Agenda and draft minutes

Health & Social Services Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 13th June, 2024 10.00 am

Venue: Chamber - County Hall, Carmarthen. SA31 1JP and remotely. View directions

Contact: Emma Bryer  01267 224029

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

 

2.

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

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Minutes:

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

 

3.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS (NONE RECEIVED)

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Minutes:

The Chair advised that no public questions had been received.

 

4.

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES SERVICES TRANSFORMATION PROGRAMME - UPDATE 1 pdf icon PDF 485 KB

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Minutes:

The Committee considered a report they had requested following concerns regarding the current position within Children’s service.

 

The report provided the first update on the progress of the Children and Families Services Transformation Plan that was developed to manage future demand and achieve a balanced budget.  The report set out the progress of the transformation programme to date and the ambition over the next four years.

 

The Cabinet Member for Health and Social Services highlighted that in the first quarter of 2023/24 Children and Family Services reported an overspend of £5.3m against an overall budget of £23m and that as a result, a review was commissioned and led by the Statutory Director of Social Services to undertake an analysis in relation to the drivers of the demand and to focus on areas where there had been significant overspend.  The budget working group that undertook this work included the Director of Education and Children's Services, the Director of Finance, the Head of Children and Family Services, the Head of Finance, Senior Managers in Children and Family Services, and the Group Accountant.

 

It was noted that Carmarthenshire routinely had the lowest rate of looked after children in Wales and also maintained low numbers of children on the child protection register and that Carmarthenshire also delivered strong performance across all national performance indicators.

 

The Committee was advised that not counting the unaccompanied asylum, seekers, the numbers of looked after children had increased by 10% since January and that traditionally there was a summer spike in numbers.  It was noted that the success to date had been achieved through the strategy to invest in prevention and early intervention services. 

 

It was stated that all data needed to be closely monitored to ensure that whenever possible, looked after children returned home to their families. The historic stability of Carmarthenshire’s Workforce and Leadership at all tiers, had achieved excellent outcomes for children and as a result, Carmarthenshire spent less per head on children's social care than any other Authority in Wales.

 

The report of the budget working group set out the increase in demand and the changing complexity of the work that had emerged in the wake of the pandemic and the impact this had on expenditure. The budget working group recommended that investment was needed to ensure the continued safe operation of Children and Family Services.  It was recommended that £5.5m in 2024/25 and £1.8m in 2026/27 was required to manage this increased and changed demand, and a transformation program had been developed.  It was highlighted that the Children and Families Transformation Programme was being delivered by Children and Family Services through work streams, chaired by Senior Managers.  The work streams report into a fortnightly Programme Board chaired by the Statutory Director of Social Services.

 

A number of questions were raised to which officers responded.  The main matters were as follows:

 

5.

HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 127 KB

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Minutes:

The Committee received an Annual Report detailing the work of the Committee during the 2023/24 municipal year. The report had been prepared in accordance with Article 6.2 of the Council’s Constitution which requires Scrutiny Committees to prepare an annual report giving an account of the Committee’s activities over the previous year.

 

The report provided an overview of the Committee’s work programme and the key issues considered during the year.  The report also provided details of development sessions and site visits arranged for the Committee as well as attendance data.

 

In presenting the report, the Chair extended his thanks to the Committee members and the Cabinet Member for Health and Social Services.  The Committee also extended their thanks to all staff for their commitment and tireless work in providing support and care for those in need during the challenging times.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the Social Care & Health Scrutiny Committee’s Annual Report 2023/24 be received.

 

6.

HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE FORWARD WORK PLAN FOR 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 128 KB

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Minutes:

The Committee considered its Forward Work Plan for 2024/25, which had been prepared in accordance with the Council’s Constitution which required Scrutiny Committees to develop and publish annual forward work programmes identifying issues and reports to be considered at meetings during the course of the municipal year.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the Forward Work Plan for the Health & Social Services Scrutiny Committee for 2024/25 be confirmed subject to the removal of the Domiciliary Care Performance Update being removed from the meeting on the 25th July 2024.

 

7.

TO SIGN AS A CORRECT RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 2ND MAY, 2024 pdf icon PDF 107 KB

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Minutes:

UNANAMOUSLY RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on the 2nd May, 2024 be signed as a correct record.