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Agenda Item No.

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

CABINET: 5TH NOVEMBER, 2012

 

REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH): 8TH OCTOBER, 2012

 

 

"399    COMMISSIONING ADULT SOCIAL CARE SERVICES FROM THE INDEPENDENT SECTOR (DSS) -

 

Committee were updated regarding the commissioning arrangements in place for adult social care services in the Vale of Glamorgan. 

 

On 16th July, 2012, Scrutiny Committee had considered the arrangements that the Directorate had in place to secure services from the Third Sector.  The report before Members outlined the contracting arrangements that currently operated in respect of the independent sector (i.e. organisations which seek to achieve a profit).  It was noted that the Council retained a statutory accountability for the way in which the services were provided.

 

During 2011/12, Social Services spend £18.2m on services that were provided via contractual arrangements with the independent sector.  Of this amount, £10.7m was spent on care home services (which included nursing and residential care) and £7.5m on domiciliary care services (which included home care and day care services).  A list of the relevant organisations was shown at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

In order to provide services on behalf of the Vale of Glamorgan, providers must be on the Social Services Approved Provider List.  This involved:

 

·                    Signing the Heads of Agreement documentation. This is a document that gave a generic service specification which alongside general terms and conditions and in conjunction with an individual care plan for each service user collectively formed the contract.

·                    Complete a questionnaire in relation to the services they provide.

·                    Provide a breakdown of their costs.

·                    Give evidence of Public Liability Insurance to £5m.

·                    Give evidence of Employer ‘s Liability Insurance to £10m.

·                    Demonstrate that they are registered with the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW), where appropriate.

·                    Provide references. If the provider was based in the Vale, two references were required. If the provider is out of county, the Council required the host authority to confirm that a) the provider was on their list, b) the provider was currently being used and c) they had no concerns including Protection of Vulnerable Adult issues.

 

Once a provider had been placed on the Approved Provider List, ongoing monitoring took place to ensure that quality standards were maintained.  This included:

 

·                    Ensuring that insurance cover was maintained on an annual basis.

·                    Requiring providers to undertake an annual questionnaire in relation to their business.

·                    Collating information gathered via complaints, service monitoring reports and POVA (Protection of Vulnerable Adults Arrangements) issues to identify any trends or problematic areas.

·                    Undertake spot visits, if required.

·                    Undertake arranged visits when time and resources permit.

·                    Share and discuss concerns with CSSIW.

·                    Scrutinise CSSIW inspection reports and seek satisfactory resolutions to recommendations for immediate action, if required.

 

CSSIW had a key role in the regulation of services in social care.  Care home and domiciliary care providers must be registered with CSSIW in order to provide services.  This would ensure that they met minimum standards.  As a regulating body, CSSIW undertook inspections of all registered providers, announced and unannounced, and the resulting reports were all made public.  Through the Directorate's monitoring processes, any concerns identified in the CSSIW reports were followed up with the individual providers.

 

There was a sub-group for the Area Adult Protection Committee that brought together individuals from a number of organisations who worked in delivering Protection of Vulnerable Adults arrangements, complaints, advocacy and contracting.  Through this group, information was shared and concerns addressed.  This pioneering approach had proved to be a robust way of monitoring the quality of service provision and ensuring that service users were safeguarded.

 

With regard to domiciliary care services, surveys were undertaken to ensure that staff were appropriately trained.  In addition, service user questionnaires would be used to gather information and feedback about the services provided to vulnerable people in the Vale. 

 

It was essential that staff working with vulnerable people did not pose any form of threat to the service users and that they were suitably qualified to undertake their roles.  All staff within provider organisations were required to have a current Criminal Record Bureau check and this was inspected by CSSIW as part of their monitoring process.  There was a qualification framework in place for social care services which identified the appropriate qualifications for all staff within the service.

 

The Care Council for Wales was making more vigorous the requirements with regard to the registration of individuals.  For a number of years, social workers had to be registered with the Care Council in order to practice.  This was being extended into direct care.  Care home managers must now be registered and domiciliary care managers were the next group to be included in the compulsory registration process.

 

There were two provider forums in the Vale of Glamorgan - one for care homes and one for domiciliary care.  The forums enabled providers for all sectors to share information and consider developments for the service.  This had enabled all providers to share good practice and to keep up to date with the changes in social care, thereby maintaining service quality.

 

Members of the Committee expressed gratitude for the information contained within the report, and questions ensued, including whether the Council conducted annual inspections on the service providers.  The answer to this question was that no, the Council did not conduct investigations but carried out checks to see if the providers were eligible to be included on the Council's list.

 

A Member enquired if there were any providers included on the Council's list who were not CSSIW regulated, where appropriate, and was advised that there were not. 

 

Members were advised that the Council must be vigilant.  The Council could not afford to be complacent. 

 

Following discussions, it was

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the current arrangements for working with the independent sector in providing social care services be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T Cabinet be requested to agree to users of services provided by the Independent Sector be consulted as part of the tendering process, wherever possible.

 

(3)       T H A T Cabinet be requested to agree that the Vale of Glamorgan ensures that all of its Independent Sector suppliers are CSSIW compliant, where appropriate.

 

(4)       T H A T Cabinet be requested to request CSSIW publish a list of their approved Independent Sector providers.

 

(5)       T H A T, when representatives of CSSIW address the Committee at their Annual Meeting, they be asked as to the frequency of their inspections of Independent Sector Care Providers."

 

 

Attached as Appendix - Report to Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health): 8th October, 2012