Agenda Item No.
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH): 28TH NOVEMBER, 2011
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (CORPORATE RESOURCES): 20TH DECEMBER, 2011
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 16TH NOVEMBER, 2011
“C1517 SOCIAL SERVICES COMMISSIONING FRAMEWORK 2011 AND THE SOCIAL SERVICES COMMISSIONING STRATEGY FOR OLDER PEOPLE’S SERVICES 2011 TO 2018 (SCS) (SCRUTINY - SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH) -
The report sought to advise the Cabinet of the response made by the Director of Social Services to the new statutory guidance in respect of the above and to secure approval for the Social Services Commissioning Framework 2011 set out in Appendix A to the report and the Social Services Commissioning Strategy for Older People’s Services 2011 to 2018 as set out in Appendix B to the report.
In January 2011 the Cabinet had given consideration to a report on the “Commissioning Framework and Good Practice Guidance” issued by the Welsh Government. This guidance set out responsibilities of local authorities in commissioning social services. The Cabinet at that time had subsequently requested the Director of Social Services and the Director of Finance, ICT and Property to evaluate how far current commissioning arrangements for social care in the Vale of Glamorgan matched the standards and met the challenges set out in the statutory guidance; formulate appropriate actions within the new Change Plan for Social Services that would bring them into compliance with these mandatory requirements as soon as possible and report further to Cabinet in conclusion of that exercise.
These tasks were undertaken as part of work done in formulating the Change Plan for Social Services for the period 2011 - 2014. Cabinet endorsed this Plan on 13th April 2011. This Plan dealt primarily with those issues where a corporate approach, across Council Directorates was required to deliver appropriate action. The Plan set out the long term actions and timescales for completion. There was an agreed framework for monitoring and reporting progress. Commissioning was one of the seven priority areas in the Plan and an ambitious programme of work was underway. The Plan also sought to link together “in a business-oriented way” the Directorate’s activities in the key areas of planning and partnerships, commissioning and contracting, and resource management.
The programme of work in respect of commissioning set out in the Change Plan was progressing well, with good support from all parts of the Council. The two documents for which Cabinet approval was being sought represented significant milestones in brining about improved commissioning practices.
The Social Services Commissioning Framework 2011 described the overall approach to commissioning that was being adopted, one that ensured that the Council was able to fulfil its statutory responsibilities for the provision of social services and shape services that respond to the social care needs of residents. It also addressed the key questions: What is commissioning? Why is commissioning important? What are the key issues in commissioning social care? What is best commissioning practice? What is the Social Care market? How can we commission to deliver the new service models and efficiencies?
The Social Services Commissioning Strategy for Older People’s Services 2011 to 2018 identified how the social care needs of older people would be met within resources available to the Council during the above period. Producing the Strategy had been used as an opportunity to further the Council’s overall programme for improving and modernising the social care services if provided for older people and their families. A draft version of the document was shared with key stakeholders, including independent sector and third sector service providers. The overall responses were positive, welcoming especially the opportunities which the Strategy provided for more informed dialogue with the Council. There were some criticisms of a perceived diminution of the important role played by residential care in meeting current and future needs. On the basis of the representations received, changes were made when finalising the version of the Strategy presented for consideration at this time.
This matter was for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the content of the report be noted.
(2) T H A T the Social Services Commissioning Framework 2011 and the Social Services Commissioning Strategy for Older People’s Services 2011 to 2018 be approved.
(3) T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committees (Corporate Resources) and (Social Care and Health) for information.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To ensure consideration was given to the way in which the Social Services Directorate was responding to the increased responsibilities placed on the Council due to new statutory guidance.
(2) To ensure that commissioning arrangements for Social Care complied with guidance.
(3) To ensure that the Scrutiny Committees were able to exercise effective oversight of this key area of activity.”
Attached as Appendix - Report to Cabinet: 16th November 2011