An update from Adult Social Services

The Adult Services Panel met with the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Community Health Services last month to discuss the Performance Monitoring Report for February 2021 and to receive an update on how the Council’s Policy Commitments translate to Adult Services.

The Panel was pleased to hear that in terms of Performance Monitoring the general position was beginning to improve overall in February 2021 and is looking even better now.

The Panel heard that with safeguarding referrals going directly to the safeguarding team there has been a decrease in the number of enquires received at the Common Access Point however, cases are much more complex.

There has not been much difference in terms of statistics for Carers Assessments but service is more focused in this area and work will develop in the coming year. The Panel felt that Social Services no longer provide the same service as years ago, with much more onus on people living independently and greater pressure on carers. The Panel queried if the decline in assessments was due to the pressure cares are under.

The Panel was pleased to hear that there is an active group looking at support for carers, an action plan is being put in place and the service will be proactively identifying carers. The Panel heard that the priorities of this will be:

  • recognising support to enable individuals to continue to care
  • support to live alongside their caring responsibilities
  • information, advice and guidance to ensure appropriate support for carers.

The Panel will look at Carers in more depth at a future meeting.

Senior officers explained that the pathway between hospital and Bonymean House is working really well. In February/March they had 14 beds available and are now up to 19.

The Panel also discussed the withdrawal of Health Board staff from managing Learning Disabilities and queried how this was justified, how it was managed and who in the Health Board took the decision. Officers explained that this is being looked at again by the Health Board and that officers will look into it more and provide the Panel with a fuller response.

The Panel also discussed the Council’s Policy Commitments and how this translates to Adult Services. The Panel heard that the workforce is at the centre of everything that is done in Social Services and there is a lot of planning to take place to ensure Social Services has a sustainable workforce going forward.

The Director of Social Services told the Panel that the commitments continue to inform Social Services adaptation and recovery going forward, that they are embedded in service plans as headings to focus on and that he is really pleased with the process they can evidence.

The Panel queried how this fits in with the commissioning review undertaken a few years ago and the procurement exercise the service when through recently and heard from officers that the Council has signed off the optimum model for Social Services and it is consistent with the policy commitments.

The Panel also discussed issues around:

  • the excellent work done by Local Area Coordinators (LACs) who changed their job profiles during the initial lockdown
  • funding for LACs from housing associations and whether there is external funding that can be acquired to fund LACs
  • the development of the Assistive Technology Strategy.

To find out more about what was discussed at this meeting please click here.

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