Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman

To appoint a Chairman and Vice Chairman for the 2021/22 municipal year.


Cllr da Costa proposed a motion to elect Cllr Tisi as Chairman of the Panel. This was seconded by Cllr Tisi and a named vote was carried out. Two members voted in favour of the motion and three members voted against; the motion therefore fell.


Cllr Hunt proposed a motion to elect herself as Chairman of the Panel. This was seconded by Cllr Bateson and a named vote was carried out. Three members voted in favour of the motion, one member voted against and there was one abstention. The motion was carried.


Cllr Tisi proposed a motion to elect Cllr da Costa as Vice Chairman of the Panel. This was seconded by Cllr da Costa and a named vote was carried out. Two members voted in favour of the motion and three members voted against; the motion therefore fell.


Cllr Hunt proposed a motion to elect Cllr Sharpe as Vice Chairman of the Panel. This was seconded by Cllr Bateson and a named vote was carried out. Three members voted in favour of the motion, and two members voted against the motion. The motion was carried.


RESOLVED: That Cllr Hunt be appointed Chairman and Cllr Sharpe be appointed Vice Chairman for the 2021/22 municipal year.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Appoint Cllr Tisi as Chairman of the Adults, Children and Health O&S Panel Motion Rejected
Appoint Cllr Hunt as Chairman of the Adults, Children and Health O&S Panel Motion Carried
Appoint Cllr da Costa as Vice Chairman of the Adults, Children and Health O&S Panel Motion Rejected
Appoint Cllr Sharpe as Vice Chairman of the Adults, Children and Health O&S Panel Motion Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 72.

    Apologies for Absence

    To receive any apologies for absence.


    Apologies were received from Derek Moss.


    Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 217 KB

    To receive any declarations of interest.


    There were no declarations of interest.


    Minutes pdf icon PDF 200 KB

    To approve the minutes of the meeting held on April 22nd 2021.


    RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meeting held on April 22nd 2021 be approved as an accurate record.


    Optalis Performance Review 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 15 MB

    To receive a presentation and note its contents.


    Hilary Hall, Executive Director of Adults, Health and Housing, introduced the item and explained it was about the performance of Optalis over what had been a very challenging year. She introduced the Panel to David Birch, Chief Executive of Optalis, who would do the presentation.


    David Birch began by stating Optalis and the Royal Borough had a shared vision for adult social care to allow people to lead independent and fulfilling lives, and explained the shared principles of prevention, community, choice and values. He explained the quote at the top of the presentation slide – “Thank you for keeping us safe” – came from an autistic user of one of the Optalis services, and it encapsulated the summary of the presentation and what Optalis hoped to achieve. The Panel was informed that Optalis operated more than 20 different care services in the Royal Borough.


    In the presentation David Birch highlighted that over the last 15 months no customers or members of staff had been lost to a Covid infection picked up within Optalis’ services, which was a significant achievement. He said this was thanks to management’s expertise at interpreting the guidance from Public Health England regarding infection prevention control and ensuring there was adequate PPE resources. When the NHS was under the greatest amount of pressure in the New Year, staff in the social work, reablement and occupational therapy teams were able to help create much-needed capacity at Wexham and Frimley Park hospitals. A number of vulnerable groups of people had been identified and additional risk assessments and vaccine education sessions took place to help support them. The Panel was told that mandatory restrictions had prevented a number of day services from operating, and as many alternative methods of support as possible were brought in so as not to disadvantage people who used these services. David Birch said staff had shown a great willingness to try new things to assist service users.


    Michael Murphy, Director of Statutory Services and Deputy DASS, said the ability to provide the required support was testament to the strong foundations that were already in place pre-Covid, highlighting that the most recent CQC inspection recorded all areas as good or outstanding. He stated his belief that the services would retain this rating. Michael Murphy also highlighted to the Panel that the percentage of users who received rehabilitation support on leaving hospital who subsequently were at home 91 days later stayed consistent, with more than 80 per cent of people not returning to hospital within three months of discharge. This had assisted with creating adequate hospital capacity during the second wave of Covid. There had been a 50 per cent increase in hospital discharges during the first three months of 2021 compared to the same period the year before. The Panel was told that although there were significant challenges services were delivered £500,000 under budget, thanks to efficiencies and grant funding. Daily and weekly meetings had taken place with various provider groups regarding outbreak control.


    The Panel  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75.


    End of Year Data and Performance Report pdf icon PDF 322 KB

    To note the contents of the report.

    Additional documents:


    The Panel was asked a number of questions by Ed Wilson, a member of the public. He asked for confirmation that there were no areas of provision that required improvement, and asked what reassurance could be given to residents that there were no required improvements; whether there would be a post Covid catch-up plan to assist children who had missed learning during the pandemic; and how much money had been raised by the adult social care precept since it was introduced, and what was it being spent on. Regarding his second question, Cllr Hunt stated this had been covered in detail at the School Improvement Forum earlier in the week and Mr Wilson would be able to view a recording of the meeting. It was agreed that Mr Wilson would send in his questions in writing to the clerk for it to be passed to the relevant officers in order for a response to be generated.


