Adult Services Cabinet Member – minutes – 21 April 2009

31 (17) REPORT ON THE UNANNOUNCED INSPECTION OF COMMUNITY SUPPORT SERVICE BY CSCI – The Service Director Adult Social Care submitted a report informing the Cabinet Member of the outcome of the unannounced inspection of the Community Support Service (CST) in December 2008, by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI).

The CST provided home care services in the community to meet the needs of the citizens of North Lincolnshire. The service contributed to the on going assessment of peoples needs, provided short term rehabilitative assessments, extended out of office support and guidance and crisis interventions. It also included Intermediate Care Services and Mental Health Support Services.

The service had to comply with CSCI Regulations (Care Standards Act 2000) and could be inspected at any time.

The outcome of the unannounced inspection was that it was a 3 star excellent service. An action plan of continuous improvements had been made and staff would continue to perform to a high standard.

Resolved – (a) That the achievement of the service in gaining an excellent, 3 star service provider award be noted, and (b) that the hard work and success of the staff be acknowledged.

32 (18) THE OUTCOME OF AN OFSTED INSPECTION OF NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT SERVICE FEBRUARY 2009 – The Service Director Adult Social Care submitted a report informing the Cabinet Member of the outcome of the Ofsted inspection of the North Lincolnshire Support Service (NoLESS) which was carried out from 9 to 12 February 2009.

The council had a ‘Workstep Programme’ contract funded by the Department for Works and Pensions for 54 places. This was administered through the council’s Employment Support Service known as NoLESS. The key priority of NoLESS was to “increase the number of people with disabilities that the council supported into employment” as part of the Adult Social Services Service Plan.

The service received an average of 60 referrals a year and support was provided to individuals with a range of disabilities. A range of support was provided to individuals and employers across North Lincolnshire to enable work experience, training, mentoring, coaching placements and individual development to be achieved.

NoLESS was inspected by Ofsted between 9 and 12 February 2009. The Key Lines of Enquiry were:

  • Effectiveness of Provision
  • Capacity to Improve
  • Achievements and Standards
  • Quality of Provision
  • Leadership and Management
  • Equality of Opportunity, and
  • Preparation for Life and Work

The outcome of the inspection was that NoLESS had been graded as a 3 (satisfactory) service in line with the self-assessment.

A Development Action Plan was currently being produced to tackle areas for improvement identified within the inspection.

Resolved – That the positive outcome of the Ofsted inspection of NoLESS be noted.

33 (19) UPDATE ON PROGRESS OF ASHBY MEADOWS EXTRA CARE SCHEME AND PROCUREMENT OF IT’S DOMICILLIARY CARE SERVICE – The Service Director Adult Social Care submitted a report informing the Cabinet Member of the progress of the Ashby Meadows Extra Care Scheme, located at Ashby Link, Scunthorpe, and seeking approval to market test and procure the domiciliary care service for the scheme.

The Extra Care Housing Scheme at Ashby Link was currently being built in partnership with Hanover Housing Association. The grant funding for the scheme was secured from the National Affordable Housing Programme 2006/08.

The development of an Extra Care Scheme is a key priority in the council’s Housing Strategy, the Older People’s Housing Strategy and Adult Social Care strategies. The construction of the building was well underway and would be completed by August 2009. An unfurnished show flat would be available for accompanied viewings in May 2009.

One of the main components of an Extra Care Scheme was an on-site service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In order to provide the service to the residents of Ashby Meadows it would be necessary for Adult Services to procure an external provider. The service would be provided from offices on site at Ashby Meadows and would respond to the assessed care needs of the residents.

Resolved – (a) That the update on the Ashby Meadows Extra Care Scheme be noted, and (b) that the proposed market testing and procurement of a domiciliary care service for Ashby Meadows be approved.

34 (20) DEVELOPMENT OF A CARERS STRATEGY FOR NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – The Service Director Adult Social Care submitted a report informing the Cabinet Member of the development of a Carers Strategy in North Lincolnshire, and seeking approval for the approach to be taken to develop the strategy.

In June 2008, the Government launched it’s national strategy for carers: “Carers at the heart of 21st century families and communities: a caring system on your side; a life of your own”. It set out a ten year vision that by 2018 carers would be universally recognised and valued as being fundamental to strong families and stable communities.

Over the next ten years, it was carers who would judge the effectiveness of the strategy, it was they who would know whether they felt valued, respected and supported to have the best possible quality of life, often in difficult circumstances.

In North Lincolnshire the Government strategy would form the basis for a ten year strategy for carers in the area. Extensive consultation was being undertaken which would conclude initially in April 2009.

Resolved – That the approach taken to develop a Carers Strategy for North Lincolnshire be approved.

35 (21) NEW BLUE BADGE SCHEME REGULATIONS – The Service Director Adult Social Care submitted a report seeking approval of a new blue badge application form.

Nationally, there had been concern about the wrongful use of blue badges, but more concerning was the illegal trade in blue badges, sometimes resulting in the issue of duplicate badges.

