Agenda and minutes

Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 9th May, 2012 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Suite 1,2 & 3, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach CW11 1HZ. View directions

Contact: Mark Grimshaw  Scrutiny Officer

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

2.

Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 13 April 2012.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 13 April 2012 be approved as a correct record.

3.

Declaration of Interests

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any personal and/or prejudicial interests in relation to any item on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

None noted.

4.

Declaration of Party Whip

To provide an opportunity for Members to declare the existence of a party whip in relation to any item on the agenda.

Minutes:

None noted.

5.

Public Speaking Time/Open Session

A total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to make a statement(s) on any matter that falls within the remit of the Committee.

 

Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes, but the Chairman will decide how the period of time allocated for public speaking will be apportioned, where there are a number of speakers

 

Note: In order for officers to undertake any background research, it would be helpful if members of the public notified the Scrutiny officer listed at the foot of the agenda, at least one working day before the meeting with brief details of the matter to be covered.

 

Minutes:

Charlotte Peters-Rock attended to address the Committee. She made the following assertions:

 

·         That in undertaking the Adults Services Rationalisation, the Council had put financial considerations before the needs of service users

·         That the public speaking section of the minutes from the meeting held on 13 April 2012 had been recorded inaccurately

·         That a party whip had been applied to the meeting held on 13 April 2012 and that this had not been declared.

·         That the temporary closure of Bexton Court had presented an opportunity for the Council to explore how service users were coping in its absence and that this opportunity had not been utilised.

·         That no affordable financial arrangement for independent private respite/day care had been made available in Knutsford.

 

Giles Watmough also attended to address the Committee. He made a number of comments about the future managerial arrangements of the Adults Directorate and expressed some concerns about various aspects of the service.

 

The Chairman thanked both speakers for attending and their comments were noted.

 

6.

Personalisation Policy pdf icon PDF 133 KB

To consider and comment on the policy of the Strategic Director of Children, Families and Adults.

Minutes:

Jacqui Evans, Head of Local Delivery/Independent Living Services, attended to present the Council’s policy on personalisation for scrutiny comment prior to final approval. She explained that whilst the Council had been following the personalisation agenda for a couple of years, there had not been a single policy to bring the various strands of work and responses to new legislation together. She reported that the new policy would also help the Council to achieve a consistency of approach across the service. Considering the complexity of the issues covered in the policy, Jacqui Evans suggested that a bespoke training day for Councillors could be arranged if it was felt appropriate.

 

Attention was drawn to page 8 and the mention of potentially using an advocate for discussions with service users with a learning disability. It was queried whether this would an independent advocate as it was asserted that independence was important in terms of safeguarding. Jacqui Evans confirmed that the advocate would be independent. With this in mind, it was suggested that this be specified in the document.

 

Reference was made to a recent Notice of Motion that had stated that service users should be made more aware of the Council’s complaints and comments procedure. It was noted that there was no mention of such a procedure in the personalisation policy and it was suggested that this was an oversight. Jacqui Evans confirmed that she would explore including this in the policy.

 

It was queried whether people could access Council services if they were in receipt of a personal budget. Jacqui Evans explained that whilst they couldn’t buy back Council Services with a direct payment, a service user could have a ‘hybrid’ package in which part of their budget was managed and delivered by the Council whilst they used direct payments for other external services. It was suggested that this situation was unclear to a number of service users and that social workers should be encouraged to communicate it effectively. Jacqui Evans acknowledged the point and assured the Committee that work would be done to improve this.

 

A concern was expressed with regard to those people who presented for care but did not qualify as they did not have substantial or critical needs. It was stated that if these people were not helped appropriately through a robust referral process, they could develop a substantial need – creating a worse outcome for the individual and the Council. Jacqui Evans and Lucia Scally, Head of Strategic Commissioning and Safeguarding, both noted that the Council’s referral process was something that the service was looking to improve and that work was underway to do so.

 

Reference was made to the personalisation process flow chart on page 17. A general comment was made that this seemed overly complex but particular attention was paid to the language used, especially the term ‘diversion routes’. It was suggested that this term needed to be reassessed. Jacqui Evans confirmed that the service would review the use of this term in the policy.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.