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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) : 3rd December, 2012

 

Report of the Director of Social Services

 

Annual Report of the Director of Social Services 2011/2012

Purpose of the Report

1.             To provide Scrutiny Committee with the Director's Annual Report 2011/2012, the summary report and an annual report by each Head of Service in the Directorate for the same period.  These reports set out an appraisal of service effectiveness and the improvement priorities for the service.

Recommendations

That Scrutiny Committee:

 

1.             Notes the Director's Annual Report for 2011/2012, the annual report by each Head of Service in the Directorate and a summary report.

2.             Recommends to Cabinet that it endorses the improvement priorities for the Directorate set out in the reports.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To ensure that Scrutiny Committee has been informed about the views expressed by the Director of Social Services and the Heads of Service regarding service effectiveness in 2010/2011 and their plans for improvement.

2.             To ensure that the improvement priorities can be included in the Directorate's Service Plan.

Background

2.             As part of his statutory duties, the Director of Social Services is required by the Welsh Government to produce an annual report on the effectiveness of social care services in the Vale of Glamorgan and on plans for improvement. This provides an opportunity for the Director to provide people in the Vale with a rounded picture of social services - based on evidence such as what users and carers say, key performance indicators, and measurements of progress against the overall goals of the Council.  The report plays an integral role in the performance management framework used within the Council; it must be made available to the public and key partners of the Council.

3.             For the financial year 2011/2012, each Head of Service in the Directorate has also provided an annual report, including an assessment of how well we are doing in different service areas and priority objectives for improvement in 2012/13.  These will be published separately but at the same time. 

4.             The reports are written for a wide range of people, including service users and carers but also Elected Members, the Council's own staff, and the range of partners and providers who help us deliver our services.  They are used by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (CSSIW) to guide their inspection programme in the Vale of Glamorgan and as part of the evidence upon which they base their annual review and evaluation of performance by social services.  

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             These are important reports for the people of the Vale of Glamorgan, members of the Council and for our partners, both statutory and in other sectors. They outline the current context within which social services are operating and details proposed priorities for improvement.

6.             The Director's report for 2011/2012 is attached at Appendix 1 and each of the three reports by the Heads of Service at Appendix 2.  A Summary Report has also been produced and this is attached at Appendix 3.  The reports have been subject to consultation via a challenge process intended to allow key stakeholders an opportunity to comment and make observations before the report is finalised, ensuring that it accurately reflects the position of social services.  As part of the challenge process, the reports were presented to Scrutiny Committee at an early stage to provide Elected Members with an opportunity to contribute their views. 

7.             There is considerable evidence in the reports to show that, over the past year, the Directorate has worked effectively to fulfil the Council's high expectations of the service and to meet the needs of service users and carers. 

8.             The reports describes the formidable challenges which face the Council - most obviously in finding ways to bridge the gap between the reducing resources available and the year-on-year growth in social care costs (resulting from demographic trends, increased citizen expectations, changing family structures and increasing numbers of people with long standing and complex disabilities).  Because of the difficult financial context and increasing demands for services, the only sustainable answer for social services in the longer term is for the Council and its partners to change the pattern of services - based upon an understanding that we need to promote independence and focus services away from institutional settings and into people’s homes and local communities. 

9.             The evidence in the reports demonstrates that we have good foundations upon which to build in responding to these challenges.  They also show that there is a clear direction for social services in the Vale of Glamorgan because of the way in which the Council is managing programmes of change, including the Directorate's own three-year Change Plan.

10.        All the reports represent the views of the Director and the other senior managers in social services.  They have provided proposed new improvement actions for each service which they will prioritise for completion. Once Cabinet has endorsed the improvement actions, these will be included in the Directorate's Service Plan.

11.        The final reports will be circulated widely, especially the summary version. They will be made available via the Council's website.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

12.        The reports are consistent with the Budget Programme established for the Directorate and describe the need to:

·         manage increasing demand for help and support;

·         deal with the crisis in public sector finances which means ongoing cuts to budgets; and

·         focus even more of our work on supporting people to remain as independent as possible.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

13.        There are no sustainability and climate change implications as a result of this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

14.        The development of the Annual Report is undertaken in accordance with Welsh Government statutory guidance regarding the roles and accountabilities of the Director of Social Services.  The statutory guidance is issued under Section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970.

15.        In relation to the annual report of the Director, the statutory guidance states that the Director of Social Services must report annually and that the form of report would be a matter for each Council.  However, it must be published as soon as possible after the end of the financial year to which it refers, report performance and risk, and set out plans for improvement in relation to:

·         Getting help

·         The services provided

·         The effect on peoples lives

·         Shaping services

·         Delivering social services

·         Providing direction

16.        It must take into account the service users, their families as well as other key stakeholders.  It must report the full set of social care (adults) and social care (children) performance information (including performance indicators) that is integral to the WPI; and take account of all inspection, Review and Regulatory work undertaken and include reference to all client groups.

Crime and Disorder Implications

17.        There are no crime and disorder implications as a direct result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18.        The Equality Act 2010 creates a new public sector duty, replacing the race, disability and gender equality duties. The duty came into force in April 2011. The duty covers age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. Under the general duty, public sector organisations must have due regard to the need to:

·         eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation;

·         advance equality of opportunity between different groups;

·         foster good relations between different groups.

19.        The contents of the Annual Report and especially the improvement actions ensure compliance with this duty.

Corporate/Service Objectives

20.        A key objective of the Council addressed by this report is;

·               "to work with partners from the voluntary, public, private and other sectors to establish a shared vision for the future of the Vale and to ensure a co-ordinated approach to realising this vision."

Policy Framework and Budget

21.        This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

22.        An earlier version of the Director's Report was shared with a range of stakeholders, including the Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee, to ensure that it accurately reflects the position of social services and to provide an opportunity for challenge. The feedback was positive and amendments have been made in response to specific suggestions. 

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

23.        Social Care and Health

Background Papers

Welsh Government guidance on the Roles and Accountabilities of the Director of Social Services

Contact Officer

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Responsible Officer:

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services

 

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