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THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

CABINET: 7TH SEPTEMBER, 2015

REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH): 13TH JULY, 2015


“231    IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES AND WELLBEING (WALES) ACT 2014 (DSS) -

The Committee received its 4th monthly update in respect of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 and the approach being taken in regards to its implementation.  

The Social Services and Wellbeing Act would come into force in April 2016 and the Committee had requested regular updates on the progress being made in readiness for implementing the requirements of the Act in the Vale of Glamorgan.  Scrutiny Members last received an update on 15th June, 2015.  This included information about the second tranche of public consultation regarding regulations and codes of practice for specific aspects of the Act, issued on 8th May and closing on 31st July.  Details of this tranche were set out in the appropriate web links contained within the report.

Officers had attended a briefing session managed by Welsh Government on second tranche regulations and code of practice in June.  This would help inform the Council’s consultation response.  As reported last time, the Vale of Glamorgan Social Care Development and Workforce Plan (SCDWP) had been submitted to Welsh Government.  It included a summary introduction on behalf of both Cardiff Council and the Vale Council.  The Director of Social Services in Cardiff was the nominating regional lead for workforce issues relating to the implementation of the Act.  As required to qualify for the Welsh Government SCDWP grant, a new Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Regional Social Care and Workforce Development Partnership was to be established.  Welsh Government required that by September, and update on the progress being made to deliver this.  

Consequently a workshop was to be held on 23rd July to which social care providers from across the region were invited.  The purpose was, in part, to secure agreement among partners regarding:

  • the opportunities the new Partnership would offer the industry, carers and service users
  • how the service would work together as a region
  • how the service would work as a Partnership
  • what being a member of the Partnership may mean.

In addition, a Board was to be established to oversee the operation of the Partnership.  The role of the Board would be to ensure that:

  • the Partnership was fit for purpose
  • the Partnership was planning for the future
  • there were appropriate governance and accountability arrangements in place, that ensured plans were properly devised, agreed, implemented and monitored.

Key providers had been asked to take on the role of representing sectors of the industry on this Board.  The Glamorgan Voluntary Services was working in partnership with the Council to co-ordinate a workshop event intended to raise awareness of the Act and its implications.  Two half day briefing sessions had been arranged on 9th July and invitations had been sent to staff within the Authority, third sector and health board.  After the event, workshops would be held on the following areas of the Act:

  • Community and Wellbeing Outcomes, prevention and early intervention
  • Assessing and meeting the needs of individuals
  • Care and support for adults and children
  • Working in partnership.

These workshops would be facilitated by members of the Social Services Management Team.  

The Chairman, in referring to the briefing sessions held on 9th July, queried whether the invitees were surprised by the scope of the new Act.  In response, the Director of Social Services stated that most delegates welcomed the idea of having a constructive dialogue around how their needs were to be met in the future.  All delegates did voice some form of concern in respect to the implications for resources available.  

The Chairman went on to query whether there were any thoughts raised in respect to the new assessment framework.  The Head of Adult Services stated that an important part of the Act was the requirement for local authorities to only provide a service in cases when they were the only organisation or agency that could do so.  He also stated that there would be a need to move resources away from long term care and support in order to enhance resources provided to preventative and intervention services.  He indicated, however, that the evidence was not fully clear as to whether this approach would be fully successful.  

In querying the take up of the briefing sessions, the Committee was advised that over 100 individuals had attended the sessions which included a number of representatives from the Glamorgan Volunteer Services and also a very good representation from the Vale Council such as the Director of Learning and Skills.  Members were further advised that the next workshop to be held on 21st July was aimed at looking at the second tranche of the regulations and codes of practice associated within the Act which was in relation to partnership working.  For this, senior leaders from the Cardiff and Vale Councils and also the University Health Board would be in attendance along with representatives from the Voluntary Sector and the Care Council for Wales.  

A Committee Member enquired whether there was any update in respect of the Action Plan submitted to Welsh Government.  In response, the Committee noted that an updated Action Plan would be submitted to Welsh Government in September which would include progress around what actions had been taken and what actions remained to be completed.  

RECOMMENDED -

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

(2)    T H A T the Committee continue to receive regular updates about implementing the Act.

(3)    T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet for information.

Reason for recommendations

(1-3)    To ensure that Elected Members are kept informed about fundamental changes in the policy and legislative framework which underpins the work of Social Services.”



 

Attached as Appendix – Report to Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health): 13th July, 2015

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