The Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety and the Head of Adult Services introduced the report in lieu of the Director of Social Services.
Members noted that the report was looking back and that the position of the service currently is somewhat different to the positions described within the report in that there is a current crisis situation in social care.
Members commented on the excellent work that taken place throughout the pandemic, as alternative ‘out of the box’ thinking had delivered some real improvements in some service areas.
Members queried the Crisis Intervention for Mental Health referenced on Page 31 and the ongoing work in relation to the ‘referral checklist’ as it is apparent that this is becoming a default position for those accessing the service. Issues around the mental health ‘front door’ arrangements were explained, as the single point of access is a medical model and is a work in progress to make it more fit for purpose.
It was stated that the Council are seeing increased demand for mental health referrals from the community which is causing a significant resource and budget pressure which will be reported back to Social Services, Housing and Community Safety Scrutiny and Cabinet Board in due course.
Members raised concern that cuts to hospital services are impacting on the Council directly and expressed the strong need to impress on the Health Board the urgent requirement to improve on services in relation to mental health as well as wider health and social care services.
That the Director of Social Services Annual Report be noted.