Venue: Westminster Room, 8th Floor, 18 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3HZ. View directions
Contact: Michael edley
Welcome and Introductions
Cllr Katie Hall welcomed members and noted apologies from Cllrs Louise Goldsmith (David Lee substituting), Iain Malcolm, Sandra Samuels and Mark Ereira.
The Better Care Fund
An Oral Update will be provided by Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster gave members an update on the revisions to the Better Care Fund and the implications that arise as a result.
A letter, in a similar vein has been sent to Council Leaders, Adult Social Care Portfolio Holders, Chairs if Health and Wellbeing Boards, Chief Executives and Directors of Adult Social Care.
This has been signed by Cllr Sparks, Cllr Hall Carolyn Downs and David Pearson.
The key impacts on Local Authorities are:
· The need to review and revise BCF Plans due to changes in pay for performance element; and
· A revised timetable requiring these revised plans to be signed off by HWB Boards and submitted in September 2014.
Members noted the update and made the following points:
· This revision will have a significant negative impact on Local Authorities that for many years now have made year on year budget reductions. Some authorities may have to take serious action and cuts in services to avoid bankruptcy
· The September deadline will be extremely challenging given the holiday period that precedes it;
· The signals sent out by the revision are unhelpful to HWB Boards and will undoubtedly further demoralise a wokforce that already faces being seriously under capacity in the coming years
· It seems illogical to provide the NHS with resources to commission out of hospital services when they have no/little experience in this area.
Members were also concerned that further shifts in funding to the NHS could not now be discounted and that the targets for savings within a given timescale are almost certain to be impossible to achieve.
In spite of these very real concerns however, members still believed that , on balnce, the direction of travel was still a positive on and something to be fought for at all cost.
David Pearson, ADASS President
Emily Holzhausen, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Carers UK
David Pearson (President of ADASS) and Emily Holzhausen (Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Carers UK) initiated the discussion by setting out some of the key issues from the perspective of their membership.
David Pearson: Directors of Adult Social Care
There is widespread support for the principles and ambitions of the Care Act 2014.
In the last four years however, Directorates of Adult Social Care have managed average budget cuts of 26% whilst at the same time delivering significant improvements in the range and quality of services being made available. As a result, 17% of authorities are already struggling to develop plans for implementation of the Care Act due to funding concerns and in particular the costs of carers’ assessments and services, national eligibility and pressures on workforce capacity.
There is widespread recognition of the pressures being faced by authorities in the face of the need to implement the Care Act, a fact recently recognised by the Public Accounts committee.
To mitigate some of these pressures, ADASS is developing a range of tools for workforce training and a communications package to facilitate consistency between national and local messages.
Emily Holzhausen: Carers.
Emily reported widespread concerns amongst carers and carers support organisations about the Duty to Assess although there is also evidence that this change programme is driving some creative developments of carers services.
In particular there is concern that the developments will identify considerable unmet need that will have a significant impact on current service capacity.
Members of the Board made the following comments:
· Workforce skills and capacity will be big issues for Local Authorities as the proposed changes are implemented and the LGA should take a lead on supporting them in addressing this. Clear pathways across the professional sectors should be established;
· A related issue will be that of keeping Carers in work whilst recognising the valuable role that carers provide;
· The issue of deferred payments will also be a challenging one;
· Many local authorities are expressing concern that there is a risk they will be overwhelmed by numbers and fail to meet raised expectations
· With respect to publicity members were interested to know of plans for how information will be cascaded out to carers who are a notoriously hard to reach group;
· Sustaining high levels of trust between the NHS and local government will be critical to successful implementation of the Care Act; and
· Members noted the supportive comments made by the Public Accounts Committee in relation to the financial pressures being faced by local government.
Members recommended that a letter be sent to Norman Lamb (copied to Jon Rouse and Kris Hopkins) regarding this discussion and making a recommendation that the Board would welcome urgent meetings to discuss the existing funding envelope as a priority above lengthening timescales or narrowing scope.
Review of Achievements 2013-14
Proposed priorities and key programmes 2014-15
Plans for Sept Away Day
The following additional priorities were proposed:
· Workforce; and
· Exploration of linkages between planning and development and Health (T&G group) possible joint with P&P Board
· Development of a nationwide expression of Public Health ambitions
· Invitation to Innovation and Improvement Board rep to attend.
Additional items for the future Agendas:
· BCF update
· Care Act Update
· Consider a joint CWB CYP meeting mid-autumn to explore Health and Families
· Consider linking NHS planning link to the People and Places Board
· Explore plan B for guest speakers
· Explore potential for the development of a national Public Health manifesto.
Outside bodies and external meetings
Other Business updates
(including a verbal update on ‘deprivation of liberty’ safeguards)
a. Housing for vulnerable people: Proposals for a task and finish group; and
b. Local Government’s role in respect of an ageing society: Proposals for a task and finish group.
Members noted the report and agreed to the setting up of the two task and finish groups:
a. Local government’s role in respect of an ageing society
b. Housing for Vulnerable people
The attendance of Andrew Gravells at the Armed forces Community Covenant and Katie Hall at the Ministerial Learning Disability Programme Board were also noted.
Members noted the minutes of the previous meeting.
Any Other Business