The Committee received a report of the Head of Adult Care that gave an up-to-date summary of activity and developments across Adult Social Care Service in County Durham and to outline the frameworks within which it operates (for copy see file of minutes).
The Head of Adult Care gave a detailed presentation covering:-
· Main Legislative Frameworks
· Integrated Partnership Arrangements
· Annual Budge
· People we support
· Service structure
· Range of services and support
The Head of Adult Care gave examples of two case studies to give the committee a better understanding of how services worked together to provide support for the individual service user.
Referring to page 94 of the papers Councillor Gunn asked if current challenges had been discussed with the local hospitals especially taking into account the winter months. The Head of Adult Care responded that our service was effective in terms of hospital discharge and we would continue to collect data around that. The policy driver was moving us more to discharge to assess and the local authority would have to manage and support patients in the most appropriate way. He said that it was hard to predict winter months but that a range of measures had been put in place.
Councillor Earley referred to commissioning triggers for care beds and the quality issues when contracts had been suspended resulting in safeguarding alerts from the CQC, and asked if there was a mechanism in place to stop this from happening. The Head of Adult Care confirmed that this was very much in place and relied upon a range of factors. The service works very closely with colleagues looking at a range of metrics linked to safeguarding and managing the balance of risks, noting that action could potentially include a de-commissioning process. He assured members that robust processes were in place.
Working in a nursing home intermediate care unit, Councillor Quinn had found that a lot of people were not asking for help when they needed it as were frightened to go to their GP or leave their home. She asked how the service could sustain life at home for those people. The Head of Adult Care responded that COVID had had an impact across the board and referral numbers were initially lower than pre-pandemic. He would pick up the conversation with Councillor Quinn outside of the meeting about her experiences.
That the report be noted and that the committee receive future updates on the work of the newly established Adults, Wellbeing and Health Quality Assurance Board as it progresses.