Certain groups of individuals were felt to be excluded from the benefits of a blue badge:

  • Children under the age of two due to specific medical conditions and the need to travel with bulky medical equipment, or to be close to a vehicle for emergency medical equipment,
  • People with severe disabilities in both arms so that people who regularly drove a non-adapted vehicle, but could not operate, or had considerable difficulty in operating some types of parking meter, and
  • People whose entitlement to qualifying benefits was less than three years.

The regulations had been modernised to take into account all the above, and further changes, set out in the report. There was an opportunity to change the current application form to reflect self-assessment and the new statutory requirements.

Resolved – (a) That the implications of the Disabled Persons (Badges for Motor Vehicles) (England) (Amendments) Regulations 2007 be noted, and (b) that the new blue badge application form be approved.

36 (22) TRANSFORMING ADULT SERVICES – PROGRESS REPORT – The Service Director Adult Social Care submitted a report seeking endorsement of the progress of the programme of transformation in Adult Services, and seeking support of the strategic priorities identified by the service.

In 2006, the council’s Adult Social Services department recognised that the service needed to transform to meet the growing expectations of citizens and the expected demographic growth of vulnerable adults. A very comprehensive project plan was devised and the title “Fit for the Future” was adopted.

The Government published the concordat “Putting People First” in December 2007, which detailed their vision for adult social services across the country. This confirmed that the direction the council had taken was the right one.

The report highlighted details of progress made with the plan and gave consideration to the implementation of the next set of priorities for action.

Resolved – (a) That the progress of the programme be endorsed and celebrated, and (b) that continuation of the transformation in line with the strategic priorities identified be supported.

37 (23) SUPPORTING AND DEVELOPING COMMITMENT TO THE LEARNING DISABILITY PARTNERSHIP BOARD – The Service Director Adult Social Care submitted a report outlining the requirements placed upon North Lincolnshire to deliver the Learning Disability Strategy, “Valuing People Now”, and seeking endorsement to create a post of Valuing People Co-ordinator/Administrator.

“Valuing People, A Strategy for People with Learning Disabilities” was published in 2001 and was the first white paper on learning disabilities in 30 years, eight years later the strategy had been reviewed. The revised strategy “Valuing People Now” set out the priorities for delivering policy and action over the next three years. It supported people with learning disabilities to have real choices and control over their lives.

Since the launch of the Valuing People strategy in 2001, councils had been required to develop Learning Disability Partnership Boards. Valuing People Now stated that local Learning Disability Partnerships would continue and that the Government would explore how to increase the statutory requirement on public bodies to consult and work with Learning Disability Partnership Boards.

The North Lincolnshire Learning Disability Partnership Board members believed that by creating a fixed term post of a Valuing People Co-ordinator/Administrator, dedicated time could be committed to the co-ordination and administration of the partnership, and progress towards meeting agreed priorities would be more actively achieved.

Resolved – (a) That the requirements placed on North Lincolnshire to deliver the learning disability strategy, Valuing People Now be noted, (b) that the creation of the post of Valuing People Now Co-ordinator/Administrator, for a fixed term of three years, be endorsed, and (c) that the report be forwarded to the Corporate Service Cabinet Member for approval.

38 (24) ALVINGHAM ROAD DAY CENTRE – ALTERATIONS TO STRUCTURE – The Service Director Adult Social Care submitted a report seeking endorsement to delete two existing vacant posts and create five new posts with the Alvingham Road Day Support Service.

The continued expansion of outreach day support services had resulted in fewer meals being required within the main unit at Alvingham Road. In providing greater choice, meal provision for service users accessing outreach services were increasing sourced by Day Support Workers, using a variety of alternative choices.

The unit currently had a vacant Caretaker/Day Support Worker post. New Health and Safety legislation had resulted in a substantial reduction in the tasks required to be undertaken by this position. The unit also provided a venue for community groups outside of normal office hours, since the Caretaker post was vacated the night lettings had been taken by other staff members, who had been remunerated on a casual basis to reflect the extra duties.

It was proposed that the vacant Kitchen Assistant and vacant Caretaker/Day Support Worker posts be deleted, and that five new posts, as set out in the report, be created to meet the changing needs of the day support service.

Resolved – (a) That the proposed changes to the Alvingham Road Day Support Service Structure, as set out in the report, be endorsed, and (b) that the report be forwarded to the Corporate Services Cabinet Member for approval.

The following items contain exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

39 (25) FIT FOR THE FUTURE MANAGEMENT REVIEW – PHASE 2 OUTCOMES – The Service Director Adult Social Care submitted a report seeking endorsement for the outcomes of a review of senior and middle management as part of the “Fit for the Future” project.

Adult Social Services were facing greater demand and higher expectations from service users and carers, and government directives to transform the way the council engaged with service users and deliver services. Two years ago the service mapped out the implications for North Lincolnshire and launched a major change project called “Fit for the Future”.

A senior and middle management review was undertaken as part of the project in November 2007, with a projected completion date of April 2008. Following completion of this stage, work began on the first line management phase of the review in late 2008.

Resolved – (a) That proposals set out in the report and accompanying appendices be endorsed, and (b) that the report be forwarded to the Corporate Services Cabinet Member for approval.

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Where there is no report this is because it is exempt, as it contains information which is considered to be of a confidential nature, as detailed in the Local Government (Access to Information) Act.