Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Advisory Board - Adults - Thursday, 7th January, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Via Teams

Contact: Lorraine Davis  Email:

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.



An apology for absence were received from Mr N Cotton, Mr D Gawne and Mr G Roberts.




To report and note changes to the membership of the Board.



There were no changes to membership to note.




Members are invited to disclose any disclosable pecuniary interest they have in any item on the agenda which comprises


1          Details of any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.


2          Details of any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by you in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses.  (This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.


3          Details of any contract which is made between you (or a body in which you have a beneficial interest) and the authority


(a)     Under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and


            (b)     Which has not been fully discharged.


4          Details of any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the authority.


5          Details of any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the authority for a month or longer. 


6          Details of any tenancy where (to your knowledge)


            (a)     The landlord is the authority; and


            (b)     The tenant is a body in which you have a beneficial interest.


7          Details of any beneficial interest in securities of a body where


(a)     That body (to your knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the authority; and


(b)     Either –


         (i)        The total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or


         (ii)       If that share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.


In addition, you must also disclose other non-pecuniary interests set out in the Code of Conduct where these have not already been registered.




A “disclosable pecuniary interest” is an interest of a councillor or their partner (which means spouse or civil partner, a person with whom they are living as husband or wife, or a person with whom they are living as if they are civil partners).



There were no declarations of interest made at the meeting.




To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item on the agenda.



RESOLVED, that the press and public be not excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item on the agenda.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Scrutiny Advisory Board – Adults held on 16 October 2020 (copy enclosed).



RESOLVED,that the minutes of the meeting held on 16 October 2020 be agreed as an accurate record and signed by the Chair.

The Executive Director welcomed the timeliness of the meeting as it gave him an opportunity to update members on the latest position regarding the pandemic, set the scene for the meeting and to pay tribute to the courageous, creative, determined and resilient staff in the Social Care Sector, the NHS, the Independent Sector and the County Council workforce.


In answer to a question from the Chair, the Executive Director – People confirmed close collaborative working had been undertaken with a number of partners including District Councils and Health colleagues during the pandemic.


The Chair also took the opportunity to thank staff and those involved in the County Resilience Groups for their work during the pandemic.



Day Opportunities and Supported Living - Impact of Covid 19 pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To consider a report by the Executive Director – People (copy enclosed).



The Assistant Director – Provider Services provided a report giving an overview on the progress in safely opening day opportunities both across Cumbria Care and Independent Providers.  The report also outlined potential changes in accessing the service and the impacts on informal carers during the closures of day services.


Members were informed that following the initial lockdown in March 2020 there were significant changes to day opportunities provision. Cumbria Care and many Independent Providers decided to temporarily close day service provision from a building-based perspective for both older adults and people living with learning and physical disabilities.  The officer informed the Board that, for a prioritised number of individuals, a very limited building-based service had been made available and social workers and providers had been in regular contact with individuals and families to review support.  Examples of alternative methods of keeping people connected were given at the meeting.  Members noted that where additional support was required, due to an escalating situation, this had been prioritised.


Members noted that reopening of day opportunities work had started in the summer which included the establishment of a provider forum, the development of safe opening protocols, Covid safe building assessments and the development of safe working approaches that complied with national guidance.  The officer reported that comprehensive social worker reviews were taking place but alternative support remained in place whilst these were ongoing.  It was noted that ensuring Covid safe environments had reduced capacity availability. 


The officer informed members that further work was ongoing to gain understanding from carers and individuals on their experiences and challenges during lockdown and their future aspirations around support.  The officer outlined work that had been undertaken to support informal carers and concluded the report by outlining the next steps to be taken by the service.


During the detailed question and answer session that followed, a member asked how many individuals with special learning difficulties or autism had been invited back into care opportunities and expressed the hope that the different ways of working would be communicated clearly to service users and carers.  The officer advised that at the end of November about 20% service users were back in day care opportunities and 35% were currently in the review process.  A discussion took place around social worker reviews and it was agreed that further details of these could be provided to members if necessary.  The officer explained the different model of day care services that had been introduced during the pandemic and the joint work that was taking place with the independent sector to reopen safely.


In answer to a question on crisis support, the officer was not aware of a huge increase in this and specified that the County Council monitored situations closely and stepped in with support to avert a crisis. 


The Chair asked about changes in the service, using the change of venue in Ulverston as an example.  The officer responded that communication could have been better on that occasion but the right outcome was achieved.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.


Testing and Vaccination of Care Residents and Staff

Presentation by the Executive Director – People.



The Assistant Director - Provider Services provided an verbal update to the Board on the roll out of testing and vaccinations.


Members were informed that testing had been put in place across the sector and whilst not mandatory, there had been a high take up by staff and care home residents.   It was noted that the introduction of testing had been a huge endeavour and work was ongoing corporately on the next phase of roll out.  The officer advised that testing for Day Services was their priority ask.


The officer advised on the positive news of the roll out of Covid vaccines for priority groups. Members noted that work was underway across Cumbria, led by the NHS, to get the prioritised groups vaccinated as soon as possible, the prioritisation being a national approach.


In answer to a question on staff being trained to administer the vaccine, members were informed that this was only the case in nursing homes and noted that bigger care homes were having the hospital based vaccine, with GPs administering vaccines in the smaller care homes. 


A member raised the question of testing and vaccine roll out for home care staff and asked for these to be prioritised alongside care and nursing home staff.  The officer gave assurances that plans were being put in place to have the same level of access to testing for home care staff and staff were being offered spare slots for vaccinations.  It was noted that the main priority at present were care homes with the next phase of the roll out being planned for the wider front line health and social care staff in the forthcoming weeks. The officer explained the on line vaccination booking system that had been put in place.


