THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
CABINET: 27TH JULY, 2015
REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH): 15TH JUNE, 2015
“97 IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES AND WELL-BEING (WALES) ACT 2014 (DSS) –
The Committee was presented with it’s the third monthly update in respect of the implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.
On the 21st May 2015, the Scrutiny Committee received an update on the readiness to implement the Act. This included:
- Quarter 4 / end of year report which set out what had 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 Services and Well-being (Wales) Act Regional Implementation Plan
- The bid for the 2015/16 Delivering Transformation Grant which set out a programme for delivery for this year.
Members were advised that the Welsh Government reported that the results of the first public consultation which closed in February would be published imminently. Tranche 1 regulations and codes were refined as a result of the initial consultation and were now in the process of being laid before the National Assembly for Wales. Trance 2 regulations and codes would go through the same legislative process in November of this year.
Public consultation regarding the second tranche was issued on 8th May 2015 and this would close on 31st July 2015. Details of this tranche were as followed:
- Consultation on the regulations and code of practice in relation to part 5 (Charging and Financial Assessment) of the Act
- Consultation on the Regulations and code of practice in relation to part 6 (Looked After and Accommodated Children) of the Act
- Consultation on the regulations and statutory guidance in relation to part 9 (Co-operation and partnership) of the Act
- Consultation on the code of practice in relation to part 10 (Complaints, Representations and Advocacy Services) of the Act.
The Head of Business Management and Innovation advised Members, that in addition to the workforce engagement events already delivered for officers in Social Services, the Council was working in partnership with the Glamorgan Voluntary Service which brought together the Vale Council for Voluntary Services and the Vale Volunteer Bureau to deliver a workshop. This would raise awareness of the Act for other Council officers as well as key partners, including health, third and independent sectors.
The Care Council for Wales had been funded through the Social Care and Workforce Development Programme (SCWDP) Grant to develop a new Information and Learning Hub which would be constantly updated with new information, learning and awareness materials. This would ensure that all information on the Act could be readily accessed from one site.
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 were called “Getting in on the Act” and would be used to ensure key staff received the information needed to keep them up to date.
The Vale of Glamorgan SCDWP Plan was submitted to Welsh Government by 29th May 2015 and a copy was attached at Appendix 1 to the report. This detailed the social care workforce development needs, including a summary introduction across Cardiff and the Vale. There was an expectation as part of the criteria for the SCDWP Grant that an updated regional plan would be submitted by 25th September 2015 with a move towards a fully integrated approach prepared as soon as possible.
In terms of funding for 2015/16, the Committee was previously briefed that the Welsh Government would continue to support local government and its partners in making the transition to the new arrangements. It had 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 would 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. From this grant, the Welsh Government had 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 had now confirmed that the bid from Cardiff and the Vale had been successful. The service would now proceed with recruitment to the new posts required to help with the preparations for the Act.
In response to the Committee’s query regarding whether all regulations would be agreed by Christmas this year, the Director of Social Services explained that what was causing more anxiety was the degree of prescription within the regulations. The Directorate was struggling to understand the degree of change detailed within the Act. Welsh Government had noted the points raised through Tranche1 consultation and slight changes to the regulations had been made.
(1) T H A T the content of the report be noted.
(2) T H A T regular updates about implementing the Act be received.
(3) T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet for information.
Reason for recommendations
(1-3) To ensure that Elected Members are kept informed about fundamental changes in the policy and legislative framework which underpins the work of Social Services.”
Attached as Appendix – Report to Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health): 15th June, 2015