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Apologies were received from Cllr Gwinnett.
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
Resolved: That the minutes of the previous meeting be agreed as a correct record.
Cllr Moran noted that there had been a 9% increase in deaths of elderly people in the previous year and queried how those figures translated to Wolverhampton.
Officers stated that it would be possible for them establish the number of deaths for the previous five years for people over the age of 70 and that this information could be provided to members.
Members considered page 5 of the minutes and requested that the equality implications be provided.
Cllr Hardacre queried the figure referred to on page 7 of the minutes where it stated that over 87% of residents had internet access but Members had been provided with a figure of 45-55% at a different scrutiny panel meeting. The Committee agreed that clarity was required in relation to this.
That the number of death for the previous five years for people over the age of 70 be provided to members.
That equality implications referred to on page 5 of the minutes be provided
That clarity be provided in relation to the number of residents with internet access.
The Panel received an update report in relation to the provision of aids and adaptations in the City. Officers requested that the Panel provide feedback about the provision of aids and adaptations to the elderly and disabled.
The provision of aids and adaptations to the elderly and disabled formed part of the Independent Living Service at the Council and aligned with the following corporate plan aims:
• Promoting independence for Older People
• Promoting independence for People with Disabilities
Officers stated that there had been big changes over that last 12 months and the service was now provided through the Neville Garratt Centre, which is the Council’s independent living centre located on Bell Street.
Members questioned whether the Health Service were still contributing the same amount of money as previously and Officers confirmed that yes the Health Services still contributed £500,000 to the service. Members noted that in the long term the Health Service would benefit from the scheme as it helped to keep people at home rather than in a hospital.
Members congratulated Officers in relation to the reduction in the waiting list which now stood at 52 in comparison to 548 in October 2015.
Members queried what the older peoples’ controllable budget was and Officers confirmed that this was the Council’s budget for the equipment store and that it was ring fenced.
Members questioned what happened prior to an individual being referred as there could be individuals who did not get referred due to their social circumstances or background such as where the family looked after themselves rather than seeking external help. Officers stated that they hoped these individuals would be picked up by groups such as GPs, district nurses or health visitors.
The Panel queried whether there had been any publicity regarding the returning of aids and officers stated yes there was and that there was a good returns rate.
The Chair queried whether there was an appeals process for individuals who had been refused standard equipment. Officers stated that in circumstances such as these they could look to charitable funding but there was no formal appeals process.
Resolved: That the update be noted.
The Panel received a report highlighting an initial investigation undertaken into the economic contribution of social care in the City of Wolverhampton. The report sought to promote further awareness of its themes and to promote further the Wolverhampton 2030 agenda and the economic value contributed by social care in the City of Wolverhampton.
Cllr Samuels introduced the report and highlighted the importance of ensuring that the money contributed by Adults Social Care remained in the City. Members considered that the estimate of £250 million was a conservative valuation as it did not take into consideration the number of carers who were not paid for their services or more informal forms of care.
Officers stated that Wolverhampton was leading the way in this field in response to the feedback shared through the Adult Social Care Peer Challenge (March 2016) which had recommended closer working between the “people” and “place” dimensions of adult social care activity in the People Directorate and the City of Wolverhampton community.
Cllr Moran stated that she was very grateful for the report and hoped that it would lead to private suppliers complying with pay and word directives to ensure that workers were not being exploited. Members queried whether the Council would be able to enforce a minimum wage policy for external providers. Officers stated that this was done through agreement where possible and by working with the third sector but that the Council could not enforce it at all levels outside of its control. The Chair confirmed that issues relating to compliance would be considered at the next meeting of the Panel.
The Chair also queried whether the Combined Authority would have an impact on the way that scrutiny was carried out. Officers stated that feedback on this would be provided once the information was available but that a priority of the Combined Authority would be to get as many disabled people and people with a learning difficulty back into work. The chair stated that it was important the Councillors in Wolverhampton kept control of scrutiny in relation to our own services.
Members considered that the report was very positive.
Resolved: That Adult Scrutiny:
1. Considered the content of the report, “Care and The Economy - The economic contribution of social care and Our Vision Our City - Our Vision for the City of Wolverhampton in 2030.”
2. Commented as needed on any further factor to promote the inclusion of social care amongst the solutions to continued wider economic growth of the City of Wolverhampton in context of recent presentation of the attached document as part of Business Week 2016.
3. Considered issues for Carers and employment and need for carer-friendly employment policies in businesses across the City including the Council.
4. Reflected on further opportunities for further work on this theme with NHS colleagues
The Panel considered a briefing note in relation to a paper that had been submitted to the Councils Cabinet Resources Panel (CRP) on 04 October 2016 which included the following recommendations:-
1. To approve a new service delivery model in relation to low level mental health preventative services
2. To approve a tendering exercise in relation to the proposed new service model with a view to implementation on 1 April 2017.
On the 04 October 2016 the Council had received a letter from David Collins Solicitors on behalf of their client Positive Participation. The letter challenged various elements of the consultation process linked to the remodelling and the future tender of the contracts in question.
At the meeting of the Cabinet Resources Panel on 04 October 2016 it was decided that the paper should be placed on the agenda of the next available Adults and Safer Scrutiny Panel, to be held 11 October 2016.
Members considered the report and the fact that the issue was time sensitive but agreed that further information was required before an informed decision could be made.
Resolved: That an additional meeting of the Adult and Safer City Scrutiny Panel be held on 25th October at 6 pm to consider the report.