Consideration was given to a report, presented by Tanya Lound, Corporate Improvement and Risk Officer, providing details of recent external inspections, reviews and audits as well as a summary of progress against the recommendations from all external inspections, reviews and audits setting out details of arrangements for ensuring the accountability and governance around their implementation.
Since the last report to Committee in July, 2022, 8 external inspections, reviews and audits had taken place resulting in 26 recommendations/areas for improvement 3 of which were complete, 7 in progress and 16 not yet started (at planning stage). The outcome was not yet known for 3 of the audit reviews conducted.
In addition, 33 of the ongoing recommendations relating to external inspections, reviews and audits that took place prior to July 2022 were now completed, 17 were in progress and 35 had not yet started. 22 of those not yet started were currently being embedded within the Council’s Equalities Framework Action Plan.
The report included detail of progress being made in respect of the following specific areas and Directorates together with a verbal update on the outstanding recommendations:-
- Children and Young People’s Services
- Adult Care, Housing and Public Health
- Regeneration and Environment Services
- Finance and Customer Services
- Assistant Chief Executive
Helen Sweaton (Joint Assistant Director, Commission, Quality and Performance, CYPS), Nathan Heath (Assistant Director, Education and Inclusion) and Luke Sayers (Assistant Director, Customer Information and Digital Services), were also in attendance to answer any specific questions relating to their areas of responsibility.
Discussion ensued on the report with the following issues raised/clarified:-
- An internal Strategic Customer Experience Board had been established to monitor the actions arising from the Customer Services Peer Review. A report was to be submitted to Scrutiny shortly
- The internal monitoring arrangements had been strengthened. As well as the 6 monthly report to the Audit Committee, a quarterly report was presented to the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) and Assistant Directors. A new Assistant Directors Group had been established; part of its role was to ensure actions had been progressed
- The possibility was being explored as to whether the Internal Audit system could be used for monitoring the implementation of recommendations arising from external inspections/audits
- Suggested colour coding in the “Status” box to illustrate which recommendations had overrun their agreed timeline
- All the recommendations relating to CYPS were prioritised for completion with not one taking precedence over another
- Quarterly meetings took place between CYPS, DfE and the National Health Service Improvement which oversaw both the implementation and impact of actions as well as rag rating them
- Within CYPS no action could be signed off without consideration by the Challenge Panel
- Ensuring a consistent corporate approach to customer access and services across the Council
Resolved:- (1) That, the recent external inspections, reviews and audits which have taken place and the progress made relating to ongoing recommendations, be noted.
(2) That the governance arrangements in place for monitoring and managing the recommendations be noted.
(3) That regular reports continue to be submitted to the Audit Committee.
(4) That the Committee be provided with further information on the Customer Service Experience Board.