Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Adult Services and Health Select Committee Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 24th February, 2015
Time:
4.00pm
Place:
First Floor Committee Room, Town Hall, High Street, Stockton, TS18 1AU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Kevin Faulks(Chairman), Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley, Cllr Norma Wilburn, Cllr Mrs Mary Womphrey, Cllr Norma Stephenson (for Cllr Paul Baker)
Officers:
Peter Mennear (Scrutiny), Nigel Hart (DSU), Daniel Childs (DSU), George Irving (Service Manager), Rob Papworth (Performance Manager), Sean McEneany (Head of Adult Operations), Liz Hanley (Adult Services Lead)
In Attendance:
Natasha Judge (Healthwatch), Joanne Shaw-Dunn (Healthwatch)
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Ray McCall, Cllr Paul Baker, Cllr Elliot Kennedy, Deborah Miller
Item Description Decision
Public
ASH
91/14
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
The evacuation procedure was noted.
ASH
92/14
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
The declaration of interest was noted.
ASH
93/14
DRAFT MINUTES - 20TH JANUARY 2015
AGREED that the minutes be approved subject to the above amendment.
ASH
94/14
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF HOME CARE
AGREED that the draft report be approved subject to the amendments outlined.
ASH
95/14
CARE ACT 2014 UPDATE
AGREED that the update be noted and further information be provided as requested
ASH
96/14
WORK PROGRAMME 2014-15
The Work Programme was noted with the last meeting of the Committee scheduled for 10th March 2015.
ASH
97/14
CHAIR'S UPDATE
Members noted the Chair's thanks.
16:00-17:15

Preamble

ItemPreamble
ASH
92/14
Cllr Cunningham declared a personal interest she was a non-executive Director of the Eastern Ravens Trust.
ASH
93/14
Consideration was given to the draft minutes of the meeting held on 20th January 2015. It was agreed to include reference to the discussion surrounding a recent CQC inspection report.
ASH
94/14
Consideration was given to the draft report for Scrutiny Review of Home Care. Consideration was also given to the Healthwatch Report: 'Findings from the Healthwatch independent consultation on Stockton Borough Council's Review of Homecare Services' and 'Consultation with Users of Enhanced Home Care Services'.

Following the officer's presentation of the Enhanced Home Care Services report, the following issues were discussed:
- The majority of the feedback was positive and satisfaction levels were high; however, where clients indicated that their experience was not 'always' positive, the Committee requested that these be investigated further as Members considered that a consistently good level of service should always be provided.
- Members noted concern that five respondents considered that they 'rarely' received contact from the care company if there was a change to their schedule.
- Members noted the relatively small sample population of survey responses.

In respect of the 'Findings from the Healthwatch independent consultation on Stockton Borough Council's Review of Homecare Services', the following issues were raised:
- Only 28 of the 380 sample of Home Care service users completed a survey conducted by telephone or via a home visit. The low response rate may be due to users' being vulnerable and socially isolated, which makes engagement more difficult.
- A focus group of 7 young carers from Eastern Ravens Trust also provided evidence for the report.
- Respondents were generally satisfied with the service.
- 7 out of 28 respondents commented that they felt less than adequately safe.
- 11 of 28 respondents commented that they did not have sufficient social interaction.
- 13 of 26 respondents stated that they did not consider that they were kept informed about changes to their care rota by their care provider.


Members asked how findings related to other data held by the Council. Officers stated that further investigation of other data was needed.

It was noted that the questions surrounding social interaction and feelings of adequate safety were also included in the national Adult Services User Experience survey. Results for the Council's service users as a whole showed that Stockton was near or above the England average for these issues.

While not appearing as a specific question in the survey, a number of respondents raised issues regarding communication with providers' administrative offices. Rudeness and inappropriateness were stated concerns, as was the non-return of telephone calls.

Officers informed Members that new communication channels had been opened by one home care provider to reduce communication congestion.

It was noted that it appeared some respondents felt unable to complain about problems due to the perceived implications on staff or their care. Healthwatch had picked up that some young carers feared losing their carers as a result of making a complaint.

It was noted that consultation with users of home care was a known challenge across the country. Healthwatch representatives told Members that they had contacted Healthwatch England to ask whether similar issues had been raised on a nationwide basis. The representatives will inform the Council of Healthwatch England's response.

Members agreed that although the overall response rate was low it was important to take into account individual concerns and views.

It was proposed that the draft report be amended to reflect the discussion which had occurred during the meeting and amendments be made to the wording of recommendations 8.a) and 8.b) to clarify its intent and a further recommendation be added, that monitoring of the implementation of the review and an update be undertaken by the relevant Scrutiny Committee within the first six months of the election of the new Council.
ASH
95/14
Consideration was given to the progress of the implementation of provisions to meet the requirements of Care Act 2014, as contained with the update report to Cabinet on 12th February 2015. The following issues were highlighted:

- Due to future-proofing actions previously undertaken, the Council is in a good position to meet the challenges of Care Act 2014 when it comes into force on 1st April 2015.
- The Council will face new risks and challenges, the implications of which were not certain. It is thought that the Council will face increased demand for assessment and support provision due to the proposed national eligibility criteria.
- The Council will receive additional funds which will aid the Council in meeting the new demands. It is uncertain whether the increase in funding will cover all additional demands on the service.
- Officers committed to monitoring changes to provision, demand and costs incurred by the Care Act.
- It was noted that there was a potential increase in safeguarding referrals due to the lower thresholds, however arrangements were in place to respond. It was noted that Member training on safeguarding was going to be made mandatory.
- Members queried advocacy arrangements and noted that a review of advocacy services was already in progress.
- Members asked for clarification as to the 'other areas' of funding - 319k attributed as funding from the Better Care Fund in 2015/16. Officers stated that further investigation was necessary and an explanation would subsequently be provided to Members.
ASH
97/14
Chair thanked all members and officers for their contribution to the meeting.

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