Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Online access

Contact: David Cook  01628 796560

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received by Cllr Hilton and Cllr Stimson, Cllr Rayner attended as a substitute.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To receive any declarations of interest.


There were no declarations of interest received. 


Minutes pdf icon PDF 193 KB

To consider the minutes of the meeting held on 22 September 2021.


Resolved unanimously:  that the minutes of the meeting on 22 September 2020 were approved.


Presentation on the Current Transformation Priorities pdf icon PDF 1 MB


The Director of Children’s Services gave a presentation on transformation items his directorate were currently working on and their context with some case studies.  Cabinet were aware of the issues and work being done.  Some of the volume implications are seen nationally driven by the pandemic.  Members were informed that the first table showed the volume coming through Children’s Services giving a comparative snapshot year on year on 31st March.  The table showed increased volume, more child protection plans and increased complex cases.  The data gave members a comparison with our statistical neighbouring authorities and the national average for England. 


Members were next given an update on the statutory work force position.  At March 2022 there were 25 agency social workers, this reflected the trend in Berkshire with a difficulty in recruitment of professionals.  Agency “uplift” at current level costs us £340,000 a year compared to a permanent workforce.  The churn in the system often results in children not have a consistent social worker.  The additional demand during the pandemic have resulted in our caseworkers holding more cases than the national average.  More posts have been brought in to meet demand and retain quality of service.  A decision had been made to keep employing domestic support abuse workers even though the pilot scheme had ended, this was an example of having a workforce that met demand.  Pay and reward had been set to realistically meet the need of working in Berkshire and work continued within the market place regarding our children in care with focus on local placements and support for adoption.  It was important that when possible we keep families together.  Case studies showing the placement supply and costs were shown.


The presentation went on to show transformation opportunities with the graphic showing in grey showing a typical path a young person may take through the system from early help to becoming a child in need, maybe becoming a child in care and then becoming a care leaver. They may also have had additional needs, often during the school environment.  With regards to transformation we would look at the way we work within our practices, with our partners, making sure we get the right services in the right places and being involved early so we can effectively prevent escalation.  It was important to make sure more young people stayed locally rather then having to move away from the area for support.  Work was ongoing to increase the volume of foster careers and supporting more family members to come forward were appropriate.  We want more people to be educated locally, live locally and be able to be part of their local community.  To achieve this, we are working on effective connected systems and a sustainable stable workforce.  Examples of how this would be achieved was shown on the following two slides, such as early support work with health colleagues regarding well being and mental health, supporting local provision and replacing outdated systems with a digital end to end system making  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Update on Corporate Focus

Additional documents:


The Chief Executive introduced the presentation about Corporate Transformation.


Members were informed that transformation was for the whole organisation, although AFC and Optalis would have their own arrangements.  We are developing an organisation that was empowering all staff to be leaders and transform how they deliver their roles.  Transformation was everyone’s role within the organisation.  The Pandemic has had a big impact on our ability to get together and get new concepts embedded.  Staff had worked hard in challenging circumstances to get their day jobs done so it had not been an appropriate time to introduce too many changes.   This had resulted in the organisation being behind where they had planned to be with regards to transformation.  There would be cultural changes based on our values being at the heart of what we do.  Members were shown the three main strands of how transformation would be delivered; individual actions, service level and corporate programmes.  We will be helping staff share good practices and providing toolkits.  We need to work together as we can not have people randomly changing practices we need co ordination and allowing small failures to help learn and develop. 


Hillary Hall informed members that other the next 12 months we would be focusing on Engagement HQ providing toolkits for staff to use for service redesign, better use of data, developing the website, adult social care and community engagement.


With regards to Engagement HQ there would be a wide range of toolkits to aid teams with transformation, it would be a space were staff to be able to air their views and suggest new ideas, a place were foeums could be help to help staff engagement and a space for surveys and quick polls to be undertaken.


With regards to adult social care transformation officers had looked at front door access to services as this was a real area for improvement, we advertised one number to access services but found out there was a plethora of numbers and email addresses that were in use that could result in confusion so they looked at streamlining the system.  So part if the work being undertaken is about alignment and analysing what was the best way to access services and having staff with the right skill set to point service users in the right direction and being able to deal with people in crises.  With regards to day opportunities there was an upcoming Cabinet report so they left discussion on this until Cabinet. With regards to reablement the approach was to support people to be able to do things for themselves. It was a 'doing with' model, in contrast to traditional home care which tends to be a 'doing for' model.  This was enabled by having individual care packages being put in place.


Members were provided information about the use of technology with regards to the use of iese, a case management system that by placing hidden quit non intrusive devices into a persons home can monitor and predict if there  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.


Update on Community Focus


There had been a lot of work undertaken during the pandemic supporting residents, especially the vulnerable who had to shield and needed additional support.  The Transformation support team provided direct support to helping during the pandemic and the Sub-Committee were given a number of examples how residents were supported and how there was widespread and targeted promotion of support and vaccination information.  Further examples of embedding community response were also provided.


The Chairman said that although we were still in the middle of the pandemic it was good to reflect on the excellent work and support provided as well as maintaining the day to day business.  There were some fantastic outputs and outcomes during the pandemic that supported the very vulnerable members of our society. 


The sub committee noted the update.


Lyon Case Management Demo


The Cabinet Sub-Committee received a presentation on the Lyon system that was a low-code software solution used to build collaborative platforms and a smartphone app that social care, primary care, and local volunteers could use to support vulnerable individuals in the community.


Members were informed that the Pandemic had shown that there was a community willingness to help those in need but individuals often don’t know “where to start” or “who needs help”.  The Local Authority, Social Care, Primary Care do know “who needs help” but this information was often on a spreadsheet and it was difficult to know how to share that appropriately.


The solution was to build our own platform and app using the Alpha Software that provided cloud-hosted, low-code development platform with application interface.  This was able to be built alongside our existing social care, primary care and community partner relationships and managed low-level needs in the community, creating capacity in statutory services for critical pressures. 


Members were provided an overview of how the system worked, it was a secured stand alone webpage, the data shown to members was from their dummy system so no live data was shown.  The application showed the residents information who had contacted the council or needed help. Mapping tools were demonstrated as well as analytics linking volunteers to those who needed support.  An activity register was shown that recorded actions and any associated tasks that may come out of it.  The broad functionalities were shown to members. During the pandemic up to 200 to 300 were being recorded and tracked per day.  A mobile application has been continually developed to help volunteers for example a support request may be loaded by someone who need support such as contact or shopping.  The application would show registered contact details and location as well as how the task was being progressed.


The next steps was to apply for additional funding, building on the application and looking to take it out locally and nationally.  GDPR compliance was built in and thus it could be used by a range of partners.  A daft business case for future us was being produced. 


The Chairman asked what the major next steps were and was informed that more development capacity was required externally as well as developing in house capacity to use the system for other functions.


Cllr Price said one issue with the volunteering system was that a number of volunteers were now going back to work.  So would community grous be able to use the system to ask for volunteers.  She was informed that yes they had been working with some community groups on this and the platform was available to them on a restricted area that did not contain sensitive data.  They could have their own area of the system free of charge to help manage their volunteers.  Cllr Price recommended that there should be some investigation if this could link to the ‘next Door’ application.


The Cabinet Sub-Committee noted the update.


Transformation Plan


The Chairman announced that a special meeting on 30th November 2021 had been arranged to discuss this item.