Agenda item

Chief Officer, Social Care, Safeguarding and Health, Annual Report: Scrutiny of the Annual Report (Annual Report can be accessed by clicking "Go to this Sway" in the cover report).


·         This is a new approach to the annual report. The headings used are standard across Wales, however the Chief Officer explained that she used Microsoft Sway to produce a more interactive document while contained a broad range of evidence supplied by all sections of the workforce to give evidence to illustrate how the six quality standards outlined in the report are met. These are supplementary to the core narrative produced by the Chief Officer.

·         The Chief Officer talked through the chapter headings and highlighted a number of specific sections.



Members Challenge


·         There was challenge around how members will know what the differences are when they look back on progress this time next year and whether this format made scrutiny more difficult.  Members heard that the report contains a mix of quantitative and qualitative evidence.  Conventional measures are still part of the report and can be found via a link.  It was also explained that the embedded slide decks and short films can be shared easily with the community and service users.  Sway also has tools which make the content more accessible

·         The committee wanted a more detailed explanation about the work taking place to turn around the current rising numbers in childrens’ services.  It was explained that social workers can refer to a specialist team to get a focused intervention which should turnaround a case.  This is an intensively resourced team that work with small numbers of people and works to keep children within a family. 

·         Members sought an explanation about the links between poverty and those entering the care system.  It was explained that there is a correlation between the data, however while poverty can place incredible pressure on families there is not a proved causal link. Some of these issues are also inter-generational. 

·         There was a challenge whether the broad priorities made it harder to see the detail of what was being delivered and for members to hold officers to account, for example fostering.  It was explained that there is a huge amount of detail and this has been lifted into broad themes but the detail beneath these is covered within the report with even more details available in teams service plans

·         Members challenged the level of delayed transfers of care and the difficulties of providing services in some areas and whether this resulted in a postcode lottery.  It was explained that the situation is more problematic that in previous years.  There are links to difficulties with the independent market for domiciliary care where it is more difficult to secure provision.  These areas have been targeted with specific projects, for example ‘Turning the World Upside Down’.

·         Members challenged whether the fee levels paid by local authorities to private care providers created a risk that care providers were not sustainable; sought assurance that providers are economically sound and the impact on people if they go out of business.  Members heard that officers meet with providers in each locality on a regular basis to explore recruitment, retention and viability.  The ongoing work as part of the Turning the World Upside Down project which will mean commissioning in a placed based way which makes the sector more sustainable and recognises the different costs in different parts of the county.




·         Members requested that the measures and targets be included as an appendix to make them more accessible with clear links to the standards when this is taken to council.

·         Members identified that training may need to be provided on Sway if this is to be used more in future

·         Members asked whether it was possible to gather further data on the socio-economic background of children going into care to better understand the links between care and poverty

·         The current situation with delayed transfers of care was noted and full report on domiciliary care will be brought to the next full meeting of Adult Select Committee

·         The chair will write to the Cabinet Member ask for any further reflections




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