Agenda and minutes

Adults and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 11 March 2019 2.00 pm

Venue: Sparkenhoe Committee Room, County Hall, Glenfield. View directions

Contact: Miss. G. Duckworth (0116 305 2583)  Email: gemma.duckworth@leics.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

Webcast.

A webcast of the meeting can be viewed at [insert link].

57.

Minutes. pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 21 January 2019 were taken as read, confirmed and signed.

58.

Question Time.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive reported that no questions had been received under Standing Order 35.

59.

Questions asked by members under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5).

Minutes:

The Chief Executive reported that no questions had been received under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5).

60.

Urgent Items.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items for consideration.

61.

Declarations of interest in respect of items on the agenda.

Minutes:

The Chairman invited members who wished to do so to declare any interest in respect of items on the agenda for the meeting.

 

No declarations were made.

62.

Declarations of the Party Whip in accordance with Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rule 16.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of the party whip.

63.

Presentation of Petitions under Standing Order 36.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive reported that no petitions had been received under Standing Order 36.

64.

Review of Long Term Residential and Nursing Care Fees. pdf icon PDF 357 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Adults and Communities which detailed the responses received during the first stage of the consultation on the proposed changes to the way in which the County Council agreed prices for the spot purchase of residential care and residential nursing care.  The Committee’s views were sought on the second stage of the consultation.  A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 8’ is filed with these minutes.

 

Arising from the discussion, the following comments were raised:

 

i)             The Director informed the Committee of an error in the report – in paragraph 9, it should have stated that ‘fourteen providers, representing 35 care homes attended consultation meetings and commented on the proposals using that mechanism’.

 

ii)            Feedback at stage 1 of the consultation had been received from more providers supporting older adults than working age adults.  This had been expected as there was a greater number of providers for older adults and any proposed changes to the banding structure would have a greater impact on this group.  For working age adults, most complex placements were now made on a bespoke fee and this arrangement would continue.

 

iii)           In response to a query, it was reported that the Supplementary Needs Allowance (SNA) payments would not be capped.  Where required, these would continue to be paid at a standard hourly rate.  For working age adults, it had been the intention to continue using the care funding calculator.  Currently, different rates were applied to providers, principally in relation to non-staffing costs.  The County Council was of the view that there should be a consistent methodology for payments for providers and it was the intention that a Leicestershire standard band for working age adults would be developed.  Developing a standardised methodology would mean that financially, there would be some who would benefit and some who would lose out, but the County Council would pay what it considered to be reasonable costs for the non-staffing elements of care.

 

iv)           In relation to out of county placements, there was no standardised rate across local authorities and it was therefore difficult to make direct comparisons.  Providers generally felt that it was fair for Leicestershire to continue paying the local market rate for out of county placements and there was no appetite to changing to the Leicestershire rates.  It was noted that the County Council was a minority purchaser of residential care – the majority in Leicestershire were self-funders.  There was a market rate and if the County Council paid too far below this, it would be difficult to find places.

 

v)            In response to a question around assessing the eligibility of current service users, it was envisaged that the majority of people would automatically transfer onto the new fee bands.  Assurance was given that where someone was paying an assessed charge based on their income, for most people any increase in the fees would not have an impact as the person would only be expected to contribute what they could afford.  If a person was paying the full cost of their care, for example through a deferred Payment Agreement, it was possible that they could experience an increase due to the County Council paying more.  Those paying a third party top-up could potentially benefit from the fee increase due to the difference between this and the cost of care decreasing.

 

vi)           The proposal for consultation 2 had been circulated to the Committee – a copy of the document marked ‘Appendix D’ is filed with these minutes.  It was possible that the start of the second consultation would be slightly delayed.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.

65.

Capital Investment into Adult Social Care Accommodation Based Support Services. pdf icon PDF 316 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Adults and Communities providing an overview of the work being undertaken to develop a capital investment plan for adult social care accommodation based support services.  An update was given on the learning from the market engagement following publication of a Public Information Notice (PIN), along with the proposed next steps in developing and implementing an investment prospectus.  A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 9’ is filed with these minutes.

