Transforming Adult Social Care
- Meeting of Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Panel, Tuesday, 1 September 2009 7.30 pm (Item 28.)
- View the background to item 28.
To receive a presentation in respect of transforming Adult Social Care and establish a working group of the Panel to take forward review work in this area. Panel Members will have an opportunity to discuss related issues following the presentation in a workshop format.
The Chief Officer: Adult Social Care gave a presentation on the work of the Council’s Adult Social Care Section, specifically Transforming Adult Social Care (TASC).
TASC was aimed at tailoring care to people’s needs and giving service users choice about how money was spent. This involved an individualised budget process including assessment and eligibility criteria and a Resource Allocation System (RAS) which was being refined and tested. The current charging policy did not recognise the personalisation agenda and RAS would include developing a contribution policy as some support may be chargeable. The aim was to be clear about expectations and for people to understand how much money was needed to assist people in being supported.
TASC would involve joint working with Health and other partners. Key objectives for this year would include validating self-assessment, how to deal with the financial contribution appeals process, communicating the programme to people, and managing and reporting performance. TASC would involve working with providers to secure flexible support options and looking at alternative solutions that people may require.
The Panel noted that one of the six work streams associated with TASC was transforming the workforce and, although this would involve changes to methods of service delivery, no need for variation in the number of staff required was envisaged. Although some policies and procedures had been tested through the earlier personalisation of services for people with learning disabilities, others such as the financial contribution appeals process required development. In terms of the commissioning and community capacity building work stream, grants to support self directed support had been agreed by the Executive in July 2009 and an innovative delivery contact was sought. Managing and reporting performance featured a shift from inputs to outcomes which were difficult to quantify and qualify. The Council currently supported 3,000 people per annum, approximately 300 of whom suffered from learning disabilities. Having been advised of the challenges associated with TASC and of the next steps towards its implementation. Members considered Overview and Scrutiny’s role in the transformation.
Arising from Members’ questions and comments the following points were noted:
- The Self-Assessment Form would be simple to complete and would ask for more general answers to questions regarding e.g. personal care, maintaining the home, employment. There would be 5-6 possible answers for each of the 11 domains covered in the form.
- The Self-Assessment Form was available in English only at present but support would be available to assist people in completing the form via an advocacy service and staff at the Council.
- Assessment of need would be carried out first and then a financial assessment would be undertaken to ascertain a service users’ ability to pay for support. Although budgetary impacts would be avoided, it was not possible to predict future changes in the client cohort.
- TASC was thought to be an exciting opportunity for providers to be innovative and engagement work was being carried out with providers locally and nationally. Commissioning arrangements were being considered and it was acknowledged that personalisation would impact on all Council services including housing and leisure.
- All departments within the Council were involved in the Programme Board and Adult Social Care staff would attend Departmental Management Team meetings to advise other departments how they may assist the Adult Social Care Section achieve its aspirations.
- A six month pilot scheme was started on 1 August 2009 involving 29 service users and 5 members of staff so far. An update on how the pilot was started and how it was progressing would be presented to the Panel at a future meeting.
- Work would need to be carried out looking at the risks around people managing their own support and money, and to help people avoid abuse and manipulation.
- Domiciliary care could be charged for but day centre care would not be. It would be difficult to predict the impact of individual charging at this stage.
- Changes in Government policy would involve changing to Self-Directed Support (SDS) but the Council would still have a responsibility to service users to balance risk and duty of care.
- Service users’ views would be sought on the success of the scheme and the scheme would be monitored as changes were made.
It was agreed that:
- A working group be established to undertake a safeguarding adults thematic review of Transforming Adult Social Care; and
- Councillors Leake, Turrell, Edger, Mrs Shillcock and Mrs Fleming would form this group. Zoë Johnstone, Senior Head of Service: Adults and Commissioning, was the lead officer on TASC and would act as the group’s departmental link officer. Assistance would also be provided by the Performance and Resources Section.