Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Advisory Board - Adults
Monday, 1st April, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Room 1, County Offices, Kendal

Contact: Nicola Harrison  Email:

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Mrs C McCarron Holmes (Ms C Driver substituting) and Mr G Roberts (Mr A Wonnacott substituting).



To report and note changes to the membership of the Board


There were not changes to membership to report to this meeting.



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 at this meeting.



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


There was no resolution to exclude the press and public from any part of this meeting.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 292 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Scrutiny Advisory Board – Adults held on 17 January 2019.


The minutes of the meeting held on 17 January 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Consultation results on care charging policy for adult social care services. pdf icon PDF 229 KB

To consider a report from the Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive)




The Business Resource Manager, People introduced a report which updated the committee on the implementation of changes to the Adult Social care Charging Policy made in 2018.  The Business Resource Manager guided members through the report which included information about the number of people affected by the changes, income generated and the number of complaints received in relation to the arrangement fee to full paying non-residential service users, the amount of payment for non-residential services and the administration fee for deferred payments. 


Members asked about the difference between potential and actual income, and the rationale for the variation in increases. The Business Resources Manager explained that there has been a part-year implementation of 4-5 months, in contrast to  2019 to 2020 which will be a full year.  The basis of the costs had been worked out with corporate Finance, based on actual costs.


Members also asked about the consultation, how many people were consulted and the geographical spread.  The Business Resources Manager confirmed that all areas had been covered. The Strategic Policy and Scrutiny Adviser reminded members that there had been a presentation on the consultation to a previous meeting which had highlighted a low number of responses.


Members discussed the report that there had been no complaints, requesting further information on how complaints are classified. The Business Resources Manager advised that officers had written to all affected customers and had asked them to make contact if they had concerns.  She confirmed that concerns could be escalated if necessary.  The discussion concluded with a member expressing concerns about the measures of success, which he felt could be affected by a tendency not to complain. 


Members moved on to discuss Deferred Payment Agreements which some members felt were unfair for creating a choice for a person between entering into an agreement and selling their house.  Not all members shared this view, but, acknowledging that it was a complex issue, members expressed  a general concern about the costs established and indicated that it was important to have clarity around the basis of cost recovery in this area. 


At the conclusion of the discussion it was




a)    The report be noted.

b)    The Executive Director provide clarity on charging for Deferred Payment Agreements.




Assistive Technology pdf icon PDF 224 KB

To receive a presentation from the Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive) (to follow)



The Commissioning Manager – Strategic Commissioning made a presentation to the committee about Assistive Technology, taking members through its definition, potential outcomes and impact, the Council’s approach through its Delivery Plan, the anticipated future and immediate next steps.  There was a particular focus in the presentation on telecare, which uses ICT to help manage risks and support independence. Members viewed data security and data protection as significant issues to be resolved in the implementation of Assistive Technology.


Members discussed data security including the possibility that ICT systems could be compromised, agreeing that the Council needs to be mindful of such risks in using internet technology in social care.  Members sought information about the various digital options, including voice activated devices and cloud based digital access, which is anticipated as a future development, since it assumes customers have digital access.  As part of this discussion, members asked about training for users of Assistive Technology.  The officer explained that some technology is intended for use by family members, others the customer themselves.  It was explained that there are different levels of complexity and a variety of technology to suit individual needs, and support is available.


Members discussed the balance between the individual rights of customers and the use of Assistive Technology, expressing the view that protections need to be at the forefront of the Council’s thinking.  It was explained that there is a choice regarding electronic tagging, exercise of which depends on the capacity of the person. Choice is a more complex issue where the person lacks capacity but there are processes for decision making that provide safeguards.


Members expressed mixed feelings about the level of interactivity of devices, seeing benefits but also having concerns that they may generate intervention simply by the user acting unpredictably, when there may not otherwise be a problem. 


