Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Board - Thursday, 7th May, 2020 2.00 p.m.

Venue: Virtual Meeting viewable via https://rotherham.public-i.tv/core/portal/home

Contact: James McLaughlin, Head of Democratic Services  The webcast can be viewed at http://www.rotherham.public-i.tv

Items
No. Item

170.

Declarations of Interest

 

To receive declarations of interest from Members in respect of items listed on the agenda.

 

Any Member participating in a remote meeting who declares a disclosable pecuniary interest, or other declarable interest, in any item of business that would normally require them to leave the room, must also leave the remote meeting. Their departure will be confirmed by the Governance Advisor who will invite the relevant Member by link, email or instant message to re-join the meeting at the appropriate time.

Minutes:

Councillor Wyatt declared a personal interest in agenda item 6, Financial Support for Learning Disability Day Opportunity Providers during the Covid-19 Pandemic, as he had a family member who accessed these services.

171.

Questions from Members of the Public and the Press

 

To receive questions relating to items of business on the agenda from members of the public or press.

 

As the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board will be meeting virtually in accordance with the provisions of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown regulations, members of the public should email their question to governance@rotherham.gov.uk and an officer will read the question to the meeting. A response to the question will be provided during the meeting and will be available to view through the recording of the meeting on the Council’s website.

Minutes:

There were no questions from members of the public or press.

172.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any part of the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no items requiring the exclusion of the press and public.

173.

Financial Support for Older People's Residential Care Homes during the COVID-19 Pandemic pdf icon PDF 164 KB

Cabinet Portfolio                  Adult Social Care and Health

Strategic Directorate            Adult Care, Housing and Public Health

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report that was submitted for pre-decision scrutiny ahead of the Cabinet meeting scheduled for 11 May 2020 in respect of Financial Support for Older People's Residential Care Homes during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

 

The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, the Strategic Director of Adult Care, Housing and Public Health and the Assistant Director - Strategic Commissioning attended the meeting to present the report and to answer members’ questions.

 

The report stated that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care had written to all local authorities on 19 March 2020 outlining the financial support that would be made available to support the response to Covid-19 with regards to the provision of adult care services. In the time since the letter had been received the Council had been allocated two un-ringfenced grants totalling £16.2million that were to be used to support Adult Social Care and other Council services impacted by Covid-19. The report stated that the Secretary of State had specifically reminded local authorities for the need, and of their obligation to support the Adult care provider market in their local area. 

 

The Secretary of State’s letter highlighted that the funding should be utilised to support specific activities surrounding supporting home care providers and the care home sector. It was noted that the requirement to protect the cash flow of home care providers had been addressed by a delegated officer decision taken in April 2020.

 

The report detailed the specific areas that then Secretary of State had highlighted as key areas that should be targeted for support. These included:

 

·       Helping providers deal with the costs of increased workforce pressures due to higher sickness absence caused by the outbreak

 

·       Facilitating arrangements for adjusting packages as required in a timely and non-bureaucratic way, especially where providers are having to operate beyond normal services in order to respond to need.

 

·       Helping providers to meet costs associated with enhanced infection control and the protection of staff.

 

·       Finding supportive and creative ways to support providers in handling wider pressures caused by Covid-19.

 

The report stated that care homes were, like all other areas of Adult Care, feeling the impact of Covid-19, in that they were incurring additional costs within a low profit margin business model. It was noted that particular pressures included:

 

·       Increased PPE costs, hand gels and increased costs for routine supplies.

 

·       Accepting admissions at short notice to people discharged from hospital, or where regular informal support ceases to be available for example due to carer illness.

 

·       Higher sickness absence rates among their workforce, especially with staff self-isolating.

 

·       Statutory Sick Pay being paid from the first day of illness, rather than from the fourth day, and the requirements for workers to self-isolate.

 

·       Increased cost pressures from higher use of agency staff.

 

It was noted that the impact of any one of these pressures could threaten the stability of the Council’s supply of care home beds and consequently have a negative impact on the wider health and social  ...  view the full minutes text for item 173.

174.

Financial Support for Learning Disability Day Opportunity Providers during the COVID-19 Pandemic pdf icon PDF 182 KB

Cabinet Portfolio                  Adult Social Care and Health

Strategic Directorate            Adult Care, Housing and Public Health

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Wyatt who had declared an interest in this item took no part in the discussion and subsequent vote.

 

Consideration was given to a report that was submitted for pre-decision scrutiny ahead of the Cabinet meeting scheduled for 11 May 2020 in respect of Financial Support for Learning Disability Day Opportunity Providers during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

 

The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, the Strategic Director of Adult Care, Housing and Public Health and the Assistant Director - Strategic Commissioning attended the meeting to present the report and to answer members’ questions

 

The report stated that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care had written to all local authorities on 19 March 2020 outlining the financial support that would be made available to support the response to Covid-19 with regards to the provision of adult care services. In the time since the letter had been received the Council had been allocated two un-ringfenced grants totalling £16.2million that were to be used to support Adult Social Care and other Council services impacted by Covid-19. The report stated that the Secretary of State had specifically reminded local authorities for the need, and of their obligation to support the Adult care provider market in their local area

 

The Secretary of State’s letter highlighted that the funding should be utilised to support specific activities surrounding supporting the adult social care sector. The report detailed the specific areas that then Secretary of State had highlighted as areas that should be targeted for support. These included:

 

·       Helping providers deal with the costs of increased workforce pressures due to higher sickness absence caused by the outbreak

 

·       Facilitating arrangements for adjusting packages as required in a timely and non-bureaucratic way, especially where providers are having to operate beyond normal services in order to respond to need.

 

·       Helping providers to meet costs associated with enhanced infection control and the protection of staff.

 

·       Finding supportive and creative ways to support providers in handling wider pressures caused by Covid-19.

 

The report provided information on the actions that were being proposed to enable the Council to respond to the challenges presented by the Covid-19 Pandemic on supporting people with a Learning Disability and/or Autism and  to respond to the increase in financial demands from providers who supported people with these needs in the Borough. It was noted that after Older People’s services this area of service provision represented the Adult Care Directorate’s second largest area of spend, with a gross budget annual budget of approximately £31.6 million.

 

The report provided details of the challenges that the Covid-19 Pandemic had created for the delivery of support to those with a Learning Disability and/or Autism and information on the actions that were being proposed to deal with these in areas including:

 

·       Day Opportunities and Direct Payments

·       Residential Care and Supported Living

·       Unpaid Carers and the Voluntary Sector

 

It was noted that introduction of social distancing measures had impacted severely the provision of services that supported residents with a Learning Disability  ...  view the full minutes text for item 174.

175.

Urgent Business

 

To determine any item which the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.