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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources): 4th June 2013

Report of the Director of Development Services

Delivery of Children Disabled Facilities Grants

Purpose of the Report

1. To inform Committee of the reasons for setting a higher Improvement Objective target for the delivery of Disabled Facilities Grants for children.

Recommendations

1. THAT the Committee note the current position of the delivery of Disabled Facilities Grants for children.

2. THAT the target level in respect of Performance Indicator No. PSR009a be amended to 510 days for 2013/14.

3. THAT Committee endorses the report and refers the same to Cabinet for consideration and approval.

4. THAT Committee refers the report to Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) and Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) for information.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To enable Committee to note the action taken to address the increase delivery times for children's disabled facilities grants.

2. To enable a realistic yet challengeable target to be set.

3. In order that the views of the Committees are sought and the report referred to Cabinet for consideration and approval.

4. In order that the views of the Committees are sought and the report referred to Committees for information.

Background

2. A report was presented to the Housing and Public Protection, the Social Care and Health and the Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committees in relation to the Council's proposed Improvement Objectives. The report included an increased target time for Children's Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs). At the meetings Members enquired about the increase in the target for DFGs in relation to children and an explanation has been requested for Cabinet.

3. The Welsh Government monitors the time Local Authorities take to deliver DFGs. Recently, and over the last several years this Authority has improved its performance in delivering DFGs as detailed below.

 

Financial year

Time to deliver a DFG from 1st point of contact to completion of work (National Performance Indicator)

2009/10

802 days

2010/11

569 days

2011/12

399 days

2012/13

346 days

4. Significant progress has been made on the delivery of DFGs to adults with performance in 2012/13 in line with the Welsh average performance for 2011/12.

5. The delivery of DFGs to children has also improved but is not yet delivered in line with the Welsh average.

Relevant Issues and Options

6. Following the implementation of Wales Audit findings to monitor the stages of DFGs, during quarter 3 of 2012/13 it was noted the time taken for occupational therapy to assess a child for a DFG was increasing significantly in comparison to adults as detailed in the table below. This table details the time taken from first contact with the Council to the DFG team receiving the Occupational Therapist assessment of need across each quarter during 2012/13.

 2012/13

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

ALL

85

126

115

115

ADULTS

71

92

89

98

CHILDREN

177

303

256

267

7. To address this situation, the Public Protection Division employed an agency Occupational Therapist to support the assessment of all clients waiting for assessment for adaptations. In addition, the Children's Occupational Therapist is now funded through Health which is having a positive impact on throughput.

8. The Occupational Therapy team are also introducing a screening process for incoming requests for assessment. This screening process enables clients who may require adaptations to their homes to be identified earlier to enabling better monitoring and managing of the system.

9. In addition to the work carried out at the needs assessment stage, once a child has been identified as needing physical adaptations to their home, priority of these cases are being given to them by the DFG team.

10. As a result of this action, the time and number of children waiting for assessment for adaptation by Occupational Therapy has reduced. There are now only 4 children waiting for assessment who may need a DFG, with the oldest case registered in February 2013.

11. All children with assessed need for adaptations are progressing through the grants system. In total there are 9 cases in the system; 8 have grants approved and work is on site or waiting to start, while the technical work of 1 case is still being assessed.

12. As these cases are in the system, time already accumulated and 2012/13 performance data can be used to predict the average delivery time for children DFGs in the first half of 2013/14. Based on the cases already in the system, the delivery time will increase in the first half of 2013/14. However, with the action taken above to address the increased time to deliver Children's DFGs, new cases assessed for adaptations will be delivered quicker and the overall delivery time will start to reduce again. The table below shows the predicted delivery times for children's DFGs for 2013/14.

2013/14

PREDICTION

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

CHILDREN

514

569

510

510

13. Therefore, as the predicted delivery time for Children's DFGs in 2013/14 will increase there is a need to amend the target level to make the Performance Indicator challengeable but achievable. It is proposed that the target set for 2013/14 be amended from 580 days to 510 days.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

14. There is an identified capital budget for the approval and payment of Disabled Facilities Grants.

15. The Occupational Therapy Team has had vacancies owing to a number of factors. The Occupational Therapy Team has restructured to ensure permanent staffing is in place. A recruitment programme has been initiated to support this and all but one vacancy is now filled. Additional resource specifically focussed for children has been secured by Adult Services from Cardiff and Vale UHB. Public Protection will fund an Occupational Therapist post to support the assessment of clients requesting assistance to adapt their home.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

16. There are no negative sustainability or Climate change implications arising from the policy.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

17. There is a statutory duty on the Council to provide Disabled Facilities Grants under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996.

18. The Council, via its social services department, has further duties, under other legislation including the Children Act 1989, to children in need to meet assessed needs.

Crime and Disorder Implications

19. There are no negative crime and disorder implications arising from the policy.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

20. There are no equal opportunities implications arising from this paper.

21. The Council is under a duty to comply with the Equal Opportunities legislation.

Corporate/Service Objectives

22. Housing

To provide better access to affordable, good quality, suitable housing and deliver effective housing advice, support and prevention services. 

Providing support and advice

  • Assist people to live independently in their homes by reducing the time taken to deliver Disabled Facilities Grants and delivering the Accessible Homes Policy.

Policy Framework and Budget

23. This report is for consideration and noting only.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

24. This report is not ward specific.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

25. Social Care and Health

26. Housing and Public Protection

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Elen Probert, Principal Housing and Pollution Officer 01446 709833

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager - Legal Services - Jodi Winter

Principal Finance Officer - Rob Ingram

Operation Manager - Sue Clifton

Head of Service - Adult Services - Lance Carver

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services

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