View Cabinet Decision Record

Cabinet Decision: 27th June 2016
Title of Item/Report
Adult Travel Support Policy
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that gave details of the transport provided by Adult Social Care through a variety of options for Adults and Carers with eligible needs across Stockton- on-Tees.

The policy for the provision of adult social care was aimed at promoting the maximum possible independence for the service user. In extending this principle to the Council’s provision of transport services, this policy sets the criteria that would be used to assess whether the service user’s needs could be best met through independent travel arrangements, taking account of the service user’s assessed needs and abilities, or whether Council provided transport services were necessary.

This policy rests upon a general assumption and expectation that service users would meet their own needs for transport to access and take advantage of services or support where reasonably possible, and taking into account their assessed needs and abilities. The intention was to promote a culture of:

a.Enabling service users to provide for themselves;
b.Families and carers taking more responsibility for providing for themselves;
c.People using benefits and concessions they were entitled to in order to travel to activities/services; and
d.Social Workers enabling people who could and wanted to travel independently to do so, where this was appropriate, ensuring training was provided to achieve this.

Transport was not a service in its own right: it was a means of accessing services or support. The overriding principle was that the decision to provide transport was based on assessed needs, risks and outcomes and on promoting independence.

Funded transport would only be provided if, in the opinion of the assessor, it was the only reasonable means of ensuring that the service user could be safely transported as part of their assessed and eligible care and support or support. Where there was appropriate transport available (either personal or public transport), it would be assumed that the service user would use this as a first option. Transport would only be provided if alternatives were unavailable or inappropriate for an identified reason.

If funded transport was provided for a service user, a financial assessment would be required and a contribution may be payable towards the cost of all services received, including transport.

An audit of 10% of current service users who received community transport from the Council indicated that it was unlikely that any current users would not be eligible if the draft policy were in place. However, to ensure that all possible opportunities for efficiencies were considered in Adult Services, work was being undertaken to review the utilisation of Council busses, transport costs related to our in-house services at Allensway and Lanark Close and also through our commissioned day services. Services were already being developed locally for people with autism, which would reduce current transport costs for people traveling out of Borough.

A 12 week Consultation was proposed to take place between July and October 2016, consisting of meetings and engagements with key stakeholders including Members, family carers and service users, together with interested organisations and the general public. Advocacy would also be provided to support people and an easy read consultation document would be produced and be available for online completion through the Council’s website. A report setting out the outcomes from the consultation would be presented back to Cabinet in the Autumn 2016.

RESOLVED that:-

1.The draft Policy for Travel Support for Adult Service Users and Carers be approved for consultation.

2.The requisite 12 week formal consultation on the policy be approved.
Reasons for the Decision
The draft Policy for Travel Support for Adult Service Users and Carers reflects current legislation and would ensure that the local authority position was to support Adults and Carers with funded transport, subject to being eligible for care and support. The proposed consultation would ensure that the Council meets the statutory expectation of a consultation period of 12 weeks and would ensure that users, carers and key stakeholders had the opportunity to comment upon the proposed policy, changes to current practice and timeline for the implementation of changes.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
None
Details of any Dispensations
N/A
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight, 5th July 2016
Attachment

Date of Publication: 29 June 2016


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