Quarterly Corporate Performance Monitoring Report - Quarter 4 2017/18
Decision Maker: Cabinet Committee on Performance Improvement
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
A report was presented by Donna Talbot, Head of Service, Business Intelligence, providing an overview of performance activity across the Council for Quarter 4 of 2017/18.
Education and Children's Services
It was reported that retention of staff in children's social care had improved, including both newly qualified staff and experienced staff choosing to remain with Lancashire. There were fewer first time entrants to the Youth Justice System and Lancashire remained lower than all comparator groups, although our offending rate was slightly above the national average. This was due to the more complex cases being those that now come to the attention of the youth justice system. The Committee noted that absence levels across all educational settings remained low and that Lancashire was in the top quartile nationally.
Retention of newly qualified staff was improving and the proportion of social workers with over 3 years experience had improved, indicating that experienced staff were also being retained.
County Councillor Driver expressed concern that 25% of children's social care assessments completed during the year had taken over 45 days to complete. Dave Carr, Head of Service – Policy, Information and Commissioning (Start Well) confirmed that this had been highlighted in the Ofsted self-assessment and that every district now had a duty team in place to address this.
Growth, Environment and Community Services
It was reported that it was taking longer to repair street lights and highways defects. Phil Barrett, Director of Community Services reported that there had been problems with the new HAMS system, the long winter had stretched resources and that there had been issues with the operation/familiarisation of new equipment. County Councillor Iddon wished to point out that staff were working hard to make the new system fit for purpose and that no repairs could be done for 3 months, due to the bad winter. The figures provided in the report were based on defects repaired within 20 working days. It was noted that had this been figures for defects repaired within 30 days, the figure would have been 90%.
Phil Barrett confirmed that staff were always encouraged to report any highway/street lighting issues and that they would be reminded again about the importance of this.
Libraries and Museums
The Committee noted that the service was currently developing a range of new indicators to cover the offers which featured in the library strategy.
Adult Services and Public Health
It was reported that the use of reablement for older adults had continued to increase, with both improved take up and effectiveness. Significant progress had been made in reducing the number of delayed discharges from hospital attributable to adult social care, in that the figure had gone down by 43% since last March. Admissions to residential care were still higher than comparator groups although improvements were being made. The Committee noted that the proportion of people having health checks continued to increase, and that figures in Lancashire were better than nationally.
The number of reablement referrals had doubled in 2017/18 compared to 2016/17 with the number of reablement support plans more than doubling, demonstrating that the right people were being referred.
It was reported that there were currently 1700 people waiting for social work assessments and that plans were in place to address this and regular monitoring reports were in place to help reduce this.
In relation to the Troubled Families Unit, 2,097 payment by results claims had been achieved at the end of 2017/18, compared with 841 in 2016/17. An action plan had been devised in order to ensure that the positive momentum was maintained.
Ofsted Post Inspection of Children's Services
Dave Carr provided a verbal update on the Ofsted post inspection of Children's Services. During week 1, the inspection team had been on site, had completed 34 interviews and looked at a sample of 20 cases. In week 2, the team were off site and county council staff had been auditing cases. In week 3, all the work was brought together and the inspectors interviewed approximately 20 social workers. We were currently in week 4 where inspectors were still looking at cases, interviewing sample groups of officers, Members and young people and final 'mop up' sessions were being held with the Heads of Service this afternoon.
Formal feedback would take place on Friday 29th June with the inspection team. It was reported that the draft Ofsted report would be received on 27th July, the pre-published report would be sent to John Readman on 15th August and the final report would be published on the Ofsted website on 17th August.
Special Educational Needs and Disability Inspection Update
David Graham, Head of Service – Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, provided an update on the partnership action which had been taken to respond to the twelve significant concerns identified in the November 2017 Ofsted/Care Quality Commission inspection.
It was reported that a formal Written Statement of Action had been submitted to Ofsted on 17 April setting out the collective response and agreed actions to secure long term change. A governance structure for the delivery of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Services in Lancashire had been agreed; a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Partnership Board had been set up with five thematic Task and Finish Groups established in relation to the following areas:
· Commissioning and Access to Provision
· Identifying and Meeting Need
· Improving Outcomes
Each of the working groups included representation from a range of partners including parents, carers and children and young people, key strategic leads, commissioners, providers and the voluntary, community and faith sector. The Committee noted that all the Task and Finish Groups had commenced and that work on the targets was well underway.
Strategic planning and decision-making responsibility for the implementation of the Written Statement of Action would be held by the SEND Partnership Board, reporting to the Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Board. In addition, the Joint Committee of the Clinical Commissioning Groups and the Lancashire County Council Cabinet included both elected and lay members to act as advocates for the public interest.
The plan would remain in place until Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission were satisfied that sufficient progress had been made in relation to improving outcomes for children, young people and their families.
Positive feedback had been received from the first monitoring visit confirming that significant progress had been made to address the concerns highlighted in the November inspection.
Resolved: That the Cabinet Committee on Performance Improvement note the reported performance for quarter 4 and the Ofsted Special Educational Needs and Disabilities inspection updated information.
Report author: Michael Walder
Date of decision: 27/06/2018
Decided at meeting: 27/06/2018 - Cabinet Committee on Performance Improvement