Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health): 17 June 2013


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

                 i) changes to the plan are endorsed; and

                 ii) remaining actions in the plan are transferred to the Directorate’s Service Plan, which was agreed

                     by Scrutiny Committee on 11th March and by Cabinet on 8th April.

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.         i) To complete the current cycle of monitoring, which ensures robust oversight of a key strategic plan for

               the Council; and


           ii) To reduce the number of strategic plans for social services now that there are a limited number of

               major actions outstanding in the Change Plan and the Directorate’s Service Plan has become the

               primary document against which our performance is measured..



2.             The Council’s second three-year Social Services Change Plan (for the period 2011 to 2014) is now in its final year.  It is attached at Appendix 1.

3.             Based upon the Director’s first Annual Report, this 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 was 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 anticipated 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 sixth progress report, submitted to Corporate Management Team on 5th June 2013, 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.

8.             The Corporate Implementation and Monitoring Group has discussed how best to achieve and monitor progress against the relatively small number of incomplete actions in the plan.  It is proposed that these should be transferred to the Directorate’s Service Plan, implemented from 1st April 2013.  This would assist in streamlining the Directorate’s planning and monitoring framework, which also includes the Budget Programme and the Director’s Annual Report. 

9.             The Change Plan has played a significant role in providing a coherent direction for social services in the Vale of Glamorgan and an overarching framework for sustained improvement and service redesign.  It has helped us to respond effectively to the considerable challenges involved in putting social services on a more sustainable footing in the face of increases in demand for social care and the need to make efficiency savings.  However, the new corporate planning framework has been designed to provide a similar opportunity for longer-term, strategic planning and it is not useful to have two major documents which address the same need.  Moreover, many of the key actions set out in the Change Plan have been achieved, providing good foundations for further progress. The remainder can be incorporated in the Service Plan which is subject to the same level of corporate and political scrutiny.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

10.        The first Director’s Annual 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 Resources Directorate was represented on the Corporate Project Group which devised the Change Plan and plays a key role in the 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.  Budget levels were taken into consideration when drafting the Directorate Service Plan.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

11.        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)

12.        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.  The Council has a duty to improve under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

Crime and Disorder Implications

13.        There are no crime and disorder implications as a direct consequence of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14.        Equalities issues have been taken into consideration when producing the Directorate Service Plan.

Corporate/Service Objectives

15.        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

16.        This is a matter for Executive decision. Service plans are a key building block in the Council's performance management framework and identify how each service will contribute towards achieving key aims and objectives as set out in the Corporate Plan.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

17.        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

18.        Social Care and Health

Background Papers

The Annual Report of the Director of Social Services 2011/2012

Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) 11 March 2013 - Service Planning 2013/2017

Cabinet 8 April 2013 - Service Planning 2013/2017


Contact Officer

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services


Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team


Responsible Officer:

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services