Agenda Item No 10

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 17th September 2018.

Report of the Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Leisure

Provision of Services for People with Sight Impairment or Severe Sight Impairment and /or Hearing Loss

Purpose of the Report

  1. To seek authority to re-tender for the Contract relating to support for services for Sight Impairment, Severe Sight Impairment and/or Hearing Loss.

Recommendations

  1. That Cabinet authorises the Director of Social Services, and the Head of Finance, (in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Leisure) to:
  • Commence tendering procedures for the services outlined in this report.
  • Accept and award tenders for the services outlined in the report.
  • Authorise the Monitoring Officer/Head of Legal and Democratic Services to execute the necessary contracts.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To ensure that the Council:
  • Provides care and support services in a cost effective way and meets the assessed needs of Service Users.
  • Meets the requirements of its Financial Regulations and Contract Standing Orders.

Background

  1. The Council recognises its statutory responsibilities for providing services to those registered as sight impaired, or severely sight impaired and/or who have hearing loss living in the Vale of Glamorgan.  These services must complement other statutory services delivered by the Council.  The Vale of Glamorgan Council's aim is to maximise the use of available resources by establishing longer-term, more integrated relationships with providers.
  2. Services to those registered as sight impaired, or severely sight impaired are currently provided by Sight Cymru.  During the life of the current contract, regular management and monitoring meetings have taken place with the provider.  They have provided both qualitative and quantitative information regarding the performance of the service and contract compliance. 
  3. The current contract was due to expire on 31st December 2018; however, due to other procurement processes and Christmas/New Year holidays, it has been decided that the contract will terminate on 30th November 2018.  Sight Cymru have agreed to the amended termination date.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The provider will need to support the philosophy of the Council in respect to the key principles of service delivery which include a reabling approach.  In order to meet this requirement the provider will need to develop a strong relationship with service users and have the skills and ability to recognise any signs of deterioration in a person's needs and to act on them.
  2. The provider is therefore expected to approach this service in a proactive manner in which staff will utilise their skills and expertise in delivering a holistic service to service users.  This may mean doing the 'little things' for Service Users that will prevent the onset of a more formal, regular service.  The provider will refer into statutory services if further intervention is required.
  3. Through this contract, it is expected that services to visually impaired people living in the Vale of Glamorgan will continue to improve.  Continuity and access to these services will improve the quality of life, provide greater independence and enable better access to other services and community facilities.  The contract will promote a positive example of joint working between the Council and the provider to support an agenda of social inclusion and independence.
  4. Following recent consultation with service users, their families and carers it has been identified that there is a need for the service to include support to people with a hearing loss.  The procurement process will include this requirement as part of the service specification and evaluation criteria.
  5. Following the retirement of the Council's Reablement Officer for Visual Impairment (ROVI) in 2017, the Council has been fulfilling this role via a temporary member of staff from a support organisation.  This role will now be included within the requirements of this procurement process as detailed above.
  6. As part of the procurement process, service users from the established support groups will form part of the evaluation panel by way of interviews with potential providers.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The current funding for the service is £20,800 per annum.  With the addition of the ROVI post, the budget will increase to approximately £50,000 per annum or £250,000 for the initial contract period of 5 years.  The re-commissioned service will continue to be funded from within the Social Services budget.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. There are no sustainability or climate change implications arising directly from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The current review of all working arrangements between the Council and the current provider ensures that all services will be provided through a robust contract that fully reflects the responsibilities of the Council and the provider.

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. All tendering processes will be open to organisations from the independent and third sector.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. Key objectives of the Council addressed by this report are:
  • To make the Vale a safe and healthy place in which individuals, children and families can live their lives to the full.
  • To manage the Council's workforce, money and assets efficiently and effectively in order to maximise its ability to achieve its service aims.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for Executive decision by the Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. This is an issue which affects all areas of the Vale of Glamorgan, and as a result no ward members have been consulted. Service users and representative organisations will be included as appropriate as part of the procurement process by asking for their views on the current support service and their participation on the evaluation panel. Service users will also be asked for feedback of the new provider as part of future service reviews.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Healthy Living and Social Care

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer:

Simon Thomas

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager - Locality Services

Operational Manager- Commissioning and Information

Head of Adult Services

Head of Resource Management and Safeguarding

Operational Manager Accountancy

Responsible Officer:

Lance Carver, Director of Social Services