A member asked about the potential for savings if Assistive Technology could provide an alternative to residential care or more intensive home care.  The Assistant Director explained that information is not currently available, but officers were examining how reporting in this area could be improved.  The Assistant Director – Adult Social Care  explained that it is difficult to forecast potential savings as Assistive Technology works alongside other types of care.  She highlighted potential cost benefits of the avoidance of greater costs if a customer receives help sooner if, for example, they fall.  She also suggested that the use of Apps helps to safeguard practitioners, and are being tested with social workers currently.


Another member asked about information received from the Fire and Rescue Service, for example after smoke alarm visits, suggesting that there is an interface between the work of Adults and Community and Place Scrutiny Committees in this regard.  The Assistant Director explained that Fire Officers know the routes of referral if they have concerns, adding that collaborative approaches were part of the next steps in implementation.


Finally there was a discussion about how members could assist in getting information out into the community.  The Chair asked  ...  view the full minutes text for item 130.


Safeguarding Adults at Risk from Abuse and Neglect pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider a report from the Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive)


This is a standing Item for each Board meeting. The report incorporates information on Domestic Homicide reviews and links to Safeguarding.





The Senior Manager – Safeguarding presented a report providing an update and analysis of adult safeguarding activity in the third quarter of 2018-2019, 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 report highlighted an increase in numbers of episodes of safeguarding and members asked for information about the increase.  The Senior Manager outlined the safeguarding process where there has been focused, targeted work to improve services by ensuring a consistent response.  She explained that this was important to ensure consistency in recording information from the earliest contact and throughout to build up a history that can lead to better safeguarding practice.  She provided an example of a case where someone appeared to be neglecting him/herself.  The person may not have care /support needs but may have wellbeing needs, for example owing to domestic abuse, that would attract a safeguarding response. 


Members asked what happens if a person refuses care, when there is evidence of need.  The Senior Manager said that she hoped that the Council would persevere to persuade the person, but she was aware that this does not always happen. Good practice would indicate that the Council would contact others to seek to engage support through existing relationships. 


The Senior Manager indicated that she viewed it as positive that people are reporting concerns.  She explained that progression rates from concern to engagement are stable and although there will be some inappropriate reports, it is better to aware and it may be that the report highlights other needs that the Council could address.


The Chair asked if it would be possible for the Chair of the Adults Safeguarding Board to attend the Scrutiny Board.  The Senior Manager suggested this could be arranged for when the new strategic plan is available.


Members moved on to discuss Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) authorisations.  The Senior Manager explained that the process applies to care homes , hospitals and the community, and gave further details of the process whereby care homes apply to the Council as supervisory body if they believe a person lacks capacity and is being deprived of their liberty, She explained how the Council responds giving an example of a recent case where a home had been reluctant to provide a specialist chair that would have enabled a person to get out of bed.  Members asked if there is likely to be an increase in this type of application.  The Senior Manager advised that that she anticipates there will be an increase owing to increased awareness of this type of deprivation.  In the context of budget constraints there is a complex picture which the Senior Manager advised requires monitoring.  


The Chair asked for more information about other sources of support.  He looked forward to the report of the Task and Finish Group established to defined safeguarding  ...  view the full minutes text for item 131.


Board Briefing pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To consider a report from the Executive Director – Corporate Customer and Community Services


This report includes items not covered elsewhere in the Board agenda, including a report from Performance Working Group and to agree the Board’s Work Programme.



Additional documents:


The Senior Policy and Scrutiny Officer introduced his report, highlighting that since the last meeting  the Joint Advisory Group with Adult Scrutiny has looked at Population Health Management Models and had made a number of recommendations, some of which had already been carried out.  The survey had been undertaken and revealed broadly positive results and a development plan was in the process of being developed for scrutiny.  


For future meetings, members asked for information on care homes and it was suggested that a visit to a care home could be arranged perhaps in conjunction with the Health Scrutiny Committee.  Members asked if the Scrutiny Board could look at capacity across the districts. 


Following discussion it was




The report be noted.



The next meeting of the Scrutiny Advisory Board – Adults is scheduled for 25 June 2019.


The next meeting of the Scrutiny Advisory Board – Adults is on 25 June 2019 at 10.00 am in Cumbria House, Carlisle.