 

Arising from the discussion, the following comments were raised:

 

i)             The nature of future developments would require a partnership approach, and the work being undertaken with the district/borough councils was queried, in particular the inclusion of this work in local plans.  Initial discussions had taken place with district/borough councils, highlighting the need to develop accommodation that would meet the needs of an ageing population.  Significant developments were due to take place across the county over the next few years and it was therefore an opportune time to hold discussions with district/borough councils.  The County Council would consult on the investment plan to seek assurance with this, and this would allow consideration to be given to how the district/borough councils might be able to contribute to the development work that was due to take place.  Discussions had also taken place with the Strategic Housing Partnership and this also included representatives from the district/borough councils.  The partnership working that was taking place would be included in the investment proposal.

 

ii)            The development priorities were welcomed, in particular accommodating groups such as people with disabilities and mental health issues.  Funding such schemes was very dependent on partnership working, including with district/borough councils, with the intention of delivering a better service by targeting money where it was needed most.

 

iii)           The report highlighted five proposed development sites.  No single model would be developed for how these were operated; this would be dependent on the nature of the partnership and what was the preferred option for the County Council.  The County Council did not necessarily want to be a provider of services, but it was possible that owning a building would provide a revenue stream.

 

iv)           Concerns had been raised nationally around the provision of care for people with complex needs.  The Council had an interest in ensuring that providers gave an appropriate level of care, and a model would be created to optimise this.

 

v)            The outline business case had outlined the total investment based on needs assessment – the figure had been approximately £200 million.  It was not yet clear where this money would come from – some would be from developers, providers and the County Council – but the balance of contribution would be determined by the nature of the partnerships.

 

vi)           Consideration also needed to be given to the level of care provided alongside the investment in buildings.  Assurance was given that the provision of care would always be the priority, but there had previously been a significant cost issue in relation to buildings which needed to be resolved in order to ensure that funding was available to be able to continue providing appropriate care.  The issue of providing care would be included in the investment proposal to emphasise that this was the principle behind the work being undertaken.

 

The Committee gave its support for the proposal and for greater collaboration across partners, and asked for a regular update on progress.

 

RESOLVED:

 

a)    That the report be noted;

 

b)    That the Committee receives regular progress reports.

66.

Decommissioning of the CareOnLine Service. pdf icon PDF 158 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Adults and Communities providing an update on service provision following the decommissioning of the CareOnLine service in 2018.  A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 10’ is filed with these minutes.

 

In attendance at the meeting were Ian Retson and Miriam McKee from Enrych, a charity which had been successful in securing funding of £300,000 from the Big Lottery to support the delivery of Enrych Connect, a digital service for people with learning disabilities for the next three years to replace the previous service provided by CareOnLine.

 

Mr Retson detailed the proposals to ensure that the service continued to develop, including the recruitment of volunteers, the establishment of group training and users being able to take advantage of the additional services provided by Enrych.  Alternative sources of funding were already being sought, and this would potentially include self-funders in the community who used the services.  Within the first month of operation, Enrych Connect had recruited 40 service users and had received 30 service calls.  Mr Retson expressed his gratitude to County Council officers in assisting with the smooth transition to the new service.

 

Arising from the discussion, the following comments were raised:

 

i)             Enrych Connect had retained links with the County Council’s services, and contact had been made with Locality Managers and Team Managers to promote the available services being provided.  Work was also taking place with the County Council’s Customer Service Centre and First Connect teams to ensure that they were signposting service users to Enrych Connect.

 

ii)            All existing service users of CareOnLine had been able to keep the equipment that they had been using – this was largely recycled IT equipment which had no value to the County Council.  It was hoped that laptops could continue to be received, but Enrych Connect was currently being charged £20 per laptop.  Members asked officers to explore the possibility of this charge being removed.

 

iii)           Enrych Connect had so far been unsuccessful in achieving contacts with the NHS and CCGs.  The Director stated that he would raise this with NHS colleagues.  A leaflet on the new Enrych Connect service had been circulated within the County Council and this would be sent electronically to staff within the NHS and CCGs.  Work was currently taking place, including the CCGs, to develop neighbourhood teams based around primary care and as part of this process, asset mapping was being undertaken to ascertain what support services were available in each area.  The Enrych Connect offer would be built into the asset mapping to ensure a greater awareness of this service.

 

iv)           Although a number of referrals to the service had been via the County Council, Enrych had not traditionally made contact with local authorities.  It was suggested that to reach a wider audience, a presentation be made to the County Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board or Safeguarding Adult’s Board, and also to approach district/borough councils to attract local community funding.

