Agenda Item No
MATTER WHICH THE CHAIRMAN HAS DECIDED IS URGENT BY REASON OF
THE NEED TO ENSURE SERVICE CONTINUITY
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting : 21st September, 2011
Report of the Cabinet Member for Social and Care Services
Responding to the British Red Cross decision to stop providing
day care services in the Vale of Glamorgan
Purpose of the Report
To inform Cabinet of strategic decisions made by the British Red
Cross which mean that they will stop providing day care services in
the Vale of Glamorgan and to seek Cabinet approval for the Social
Services Directorate response.
Notes the decision made by the British Red Cross.
Agrees the proposal for urgent action to maintain appropriate day
care service provision for those who have an assessed need.
Reasons for the Recommendations
To ensure that Cabinet is aware of the potential consequences for
social care service users.
To ensure that plans are in place to maintain appropriate day
service provision for those users whose assessed needs are
currently met by the British Red Cross.
For many years, the British Red Cross has supported frail older
people and those with dementia-related illnesses in the Vale of
Glamorgan through the provision of two day care facilities situated
at Barry Island and St. Athan. On 23rd August, following
informal discussions between relevant staff, the British Red Cross
notified the Director of Social Services that they would cease
providing the Barry Island day service from 31st October, 2011 and
the St. Athan day service from 31st March, 2012. The letter
made clear that the decision had not been taken lightly but that
the provision of day services does not fit in with the
organisation's strategic plans, which involve concentrating on
crises response services.
The Barry Island day centre can support up to 18 people a day,
Monday to Friday. In the current financial year, actual
attendance has been 9 people per day on average. A
total of 31 service users use the service, including a number of
self-funding clients. The Council has procured the service on
a spot purchase basis.
The St. Athan day service is run from the Gathering Place, a
building leased from the St. Athan Methodist Church. This
service offers up to 10 placements a day, Monday - Friday.
Average attendance in 2011/12 is 6 per day; a total of 23 people
use the service. It is provided on the basis of a contract
with the Council and the Red Cross has given appropriate notice of
their intention to withdraw from the contract on 31st March,
Relevant Issues and Options
The Vale of Glamorgan Council has valued the support provided to
older people by the Red Cross. Staff from both organisations
have met regularly to consider options for developing the services
but the financial context is exceptionally challenging and it is
understandable that the Red Cross wishes to focus more on its core
The Barry Island day centre previously received funding from the
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board for 10 places a day.
When this funding stream ceased in March 2010, the centre's
longer-term sustainability was threatened. The Council
stepped in to examine ways of increasing the number of placements
and the income generated. To ensure service continuity, the
Social Services Directorate agreed to pay an increased daily charge
per service user from April, 2011, to support the British Red Cross
in meeting the costs of providing the service.
Ensuring that current service users continue to receive the level
of day care provision that they need, when the Barry Island centre
closes at the end of October, 2011, will require urgent action from
the Social Services Directorate. It is anticipated that the
work done to reconfigure the service at Rondel House and the
availability of some capacity within the block contract at the
Gathering Place will mean that the needs of existing assessed
service users attending Barry Island can be met within these two
facilities. This will involve some changes to capacity and
Each service users and their significant adult will be involved in
the decision about which of the two facilities they will
attend. The Directorate will need to ensure that appropriate
choices have been made based upon needs and location.
Following completion of the transfer process, individual reviews
will be undertaken, as and when required, to ensure that services
continue to meet service user requirements. Where
self-funding clients are attending the Barry Island service, the
Council will look to help them find a suitable alternative day
service provision, to allow an informed choice to be made on the
support they wish to receive.
The Council and British Red Cross are working together
constructively to manage the sensitive process of transferring
service users from Barry Island to their new facility. A
communication strategy has been developed. A number of
meetings are to be held with service users and their families to
inform them about the planned closure and to provide them with
assurances over future services. The Red Cross has met with
their staff affected by the decision. A joint media statement
will be issued to inform the general public of the decision and the
response made by the Council.
10. The decision by the
Red Cross to cease providing services in the Western Vale is linked
strongly to the closure of the Barry Island centre. However,
because there is more time available to deal with the consequences
and because of the different contractual arrangement for the
Gathering Place, a different strategy has been developed to manage
the changes to this service.
11. The Council is having
discussions with the Methodist Church about continuing the
lease. There is good reason to believe that there will be a
positive outcome. If this is the case, the Council plans to
run a competitive tendering exercise to ascertain if it is possible
to contract the service at the current location to a suitable
provider from 2nd April, 2012. There are tight timescales
involved with such a tendering exercise. For this reason, the
British Red Cross would be willing (should the need arise) to
continue providing the current service for a short fixed period of
time beyond March 2012, to ensure the full completion of the tender
process and to maintain continuity of service for users.
12. If the Gathering
Place does not remain a viable option for holding day services
because of disputes about the lease, the Council will search for
alternative accommodation. However, suitable properties are
known to be in short supply and so there is a risk that the Western
Vale would not have a day care facility in the area for this group
of service users.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate
Change, if appropriate)
13. If current service
users from the Barry Island Centre transfer to the day service
facilities at Rondel House and the Gathering Place, this will help
to ensure that the capacity within these services is used more
efficiently. Ending the spot purchase arrangement for the
Barry Island centre will assist the Social Services Directorate to
deliver the action set out in its Change Plan 2011 - 2014 which
involves achieving better value for money by reducing the extent to
which this practice is used in procuring services.
14. There are no direct
staffing issues for the Council anticipated as a result of this
report as the staff in both centres are employed by the British Red
Cross. Any tendering process for day services in the Western
Vale will be managed within existing resources.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
15. TUPE arrangements
will need to be considered for staff currently employed by the
British Red Cross should the Western Vale day service continue at
the Gathering Place in St. Athan.
Crime and Disorder Implications
16. There are no crime
and disorder implications as a direct result of this report.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language
17. The plans made to
meet the needs of current service users as a result of the decision
made by the Red Cross have been the subject of an Equality Impact
Assessment. There is an impact on disabled people in that
their service provider will have to change. We will endeavour
to minimise this impact by providing a similar service to them as
locally as possible. The loss of the facility in Barry Island
does reduce overall service capacity in the Vale of Glamorgan at a
time when demand may increase because of socio-demographic
trends. The Council will need to take this into account
within its new commissioning strategy for older people
18. This report
contributes to the following corporate objective:
"working with partners to meet the diverse needs of our residents
in ways that will safeguard and support those who are most
vulnerable and in greatest need; help people to keep fit and
healthy; and increase social cohesion and equality of opportunity
Policy Framework and Budget
19. This is a matter for
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
20. As this is an urgent
matter, it has been possible to consult only with elected members
for the individual Wards most directly affected.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
21. Social Care and
Lance Carver, Head of Adult Services and
Corporate Management Team
Philip Evans, Director of Social Services