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· 13 September 2021
· 20 January 2022
The minutes of the meetings held on the 13 September 2021 and 20 January 2022 were approved as a true and accurate record.
Impact of Covid-19 on The Sustainability of Older People Care Homes In Neath Port Talbot (Verbal Update)
The Head of Adult Services provided Members with a verbal update relating to the impact of Covid-19 on the sustainability of older people care homes in Neath Port Talbot.
It was explained that at this point in time care homes were still functioning between recovery and response mode, and situations in individual care homes changed very regularly; due to this current position, it was difficult for Officers to provide a full, detailed update on the adult care home sector.
Officers confirmed that they would be able to provide a better insight into how this sector could look in the future, including the sustainability of the marketplace, in around 3 months’ time. It was noted that care homes were managing, despite the fact that the Council has had to step in to help with the issue of staff shortages.
Members asked if there were still issues with recruiting staff for care homes. Officers stated that there were still issues, with some homes relying very heavily on agency staff. However, it was explained that the Council was undertaking a piece of work to look at the whole of the care sector workforce in order to try and resolve the current issues at hand. In regards to the domiciliary care market, it was noted that this was in a similar position, and Officers were doing what they could in order to provide support.
The Committee asked for an update in regards to the position of respite care. It was explained that since the start of the pandemic, there had been struggles with providing significant respite care; however, due to the importance of providing carers with a break from caring, the Council had come up with some alternative forms of respite, and now had a number of schemes which could be utilised going forward. It was added that these schemes would be progressed over the next year, as Officers were taking a whole new look at respite and what could be done differently the other side of the pandemic. An example that was provided was that some carers were asking for only a few hours out of their day in order to take some time for themselves; rather than a full day or week. In the cases where families were really struggling, it was noted that individuals were placed into a residential care home as part of extended care; this wasn’t a form of respite, however it provided the family with a break from caring for a few days. In conclusion, it was stated that respite wasn’t entirely back to how Officers would like; however, it was in a position in which it could be approved, which was something Officers had not been able to do for the past two years.
A discussion took place relating to the assessments of individuals. Members were informed that there should not be a significant hold up with assessments, despite the pressures from the community demand and the hospital demand. Members were encouraged to liaise with Officers if ... view the full minutes text for item 1a
To select appropriate items from the Cabinet Board agenda for Pre-Decision Scrutiny (Cabinet Board reports included for Scrutiny Members)
The Committee chose to scrutinise the following Cabinet Board items:
Quarter 3 Performance Report 2021-22
Members were presented with the Children and Young People, and Adult Services Performance Report for the 3rd Quarter Period (April 2021 – December 2021).
The circulated report detailed an increase in pressure in the single point of contact care centre; the report noted that there was an increase in the number of cases in which risk was being identified as a result of the section 47 enquires. It was asked if Officers could confirm if the increase in pressure was related to the pandemic. The Head of Children and Young People Services confirmed that the single point of contact care centre had been under significant pressure throughout the pandemic. It was explained that Officers were prepared and responsive to the rise in demand, as prior to the pandemic a substantial amount of resource, including additional staff, had been allocated to the service. It was added that demand currently remained high in Neath Port Talbot, however Officers were able to continue to meet this. Members were reassured that children services had maintained safeguarding responsibility throughout the whole pandemic; Officers continued to visit families and children who were vulnerable in the community.
Reference was made to the percentage of re-registrations of children on the local authority child protection register; it was queried why this performance indicator was listed as red. Officers explained that the Council had created an arrangement with its partners, local schools, health visitors and families, in which they were all encouraged to re refer should a situation change in the future; this must be kept in mind when looking at the re referral rate. It was highlighted that the referral rate was regularly monitored, and Officers audit all of the cases in order to determine if there were any lessons learned or themes; this type of information will then be fed back into the service. Officers mentioned that they were not concerned with the figure that was listed in the performance indictors due to these reasons.
Members asked Officers to elaborate on the performance indicator relating to delayed transfers of care; the report detailed that Officers were unable to calculate this performance indicator as no data had been provided by Welsh Government since March 2020 due to Covid-19. Officers explained that this indictor had been stopped at the start of the pandemic. Members were reassured that the Head of Adult Services was aware of the figures relating to those in hospital beds, those waiting for a package of care or those waiting a residential care placement; this breakdown of information was provided to Officers on a weekly basis. It was noted that there were delays, however the Team were aware of the position of each of these delays and the reasons why.
A discussion took place in relation to the number of cases of adults at risk being reported. The circulated report highlighted that it was unsurprising that reports had increased, as professionals were ... view the full minutes text for item 2.
The Social Care, Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Forward Work Programme for 2021/22 was noted.