    Hilary Hall introduced the report and drew Members’ attention to the key performance indicators relating to adult social care. Of the five indicators two were green and the others were amber. The first indicator, relating to long-term care package reviews taking place within 12 months, was below target due to the diversion of resources during the pandemic. It had improved during the course of the year but more work was needed. The indicator relating to permanent admissions to care was off target as there had been a significant increase in the number of admissions during January and March, which related to the increase in discharges from hospital. Care home provision would be given in circumstances where it was not possible for someone to return to their own home. The indicator relating to reablement was off target but had held up creditably well given the challenging circumstances of the pandemic. The indicators relating to carers’ assessments and adult safeguarding were both on target; for safeguarding it had been consistently high throughout the year. Carers’ assessments had caught up after falling behind early in the year when Covid first hit.


    Cllr da Costa asked for more clarity on the capacity tracker. Hilary Hall explained this had been introduced by the government during the pandemic to track capacity in the care market, and required each care home or domiciliary care provider to keep a track of vacancies. This was being monitored on a weekly basis. Regarding carers’ reviews, Hilary Hall said these related to cases where someone would provide support for a family member as there was a duty to assess their carer’s role. They did not relate to domiciliary care or any care provided by an agency.


    Cllr Sharpe asked when the off-target performance indicators would be green. Hilary Hall said the target for care package reviews would be green this year. It was difficult to say in terms of the number of people living at home 91 days after discharge from hospital due to the number of variables in each individual case; there was little  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76.


    CIPFA Review Update pdf icon PDF 162 KB

    To note the contents of the report.

    Additional documents:


    Lynne Lidster introduced the item and explained it would update Members on the recommendations made following the CIPFA review of the Royal Borough’s arrangements with Optalis and Achieving for Children. The report showed progress against the action plan. Lynne Lidster stated that all the actions had either been completed or were on track to be delivered by the target date at the end of September. A review of the capacity and skills in the Borough’s finance and strategic commissioning teams had been conducted and new structures were to be put in place soon. Additional budget had come forward for the strategic commissioning service. Lynne Lidster said one of the key action points to be completed was ensuring there was a shared understanding between Achieving for Children and the Royal Borough regarding the cost of children’s services. The business plan and medium term financial plan had both been approved by Cabinet, with the sufficiency strategy due to be considered by Cabinet later in the month. A detailed data pack had been developed, which included management and financial information. The first of these was due to be delivered at the end of the month and would give the Royal Borough a greater overview of information. With regards to Optalis, Lynne Lidster said a business plan through to 2023 had been agreed with the company’s co-owners, Wokingham Borough Council, and a revised shareholder agreement plan was progressing well. She said Optalis was a key player in adult social care and were key to the transformation programme, including the reconfiguration of front door services and enhanced reablement.


    The Panel was told that the Royal Borough was represented on the Achieving for Children Board of Directors by Kevin McDaniel and Nikki Craig, Head of HR, Corporate Projects and IT. Two independent non-executive directors had recently been appointed to the Board and the Royal Borough had been involved in the recruitment process for this. Lucy Kourpas, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Finance for Achieving for Children, said one of the new recruits had a strong background in finance and risk management and would be the new chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee. The other new recruit had a background in education and youth services and would be the vice chairman of the Board. Responding to a question from Cllr Hunt, Lucy Kourpas said the Board’s constitution did not allow elected Councillors to be on the Board, but there was an Ownership Board that met twice a year that had three RBWM Councillors as members. Hilary Hall said the Royal Borough held 45 per cent of the shares in Optalis and Wokingham the remaining 55 per cent. It had been intended to move to an even split after two years, but Covid had delayed the implementation of this.


    Cllr Tisi asked if the target to deliver the entirety of the action plan by the end of September was the original target. Lynne Lidster said the original target had been to complete the action plan  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.


    Work Programme pdf icon PDF 262 KB

    To review and update the work programme.


    Members noted that dates had been agreed for the items that had been suggested at the previous meeting. It was agreed that suggestions for other agenda items could be proposed via email, and given final agreement at an agenda setting briefing with the Chairman.


    Cllr Tisi noted that in the minutes of the last meeting two suggested task and finish groups had been proposed, relating to recommissioning of domiciliary care services and value for money for creating care packages. Hilary Hall said recommissioning of domiciliary care was about to begin and the creation of a task and finish group relating to this had been noted as part of the process. She and Lynne Lidster would work on a timetable for this to be produced. Regarding value for money, Hilary Hall said she would liaise with Cllr Sharpe to work out the scope of the task and finish group and create a terms of reference that could be shared with the Panel.