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Agenda Item No.

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

CABINET: 17TH NOVEMBER, 2014

 

REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH): 6TH OCTOBER, 2014

 

 

479    UPDATE ON THE REGIONAL COLLABORATION FUND AND INTERMEDIATE CARE FUND PROGRAMMES (DSS) –

 

The Committee was provided an update on the progress made in implementing the Regional Collaboration Fund projects and a briefing on new projects being delivered in 2014/15 using resources from the Intermediate Care Fund. 

 

The Director of Social Services advised that this report represented a follow up to a previous Committee report received on 19th May 2014.  This report described how the Welsh Government had provided funding to councils through the Regional Collaboration Fund (RCF) and the Intermediate Care Fund (ICF) intended to support and deliver change projects which remodel delivery of Adult Social Care Services (RCF) and to invest in services which support older people to maintain their independence and remain at home longer (ICF).  Members were asked to note that the amount allocated for the RCF was in the region of £785k and for the ICF funding had been awarded to the Vale in the region of £1.1m revenue and £557k for capital funding to be spent during the year.  The Vale of Glamorgan Council had been working closely with Cardiff Council and the University Health Board on a number of projects that delivered the required outcomes for the RCF and ICF. 

 

The RCF project started in 2013/14 and was currently in its second year. This offered opportunity to remodel services that would be more sustainable in the longer term. Evaluation of the work conducted through the RCF had been carried out and many good outcomes had been achieved.

 

Oversight of the RCF was provided by a dedicated Programme Manager, employed by means of the Welsh Government Social Services Transformation Grant.  The Vale of Glamorgan Council co-ordinated the management and reporting of these projects on behalf of both local authorities.  Regional oversight of the remodelling Adult Social Care Services programme as a whole was undertaken by a cross-authority Steering Group which provides overall direction and monthly monitoring.  The Steering Group operates within the governance arrangements established for the Integrating Health and Social Care Programme, currently chaired by the Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, as set out in Figure 1.

 

Detailed at Figure 1 of the report was the Governance Structure for the RCF Remodelling Social Care and Integration with Health Programme across Cardiff and the Vale.

 

The ICF must be used to:

 

·               encourage collaborative working between social services, health and housing;

·               support older people to maintain their independence and remain in their own home;

·               avoid unnecessary hospital admissions or inappropriate admission to residential care, as well as preventing delayed discharges from hospital. 

 

In order to ensure that a co-ordinated approach was in place for all the projects funded in the Vale under RCF and ICF and that time-limited funding was spent effectively, a Social Services Collaborative Working Programme Board had been established (Figure 2).  The Board meets monthly to ensure that the ICF projects were on track to deliver within the required timescales and that they continued to work towards the Programme's outcomes. 

 

Figure 2 of the report showed the Governance Structure for the Social Services Collaborative Working Programme.

 

 The RCF and ICF were short term funding streams.  Tentatively, the RCF was established for three years, commencing in 2013/14.  Welsh Government only confirms each year of funding on an annual basis and very late in the financial year.  At present, the ICF grant was for one year only.  Although the Council was pleased to have been successful in securing significant investment to support its efforts to reshape services, the short term nature of the funding did present considerable challenges.  The Council was trying to secure wholesale service redesign and a radical shift from hospital-based to community based care.  This had to be a sustained enterprise.  However, one of the greatest threats to progress was the short term nature of the funding currently available.  There was no guarantee of future funding and experience indicates that staff engaged in this work would begin to feel more and more insecure as the end of the funding period approached.  This could result in damaged morale and a failure to deliver fully all the benefits anticipated, as well as the loss of opportunities that may never recur.  All projects were expected to plan exit strategies in case the funding did not continue.

 

The Chairman, in referring to the short term nature of the funding, queried whether there were any updates in respect of the budget settlement provided from the Welsh Government.  In response, the Head of Adult Services stated that nothing had been relayed in relation to the ICF, although there may be an opportunity for funding to be released following the increase in the budget allocated to Health.  Specifically, however, there was no mention in the spending review in relation to RCF or ICF.  He commented that funding had been used very well and had achieved a number of positive outcomes and it would be a shame if the ICF grant was removed.  He cited the examples of the Redland housing development in which there was a high demand from older people who had expressed an interest in moving to the accommodation. 

 

 

A Committee Member, in highlighting Objective 9 relating to the transforming of the Dementia Service, queried as to what would be achieved.  The Head of Adult Services stated that the service was re-evaluating how resources were used and allocated for dementia services.  A key component of this was to ensure that the reviewing process by care managers was more efficient.  The service had been fortunate to obtain support from the Spider project; this would help to develop the proposed changes to enable the service to be more dementia friendly.  Barry was one of the areas selected as a pilot for the dementia supportive community, but the Committee should be mindful that it would take time to bring about the level of social change required. 

 

Following a query regarding the extra care project, the Head of Business Management and Innovation advised that individuals had begun to move into the extra care facility within Barry and that a phased approach would take place over the next few weeks.  As part of this funding, a unit had been rented within the extra care facility to provide a reablement and discharge service for people leaving hospital.  This was currently a trial that would run for a period of six months and would operate in conjunction with the two units rented at the Redlands facility and this arrangement would be reviewed in due course.

 

A Committee Member enquired, from a project management point of view, whether the service was on course to spend all the allocated money?  In response the Director of Social Services advised that yes, the projects were on track and we are where we expected to be at this point in time. 

 

The Committee expressed concern over the short term funding arrangements and was keen for Cabinet to receive the views of the Committee for the purpose of consideration. 

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

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

 

(2)       T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet in order to highlight the good work and positive outcomes that have been made in relation to the Regional Collaboration Fund and Intermediate Care Fund and highlight the Committee’s concern over the short term funding arrangements.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To provide an update and briefing for Scrutiny Members and an opportunity to ask questions on the projects being delivered.

 

(2)       To highlight the Committee’s concerns regarding the short term funding of the RCF and ICF grant monies.

 

 

 

 

Attached as Appendix – Report to Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health): 6th October, 2014