The Committee considered a report providing an update on the Adult Care and Health Portfolio Plan for the first half of 2022/23.
The Adult Care and Health Portfolio Plan was refreshed for 2022/23 in line with the Council’s Transformation Programme and Making Bromley Even Better 2021-2031. The Plan focused on two ambitions from the Corporate Plan:
- Ambition 2 - For adults and older people to enjoy fulfilled and successful lives in Bromley, ageing well, retaining independence and making choices; and,
- Ambition 5 - To manage our resources well, providing value for money, and efficient and effective services for Bromley’s residents.
Within each ambition there were a number of action and measures of success within the work of Adult Care and Health Services. The first six months of 2022/23 had seen progress on the majority of the actions particularly in the case of newly commissioned or re-tendered services. Work also continued as part of the Transforming Adult Social Care programme to develop the working practices of front-line officers and the structure in which they operated to ensure best value support and services for vulnerable residents. Key achievements in the first half of 2022/23 were as follows:
- The new Integrated Care System arrangements for South East London came into effect on 1st July 2022. Governance arrangements included a Local Care Partnership Board for Bromley jointly chaired by the Leader of the Council.
- The contract for the revised primary and secondary intervention and prevention service was awarded to the incumbent provider, Bromley Third Sector Enterprises.
- The Principal Loneliness Champion took up their role in September 2022 and was working across the Council and with partners to deliver the action plan.
- A number of pilots using assistive technology had begun to test a range of technologies which would enable residents to increase their independence and monitor the level for support needed.
- Preparations for the introduction of Market Sustainability, Fair Cost of Care and the Care Cap legislation were being taken forward in conjunction with partners learning from the experiences of Trailblazer sites.
- Joint commissioning arrangements for mental health housing support services and the Integrated Community Equipment Services were being taken ahead.
With regards to Ambition 2 – Action Point 6A) Promote opportunities for engagement with local communities and groups, a Member said the comment relating to day services was concerning. It was worrying that the uptake was not high following the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was questioned what work was being undertaken to understand why uptake had fallen. The Assistant Director for Integrated Commissioning advised that through the assessment process and referrals people were not opting to use day services. The Saxon and Biggin Hill Day Centres did still exist but there was continued caution post-pandemic. They were now trying to look at this from a different angle and using Day Centres to provide respite for carers – a survey was being undertaken of carers across the borough to see what respite and day services would be beneficial for them and the individuals they cared for. It was hard to state exactly why demand for day services had reduced, however the most likely reason was due to continued caution over COVID-19.
With regards to Ambition 2 – Action Point 9E: Deliver the all-age Autism Strategy, a Co-opted Member noted that an autism ambassador programme would be developed to enable people with autism to support key services. It was questioned whether these services had been developed in consultation with people who had a diagnosis of autism or neurodiversity. The Director of Adult Social Care advised that this action was being led by the Director of Children’s Services, however it was confirmed that both adults and children who were diagnosed with autism or neurodiversity, and their parents and carers, had been involved in the planning and work undertaken in this area. It was noted that these individuals were also actively involved in the Board looking at this area of work. In response to a question from another Co-opted Member, the Assistant Director for Integrated Commissioning advised that the all-age Autism Strategy encompassed the broader diagnosis of neurodiversity.
In response to a question, the Assistant Director for Strategy, Performance and Corporate Transformation confirmed that the role of the Principal Loneliness Champion was to bring together partnerships from across the borough. The Principal Loneliness Champion had been actively engaging with Bromley Well and Community Links Bromley, and would link with other organisations such as housing associations. If the Council could help other agencies to recognise loneliness they could help to broker conversations with residents.
With regards to Ambition 2 – Action Point 10A: Develop a new support offer to help and sustain unpaid carers including young carers, a Member noted that the development and publication of a Bromley Carers Strategy had a target date of January 2023 and asked for further information regarding timescales. The Assistant Director for Integrated Commissioning said it was anticipated that the Strategy would be brought to the Committee in March 2023. An early draft of the document had been written however they wanted to undertake further consultation following the Christmas period. It was noted that work was progressing, and a focus group had been held that morning to speak with voluntary groups.
A Member noted that the action relating to the adult education programme (Ambition 2 – Action Point 11) stated that success was measured based on an increased number of participants on each course. It was questioned how the effectiveness of these courses was being measured. The Assistant Director for Strategy, Performance and Corporate Transformation advised that this question would be put to the Director of Education following the meeting, and a written response would be provided. With regards to Ambition 2 – Action Point 14A: Develop the use of assistive technology to enable residents to remain in their homes, the Member enquired how the pilot programme was progressing. The Director of Adult Social Care said that the programme was going very well. There had been a particular focus on people being discharged from hospital, which had seen some really positive results. This included people requiring far less support than anticipated and people being more positive about doing more for themselves. This was an area which they wanted to progress.
RESOLVED that the progress on the actions associated with the Adult Care and Health Portfolio Plan for the first half of 2022/23 (Appendix 1) be noted.