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Agenda Item No 10

The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Healthy Living and Social Care Scrutiny Committee: 12th  September, 2016


Report of the Director of Social Services


Annual Report of the Director of Social Services 2015-2016 - Challenge Version


Purpose of the Report

  1. To ensure that Elected Members receive a copy of the Director's Annual Report at an early stage, contribute to the challenge process and agree the future priorities for the service.


That Scrutiny Committee:

  1. Notes the content of this report.
  2. Considers the improvement priorities for Social Services as set out in the Director's Annual Report for 2015-2016 - Challenge Version.
  3. Contributes proposals for changes to the Annual Report as part of the challenge process.
  4. Refers this report to Cabinet for consideration.

Reason for the Recommendations

1-4.      To provide Elected Members with an opportunity to contribute to the challenge process for the Director's Annual Report 2015-2016.


  1. 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 our plans for improvement. This gives him an opportunity to provide people in the Vale with a rounded picture of social services - based on evidence drawn from a wide range of sources such as what users and carers say, key performance indicators, and measurements of progress against the overall goals of the Council.
  2. The report is 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. It is used by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (CSSIW) as evidence and to guide their inspection programme in the Vale of Glamorgan.
  3. In planning how we will deliver services over the next four years, we have put in place a Service Plan for the period 2016 to 2020 which provides an overview of the Directorate's improvement work.
  4. The report reflects on progress over the last financial year and links to objectives in the Corporate Plan 2016-2020 which reflect the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. This is an important report for the people of the Vale of Glamorgan, members of the Council and our partners, both statutory and in other sectors. It outlines the current context within which social services are operating and details proposed priorities for improvement. A challenge version of the Director's report is attached at Appendix 1.
  2. As in previous years, 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 2016-17. These are attached at Appendices 2, 3 and 4 and will be published separately but at the same time as the Director's Report. All the reports represent the views of the Director and other managers in Social Services; they are not Council policy at this stage. The Social Services Performance: Quarter 4 (End of Year) Overview Report, attached at Appendix 5, is used to supplement the Director's Report.
  3. Circulating a challenge version is intended to allow key stakeholders opportunities to comment and make observations before the report is finalised, ensuring that it accurately reflects the position of social services. Attached at Appendix 6 is the Challenge Feedback Form.
  4. As part of the challenge process, the report is presented to Scrutiny Committee at an early stage to provide Elected Members with an opportunity to contribute their views. This is regarded as a key milestone in finalising the report because of the crucial role which the Committee has in providing consistent oversight and monitoring of social services.
  5. The final reports will be presented to Cabinet for approval of the priority objectives and then circulated widely. They will be made available via the Council's website.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The report is set within the context of:
  • increasing demand for help and support;
  • managing the impact of the UK Government's austerity measures on public sector finances, which means ongoing cuts to budgets for the foreseeable future; and
  • efforts to focus more of our work on supporting people to remain as independent as possible.
  1. The priority objectives contained in the reports will be delivered within the financial constraints set by the Social Services Budget Programme, which is approved by Cabinet and reported regularly.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. The need to ensure that services are sustainable in the longer-term is a key element in the priority outcomes set out in the annual report. This is consistent with the direction set by Welsh Government for delivering sustainable social services through greater emphasis on prevention and people accepting more responsibility for tackling factors which can increase demand for social care and health services.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The development of the Annual Report is undertaken in accordance with Welsh Government statutory guidance: the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 - Part 8 Code of Practice on the Role of the Director of Social Services (Social Services Functions).

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. There are no equal opportunity implications as a direct result of this report. Equality and diversity form an integral part of service planning within the directorate. All significant service changes involve an Equality Impact Assessment which is included as appropriate in Cabinet Reports. In December 2012, the Deputy Minister for Social Services launched "More Than Just Words" which is a strategic framework to strengthen Welsh language services in health, social services and social care. A three year action plan is contained within the Framework and all local authorities are required to report their progress against the targets. The Annual Report makes reference to the work being done by the Council in preparing for greater compliance with the amended Welsh Language Standards, which will operate from April 2016.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. Key objectives of the Council set out in the Corporate Plan 2013-17 and addressed by this report are:
  • Children and young people are engaged and supported and take full advantage of life opportunities available in their local community and beyond.
  • Citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan are healthy and have equality of outcomes and, through appropriate support and safeguards, the most vulnerable members of our community maximise their life opportunities.
  • Citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan can easily access efficiently managed services that are focused around their needs, have confidence in how decisions are made and are proud to live in the Vale.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. The challenge version of the report is a consultation document and it will be sent for consideration to a wide range of partners. A feedback pro forma is provided which can be returned either in hard copy or via email. The comments received will be evaluated and, where appropriate, changes to the report will be made. There are no matters in the report which relate to an individual ward.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Healthy Living and Social Care.

Background Papers

Welsh Government statutory guidance: the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 - Part 8 Code of Practice on the Role of the Director of Social Services (Social Services Functions).

Contact Officer

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Responsible Officer

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services