Agendas, Meetings and Minutes - Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: County Hall, Worcester

Contact: Emma James /Jo Weston  Overview & Scrutiny Officers

No. Item


Apologies and Welcome


The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting, in particular the representatives from the Voluntary and Community Sector organisations who would be addressing the Panel as part of Agenda Item 5 (Worcestershire’s All Age Carers Strategy).


Apologies were received from Cllrs Jo Monk, Adrian Kriss and Karen May (Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Health and Wellbeing).


The Chairman further advised that, on this occasion, the Director of People would be present online, as due to the fuel crisis she was unable to attend in person.


Declarations of Interest




Public Participation

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 28 September 2021). Enquiries can be made through the telephone number/email address below.




Confirmation of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting

Previously circulated


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 15 March 2021 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Worcestershire's All Age Carers Strategy pdf icon PDF 228 KB

Additional documents:


Attending for this item were:


Worcestershire County Council:

·         Paula Furnival, Strategic Director of People

·         Rebecca Wassell, Assistant Director for Commissioning

·         Kerry McCrossan, Assistant Director for Adult Social Care

·         Rebecca Rothwell, Commissioning Manager


Worcestershire Children First - Sarah Wilkins, Director of Education and Early Help


Three representatives from the Voluntary and Community Sector addressed the Panel:


Anne Duddington (Chair of Worcestershire Parent and Carers Community (WPCC)) was a carer for her son who had a severe learning disability and complex health and care needs and was a longstanding member of the Carers Partnership.   WPCC had been founded 15 years ago as a voluntary sector organisation to support parent carers and young people who had disabilities and additional needs, since carers faced intense pressures during a lifetime of caring. WPCC supported approximately 800 individuals (200 member families) and assisted with plans for development of services.


Anne endorsed the principle of an all-age strategy, the main generic outcomes and also endorsed the expertese of Worcestershire Association of Carers and Worcestershire Young Carers (YSS) which delivered the current contracts for carers.


The draft Strategy in its present form was not yet accessible as an everyday document for both professionals and carers and Anne referred to the fact that it was wordy and difficult to navigate, did not feel meaningful to carers, and lacked a timeline and details for the Action Plan and the key performance indicators agreed by the Health and Well-being Board. There were detailed points concerning inaccurate references to legislation, confusing use of figures and loss of some key features which had been very useful and given meaning. Appendix 5 (Carers Strategic and Engagement Groups) did not feature the Scrutiny Board or the role of WPCC and Appendix 6 (Map of Carer Support) was useful but incomplete.


However, Anne highlighted her appreciation for the work which had gone into producing the Strategy to date, appreciated there would be further amendments and she assured the Panel of WPCC’s willingness to be part of any continuing work both now and in implementing and monitoring the Strategy.


Judy Adams (Carers Action Worcestershire) spoke as a member of Carers Action Worcestershire Consortium which included the county’s five carer focused organisations (WPCC, YSS Worcestershire Young Carers, Crossroads Caring for Carers, Carers Careline (Redditch) and Worcestershire Association of Carers. The Consortium had contributed to the consultation on the Strategy and the inclusion of consultation comments showed a willingness to engage and listen. The Consortium was very pleased that the Strategy remained all-age, which was so important at transition points for example when young carers became adult carers, as well as recognising that many people have multiple caring roles.


Disappointment was expressed at the lack of opportunity for carers to review this latest version of the Strategy before it was presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Panel, and it was hoped this could take place before the Health and Well-being Board. Additionally, the fact that funding for the Integrated Carers Hub had remained the same for five years  ...  view the full minutes text for item 397.


Care Work as a Career Scrutiny Report - Update on Progress against Recommendations pdf icon PDF 221 KB

Additional documents:


Attending for this item were:

·         Paula Furnival, Strategic Director of People

·         Rebecca Wassell, Assistant Director for Commissioning

·         Kerry McCrossan, Assistant Director for Adult Social Care

·         Cllr Adrian Hardman, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Adult Social Care


Introducing the report, the Assistant Director for Commissioning explained that progress against the recommendations of the Care Work as a Career Scrutiny Task Group (STG) had previously been reported to the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Performance Board in January 2021, and to Task Group members and the then Chairman of this Panel in February, when this further update was requested.  She explained that this work was mainly around how the Council could champion care work, and was therefore mostly outward looking. Everyone acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic had brought huge pressures on the care industry and potential crises of the sector.


The Assistant Director referred to the progress report at Appendix 1 and highlighted the main points against each theme of recommendation.


Regarding recruitment and retention of care work staff (recommendations 1-5), it had been possible to carry forward the unspent element of the £15,000 budget for communications from 2020/21, and effective use would be made of the remaining £4,137.80. A lot of work had focused on promoting the value of care work to young people and celebrating their value, which had been well received. The ‘I Care Ambassador’ scheme was working quite well which it was hoped would help to dispel the myths around care work. Work to build a closer relationships with Skills for Care and to develop networking opportunities was ongoing.


Exploration of the Council’s influence to enhance terms and conditions of care workers through its commissioning process had been a struggle, with lateral thinking needed, for example to promote the Blue Light card benefit scheme to external providers. The Council’s refer a friend scheme had been relaunched.


