Social Care & Health Scrutiny Committee

 

Thursday, 21 November 2019

 

PRESENT: Councillor G. Thomas (Chair)

 

Councillors:

S.M. Allen, K.V. Broom, I.W. Davies, K.Davies, R.E. Evans, W.T. Evans, G.R. Jones, K. Lloyd, B.D.J. Phillips (In place of M.J.A. Lewis), B.A.L. Roberts, E.M.J.G. Schiavone and D.T. Williams

 

The following Officers were in attendance:

A. Bracey, Head of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities

N. Edwards, Interim Head of Integrated Services

C. Harrison, Head of Strategic Joint Commissioning

J. Wilkinson, Locality Manager

A. Thomas, Group Accountant

S. Sauro, Performance, Analysis & Systems Manager

E. Bryer, Democratic Services Officer

 

Chamber, County Hall, Carmarthen. SA31 1JP. - 10.00 am - 12.25 pm

 

 

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1.            APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors. A.L Fox and M.J.A. Lewis.

 

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2.            DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTERESTS INCLUDING ANY PARTY WHIPS ISSUED IN RELATION TO ANY AGENDA ITEM

 

There were no declarations of personal interest or of any prohibited party whips.

 

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3.            PUBLIC QUESTIONS

 

The Chair advised that no public questions had been received.

 

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4.            CARE INSPECTORATE WALES INSPECTION OF OLDER ADULTS' SERVICES CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

 

The Chair welcomed to the meeting Dr. Michael Holding of the Care Inspectorate Wales.

 

The Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) had led an inspection in collaboration with Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) to explore how well Carmarthenshire County Council with its partners was promoting independence and preventing escalating needs for older adults.  The inspection had identified where progress had been made and where improvements were required. 

 

The Committee thereupon received a presentation providing an overview of the inspection. Key points covered included:

 

Strengths – Collaborative working, shared vision, communication and support.

Priorities for improvement – Consistency, quality assurance, establish and embed preventative working.

Key findings – shared culture, satisfaction with the services, lack of evidence of progress monitoring, pressure on service due to staff absences, good management and support, well led safeguarding practices, staff not always aware of available services, good standard of mental capacity assessments, significant links with telecare and assisted technology.

 

The presentation was followed by a question and answer session during which the following questions / observations were raised:

 

·         It was asked if family carers had been interviewed during the inspection process.

The Committee was advised that family carers had been spoken to and that positive feedback had been received. 

·         It was asked if staff were interviewed on their own or with their managers.

The Committee was advised that staff were interviewed on their own to avoid potential influence.

·         It was asked how the files inspected had been selected.

The Committee was advised that the files had been selected by CIW.  Fifty to sixty random files had been selected covering different categories of referrals.

·         The Committee noted that one area of improvement was communication of available services, information and advice.

The Head of Joint Strategic Commissioning advised that work had been done in this area and information packs and regional documents on carers support were being updated and refreshed.  Other areas of work included looking at good practices, Investors in Carers Programme and Carers passport.  Work was also underway with HR to establish support and infrastructure for employees who were also carers.   The Head of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities advised the Committee that a Carers Information Assessment Officer hadn’t been in post for the last 12 months but hoped this post would be replaced soon to enable the team to be more proactive.

 

The Interim Head of Integrated Services concluded that the report was a balanced and fair report and accurately reflected the current position of Integrated Services.  The report recognised officers for their hard work, commitment and good practices.

 

Many officers were in attendance at the meeting and the Chair, on behalf of the Committee, thanked them for their hard work and commitment.  The Chair acknowledged the challenges they faced with less funding and more demand on services.

 

RESOLVED that:

4.1       the Care Inspectorate Wales Inspection of Older Adults’ Services report be noted.

4.2       the Care Inspectorate Wales Action Plan be approved.

 

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5.            WELSH GOVERNMENT TRANSFORMATION FUNDED PROGRAMMES IN CARMARTHENSHIRE

 

The Locality Manager provided the Committee with an overview of the approved transformation funds awarded to the region by Welsh Government and how they would be delivered in Carmarthenshire.

 

The three programmes of delivery in Carmarthenshire included:

·         Proactive Technology Enabled Care,

·         Fast Tracked Consistent Integration and

·         Creating Connections for All.

 

The presentation was followed by a question and answer session during which the following questions / observations were raised:

 

·         Clarification was sought on the criteria for applying for the lifeline personal alarm service and if this service was suitable for someone with mental health issues.

The Committee was advised that the scheme was currently being piloted and that the service was free for the 6 months of the pilot.  The users for the pilot had been selected from a mix of identified tiers of prevention that included GP practices, families, intermediate care and frequent callers.  When there was evidence that the pilot was working the service would be extended out to other users.

