To receive an update on the possible impact of the 21st Century Council project on health and social care services (20 mins)
Paul Senior, Interim Director of People Services provided an update on the possible impact of the Council’s 21st century Council project on health and social care services and the progression of the integration agenda.
During the discussion of this item the following points were made:
· People Services consisted of Children’s Social Care and Early Help, Education, Adults Mental Health, Adults Social Care and Quality Assurance and Safeguarding Standards.
· Many councils were undergoing transformation programmes and services had to adapt to changing need. Wokingham’s demographic was changing and the local offer needed to adapt accordingly.
· Paul Senior emphasised that a local authority could quickly move from being outstanding to mediocre if it did not change and adapt sufficiently. He went on to state that there was some examples of highly effective practice at the Council but that there was also scope for improvement.
· A number of factors would have an impact on the service provided. These included more schools becoming academies, the loss of the SEND grant, the loss of the revenue grant and the 21st century council programme. In addition, Green Papers on Social Care and Health were due to be published.
· Key decisions would need to consider the retention of non- statutory services, the future role of the local voluntary, community and faith sector in supporting the Council in discharging both statutory and preventative duties and to also explore the scope for further development of shared services with neighbouring local authority areas.
· Members noted the 21st Century Council Vision and programme benefits.
· Paul Senior took Members through the pathway for care. The Committee was reminded that it was proposed that by 2020 the health and social care systems would be fully integrated.
· Efficiency was important. There should be a ‘single front door’ with people only having to tell their story once.
· Paul Senior stated that there was further scope for streamlining of processes. For example there were a number of different databases for dealing with information around vulnerable adults.
· It was vital that the Council worked well with its partners such as the Clinical Commissioning Group and the voluntary sector to deliver the best outcomes for its residents.
· In response to a Member question regarding the integration of budgets, Paul Senior commented that where there was ‘gold star’ performance there was often a joint commissioning framework in place. It was noted that the Council had an enhanced Section 75 agreement in place with the Clinical Commissioning Group. It was emphasised that integration should be value for money.
· Councillor Blumenthal asked how any changes would be communicated to residents. She was informed that once a set of proposals was in place the message would be communicated.
· Councillor Miall asked how it was ensured that people did not fall outside of the system, particularly if they transferred between areas. Paul Senior emphasised that early identification mechanisms and quality of practice was vital. Good handovers and quality of data were key.
· Paul Senior commented that he was not yet able to share the final plan for People’s Services. He had asked to appraise the service in order to assess resilience and performance to help inform future developments that would be aligned with the 21st Century Council transformation programme ambitions. He would share the results with the Committee when they became available.
RESOLVED: That Paul Senior be thanked for his presentation and that the update on the possible impact of the 21st Century Council project on health and social care services be noted.