Cost of Living Support Icon
warm Spaces Icon

Agenda Item No 11

The Vale of Glamorgan Council


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


Report of the Director of Social Services


Joint response to the report from the Older People's Commissioner for Wales called 'Dementia: more than just memory loss'


Purpose of the Report

  1. To ensure that Elected Members are aware of the joint response to this report from the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Councils and the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board


That Scrutiny Committee:

  1. Notes the content of this report.
  2. Notes the action plan developed in response to the report from the Older People's Commissioner for Wales.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. and 2.    To provide Elected Members with information about the Council's response to the recommendations set out in the report published by the Older People's Commissioner for Wales, 'Dementia: more than just memory loss'.


  1. On 14th March 2016, the Older People's Commissioner for Wales released a report called "Dementia: More Than Just Memory Loss", which sets out what actions those providing public services need to take to ensure that people living with dementia can have the best quality of life for as long as possible. The Commissioner maintains that: "Delivering this change is not only good for people living with dementia and their carers, but also good for the public purse."
  2. The actions required to address the issues identified by the research include:
  • work to ensure that primary care services are more dementia supportive and their working practices reflect the needs of people living with dementia and their carers;
  • training for staff to ensure they have sufficient knowledge and understanding to respond to the needs of a person living with dementia in an appropriate and sensitive manner that protects their dignity and respect and minimises distress; and
  • greater post-diagnosis support, including a single point of contact to provide information and advice on the services and support available that can be accessed whenever required.
  1. The Commissioner wrote to public service leaders across Wales, seeking assurances that they will deliver the changes required on behalf of people living with dementia and their carers. In the Vale of Glamorgan, the Corporate Management Team and the Public Services Board considered the report. It was agreed that the response should be a regional one, given the need for health and social care services to work together in delivering the recommendations. The response is attached at Appendix 1.
  2. The Commissioner will undertake a programme of follow-up work to ensure that public services are delivering upon their commitments as outlined in the response provided.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The report focused on thirteen key areas. These are outlined in the response template and include ensuring that:
  • primary care practices in Wales become dementia supportive for both carers and the cared for;
  • all clinical staff who come into contact with people with dementia most have the appropriate skills to support individuals with dementia;
  • carers are involved in all care planning and aware of services available to support them as carers;
  • non-instructed advocacy is increased and use is improved;
  • workforce development planning is in line with the national Dementia Learning and Development Framework;
  • upon the establishment of well-being plans under new legislation (the Well-being of Future Generations Act), these explicitly take account of people living with dementia and their carers needs;
  • greater emphasis is placed upon supporting carers across the journey from pre-diagnosis onwards;
  • a single point of access is developed for people living with dementia and their carers development; and
  • access is made to a range of flexible befriending and respite services that directly meet the specific needs identified.
  1. The response from the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Councils and the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is attached at Appendix 1. It clearly articulates the responsibilities of each organisation and conveys the challenge that public service organisations face in order to meet these recommendations. The progress will be monitored by the Public Service Boards and the Commissioner will seek reassurance that proposed actions are completed on time.
  2. The region is well positioned to take the plan forward given that it has been implementing its Dementia Three- year Plan. Attached at Appendix 2 is a copy of the End of Year Two (2015-16) report. The actions outlined on page 24 of this report mirror many of the recommendations made by the Older People's Commissioner. Of particular note is the emphasis on carers and respite and also the need to train clinicians to become more aware of the needs of individuals with dementia and their carers.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. There are no direct resource implications as a consequence of this report but there are significant cost pressures for the Council in the provision of adult social care. The report is set, therefore, within the context of:
  • increasing demand for care 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 report 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. There are no sustainability of climate change implications as a consequence of these reports.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Commissioner for Older People (Wales) Act 2006 and the Commissioner for Older People in Wales Regulations outline the role and remit of the Commissioner. The Act outlines the actions that the Commissioner is able to take to ensure that the interests of older people are safeguarded and promoted when public bodies discharge their functions and also the assistance that the Commissioner may provide directly to older people in certain situations.
  2. The recommendations make reference to the links with the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and the need for Public Service Boards to plan explicitly for the development of services that address the needs of individuals with dementia and their carers.

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. The Directorate is compliant with the Welsh Language Standards and ensures that all information is available in Welsh as outlined in the requirements. In addition, there has been a recent launch of a further plans specifically relating to welsh language within Social Care which is 'More than Just Words' following on from the previous three year programme, originally launched by the then deputy Minister for Social Services in December 2012.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The work outlined in this report addresses the following corporate objectives outlined in the Corporate Plan 2016-2020:

•                Wellbeing Outcome 4: An Active and Healthy Vale

•                Objective 8: Safeguarding those who are vulnerable and promote independent living.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. The issue relates to all areas supported by the Vale of Glamorgan Council and so there has been no individual ward consultation in relation to this matter

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Healthy Living and Social Care.

Background Papers


Contact Officer

Suzanne Clifton, Interim Head of Business Management and Innovation

Officers Consulted

Head of Adults Services

Legal Services

Responsible Officer

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services