Update Report: Outstanding Actions from 2017/18 Audit Work, Adult and Children's Services
Decision Maker: Audit, Risk and Governance Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Ian Crabtree, Director of Adult Social Care Transformation and Sarah Callaghan, Director of Education and Skills presented an update regarding progress made toward the following outstanding actions from 2017/18 internal audits:
· Transition from children's to adult services
Ian Crabtree highlighted that there was a wider strategic vision for transition being developed with all stakeholders. There are also plans in place to address operational issues and how change was communicated to stakeholders. This was governed by an internal steering group – Preparation for Adulthood, which was co-chaired by himself and Sarah Callaghan and included a colleague from Health, who was responsible for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities improvement. The Preparation for Adulthood vision had been taken to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Partnership Board, chaired by Edwina Grant, Executive Director of Education and Children's Services, for system wide development.
Work was being undertaken to reorganise the team to optimise the efficiency of the process. There is a further challenge to ensure the procedure was effective to meet the expectations of families and respond to demand in a co-ordinated way.
· Personal budgets for children's service users and direct payments to their carers
Sarah Callaghan highlighted that the key issues in the 2017/18 audit were largely related to staff training. It was identified that the take up of direct payments had been lower than anticipated and the administration of the process could be improved. To date, 29 of 40 staff had completed the training programme put in place to address this. Support was now available for parents and carers regarding accessing funds and the information was included in the revised local offer. The process was now more rigorous in terms of accessing and monitoring payments.
· Case management of adult occupational therapy services
Ian Crabtree confirmed that the 2017/18 audit was mainly positive with one action outstanding - to implement a case load tracker. This action had now been superseded, as the tracker was intended as an interim solution and a new analytical tool had now been procured that would monitor performance across all areas.
In response to questions from members the following information was clarified:
· There was some ambiguity regarding the age of transition to Adult Services if the young person had a disability. The Special Educational Needs and Disability reforms in 2014, extended the age from 18 to 25 with the aim to support the majority of young people to be independent. In terms of budgets, if all the eligibility criteria were met, the budget would be with Adult Services. The objective was to involve the transition team to embed early identification of required support to enable the best outcomes for the young person.
· There was a good working relationship between Occupational Therapy services provided by Lancashire County Council and the NHS. Both had access to a joint equipment store and having this single point of access had resolved issues arising from whose responsibility it is to provide equipment. The NHS landscape in Lancashire was complex, with eight Clinical Commissioning Groups. There was a national shortage of Occupational Health Therapists and work needed to be undertaken between Lancashire County Council and the NHS regarding how therapists could be recognised and developed as a joint resource. The health economy for each area within Lancashire was different, however once the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System had been embedded joint working and commissioning arrangements would be developed.
Members commented that this report was in response to a request for information regarding outstanding internal audit actions from 2017/18. Members emphasised that all departments needed to be aware that the committee required swift responses to audit actions. Officers commented that could attend the Audit, Risk and Governance meeting when required to provide future updates.
Resolved: That the Audit, Risk and Governance Committee note the progress made against the outstanding internal audit actions from 2017/18.
Report author: Ian Crabtree
Date of decision: 27/01/2020
Decided at meeting: 27/01/2020 - Audit, Risk and Governance Committee