Agenda and draft minutes

Adults and Safer City Scrutiny Panel - Tuesday, 6th December, 2016 6.00 pm, MOVED

Venue: Committee Room 3 - 3rd Floor - Civic Centre. View directions

No. Item




Apologies were received from Cllr Brookfield, Cllr Kaur and Cllr Potter.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of previous meetings pdf icon PDF 75 KB


Members and Officers drew attention to Page 9 of the agenda and requested that amendments were made in relation to paragraph 3 of the minutes in relation to the consultation and paragraph 6 in relation to the Epic Café which was thought not to be appropriate as a venue or meeting place.


It was agreed that the wording at paragraph 3 be amended to read:


Cllr Muston stated that the Council had a statutory responsibility to provide assistance to all areas of protected characteristics under the Equalities Act and that this included mental health. Cllr Muston expressed concern that the LGBT community had not been invited to participate in the consultation exercise which was contrary to the Equalities Act 2010 and went against the Council’s own Compact agreement.


Officers gave assurances that fuller consultation with the LGBT community and other groups such as ex-servicemen would be addressed in the future.


Resolved:      (a)       That the minutes of the meeting held on 11 October 2016 be agreed as a correct record.


(b)       That the requested amendments be made to the minutes of the meeting held on the 25th October 2016 and that the minutes be agreed as a correct record.


Matters arising


In relation to consultation with LGBT Groups, Officers stated that members of the LGBT community would have been consulted as members of the public and that, Mind Out (a mental health peer support group for lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender people which is closely linked to and supported through LGBT) had been included within the consultation. Shen Campbell (Consultation Officer) had dropped a number of questionnaires off at Network House for Mind Out and had returned the following week to take Wellbeing Warriers some questionnaires as they also dealt with individuals with mental health.


Draft Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2017/18 - 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 80 KB


A report was considered requesting the Panel to provide feedback to Scrutiny Board for consolidation and onward response to Cabinet on the Draft Budget 2017/18, in particular those elements that were relevant to this Scrutiny Panel.


Older People Assessment and Care Management – Promoting Independence


Member questioned what impact an overall reduction would have on the services being provided. The Cabinet Member for Adults stated that the overall goal was to promote independence and that a risk register had been produced to manage concerns relating to any reductions in service.


Officers confirmed that the savings were a result of precious resources being spent on promoting independence and smarter, better ways of working.


Members raised concerns regarding the £13.5 million cuts that were being proposed across the Council at a time when there was a growing elderly population and that over half of the proposed cuts appeared to be coming out of budgets linked to vulnerable groups. Councillors requested assurance that the correct balance had been achieved regarding the cuts. The Cabinet Member stated that the budget linked to Adults did have the highest overspend and that an additional £2 million had been added to the budget each year to help maintain the balance and address the demographic growth and the living wage. The Cabinet member confirmed that checks and balances were in place along with the risk register.


The Panel requested that this area of work be kept under review with updates being provided to the Committee.


Members stated that it was important not to place undue pressure on officers to reduce expenditure to a level that was not appropriate for the City and sacrificed quality and that comparing with other local authorities was not always the best was to proceed and needed to be approached with care. Officers agreed that the savings needed to be appropriate.


Officers reaffirmed that the majority of the savings proposed were as a result of enabling individuals to self-care and preventative measures that allowed individuals to remain at home rather than having to enter residential care. Officers stated that the local hospital had seen a significant fall in revenue due to more people remaining at home for longer.


Members raised some concerns that it may be the case that an individual was being encouraged to remain at home for longer when in fact they should be in residential care and that individuals were not being given an appropriate amount of time to complete the required paperwork. The Cabinet member requested that any details of incidents regarding this be passed to her as there should not be any undue pressure placed on individuals and quality assurance checks were in place. It was also stated that the Council was working with the hospitals regarding discharge policies.


Concerns were raised that there would be insufficient money to care for the increasing elderly population and in particular elderly women where an increase in dementia had been identified. The Panel agreed that a good relationship needed to be maintained  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Quality Assurance and Compliance Work Programme pdf icon PDF 153 KB


A report was submitted requesting the Scrutiny Panel to note the method undertaken by the Council’s Quality and Compliance team to ensure all services were appropriately monitored and supported and its future work programme.


The Quality Assurance and Compliance (QA&C) team had previously consisted of three and a half full time equivalent officers, however subsequent to a commissioning restructure these posts had been increased to seven officers.


The aim of the team was to make sure that services commissioned were of an appropriate standard and quality. They did this by making sure that the terms and conditions of the Council’s contracts were upheld and complied with regulations and frameworks.


Officers were currently developing a Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) which would require the service/provider to evidence their practice against a range of objectives and outcomes.  This would be undertaken through an online self-assessment audit by the service/provider on an annual basis.


Officers also intended to increase the number of visits to two visits per year for each service/provider (instead of every two years as at present).


Members thanked officers for the report and considered that it contained encouraging information. Attention was drawn to item 4 which was concerned with the deaths of elderly women. Members considered that a comparison was required for this and requested information on the last five years and the previous year. Officers agreed that this information could be provided.


Members queried what a 9% increase actually meant as a population increase could mean that this number was in fact lower than previously. The Panel therefore requested that real information be provided showing the total population figures against the total number of women over the age of 65 years. Officers stated that they would go back as far as possible to provide information on deaths in each age group and the number of people who were in receipt of a service from the Council. Members also requested that information be provided to allow them to compare local information against the national average.