Agenda item

Quarter 2 2021/22 Performance Management Report


The Committee considered a report of the Corporate Director of Resources which provided overview of progress towards achieving the key outcomes of the council’s corporate performance framework and highlighted key messages to inform strategic priorities and work programmes and covered performance in and to the end of quarter two, July to September 2021 (for copy see file of minutes).


A Harrington, Strategy Team Leader advised that there had been an issue with regards to the new case management which had resulted in a reduction of the percentage of service users assessed or reviewed in the last 12 months which was due to the increased administrative work placed upon social workers. Forms had been previously pre-populated by data already known and whilst historic records had been transferred, the difference between the systems meant it was not possible to pre-populate care forms with historic data.  Social workers were therefore required to complete assessment and review forms in their entirety. Once data was inputted into the new system, forms were then pre-populated formswith known data and therefore once the administrative burden had lightened, performance was expected to improve.


Councillor Earley asked whether the suicide rate had been expected to go up and referring to the Qwell presentation he asked how the message was conveyed to those with mental health issues were reached.  There were many things that impacted on mental health and he acknowledged the difficulty of the task.  There had also been a reduction in physical exercise for young people and queried whether there would be a campaign relaunch and engagement with the community and voluntary sector to get young people involved in sports and activity.


The Director of Public Health advised that a real time data surveillance system enabled the service to monitor through if u care share.  The suicide figures were higher than national average, but still comparable to north east.  An-depth review had been done 2-3 years prior, with the recommendations still embedded.


The Director of Public Health advised that should an issue within a local community arise there would be a multi-agency partnership response and the information would be shared with local Councillors.  She confirmed that Qwell had useful resources to promote and waws being monitored closely.


With regards to the reduction in levels of physical activity, the Director of Public Health advised that during lockdown there had been a national campaign for exercise at home by Joe Wicks and additional work with schools and parents had been encouraged.  She added that the Active Durham Partnership made it easy for families to do physical activity at no cost.


The Chair advised that she had flagged up her concerns with Officers with regard to the increase in suicide rate.


Councillor Hovvels referred to the 24% of children who were eligible for school meals and not claiming them, which she believed would continue to rise in the current economic climate and she asked what the Council were doing to alleviate these pressures.  The Strategy Team Leader advised confirmed that wider social issues such as increasing energy and the cost of living were impacting on families, and more specific details would be provided to the Committee.


The Chair advised that she had contacted her local AAP who were already aware of these issues and information had been provided on action being taken within the community.  Community services such as schools and GP surgeries were aware of the families most affected by poverty.


The Director of Public Health added that the increase in children living in poverty was a significant concern and the Poverty Action steering group were currently considering national policy to review and update the Poverty Action Plan.


Councillor Crute referred to the capacity in residential and nursing care and although the figures were from the first quarter of the previous year, there had been increase adults age 65 and over admitted to residential care on permanent basis.  He accepted that the figures would be distorted due to the impact of the pandemic but there was also a national issue with transfers from a hospital setting and he asked whether an update could be provided and asked if there was a reason that there was no comparative data from other authorities in the region as this would assist with the context.


The Director of Integrated Community Services advised that the service would obtain comparative data but this would be slightly out of date.  With regards to capacity, there were unoccupied beds in County Durham which was due to staffing and the inability to get enough members of staff to care for those who had been discharged from hospital.  However the figures from the discharge list that morning were more positive, and of those patients in acute beds there were 31 in Durham and Darlington who were waiting to be discharged.  Of those patients 15 were actively managed by social care and some would go home with a care package.  This was a relatively low number, but the trust were working closel with social services in County Durham and a list was provided at 8am and reviewed by social services Managers at 8.30am and 12.30pm to ensure that if there were any issues, they could be resolved in order for people to be discharged by 5pm.  The care sector needed to be supported as there were pressures which were caused mainly by staff absences due to covid isolation, but also that there had been changes to the economy and alternative employment was available.


The Principal Overview and Scrutiny Officer advised that the take up of free school meals had been identified as matter of concern at the Children and Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee who were including this on their work programme.  In terms of poverty issues, this was a cross cutting theme and a more comprehensive report would be provided to the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Management Board.




That the report be noted.


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