Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider a report from the Head of Adult Social Care & Homelessness Service (copy attached) examining the progress made in encouraging CFW and local social care providers to engage with the Council in relation to social care provision and the setting of fees.


The Lead Member for Health and Social Care introduced the report (previously circulated), she reminded members the report followed the call-in report of Cabinet’s decision to accept the North Wales Regional fee group recommendation for 2023/24 in December 2022. The Committee had met to discuss the decision earlier in the year and requested an update report from the Adult Social Care and Homelessness Services on their engagement with Care Forum Wales (CFW) & Care Providers in Denbighshire.


The Lead Member noted the report was concise which was due to the fee setting process for 2024/25 was still in the early stages. In her opinion the report highlighted the commitment by the Authority to encourage a transparent and co-productive relationships with the providers in Denbighshire.


The service would continue to work closely with all providers for the fee setting process for the next finance year.  


It was stressed to members the purpose of the report was to discuss the concerns raised previously regarding engagement with CFW and local care providers.


The Corporate Director: Social Services and Education thanked the Lead Member for the introduction and continued by stressing, engagement with providers was part of an officer’s day to day role. Constant communication between the Authority and providers took place. Across Adult Social Care and Homelessness there were a number of providers that the authority worked alongside and commissioned a variety of services to support the needs of Denbighshire citizens and often individuals who reside outside the authority.


The report provided an overview of the additional engagement that officers had with providers following the report earlier in the year. The report focused on those providers offering residential care and domiciliary care.


The Chair thanked the Lead Member and Officers for the detailed introduction and report.


In response to members’ questions the officers and representatives provided further detail on the following: 

·         The concern members had raised previously had been around the lack of engagement from providers to discuss fees and costings. Officers stressed the service had engaged with providers regarding the fees, officers were disappointed with the number of providers that formally engaged with the department in the process. Officers had committed to trying to increase  engagement with care providers going forward. Members heard  that officers worked with providers regionally as a number providers offered services across numerous authorities.

·          Engagement response from providers was historically low, seeking financial data often compounded the issue.

·         Within the report it highlighted that the Principal Manager - Operational Services had been engaged with discussions with Care Forum Wales. He stated the meetings he had attended had been informative and positive. It was emphasised that the Chief Executive along with the Corporate Director: Social Services and Education had met with CFW. The Authority had an open dialogue with CFW and was keen to build a good, positive relationship.

·         During the Covid pandemic, officers across the Authority fought for the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), vaccinations, and other considerations for care workers. Discussions with Welsh Government, National Commissioning Board and CFW, on such issues had continued following the ease of restrictions. The case for PPE provision to continue for social care providers to continue in the current financial year. The position had to be that that provision was correctly funded. In those discussions it was made clear that Local Authorities would require the funding in full in order to store and distribute PPE. As an authority the stance taken had been if the funding ended unfortunately the provision ended. Local Authorities could not source the additional resources. On behalf of the Committee, the Chair thanked the Corporate Director for all her efforts to source the PPE for Denbighshire and authorities across Wales.

·         Members were pleased to see the progress in making contact with service providers and the process in place to continue improvement to engagement.

·         The position of an open book policy had always been held by the authority. Providers were encouraged to contact officers with any specific additional need requirements and to explain the need for any additional funding.

·         A number of providers in Denbighshire were small care providers and it was often seen, for those providers to provide the fine detail of additional costs and fees was very time consuming and complicated. The Principal Manager - Operational Services was keen to offer support to providers to assist providers in making that information available.

·         For further providers to engage following the fee setting exercise was seen as positive. Officers would like to see further engagement and stressed further engagement work would continue.

·         Members were reminded that the regional process was only a small part of the process for fee setting. Fees were often discussed on a case by case basis.

·         Once the indicative rate was published, officers contacted each service provider informing them of the following years indicative rates. They were invited to contact officers and offer feedback and provide evidence of any cases that may require additional costs.

·         Feedback from service providers was always encouraged. The Authority had an open door relationship with service providers and would support where possible.

·         The relationship with CFW was changeable depending on the issue at hand. Disagreements on certain areas as in any working relationship would be encountered and discussed. Discussions on a day to day basis were positive.

·         Return on investment was an important part of the indicative fee setting process, which carried through to the open book exercise.

·         Members congratulated the officers for the progress made following the discussion at the previous Committee meeting.


The Chair thanked all the officers for the continued work in engaging with Care providers and offered thanks to all present for the detailed discussion.


At the conclusion of a comprehensive discussion the Committee, having considered the report:



     I.        Confirmed it had read, understood, and taken account of the update report and

    II.        Requested a further update report be presented to the Communities Scrutiny Committee in six months’ time.





Supporting documents: