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Agenda Item No. 7


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Healthy Living and Social Care Scrutiny Committee: 22nd  November, 2016


Report of the Director of Social Services


Report on the National Social Services Conference, June 2016


Purpose of the Report

  1. To update Scrutiny Committee on the National Social Services Conference 2016.


  1. That Scrutiny Committee notes the key messages to emerge from the Conference.

Reason for the Recommendation

  1. To ensure that Members are kept informed about policy and service developments across Wales.


  1. The National Social Services Conference is the largest and most influential meeting of social care leaders and decision makers within Wales. It is widely recognised as being the most important event of its kind for Councillors, Directors, senior officers, policy makers, service managers and service providers with responsibilities for children's services and adult social care in the statutory, voluntary and private sectors. Over 330 delegates attended this year, which was an approximate increase of 10% compared to 2015.
  2. This was the ninth annual conference organised by ADSS Cymru, which provides professional leadership for social services across Wales. It involved (as partners) the Welsh Government, the Welsh Local Government Association, the Care Council for Wales, CSSIW and the NHS Confederation.
  3. The conference theme was 'People at the heart of what we do'. It built on the learning from last year's conference, which had concentrated on planning and delivering care across agencies, encouraging equality and sharing responsibility. There was greater emphasis on planning and delivering social care services which focus on outcomes and put people at the centre of decision-making.
  4. There was a full and varied programme. Key note speeches were made by:

              Neil Ayling, President, ADSS Cymru

              Dr Andrew Goodall, Director General of Health and Social Services and Chief Executive NHS Wales

              Albert Heaney, Welsh Government's Director of Social Services and Integration

              Professor Tony Boviard, Professor of Public Management and Policy, Birmingham University

              Rebecca Evans AM, Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Welsh Government

              Margaret Flynn, Operation Jasmine and Chair of the National Independent Safeguarding Board

              Dr Lisa Mahey, Associate Director of the Change Leadership Group, Harvard University.

  1. The full conference programme is at Appendix 1. Video recordings of keynote speakers and plenary sessions are not currently available but ADSS Cymru intends to add them to its website shortly.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. Notwithstanding the wide range of interests and organisations represented within the conference, there was considerable consensus about how we should be seeking to tackle the challenges posed by policies and legislation adopted in Wales to deal with issues such as increasing demand, public services resource constraints and changing public expectations. Much emphasis was placed on delivering the aspirational aspects of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014:
  • providing information, advice and assistance;
  • seeking to promote well-being through prevention/early intervention;
  • changing the way we engage with people who depend upon us for care and support with increased opportunities for service user and carer voice and control;
  • focusing on well-being outcomes and what matters to people.
  1. Participants at the conference were clearly committed to ensuring that people's voices and rights are central to decision-making as their circumstances change, focusing on their strengths and working with them creatively to maintain their independence.
  2. In addition, there were eighteen workshops covering a wide range of subjects. These provided interactive sessions which enabled sharing of practice developments and the opportunity to understand innovative projects more deeply.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. There are no resource implications as a direct consequence of this report. However, the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 has set a whole range of new challenges; these will have to be met at a time of severe financial restraints for local government and social services and growing cost pressures. The Welsh Government has made clear that there will be no additional resources for this purpose, apart from limited transitional 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)

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

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. Social care service planning and delivery must take into account "Sustainable Social Services for Wales - A Framework for Action", which is the Welsh Government's ten-year strategy and the "More Than Just Words" framework, designed to promote a culture and workforce where language choice is offered actively as part of the process of understanding individuals and their needs.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The service helps the Council to fulfil the following Corporate Plan outcomes:

An Active and Healthy Vale - Residents of the Vale of Glamorgan lead healthy lives and vulnerable people are protected and supported; and

An Inclusive and Safe Vale - Citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan have a good quality of life and feel part of the local community.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. The recommendations of this report are within existing policy framework and budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Background Papers

  1. Scrutiny Committee Reports on Implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.

Contact Officer

Lance Carver, Head of Adult Services

Officers Consulted


Responsible Officer

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services