Agenda item

Agenda item

IN HOUSE CARE SERVICES UPDATE

To consider a confidential report by the Service Manager – Client Services (Community Support Services) (copy enclosed) which updates the Committee on the progress made to date in relation to the Council’s social care establishments. The report also seeks the Committee’s observations for submission to Cabinet in relation to the outcome of the open tender exercise for the proposed transfer of Hafan Deg Day Centre, Rhyl.

 

12:05pm – 1:00pm

Minutes:

Prior to the commencement of this business item the Chair of the In-house Adult Social Care Task and Finish Group, also the Chair of Performance Scrutiny Committee, informed the Committee that the Task and Finish Group had met earlier that morning to the consider the information contained in the Service Manager – Client Services’ confidential report (previously circulated).  This had been the Task and Finish Group’s second meeting to discuss the progress made to date in relation to the future provision of social care services at the Council’s social care establishments and day centres, following Cabinet’s decisions in 2016 to explore alternative options with relevant bodies for delivering services at Awelon (Ruthin) and Cysgod y Gaer (Corwen) and to commence a tender process for future delivery of services at Hafan Deg (Rhyl) and Dolwen (Denbigh).  The Chair of the Committee gave members an overview of the discussions which had taken place at both Task and Finish Group meetings and advised that he would be reporting the Committee’s observations and any recommendations following their discussion to Cabinet when they considered the matter at their meeting in April 2018.

 

Introducing the report and associated appendices the Lead Member for Well-being and Independence briefed members on the work undertaken by the Task and Finish Group, Performance Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet during the term of office of the previous Council in relation to exploring potential sustainable options for delivering social care services in future which met residents changing expectations and conformed with the WG’s vision for social care services whilst complying with legislative requirements.  

 

The Head of Community Support Services and the Service Manager – Client Services briefed members on the current position with respect of Awelon, Cysgod y Gaer and Dolwen before outlining the process undertaken in relation to undertaking a tender process for the provision of services from Hafan Deg, Rhyl.  They emphasised that the tender process had been conducted in accordance with procurement regulations and professionally qualified officers had evaluated the tenders received against a quality and price criteria - quality of service provision being given greater weighting than price (60% quality/40% price).   The Committee was advised that if the ‘preferred provider’ identified following the tender evaluation process was eventually approved for appointment the Council would work closely with the company to ensure that all of the Authority’s requirements in relation to service provision were incorporated into the contract agreement.  This would include the insertion of clauses into the lease agreement for the facility regarding complying with the lease’s specification, maintenance costs and making space available at the building for other groups e.g. residents of War Memorial Court, third sector organisations etc. to hire when not in use by the leaseholder.

 

Responding to Committee members’ questions the Head of Service and Service Manger- Client Services advised that:

·         the ‘preferred provider’ had undertaken in its Business Plan (attached to the report) to extend and grow the range of services currently available at Hafan Deg i.e. support for carers, social inclusion and reducing isolation etc.

·         independent providers, such as the ‘preferred provider’ could access 3rd sector grants for delivering specific services.  This option for securing funding was not available to the local authority;

·         the Council’s contract with the ‘preferred provider’ would be subject to the same stringent contract monitoring arrangements as other providers from whom the Council commissioned services;

·         a transfer plan would be put in place to transfer staff currently employed by the Council at Hafan Deg over to the ‘preferred provider’ under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) Regulations arrangements if the appointment was approved;

·         a copy of the ‘preferred provider’s’ pricing schedule had been included as an appendix to the report;

·         day centres were not inspected by regulators, however the Council would as part of its contract review and management work closely monitor the delivery of services from Hafan Deg to ensure they conformed with the contract specifications; and

·         confirmed that it would be in the ‘preferred provider’s’ interest, if appointed, to effectively market the services it offered at Hafan Deg  

 

Task and Finish Group members advised the Committee that whilst they had some reservations regarding how private individuals or companies could deliver quality services for residents and generate an operating profit while the Council itself could not meet those needs within its allocated budget, the majority of them felt that in order to secure the future of services at Hafan Deg, and with a view to enhancing and growing the services available to residents from the facility, they would support the appointment of the ‘preferred provider’ and seek the Committee to recommend to Cabinet that the ‘preferred provider’ be approved to become the leaseholder and to deliver services at Hafan Deg.

 

Following an in-depth discussion the Committee:

 

Resolved: - subject to the above observations and the assurances received in relation to the tender evaluation process,

 

(i)            to recommend to Cabinet that it support the transfer of the lease and the running of services at Hafan Deg Day Centre, Rhyl, to the ‘preferred provider’ identified following the tender evaluation exercise; and

(ii)          that a report be presented to Performance Scrutiny Committee, 12 months following the building’s transfer and the commencement date of the contract for the delivery of services at Hafan Deg, detailing the effectiveness of services delivered at the facility, the impact of the transfer on service-users, staff and the local community; the progress made in relation to enhancing and growing services available at the Centre, the appointed provider’s compliance with lease and commissioned services’ contract specifications, and any lessons learnt from the process that may help inform similar decisions in future.

 

Supporting documents:

 

 
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