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Agenda Item No. 8

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health): 15th June 2015

 

Report of the Director of Social Services

 

Implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To provide Scrutiny Committee with a monthly update in respect of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 and the approach being taken to implementation.

Recommendations

That Scrutiny Committee:

 

1.         Notes the report.

2.         Continues to receive regular updates about implementing the Act.

3.         Refers this report to Cabinet for information.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. 2. & 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.

Background

2.         The Social Services and Well-being Act comes into force in April 2016 and the Committee has requested regular updates on the progress being made in readiness for implementing the requirements of the Act in the Vale of Glamorgan.  This third report updates the information considered by the Committee in May 2015.

3.         Scrutiny Members received an update on the readiness to implement the Act on the 21st May 2015. This included: 

·         the Quarter 4/end of year report which set out what has been achieved using the Delivering Transformation Grant 2014/15;

·         the revised Terms of Reference for the Integrated Health and Social Care Governance Board;

·         the Social Service and Well-being (Wales) Act Regional Implementation Plan; and

·         the bid for the 2015/16 Delivering Transformation Grant which set out a programme for delivery for this year.

Update on preparations to ensure readiness to implement the Act

4.         Welsh Government report that the results of the first public consultation which closed in February will be published imminently.  Tranche 1 regulations and codes were refined as a result of the initial consultation and are now in the process of being laid in the National Assembly for Wales.  Tranche 2 regulations and codes will go through the same legislative process in November this year.

5.         The second tranche of the public consultation was issued on 8th May 2015 and will close on 31st July 2015.  Details of this tranche are set out below together with the links to the web site:

·         Consultation on the regulations and code of practice in relation to part 5 (Charging and Financial Assessment) of the Act www.gov.wales/consultations/healthsocialcare/part5/?lang=en

 

·         Consultation on the Regulations and code of practice in relation to part 6 (Looked After and Accommodated Children) of the Act

www.gov.wales/consultations/healthsocialcare/part6/?lang=en

 

·         Consultation on the regulations and statutory guidance in relation to part 9 (Co-operation and partnership) of the Act

www.gov.wales/consultations/healthsocialcare/part9/?lang=en

 

·         Consultation on the code of practice in relation to part 10 (Complaints, Representations and Advocacy Services) of the Act www.gov.wales/consultations/healthsocialcare/part10/?lang=en

 

6.         In addition to the workforce engagement events already delivered for officers in Social Services, the Council is working in partnership with the Glamorgan Voluntary Service which brings together the Vale Council for Voluntary Services and the Vale Volunteer Bureau to deliver a workshop.  This will raise awareness of the Act for other Council officers as well as key partners, including health, third and independent sectors.

7.         The Care Council for Wales have been funded through the Social Care and Workforce Development Programme (SCWDP) Grant to develop a new Information and Learning Hub which will be constantly updated with new information, learning and awareness materials.  This will ensure all information on the Act can be readily accessed from one site.  The hub can be found at www.ccwales.org.uk/gettign-in-on-the-Act-Hub.

8.         The Regional Lead officer for Sustainable Social Services attended a briefing session on 20th May 2015 and received information on the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act training resources, being developed by the Care Council for Wales. These are called "Getting in on the Act" and will be used to ensure key staff receive the information needed to keep them up to date.  Staff will have more detailed briefings once the approved regulations, guidance and codes of practice are available later in the year.  This training will need to be adapted to meet local needs and will take account of any specialist services and roles.

9.         The Vale of Glamorgan SCDWP Plan was submitted to Welsh Government by 29th May 2015 and a copy is attached at Appendix 1.  This sets out the social care workforce development needs, including a summary introduction across Cardiff and the Vale. There is an expectation as part of the criteria for the SCWD grant that an updated regional plan will be submitted by 25th September 2015 with a move towards a fully integrated approach prepared as soon as possible.

Funding for 2015/16

10.      Committee was briefed in May that the Welsh Government will continue to support local government and its partners in making the transition to the new arrangements.  It has doubled the funding available through the Delivering Transformation grant across Wales to £3m in 2015/16.  Subject to budgetary decisions, a further £3m in grant funding will be made available in 2016-17 to support the embedding process, with a view to transferring this sum into the Revenue Support Grant from 2017-18 in recognition of the ongoing programme of change driven by the Act.

11.      From this grant, the Welsh Government has allocated £414,648 to the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff region to continue the delivering transformation/sustainable social services agenda in 2015/16.  Welsh Government has now confirmed that the bid from Cardiff and the Vale has been successful.  We will now proceed with recruitment to the new posts required to help with the preparations for the Act.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

12.      There are no resource implications as a direct consequence of this report.  However, the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 sets a whole range of new challenges which will have to be met at a time of severe financial restraints for local government and social services.  It has been made clear that there will be no additional resources from the Welsh Government for this purpose, apart from the limited transitional/transformational funding.  Local authorities should remain very cautious about whether there will be sufficient resources available to meet increased commitments and expectations in the face of growing demand for services.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13.      There are no legal implications as a direct result of this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

15.      "Sustainable Social Services for Wales – A Framework for Action" recognises the diversity of Wales, including its status as a bilingual nation.

Corporate/Service Objectives

16.      Social services meets the following corporate objectives:

·         "To make the Vale a safe, healthy and enjoyable place in which individuals, children and families can live their lives to the full"; and

·         "To manage the Council's workforce, money and assets efficiently and effectively in order to maximise its ability to achieve it service aims."

Policy Framework and Budget

17.      These are matters for executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

18.      There are no matters in this report which relate to an individual ward. 

Background Papers

Scrutiny Committee Report: 7th November, 2013: Sustainable Social Services for Wales: A Framework for Action and the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill

Scrutiny Committee Report 14th January, 2014: Sustainable Social Services for Wales: A Framework for Action

Scrutiny Committee Report 13th April 2015: Implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

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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