Agenda item



[NOTE: Cllr. D. Price had earlier declared an interest in this item].


The Committee received a report providing a position statement regarding the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on Adult Social Care including Integrated Services, and Commissioning.


The report described how the Authority managed the first phase of the pandemic, lessons learnt and how this informed service priorities going forward.


The Executive Board Member for Social Care & Health advised the priority had been the continuation of support to those who were receiving services and support from the Authority.  Maintaining Care Home visits had been challenging however the policy was to ensure that families were allowed visits so that they could be there at the end for their loved ones.  Digital solutions also played a part in maintaining communications.


A number of questions / observations were raised on the report. The main matters were as follows:

·         In response to a comment on the use of independent commissioned care, the Executive Board Member for Social Care & Health stated that there was a role for both in-house and private sector provision and that it was important to get the right balance.

·         It was asked if the Authority was considering quick diagnostic tests which would enable more care home visits to take place.  It was stated that Welsh Government were proposing to trial this approach with three Local Authorities.  The Committee was also advised that visits would start again next week in infection free homes and that it would be controlled to ensure robust infection control.

·         Assurance was sought that there was adequate PPE provision available.  The Head of Homes and Safer Communities confirmed that adequate stocks were available.

·         Officers were asked how much was the Authority learning from other regions.  The Committee was advised that the Authority was keeping a watching brief on what England and other regions were doing. It was stated that there was a constant dialogue between Heads of Service comparing ideas and sharing lessons learnt.

·         It was stated that while we’ve had to adapt and make more use of technology during the pandemic this wasn’t a suitable option for everyone.  Officers informed the Committee that the Authority was proactively working with Digital Communities Wales and third sector partners to take a strategic review to digital solutions to support everyone.  Funding had also been made available via the ICF capital bid.  It was also noted that while technology had been useful, in many cases it could not replace the need for face to face assessments.

·         Concern was expressed regarding the effect of working through the pandemic had had on front-line staff.  The Committee was assured that the wellbeing of staff was important and that it was recognised how difficult it had been.  The department had been working with Occupational Health in developing support mechanisms and various solutions had been put in place ranging from the use of teams where people could discuss their concerns to virtual picnics and quizzes. Regular supervision meetings were being held and managers were also encouraging staff to take annual leave.

·         Assurance was sought that all discharges from hospital to care homes would be Covid free.  The Head of Integrated Services confirmed that all residents going into care homes must have had a negative test.  The only exception would be if the home already had an outbreak of Covid and if the resident already had Covid on admission to hospital.  It was also noted that a test was only one level of assurance and that good use of PPE and effective infection control procedures were also required.  Additionally, on admittance all new residents were isolated for 14 days to minimise potential transmission.

·         It was asked if care home workers had received the £500 payment from Welsh Government.  It was confirmed that nearly all in house carers had been paid and that 99% of payments have been made to care agencies.  The Head of Homes and Safer Communities highlighted that some staff had donated their payments to foodbanks.


The Committee expressed their gratitude to all front-line staff and officer for their outstanding work and dedication during the pandemic. 


UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report be received.


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