Regarding developing the care worker role (recommendations 6-7), work to scale up provision of care worker apprentices had slowed down due to issues regarding funding of Apprentices – whilst the levy could cover the training, the actual employment of the apprentice and creation of the funded roles remained the main issue to overcome, which would have an impact in the wider community. The Team had also met with stakeholders to share ideas for encouraging care leavers into work or skills programmes and it was hoped to have information soon on the success of this.


The Council had delivered a number of training programmes and decisions could now be taken on when to resume the Learning and Development (L&D) Team’s in accordance with covid guidance. Through the new hire incentive scheme, the Council’s Provider social care services had been able to recruit two apprentices when they had only planned to recruit one.


In terms of supporting and celebrating the existing workforce(recommendation 8), a range of work had been able to continue throughout the pandemic, and regarding liaison with education and training providers (recommendation 9), much of this work was carried out by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 398.


Supported Living Market Position Statement pdf icon PDF 150 KB

Additional documents:


Attending for this item were:

·       Paula Furnival, Strategic Director of People

·       Rebecca Wassell, Assistant Director for Commissioning

·       Kerry McCrossan, Assistant Director for Adult Social Care

·       Laura Westwood, Lead Commissioner

·       Cllr Adrian Hardman, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Adult Social Care


The  Lead Commissioner explained that she had been asked to provide an update on the Council’s Market Position Statement for Supported Living, following her report to the Panel about Independent Living Options in November 2020. Supported Living was defined as services for individuals who lived in shared houses with support, in clusters of flats with on-site support, or who lived alone with support – the key purpose of which was support with ordinary living skills.


A needs assessment was carried out, updated annually and a market position statement created which set out what provision was needed and what needed to be built, based on numbers of people. Recent examples of developments included a property in Redditch for lower mental health needs and flats in Worcester which it was hoped to use for mental health needs and complex needs.


The following points were raised:

·       The Panel was advised that the Council was fortunate in that a lot of offers to build supported living accommodation were received, however it was important to check provision was in the right location, of the right type and could be staffed

·       It was explained that the Shared Lives scheme was run by the Council and that anyone wanting to provide a shared lives placement needed to be approved by a Panel, would complete training and receive four visits a year.


Performance and In-Year Budget Monitoring pdf icon PDF 135 KB

Additional documents:


Attending for this item were:

·         Paula Furnival, Strategic Director of People

·         Rebecca Wassell, Assistant Director for Commissioning

·         Kerry McCrossan, Assistant Director for Adult Social Care

·         Maria Idoine, Senior Finance Business Partner

·         Sally Baldry, Principal Management and Information Analyst

·         Cllr Adrian Hardman, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Adult Social Care


In-year Budget Monitoring

Maria Idoine, Senior Finance Business Partner referred to the slides included in the Agenda which set out the Quarter 1 (April to June 2021) financial position for Adult Services.  There was broadly a breakeven position across the service as a whole, with ongoing implementation of transformational change via the People Services Strategy to support efficiencies and demand management. The Agenda referred to the most significant variances from the budget (underspend in Older People services, increased placement costs for Learning Disability services, underspend in Physical Disability services, Mental Health services overspend on placement costs and underspend in Support Services).


It was confirmed that the one off staff savings in mental health services related to the number of unfilled staff vacancies.


Performance Monitoring

The Principal Management and Information Analyst talked through the performance information included in the Agenda.


During the discussion, the following main points were made:


·         Admission to permanent care (65+) ASCOF 2A (2) – it was noted that for  Quarter 1 2021-22, the rate had increased steadily each month to 595.17 (818 people) at the end June-21. There was an initial decrease in long term admissions during 20/21 due to Covid and alternative sources of support were provided through family support and domiciliary care. The recent increase was related to permanent moves for people in pathway 3 beds as a result of urgent care pressures plus an increase in demand.  At the moment it was very difficult to predict the demand for permanent care but overall, the demand was rising.

·         In response to a Members concern about the general decline in the performance measures reported to the Panel, the Principal Management and Information Analyst explained how performance was discussed regularly at management level and deep dives were carried out where needed to understand trends.


The Chairman thanked everyone for their contribution and attendance at the meeting.


Work Programme 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Additional documents:


The Chairman reminded the Panel that Healthwatch had been invited to put forward any suggestions for the Work Programme, with the following received:

·         Information about/access to Adult Social care Services (e.g. website and digital/alternatives)

·         Progress on implementation of the 3 Conversation model for adult social care

·         Mental Health Social Work Services for Adults

·         Examination of the effectiveness of Local Homeless Partnerships across Worcestershire (including a focus on rough sleeping)


The Panel was happy to include the suggestions provided by Healthwatch, whilst being mindful of work being carried out by other scrutiny bodies.


Regarding the Council’s All Age Disability Strategy, the Director advised work on this new Strategy had started in January with Worcestershire Children First.


A question was asked about a National Disability Strategy which may have an opportunity of consultation for the Panel to contribute to, and the Director agreed to check this.