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Contact: Emma James /Jo Weston Overview & Scrutiny Officers
Apologies and Welcome
Mrs J A Potter welcomed everyone to her first meeting as Panel Chairman and confirmed the arrangements for the remote meeting.
Apologies had been received from Mr P B Harrison.
Declarations of Interest
Members of the public wishing to take part should notify the Assistant Director for Legal and Governance, in writing or by email indicating the nature and content of their proposed participation no later than 9.00am on the working day before the meeting (in this case 24 July 2020). Enquiries can be made through the telephone number/email address below.
Confirmation of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 11 June 2020 were agreed as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman.
The Strategic Director for People (the Director) and the Assistant Director for Adult Social Care had been invited to report on the feedback received from the Peer Review of Services for Adults with Learning Disabilities and Autism, which took place in February 2020.
The Director took the Panel through the presentation attached to the Agenda report. In summary:
· The Peer Review team consisted of senior adult social care professionals from around the West Midlands. Over 3 days, they spoke with various stakeholders, including Senior Leaders, Officers, Partners, Councillors, Carers and Representatives from the provider market
· The Key Lines of Enquiry were clearly stated:
o Is there a collective understanding, across the County Council and partners, of the profile of spend and demand pressures we face from increasing complexity and demand from people with Learning Disabilities and Autism?
o Is our current model for service delivery and support for people with Learning Disabilities and Autism fit for purpose and affordable?
o What opportunities does the Council have to work in partnership to co-produce a sustainable model for delivery?
· The Peer Review team’s findings were broadly summarised as follows:
o Adult Social Care would benefit from corporate vision
o Council Leadership would benefit from harnessing enthusiasm from partners to work together
o Lack of direction was foreseen as a major risk for the Council especially when needing to address financial challenges
o Progress measures would need to be agreed
o There were good examples of community assets and system developments
o The Team highlighted the loyalty to Worcestershire from all those who were engaged in services.
· The newly formed People Directorate’s priority was to ‘ensure Worcestershire residents are healthier, live longer, have a better quality of life and remain independent for as long as possible’, recognising that this would only be achievable through co-production with Partners
· A Council commissioned report had found that Worcestershire’s demand for adult services differed to the national picture in that targeted interventions (Tier 2) were much lower in Worcestershire (4.9%) than nationally (20%) and Services (Tier 3) were much higher in Worcestershire (26%) than nationally (10%). Developing the Universal and Self Service (Tier 1) and targeted interventions (Tier 2) would be critical in managing demand
· Plans had been developed to address some of the findings with cross Council/Partner Delivery projects highlighted to the Panel, such as an integrated customer model, an all age disability offer, aligned commissioning and organisational development.
In the ensuing discussion, the following main points were made:
· Although the vision and delivery on place and infrastructure was noted as commendable, concern was expressed about the lack of clarity around the corporate vision
· The report had recognised some good work, such as the Transforming Care Partnership which had achieved national recognition for supporting people with learning disabilities and autism, and their families and carers, to agree and deliver local community support. Although the number of customers was low, the way in which the service was commissioned and supported was commended
· Learning Disability Social Work teams ... view the full minutes text for item 358.
The Panel had received, as part of the Agenda papers, performance information for Quarter 4 (January to March 2020) and the financial year end position for 2019/20.
The following main points were raised:
· A Member queried why some data was missing from the performance statistics, specifically ASCOF 2a(i) and (ii) Admissions to Permanent Care per 100,000 and ASCOF 2d % people with no ongoing social care needs following reablement after hospital discharge. The Director sought to investigate and report back
· In response to a Members suggestion that delayed transfers of care were slowly creeping up, the Assistant Director explained that as result of COVID-19 things were very different now, but there was a clearer understanding of the discharge pathways and work was underway to understand the reasons for the delays
· The Panel questioned the value of looking at such historic data, to be informed that Q1 (April to June 2020) would be brought to the Panel in due course
· Demand management was an area of close monitoring; however, Officers had not seen a significant increase in services such as assessment and services associated with discharge home from hospital with support
· The Panel noted that cost pressures arising from a general increase in Care Home placements were being actively monitored
· A Member asked about post COVID-19 funding for mental health services and domestic abuse and whether the demand for these services was likely to increase and the capacity in the system to support an increased demand in this area. The Director explained that mental health services were commissioned by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in terms of meeting the clinical needs. It was likely that the Council’s statutory responsibility in this area would be delivered in a different way going forward albeit still working closely with health colleagues. At the present time the demand had not increased dramatically however, it was anticipated that the demand for mental health services for young people would increase. The Director agreed to investigate with Public Health colleagues about demand for domestic abuse support services and report back
· The Director explained that the Council had received £28m from Government in 3 tranches to contribute towards its cost of response and recovery to COVID-19
· In addition, the Council was working with the CCG and NHS England to recover additional costs in ensuring prompt and safe discharges from hospital to enable effective care and treatment through the whole system which the Council had to re-claim on a monthly basis. This funding had not yet been received but the reclaiming of it was in hand
· Even though the Council had received the additional funding from Government, the Director explained that there would still be a shortfall in the budget (to be confirmed)
· In relation to the ongoing threat of a COVID-19 second wave, there was uncertainty how this would be funded, but the situation in Worcestershire was akin to all Local Authorities. To date, unlike some other Local Authorities, Worcestershire County Council had not needed to instigate ... view the full minutes text for item 359.
The Panel had been asked to refresh its work programme for 2020/21, which would be agreed by Council on 10 September 2020.
Members acknowledged that with limited meetings before the May 2021 local elections, they would wish to prioritise the following Items, in addition to those Items already scheduled:
- Here 2 Help Service (future development post COVID-19)
- Reablement Service
- Joint Funding arrangements between the Council and Health Partners
- The Council’s approach when self-funders in residential care homes run out of funds
- The Council’s Adult Services Respite Offer.