- Meeting of Cabinet, Monday 13th January 2020 10.30 am (Item 9.)
Lin Hazel, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing stated that the Adult Social Care (ASC) update was a substantial report and consisted of a summary of what had taken place within the service nationally, locally and internally over the last six months. Lin highlighted the following points:
- The government continued to be lobbied for a long term solution to sustainable funding for ASC funding; BCC had provided a written submission to the Health and Care Parliamentary Select Committee in August 2019.
- ASC had worked with health colleagues to develop the integrated care partnership and improve the way staff worked together.
- The Integrated Hospital Discharge Service was launched in December 2019.
- Workforce recruitment and retention was still a concern; a three year strategic workforce plan had been launched.
- Section 3 of the report provided an update on the key transformation projects.
- The service was forecast to reach 100% of its Medium Term Plan savings for the current financial year.
- Sir Francis Habgood, former Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, was appointed as Chairman of the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Adults Board in August 2019; Lin was confident he would drive the work forward and an improvement in service delivery had already been noted.
- In conclusion, ASC was aware of the challenges and was working to make the most of the limited resources to support residents with their care needs. There was a far more positive delivery service than there had been in many months.
Mrs G Quinton, Executive Director, Communities, Health and Adult Social Care (CHASC) drew members’ attention to para 2.1 in the report which set out the recently published NHS long term plan. It was a significant document as it highlighted that the national focus was to increase out of hospital care to reduce pressure on hospital services. It gave people more control over their health and provided more personalised care. Digitally enabled primary and outpatient care would be provided to improve the health of Buckinghamshire’s communities. All these elements were dependent on ASC and Public Health (PH) to be delivered successfully and Mrs Quinton stressed the importance of lobbying nationally for adequate funding for ASC and PH in order to deliver those objectives.
The following points were raised in discussion with Cabinet:
- In response to whether there had been any crises so far this winter; Mrs Quinton acknowledged that it had been a very challenging winter. The hospitals had struggled and an "OPEL 4", the highest level of escalation, situation was declared for a short period. Services had worked collaboratively to get the situation under control. There had been an outbreak of respiratory illnesses in the county, which had caused pressure in the paediatric departments. As a consequence, a social media campaign was implemented to highlight the alternatives to visiting A&E e.g. the 111 telephone number, doctor’s surgeries, the urgent care centre at High Wycombe hospital and pharmacists; Mrs Quinton expressed her thanks to the members of the public who had used alternative sources of help.
- A Cabinet Member stated he was delighted that Thrift Farm would be continuing and asked when the new provider would be taking over and whether there had been any communication with staff and service users. Ms Quinton confirmed that Thrift Farm would be closed during the winter and the new provider would take over and re-open the farm in April 2020. There had been regular communications and positive feedback from service users.
- It was noted that the new Care Advice Bucks website was available; Mrs Quinton advised that there had been a positive impact and the website was now one of the highest performers nationally for people referring for advice and guidance. The website was still a "work in progress" and had been co-produced with the help of service users.
- Mr G Williams, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, stated he chaired the Health and Wellbeing Board and highlighted the excellent work that had taken place between the Buckinghamshire Health and Social Care System. Mr Williams stressed that it would be important to retain the benefits accrued when the integrated care system commissioning was taken to a regional level as it was working well.
- A Cabinet Member reported that he had received excellent service during a recent stay in Stoke Mandeville Hospital and that the after-care service was good and asked for his thanks to be passed to the staff concerned.
- Another Cabinet Member had had to visit hospital on Christmas Day and also issued her thanks for the prompt service provided by the cheerful staff.
- In response to a question on the role and performance of the Delayed Transfer of Care (DTOC) service; Ms Quinton confirmed the service worked with the NHS to enable people to return home. Key targets were set and the service had under-performed during August and September 2019. Mrs Quinton explained that there were two elementsto the DTOC targets; delays attributable to health and delays attributable to ASC which were combined to create the indicator. However, although performance had now improved, we still have not met its target nationally; the service had been set a high target as it was one of the better performers nationally.
- The Chairman asked how the partnership with Frimley Trust was working as many residents in the south of Buckinghamshire used Wexham Park Hospital. Ms Quinton stated that the relationship had improved significantly and additional staff had been provided to help with the DTOCs which had reduced due to the increased collaboration.
In summary, Lin Hazell stated she was pleased at how ASC had moved forward in the last six months on service delivery. Lin praised the staff and stated that good progress had been made but there was still a long way to go; the staff were to be commended on the progress, particularly those working over the Christmas period.
RESOLVED: Cabinet NOTED the latest developments in relation to Adult Social Care both locally and nationally.