·         A question was asked if Carmarthenshire was ready to co-work with organisations such as not for profit organisations and with the communities.

The Committee was advised that collaboration around funding was a challenge but there was a need to think about the outcomes and link these to community based provision.  The Head of Joint Strategic Commissioning advised that the various funding / grant schemes had stimulated growth and helped bring organisation together to deliver services.   The Committee was also advised that 3rd Sector organisations are able to leverage funding that statutory services cannot access.  The Head of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities updated the Committee of the new Twilight Sanctuary project that had recently been launched in Llanelli through utilising the Mental Health Transformation funding.  The project aims to divert people from A&E and although only recently launched was making a positive impact. The project was currently looking to expand to include the provision of beds. The project was also looking to co-locate with the Ambulance Service to triage calls to ensure a more appropriate response for individuals who needed assistance.

·         It was asked if the Twilight number could be circulated to the hospitals.

The Committee was advised by the Head of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities that the number had already been circulated to the hospitals. 

 

The Chair thanked the officers for securing the funding on behalf of Carmarthenshire.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted

 

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6.            ADULT SOCIAL CARE COMPLAINTS & COMPLIMENTS REPORT 1ST APRIL 2019 TO 30TH SEPTEMBER 2019

 

The Committee considered a report detailing the Adult Social Care complaints and compliments received for the 2019/20 financial year.  The report summarised the number of complaints and compliments received and provided information on the type of complaint and the service area relating to complaints and compliments.

 

The following questions / observations were raised on the report:

 

The Interim Head of Integrated Services advised that when a complaint was received and assessed as complex it was immediately escalated as a Stage 2 complaint.  A Stage 2 complaint would be managed by an independent officer.  The Committee was advised that examples of the types of complaints could be provided. 

The Interim Head of Integrated Services advised rigorous performance monitoring was undertaken and that a number of methods (including speaking to service users) were used to establish the level of service provided.

The Committee was advised that there was a half hour time tolerance before a call would be made.

The Performance, Analysis & Systems Manager advised that investigative officers had been provided with training and that strict procedures were followed to ensure timescales were met.  If there were delays, the reasons were communicated to all parties and an extension discussed and agreed.

The Interim Head of Integrated Services advised that enquiries were signposted to the Heads of Service and registered as complaints when necessary.

 

RESOLVED that the report be received.

 

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7.            REVENUE & CAPITAL BUDGET MONITORING REPORT 2019/20

 

The Committee considered the Revenue and Capital Budget Monitoring Report in relation to the Social Care and Health Service, which provided an update on the latest budgetary position as at 31st August, 2019 in respect of the 2019/20 financial year.

 

The Social Care & Health Service was projecting an overspend of £816K on the revenue budget and net variance of -£2K against the 2019/20 approved capital budget.

 

The following questions / observations were raised on the report:

 

Appendix A – Summary Position

The Group Accountant advised the Committee that it was hoped a reduction in the figure would be seen. Additionally, a Welsh Government Grant may be announced which would also reduce the figure.

 

Appendix B – Main Variances

The Interim Head of Integrated Services advised that there was an ongoing staggered recruitment process. However, there were concerns regarding the low number of applications being received.

The Interim Head of Integrated Services advised that a full update was scheduled to be provided at the Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee Development session in December.  Committee was advised that locally they were investigating various options for recruitment.  A bank of casual social workers was being created for Adult Social Care. The bank would be used to support teams in the event of emergencies.  The “We Care” campaign had been undertaken to attract people into the profession. 

The Interim Head of Integrated Services advised that the Welsh Government Daffodil data was recently used for forecasting.  The data appeared to be accurate and correlated with local knowledge.

The Group Accountant advised that a TIC review was underway to address this issue.

 

Appendix F – Detailed Variances

The Group Accountant advised that whilst this was a concern, this was mainly due to a timing delay with the Learning Disability Accommodation Development projects.

 

RESOLVED that the report be received.

 

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8.            EXPLANATION FOR NON-SUBMISSION OF SCRUTINY REPORT

 

The Committee received an explanation for the non-submission of the following scrutiny reports.

 

 

RESOLVED that the explanation for the non-submission be noted.

 

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9.            FORTHCOMING ITEMS

 

RESOLVED that the list of forthcoming items to be considered at the next scheduled meeting on the 17th December, 2019 be noted.

 

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<AI10>

10.         TO SIGN AS A CORRECT RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 24TH SEPTEMBER, 2019

 

UNANAMOUSLY RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on the 24th September, 2019 be signed as a correct record.

 

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