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Mayor praises cross party working
Release date: Fri, 04/01/2013
Mayor George Ferguson has praised the work of a cross-party group of four councillors who looked into the decisions taken last year on the future of residential and daycare services.
Following his election, the Mayor commissioned the review and a panel of councillors was appointed to undertake the work: Cllr Lesley Alexander, Cllr Tess Green, Cllr Glenise Morgan and Cllr Jenny Smith.
The Mayor has accepted all of the group’s 12 recommendations.
George Ferguson said: “The cross-party group has worked swiftly and efficiently to review the complex and controversial set of decisions taken last year by the previous Cabinet on the future of residential and daycare services.
“I strongly believe that councillors working in this way is productive and beneficial to effective decision making. I am very happy to accept all the panel’s recommendations.”
The panel’s recommendations were:
1. Additional demand modelling work undertaken by officers demonstrates that over the next 3 - 5 years, there will be sufficient capacity within the planned three Hubs. Officers should explicitly revisit future capacity requirement in September 2014 and reassure themselves and members of the Council that the need for additional capacity has not changed.
2. Consideration should be given in the service planning process as to how the Hubs are better linked into Neighbourhood Partnerships and local communities to develop community cohesion. More attention needs to be given to the role of volunteering as a mechanism to harness capacity and further develop local engagement with the Hubs and those who use them.
3. Officers should continue to explore the viability of delivering the Hubs through a Social Enterprise or a Mutual in the future with a fully costed business plan considered in autumn 2013.
4. Services delivered locally are more cost effective, environmentally sustainable and reduce traffic and congestion often at peak times. Given the importance of access to high quality, specialist transport to the success of the Hubs, this should be a key priority and influence on the planned re-commissioning of community transport services and the reconfiguration of transport in the city.
Residential care for Older People
5. Officers have reviewed demand and their analysis suggests that there is a need for a 3rd strategic partnership to supplement the two planned to deliver residential/nursing care for people with dementia, and Redfield Lodge. The development of a 3rd partnership should be expedited alongside the work already in hand to secure the 2 strategic partnerships.
6. Significant emphasis on quality and safety is found within the Cabinet papers, reflecting the concerns raised across the consultation events. The panel supports the work to ensure that services are safe and of high quality, including the use of service charters and quality marks. Officers should develop these proposals so that they are firmly linked with the Adult Safeguarding Select Committee recommendations and report progress to Health & Adult Care Scrutiny and the Health and Wellbeing Board.
7. The Mayor should lobby government to return the regulatory function, currently undertaken by the Care Quality Commission, to the local authority.
8. The Council should exploit all opportunities to attract additional Extra Care Housing into the city. Officers should ensure that new Extra Care Housing schemes become useful resources for the communities of which they are a part. For example, seeking to incorporate additional services such as clinics, activities and services so people can begin to engage at an early stage, becoming familiar with sites and services which will support them as their care and support needs increase.
9. The panel considered the implications of fewer "in house" services, which currently provide a reassuring fall back position in the event of a major service failure of an independent company. There are protocols in place to ensure that providers we commission are on a sound financial and governance footing. Panel consider it important to have in place transparent contingency plans, which can be tested to ensure service users are properly supported if a crisis occurs.
10. Providers should demonstrate how they support, train and develop staff and be linked into the Skills for Care Integrated Local Authority Workforce (InLAWs) programme.
11. Health & Social Care should ensure that service developments take into account the needs of minority communities.
12. Environmental management should be actively monitored as part of care contracts.