In response to a question on private home care staff having the same level of requirements for testing, the officer advised that PCR testing had been sent out to home care providers before Christmas and that the expectation was for weekly testing, although not mandatory. 


The officer was thanked for the report.



Winter Planning pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To consider a report by the Executive Director – People (copy enclosed).


Additional documents:


The Senior Manager - Health and Care Integration presented a report on actions that had been taken to support system flow improvements since the Board’s meeting in October, changes to discharge arrangements and the impact on delayed transfers of care.  As agreed at the last meeting, a briefing note had been circulated to Board members and the report set out the steps that had been taken across Health and Care systems to prepare for expected winter pressures and to increase systemic resilience.


The Senior Manager reported that both North and South Partnerships and the County Council had fulfilled requirements to produce winter plans and that this proactive work had been done before government requirement. Members noted the winter plans were not static but could flex to respond to issues. It was recognised that there was intense pressure on the Health & Social Care system and this pressure was higher in the North than in the South. Members were informed that the plan was take the framework and flex locally and do the best with the capacity available.


In response to a question from the Chair regarding the state of alert being at level 4 in North Cumbria and whether this would enable the Trust to access money from the national government, the Senior Manager advised that additional funding was unlikely to be available but additional support would.  A question was asked on the impact of Covid on the Discharge to Assess system.  The Senior Manager advised that Discharge to Assess had been accelerated because of Covid and improved over the last few months.  Members hoped that lessons could be learned on swift discharge going forward.


Members discussed the Criteria to Reside policy.  It was noted that this policy had been introduced in response to the pandemic but it was anticipated that the principles would continue post Covid.  It was agreed that further information be sought on the policy, specifically the impact of the change and clarification as to whether or not the change was expected to be long term.


Members thanked the Senior Manager for the report.


RESOLVED, that further information on the Criteria to Reside policy be sought.



Workforce Wellbeing pdf icon PDF 256 KB

To consider a report by the Executive Director – People (copy enclosed).



Members received a report from the Senior Manager – Organisational Change that summarised wellbeing support and initiatives in place to support the workforce, pre and during Covid-19 with specific focus on support across Adult and Provider services.


The officer informed members that employee health, safety and wellbeing was of key importance to the County Council and was one of the key themes within the Council’s Workforce Plan 2018-22.  The officer continued to highlight that Covid 19 had increased the awareness and importance of employee wellbeing for all employers and it was recognised that without the resilience, resourcefulness and passion of staff, services would have struggled to deliver the key services to the people of Cumbria during the period.


Members noted that prior to Covid 19 the Council had introduced a number of initiatives to support the wellbeing of staff which focussed upon the mental, physical and financial wellbeing of our workforce and these were outlined in the report. 


It was reported that since March 2020, as an impact of the virus, staff had been operating differently.  The impact of the different ways of working highlighted five stress risk themes and these were listed in the report.  The officer informed the Board that Covid 19 has had an impact on sickness absence and therefore attendance.  The sickness absences and reasons for these in Adults and Provider Services were outlined at the meeting.  Member recognised that individuals had also needed time away from work for other reasons such as shielding, self-isolating and to perform caring responsibilities.


The officer outlined the support available for the workforce such as occupational health support.  It was noted that additional specific wellbeing support had been introduced during the pandemic for Adult, Provider Services and Cumbria Care staff.


To conclude, the officer confirmed to members that workforce wellbeing would continue to be central within the Council’s workforce plan, with a continued commitment to positively provide support.


In answer to a member’s question on redeployment of staff, the officer confirmed that a large substantial number of staff had not been redeployed and when the process was undertaken, it had been done on a voluntary basis.


A member raised questions on the culture survey recently undertaken with Cumbria Care staff, specifically the aim of the survey and whether it had targeted the correct audience  The Assistant Director – Provider Services outlined the survey process, engagement of staff, the wealth of information that had been received and informed members that once compiled, work would commence on the results of the survey.


The officers were thanked for their very informative report.




To consider a report by Executive Director – People (copy enclosed).



The Senior Manager – Safeguarding presented a report providing an update and analysis of adult safeguarding activity in the second quarter of 2020/21, briefing members on progress against key areas of performance relating to ‘Making Safeguarding Personal’, providing a benchmark against other local authorities and describing actions planned to strengthen and consolidate improvements in adult safeguarding in Cumbria through the Safeguarding Adults Board.  The Senior Manager highlighted that there had been an increase in referrals, as expected, consistent with pre Covid levels and high risk referrals were escalated within 24 hours. 


During the question and answer session that followed, the Board sought assurance that improvements had been made to safeguarding procedures within Lancashire Care following the recent CQC group.




(1)  the report be noted;


(2)  assurance be sought that improvements had been made to safeguarding procedures within Lancashire Care.



To consider a report by the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services (copy enclosed).


Additional documents:


Members received a briefing paper that informed of new or updated items of significance to the Adult Scrutiny Advisory Board. Members were informed that the Scrutiny Performance Working Group would meet on 14 January when the Performance Monitoring Report would be considered. 


Member received the Board’s work programme and encouraged to submit potential items for consideration.  It was agreed that consideration be given meeting for an item at the March meeting on adults with learning difficulties and autism with a contribution from the Heathlands project on the support they have provided.  It was further agreed that consideration be given for future meetings on how the Board work programme could capture changes to discharge arrangements and how these would be mainstreamed.




(1)  the report be noted;


(2)  consideration by given at the next agenda planning meeting for the inclusion of the discussed items outlined above to be placed on the Board’s agenda.




To note that the next meeting of the Scrutiny Advisory Board – Adults is scheduled for 26 March 2021 at 10 am.




It was noted that the next meeting of the Scrutiny Advisory Board – Adults would be held on 26 March 2021 at 10 am.