tools to deal with certain behaviour.

 

The Committee was also provided with an overview of a new project that Atal-y-Fro was delivering with the South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner known as the DARFA Consortium (Domestic Abuse Restorative family Approach).  The Consortium consisted of Atal-y-Fro, Cardiff and Vale College, Wales Restorative Approaches Partnership (WRAP), Ignition Training, STTEPS – Supported Housing and Tros Gynnal Plant.  The project was designed for low-medium risk families and identified how problems could be managed using a restorative approach.

 

The values of the DARFA Consortium were:

  • Respectful, strengths-based working
  • Working with openness and transparency
  • Encouraging the right to self-determination

Through the life of the project the DARFA Consortium would be working to the core principles of restorative practice and collaboration.  One of the main aims of the project would be a focus on the children affected by domestic abuse. The project involved a variety of agencies and the general model employed a one stop approach, which meant that whichever agency received the initial referral would deal with the case.

 

Ms. Grady explained how the project would work, which involved a series of restorative meetings and interventions, not 'restorative justice' in isolation but a wider restorative approach and ethos, skilling up families. The presentation also included a 'Choice for Change Process Map' which detailed the various elements of the process.

 

Following the presentation, Ms. Grady took questions from the Committee in relation to the work carried out by Atal-y-Fro.  In response to a question, Ms. Grady advised that as she was not a teacher, children felt more at ease to ask her questions.  The schools programme involved informing children that domestic abuse could take different forms which included emotional, sexual, violence and psychological abuse.  The schools programme was aimed at educating children and kept gender neutral.

 

A Committee Member asked how individuals could help in terms of breaking the circle of abuse and safeguarding individuals in danger of domestic abuse.  In response, Ms. Grady advised that the main issue was to raise awareness of domestic abuse, for example by listing help line numbers in offices.  She advised that employers had a duty of care to their employees in relation to this issue and to best practice.  Furthermore, it was important to dispel the myths and stereotypes that surrounded domestic abuse, to get away from the blame culture and ensure that it was not a taboo subject.  Education and signposting was extremely important as sometimes individuals in these situations may not want to go to the authorities and in these cases they could be signposted to the relevant voluntary agency. 

 

Ms. Connor, VCVS, stated that as Atal-y-Fro was a small local voluntary organisation, the work that they carried out was astounding and ground breaking, yet funding was an issue.  She expressed the view that domestic abuse had a big knock-on effect, in terms of cost, to the partners of VCVS and that the preventative methods used by Atal-y-Fro needed to be employed in the delivery of services in the future.  In response to this, Ms. Grady advised that Atal-y-Fro was a not for profit organisation with only 16 staff.  Atal-y-Fro was also piloting another project known as the IRIS project which involved GPs throughout Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan and was aimed at helping GPs identify if domestic abuse was occurring and to signpost victims to an advocate educator.  Ms. Grady delivered training on this programme to second year medical students in Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport which involved helping them to recognise the signs of domestic violence and abuse.  This project was piloted in 2014 and was now a rolling programme. 

 

In response to a question from a Committee Member, Ms. Grady informed the Committee that Atal-y-Fro had premises on Holton Road and Cadoxton House in Barry.  They worked closely with Families Achieving Change Together (FACT) and provided an on-call service which was available 24/7 as well an outreach programme and tenancy and advocacy support. 

 

A Committee Member enquired in relation to the funding issues faced by Atal-y-Fro, and in response Ms. Grady advised that they received no statutory funding. The organisation was in real need of funding and funding bids were being written on a very regular basis.

 

AGREED – T H A T Atal-y-Fro be congratulated on the work it carried out in delivering their various projects and that Ms. Grady be thanked for an extremely informative presentation.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To have regard to the work of Atal-y-Fro.         

 

 

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