The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Communities, which informed Members of the proposed changes to the Council’s Adult Social Care responsibilities arising from the Care Bill and sought agreement on an outline approach to managing anticipated changes, opportunities and risks associated with the implementation of the Care Bill.
The Board was advised that the new requirements, duties and responsibilities of the proposed changes to the Social Care Bill would be implemented from April 2015 with full implementation planned for April 2016.
The Board was further advised that the Care Bill currently going through Parliament aimed to establish a new legal framework for Adult Social Care, putting the wellbeing of individuals at the heart of care and support service. The Government believe that the Bill marks the biggest transformation to care and support law in over 60 years. It is intended to replace over a dozen separate pieces of legislation relating to Adult Social Care with a single modern law. It aimed to put people more in control of their own lives and to reform the funding of care and support.
It was reported that a number of features of the proposed legislation were subject to consultation and provision of greater detail, the breadth and complexity of the associated issues and the proposed timescales for implementation indicated that the Council needed to begin to carefully consider the financial and other implications, opportunities and associated risks and begin to prepare to manage these in the context of reductions in funding for local Government services and a raft of other social care initiatives. Key elements of the Care Bill could be broken down into separate but related key areas with varying implications for the Council. Changes for each area were outlined in the report and a brief initial audit of the Council’s position and key issues was attached in Appendix 1 to the report.
Furthermore, it was reported that In order to ensure effective implementation of the actions and the requirements arising from the Care Bill, it was proposed to develop a programme management approach with several underpinning themes which would cross all of the main work streams. It was proposed that a task and finish group be established with representation from Adult Social Care, Corporate Finance and other representation which may be required on an adhoc basis. Regular reports would be presented to the Portfolio Holder for Health & Wellbeing, Chief Officers, the Executive Board and the Health PPB.
The following comments arose from the discussion:-
· Concern was raised in respect of the changes to the entitlement to Public Care and Support and noted the importance of accessibility to services;
· The Board agreed that they would need to monitor any cuts in concessions for senior citizens i.e. a cut in the fuel allowance or bus passes etc as it would be very detrimental to individuals as it would prevent them from living on their own longer and increase the number of people experiencing loneliness in the Borough; and
· The Board requested that any resource or financial implications be presented to the Board as soon as possible as they would have an impact on the 2015/16 budget which was currently being considered.
(1) the report and comments raised be noted; and
(2) the Board receive update reports on the progress of the Bill as it progresses through Parliament.