The Committee considered a report of the Director of Adults and Communities, the purpose of which was to seek the Committee’s views on the Council’s draft Self-Assessment, which was being developed in preparation for inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) under the new assurance process introduced through the Health and Care Act 2022. It was proposed that the Committee would receive updates on the Self-Assessment and Improvement Plan every six months. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 10’ is filed with these minutes.
In introducing the report, the Director advised Members that the document was a viable self-assessment ready for 1 April 2023 when the new assurance process took effect and would be a live document updated on a regular basis to ensure it completely reflected the work being done at any given time.
Arising from discussion and questions, Members noted the following points:
i. From April 2023 the CQC would continue to pilot assessment methodology and would at the same time be developing profiles of each authority in the country, using information from social care, the NHS, and from a variety of other sources.
ii. Following on from the Committee’s standalone workshop on 13 February 2023, the assessment document had been amended to reflect comments, one of which had been to make the document more concise and positive around Leicestershire and the services offered; its strengths being better celebrated.
iii. Content had been added regarding how people could access adult social care services, information about advocacy services, how people would be protected whilst waiting for an assessment, and other useful information which linked well to the CQCs framework. The document had been revised into a table format to make it easier to review.
iv. A further comment from the workshop had been to highlight dependencies on partner agencies, and so linking with discussions on continuing health care and funding nursing care determinations. At point 2.4 in the appendix to the report, it explored the issue further and highlighted how it could have led to fewer nursing care options in Leicestershire and included an improvement action for the Authority to explore. It was suggested that the Cabinet Lead member for Health be engaged on the self-assessment, to ensure that consistent messages were being shared, particularly with health partners.
v. A Member suggested that in order to improve access to information and advice about adult social care services, better use of district council communication channels and district council members could be made as outlined at point 1.14 of the appendix to the report.
vi. Significant work was underway to engage with people with lived experience of social care services and to find out what they thought about how easy it was (or not) to access information, particularly on the Councils website. The team had engaged with learning disability locality group members who had provided substantial feedback on their experiences and any barriers faced. Feedback would be analysed and shared with colleagues to help inform the redesign of the website. Similar sessions would also be held with the Department’s engagement panel members representing adult social care services or groups in looking at fact sheets on certain areas, such as adult social care finance, to see how easy it was to understand the information, or how they would approach topics on the website.
vii. Having reviewed other council websites, it was suggested that there were opportunities to improve the layout of the County’s own website, and time to introduce more video information to explain content, particularly to people who were more visual learners. It was noted that an external evaluation of the website would need to be commissioned corporately and that this was being explored.
viii. Information had been added to the document which set out improvements made to the Safeguarding Adults Board in recent years, what it had achieved, such as the range of training, and resources it had developed in areas like hidden harm and risks to people with learning disabilities. This also showed a positive picture about training completion rates and the lead practitioner for safeguarding had been engaged to increase rates of staff completion of courses.
ix. A Member asked if, when updates were brought before the Committee, amendments to the sections could be highlighted in the document.
x. Members raised concerns regarding point 1.15 in the appendix to the report, which showed that in 2021/22 the Council ranked in the worst 25% of authorities for the percentages of service users and carers who reported they had as much social contact as they would like. It was noted that the figures were from a survey and that responses were subjective, in that social levels of contact might not necessarily have anything to do with social care, but might be social contact with family, friends and the community. Members were assured, however, that the Council would continue to work comprehensively with the resources it had, and with the voluntary and community sector to enable people to have more social contact where possible.
xi. It was noted that in the report the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment figure for people that had dementia, 59.4% had a coded diagnosis. A Member requested that the document be amended to capture more information around diagnosis rates.
a) That the report on the Council’s draft Self-Assessment, being developed in preparation for inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) under the new assurance process, introduced through the Health and Care Act 2022 be noted.
b) That the Committee receive an update report on the Self-Assessment and Improvement Plan in six months, and thereon after when required.
c) That it be requested that amendments to the document be highlighted in future updates.
d) That the Director be requested that future documents be amended to make clearer information around diagnosis rates.