 

The Cabinet Lead Member for Adults and Communities praised the work of officers in ensuring that the best possible outcome had been achieved following the decommissioning of the CareOnLine service, and thanks were also given to Enrych.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report be noted.

67.

Leicestershire and Rutland Safeguarding Adults Board Development Plan 2019/20. pdf icon PDF 315 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Independent Chair of the Leicestershire and Rutland Safeguarding Adults Board which presented the draft Development Plan for 2019/20 for the Board.  A copy of the report marked Agenda Item 11 is filed with these minutes.  The Development Plan was due to be approved by the Leicestershire and Rutland Safeguarding Adults Board at its meeting on 25 April 2019.

 

It was reported that the Board did not currently have an independent chair.  Robert Lake, the most recent Chair, had had to resign from his position at the beginning of 2019 due to health reasons.  Interviews were due to be held in the very near future for a new independent chair.

 

Arising from the discussion, the following comments were raised:

 

i)             In response to a query, it was stated that the Board would be developing its work around exploitation, including encouraging young people who had been exploited to come forward.  Key to this work was promoting a greater awareness in communities and ensuring that the public, practitioners and local groups were aware of what to look out for.

 

ii)            The Board had multi-agency procedures which outlined how partners should work together and communicate.  The Board’s quality assurance processes tested and checked the procedures, and as part of this at least two multi-agency audits were undertaken each year to assess partner communication, information sharing and collaborative working in a number of cases.  The plans that had been put in place and any outcomes would be detailed in the Board’s annual report which was presented to this Committee.  The quality assurance work undertaken so far this year indicated that agencies were generally working well together.

 

iii)           Given the nature of safeguarding, many people’s experience with the service had been less than positive.  Engagement work had been undertaken to understand their experience of the process, but this often proved difficult as many were reluctant to relive the experience.  A survey had been undertaken through practitioners and the findings from this were currently being collated.  The Board had also monitored a survey conducted by the local authority around whether the service a person received made them feel safe.  It was acknowledged that the general public did not have a great awareness of safeguarding, and there was a fundamental role for partners to play in improving this.

 

iv)           It was acknowledged that the proposed changes to replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards would be significant.  Work would need to be undertaken locally to clearly communicate to the public what the changes would mean.

 

v)            Concern was raised that the targets in the priority did not measure the effectiveness of multi-agency meetings.  There was an expectation that partners with the appropriate level of seniority would attend specific meetings in order for decisions to be taken.  It was difficult to measure effectiveness, but quality assurance around the work of the Board was undertaken.  The right level of attendees at meetings would be identified and this would continue to be monitored.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report be noted.

68.

Collections and Learning Hub and Museum Service Collections. pdf icon PDF 186 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Adults and Communities which provided an update on proposals to develop a Collections and Learning Hub, including an update on the management, maintenance and governance of the Museum Service collections.  A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 12’ is filed with these minutes.

 

Arising from the discussion, the following comments were raised:

 

i)             Members of the Committee expressed disappointment that the Cabinet had approved a provision within the Capital Programme of £10m to facilitate the relocation of the Record Office to the County Hall campus and to develop a Collections and Learning Hub in the existing Eastern Annex building at County Hall without prior consultation with the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  The Cabinet Lead Member explained that this proposal provided the best value for money and gave assurance that any comments made by the Committee on the business case would be considered.

 

ii)            A full business case was being developed for Phase 1 of the proposal and this would be presented to this Committee for comment prior to approval being given by the Cabinet.  It was anticipated that the business case for the new Record Office would be available for the Committee at its meeting in either June or September.  As part of the business case, analysis of the usage of the current Record Office would be taken into account.

 

iii)           A member also commented that the County Hall campus was not a central, easily accessible location for the Record Office, and the difficulty with parking would discourage members of the public visiting the Hub.  The Committee was advised that consideration had been given to a number of other sites throughout the county, but none had proved to be suitable and would incur a further cost and they were not County Council owned land.  Assurance was given that issues with the proposed location and particularly with the parking at County Hall would be given full consideration when developing the business case.

 

RESOLVED:

 

a)    That the report be noted;

 

b)    That the business case be presented to a future meeting of the Committee.

69.

Date of next meeting.

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on 10 June 2019 at 2.00pm

 

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Committee would be held on 10 June 2019 at 2.00pm.