The Sub-Committee received a report of the Director of Adult Social Care which set out an overview of the implementation of the Care Act 2014.
Following a brief overview of the report, the Head of Safeguarding Assurance & Quality Services responded to questions and comments as follows:
· What was the standard rate of payment for care in Harrow for those individuals who received state funding? What were the number of third party top-up payments and what level were they paid at? What access did service users have to relevant information and advice prior to making a decision and how was this signposted?
· What constituted ‘ordinarily resident’ in terms of the Care Act regarding portability? Did this only apply when a service user transferred to Harrow from another local authority and did not require a new assessment?
The Head of Safeguarding Assurance & Quality Services advised that he had interpreted ordinary residents to mean those who did not require a new assessment.
He added, that, Harrow adhered to the rates set down in the West London Alliance Accreditation, Purchasing and Contract Management Scheme (WLAAPC), which were based on market forces and were as follows: £540 for Residential care and £620 for Nursing care. However, some local authorities sometimes paid more than this. He did not have to hand figures for third party top-ups and average amounts and undertook to send this information to Members after the meeting.
Signposting of services had been contracted out to a consortium led by MIND in Harrow. This had been done following a mapping exercise carried out by the Support & Wellbeing Information Service Harrow (SWiSH). He did not have figures regarding the rates of referral for service users seeking information and financial advice and undertook to send this information to Members after the meeting.
· With regard to the equipment supplied by the District Nursing Team to service users by some local authorities, did the Council have an inventory of this equipment and how was this collected back once the service user no longer required it?
The Head of Safeguarding Assurance & Quality Services advised that the Council managed the contract for the NHS and had full visibility. The equipment contract had been outsourced to Medequip, which had detailed inventory lists. The items were not collected back as the cost of de-commissioning these was prohibitive.
· What were the priorities of the Market shaping strategy with regard to provider failure?
The Head of Safeguarding Assurance & Quality Services advised that the Council had a strategy in cases of provider failure, and had experienced this with the Cross Roads Care Home in Pinner, which had become insolvent and the Council had been obliged to mobilise additional care to ensure continuity of care and transfer for those at the home. This had impacted on workloads and budgets. He added that there were a number of other issues on the horizon such as the minimum living wage, automatic pension enrolment that were likely to impact the care market and could have safeguarding and quality assurance implications.
· The Act required LAs to sufficiently plan for young disabled people moving to adulthood who were receiving services. How was this defined and how would it be promoted?
He could not say how this was defined, however, the Council had moved to a lifelong disabilities model which would ensure end-to-end lifelong disability services.
· How was the information available on the Council’s website with regard to the Care Act going to be consolidated?
This work was ongoing.
· Why had there been an increase in the number of safeguarding referrals?
The incidences of self-harm and self-neglect and some cases of modern slavery had contributed to 75 new cases.
· How carefully would the safeguarding of young vulnerable adults post?18 be monitored? The record in Harrow of the transition of 18?25 year olds SEN used to be poor. How would this be improved?
Both the Local Children’s Safeguarding and the Local Adults’ Safeguarding Boards would continue to work together to ensure consistency in the transition approach and a single merged service had been introduced in February 2016 to this end. The Council adhered to the pan-London approach guidelines and provided training to help identify vulnerable children and adults. The cut off date for children was 18 years of age, however, if those young adults were in education, then they would be monitored by Children’s Services until they completed their education. Both Adults and Children’s services had undertaken to identify all transitioners and would expect these cases to transfer to Adults’ Services.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.