The Director of Adult Social Care gave an update to Members on work being undertaken across the Adult Social Care department.
The Director of Adult Social Care advised Members of a number of staffing changes within the Directorate. At the beginning of August, Nicola Gage had joined as the Assistant Director for Operational Services. This role would oversee the delivery of all operational services covering older people, younger people with disabilities and those with mental health needs, as well as overseeing the delivery of their directly provided services. Nicola had joined from East Sussex and brought with her a wide range of experience across all adult services.
Trevor Thompson had joined the Directorate on an interim basis to cover the Head of Service role for Learning Disability Services. Henrietta Brown had also joined to cover the senior post left vacant following the retirement of Alex Pringle whilst the permanent recruitment to this post was in progress. Nicola, Trevor and Henrietta had joined Carol Brown and Jane Campbell in embedding the new structure within the operational service. The changes in team structure had gone well – staff had coped well with the change and were settling into their new functions. The new structure set up a clearer entry into the service; removed the handoffs between teams that led to delays; and was an integral part of the Transformation Programme.
In response to a question, the Director of Adult Social Care said that the staffing structure was currently in the process of being updated. It was agreed that once completed, a copy of the structure and contact details would be circulated to Members of the Committee.
The Director of Adult Social Care advised that a review of the partnership working arrangements with Oxleas Mental Health Trust had just commenced, the outcome of which would be presented to a future meeting. Other reports to be presented to the Committee would include:
- A review of Extra Care Housing Provision in Bromley and subsequent recommendations – this work was underway and linked into the Transformation plans within the Housing Division.
- Plans for the future delivery of the Saturday Club and Employment Support service for adults with a learning disability currently provided by Mencap – this formed part of the work to review day activities and would be subject to consultation with those that used the service and their carers.
Work was also continuing with SEL CCG to develop the Place Based Structure for the Integrated Care System (ICS) with ongoing dialogue to ensure that the needs of Bromley residents remained paramount.
The Director of Adult Social Care informed Members that the Directorate continued to monitor the take up of vaccinations for both staff working in care homes and its own staff who would be required to visit care homes as part of their duties. The take up within care homes was good (82.5%), and they were not envisaging any lack of capacity when the new requirement formally came into place on the 11th November 2021. The Local Authority were now recording the vaccinations and a continued increase of staff logging their vaccination status onto the portal was being seen.
With regards to the government announcement made earlier that week about the future funding of Social Care, the Director of Adult Social Care noted that this was welcomed and staff within the Directorate and wider Council would be monitoring this as more detailed emerged. It was anticipated that new systems would need to be set up to monitor individual contributions, which would add a new burden, and an important part of the roll out of the changes would be working with the care market to agree processes and manage their expectations.
Members were informed that the team were amongst the finalists for the Municipal Journal (MJ) Awards which would be announced next Friday, 17th September, for the work around the Single Point of Access (SPA) and care homes. The category was for Integration of Health and Social Care – being one of only five finalists was a great achievement and recognition of the success of the teams who had worked so hard on the front line. Members congratulated the Director of Adult Social Care, and her staff, for the nomination received and wished them all the best for the announcement of the result.
A Member noted concerns previously raised regarding lengthy waiting times for respite care and enquired if this was being monitored. The Director of Adult Social Care said that a number of services had closed during the COVID-19 pandemic and further details would be required to allow this to be looked at in context. It was agreed that the Member would provide these details in order for the Director of Adult Social Care to provide a response following the meeting.
A Member suggested that the Director of Adult Social Care could present a written report to the Committee, rather than a verbal update. The Director of Adult Social Care said this was something that could be considered for future meetings.
RESOLVED that the update be noted.