Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health): 5th  November, 2012


Report of the Director of Social Services


Social Services Change Plan 2011-2014: Progress Report


Purpose of the Report

1.             To advise Scrutiny Committee regarding the progress made in delivering the actions set out in the Social Services Change Plan 2011-2014.


1.             That Scrutiny Committee notes the progress made in delivering the actions in the Social Services Change Plan.

2.             That Scrutiny Committee notes the areas of concern where implementation of particular actions has been delayed and the work being done to expedite delivery.

3.             That Scrutiny Committee refers the progress report to Cabinet, with a recommendation that changes to the plan are endorsed.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. & 2. To provide an update on implementation of the Social Services Change Plan,

            in accordance with agreed monitoring mechanisms.

3.         To complete the current cycle of monitoring and to ensure robust oversight of a

            key strategic plan for the Council.



2.             The Council’s second three-year Social Services Change Plan (for the period 2011 to 2014) is now in its second year.  It is attached at Appendix 1 and it is made available to the public on the Council's website.

3.             Based upon the Director’s first Annual Report, the new Change Plan:

·         replaced the three year plan successfully completed in 2010; and

·         set out formally (as a Council strategy) the long term strategic plan for Social Services with key actions, responsible officers for delivering those actions and timescales for completion.

4.             The Change Plan was developed by a Corporate Project Group comprising officers from across the Council, with a representative from the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and from the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services (VCVS).  It is designed to provide an overarching framework for sustained service improvement and a coherent direction for social services in the period 2011-2014.  There are seven priority areas in the plan:

·         Integrating Health and Social Care Services;

·         Commissioning;

·         Integrating social care for Children and Young People Services;

·         Human Resources;

·         Information: use of different channels and media to improve access to information and services;

·         Resource Management; and

·         Co-production and equality impact.

5.             The Council anticipates that implementation of the Plan will help to achieve the following overall aims:

·         making best use of the fact that social services are an integral part of local government (able to call upon all the resources available within the local authority to meet statutory obligations, including the community leadership role, the expertise available in other parts of the Council, performance management and improvement frameworks, etc.);

·         providing sustainable, flexible and innovative services (which can adjust to new circumstances and needs);

·         increasing user and carer satisfaction with the range of services (with the emphasis on recovery, restoration and reablement);

·         providing service users and carers with a strong voice and real control over their services;

·         developing further a competent and confident workforce (which is skilled, responsive and professional, able to operate with a reducing volume of prescriptive government guidance about processes);

·         facilitating more collaborative working (to deliver better service integration); and

·         securing better value in the use of scarce resources (through efficient and effective delivery of services, promoting independence and reducing demand for intensive support services by focus on prevention).

Relevant Issues and Options

6.             The Change Plan came into effect in April 2011.  It deals primarily with those issues where a corporate approach across Council directorates is required to deliver appropriate action.  The Corporate Management Team sponsors the Change Plan as a key programme of work and there is a formal implementation group comprising officer representatives from across the Council.  Six-monthly progress reports are submitted to the Corporate Management Team.  Consideration of these reports by the Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee and then by Cabinet is intended to allow robust monitoring and oversight.  A Change Co-ordination Group, which includes external regulators, has also been developed to review the progress made with implementing the plan and the implications for the regulatory programme for social services.

7.             The fourth progress report, submitted to Corporate Management Team on 17th October 2012, is attached at Appendix 2.  It contains a summary report card in respect of the overall programme and project updates for each of the seven priority areas.  The report indicates good overall progress with this long-term agenda for change.  It identifies any delays in delivery and includes details of the work being done to complete these actions. 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

8.         The Director’s Report set out proposals for dealing with some key resource management issues within the Social Services Directorate, including demographic changes and increasing demand for social care.  The Finance, ICT and Property Directorate was represented on the Corporate Project Group which devised the plan and plays a key role in the Change Plan Implementation and Monitoring Group.  Each action in the plan contains a specific reference to the resource implications.  The Resource Management work stream now incorporates reference to the Social Services Budget Programme, reported separately to Scrutiny Committee.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

9.         The changes in the plan are closely aligned to the Welsh Government ten-year strategy “Sustainable Social Services: A Framework for Action”. 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

10.        In June 2009, the Welsh Assembly Government introduced statutory guidance on the role and accountabilities of the Director of Social Services, issued under Section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970.  The Director’s Annual Report was developed in accordance with the guidance.

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

12.        There are no Equal Opportunity implications as a direct result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

13.        The Change Plan contributes to the corporate priority of "working with partners to meet the diverse needs of our residents in ways that will safeguard and support those who are most vulnerable and in greatest need; help people to keep fit and healthy; and increase social cohesion and equality of opportunity for all."

Policy Framework and Budget

14.        This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

15.        There are no matters in this report which relate to an individual ward.  The Corporate Management Team has endorsed the progress made to date in delivering the Change Plan.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

16.        Social Care and Health

Background Papers

The Annual Reports of the Director of Social Services 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 and the Consultation Drafts 2011/2012

Contact Officer

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Responsible Officer:

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services