Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall
Contact: Chris Lunn
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest.
There were no declarations of interest received at this point in the meeting.
The minutes of the Adult Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 14 April 2021 were submitted and approved as a correct record.
Overview of Service Area
The Director of Adult Social Care and Health Integration, Erik Scollay, will be in attendance to provide the Panel with an overview of the main service areas within its remit and an outline of priorities, key issues and challenges for the year ahead.
The Director of Adult Social Care and Health Integration was in attendance to provide an overview of the service area.
The Director made reference to the operation of Adult Social Care in relation to strategic priorities, which were built into the Council’s Strategic Plan; directorate priorities, which were also visible through the Strategic Plan; and to current key issues.
Prior to detailing the current key issues to the Panel, the Director responded to a number of questions that Members had.
A lengthy discussion ensued in relation to Adult Social Care finance and the provision of services, which covered the following matters/topics:
· The budget setting process for Adult Social Care and how the figures were calculated in terms of the Council’s input, together with individual contributions (i.e. means testing).
· The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the increasing number of temporary residential care placements that needed to be finalised with permanent arrangements, and an inflation in some community care package costs. It was envisaged that following what had been a very peculiar year, which had offered some savings through a reduction in the number of people in residential care, this year would be artificially more expensive as a consequence of dealing with people in the wrong place, and the recovery costs. Work was currently taking place in relation to the impact of COVID-19 and projecting for the year ahead. It was explained that the underspend from last year would provide a ‘recovery reserve’ of almost £1.6m this year, which would be available to help manage any unpredicted costs that may arise. This year would be complicated and require very close financial monitoring.
· Middlesbrough’s demographics in terms of means testing and the financial support that the Council provided for residential care placements.
· The current state of Adult Social Care nationally and the anticipated release of a Government Green Paper in this regard.
· Ownership of care homes and the commissioning of care services.
· Achievement of value for money and the appropriate level of quality for the Council and residents (reference was made to a piece of work currently being undertaken in respect of Levick Court, which was the only residential unit owned by the Council, and achieving best value of money for that).
· Regulation of care homes, i.e. external regulation and internal regulation. It was explained that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) was the external regulating body and the inspectorate of care homes, which in effect provided license to operate and monitored standards. The Council shared intelligence with the CQC and worked with them. From an internal perspective, the Council operated its own quality marker, whereby Contracts and Commissioning Officers would carry-out inspections against contractual terms, which resulted in star ratings and subsequent differential charging rates (depending upon the facilities that care homes had). Reference was also made to monitoring care homes from a safeguarding perspective, i.e. responding to any concerns raised.
· With regards to the current state of Adult Social Care nationally and the need for reform, reference was made to the ... view the full minutes text for item 21/3
The Democratic Services Officer submitted a report, the purpose of which was to assist Members of the Panel to consider and agree its work programme for the 2021-2022 Municipal Year.
A list of topical issues and the suggestions received in respect of the Scrutiny Panel's remit were contained in the submitted report. It was suggested that the Scrutiny Panel should select a maximum of two topics for full review, along with several short topics and updates. It was noted that there was one review from the previous year to be completed: ‘Support for Carers’.
The Director of Adult Social Care and Health Integration was in attendance at the meeting and provided additional information as requested by Panel Members.
Members discussed the information provided by Officers at the meeting, the topics suggested in the report and suggestions received from Councillors.
Following discussion, the Panel Members agreed the following topics for review:
1. Adult Social Care Finance – Residential Care and ensuring Value for Money
2. The Role of the Voluntary Community Sector (VCS) in Supporting Adult Social Care (with a focus on COVID-19 recovery)
3. Support for Carers (postponed from 2020-2021)
4. Adult Day Care Services
5. Ageing Better Middlesbrough (ABM) – Update and Future / Legacy Planning.
Following discussion regarding an appropriate timeframe to recommence the postponed ‘Support for Carers’ investigation, it was agreed that this would be revisited at the end of the Municipal Year if time permitted, or placed on the 2022-2023 Work Programme if not.
The suggestion regarding ‘Incontinence Services’ would be referred to the Health Scrutiny Panel for consideration in respect of its work programme.
1. The information provided was received and noted.
2. The topics listed at 1 to 5 above, would be submitted to the Overview and Scrutiny Board for approval.
3. The topic of ‘Incontinence Services’ would be referred to the Health Scrutiny Panel for consideration in respect of its work programme.
A proposed schedule of meeting dates for the Adult Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel for the 2021-2022 Municipal Year was submitted for the Panel's consideration.
AGREED that the proposed meeting dates for 2021-2022 were approved.
Overview and Scrutiny Board - Update
The Chair provided a verbal update on the matters that were considered
at the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting on 29 June 2021.
Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered.