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Agenda item

New Scrutiny Topic - Adult Social Carers/Green Paper Social Care - Presentation/SID


Katherine Willmette, Director Adult Social Care, was in attendance and made a presentation to the Committee and outlined the Scrutiny Initiation Document for the review


During consideration of the presentation the following main points were made –


·         Islington has contracts with 4 home care agencies from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2022, with options to extend. Our current contract agencies are – MiHomecare, London Care, Mayfair Homecare and Castlerock Recruitment Group

·         Packages of care are determined by social workers, in conjunction with service users and carers. Service users step down into home care from hospital or intermediate beds, or step up from no previous package of care. Officers in the financial assessment team determine each service user’s financial contribution

·         Packages of care are brokered via the Resource team. The four contracted block providers are prioritised, however spot packages are individually commissioned by Brokerage officers, where necessary. Currently 70% of all packages of care are provided by block agencies. Currently there are 1079 packages of care, with the weekly cost of £264,349.81

·         Contract management – Islington’s four block home care providers are subject to the following contract monitoring processes – quarterly KPI returns, including details of service issues, safeguarding alerts, and other incidents, quarterly contract review meetings and quarterly punctuality audits generated by the Contracts team. There are also bi-annual branch audits by the Contracts team, looking at service user care plans, and risk assessments, staff files, and supervision notes, complaint and safeguarding reports, service user feedback, and rostering, DBS, and payroll reviews. There are also bi annual provider forums to advise of key developments and promote the sharing of best practice. Service issues raised by health and social care partners, such as social workers, paramedics, GP’s, and Occupational therapists are reviewed by the Contracts team to identify trends and challenge issues at formal reviews or when they arise

·         Service provision – Islington’s four block home care providers predominately support older adults, however service users also include adults under 65 with learning and physical disabilities, and mental health issues. Support is mainly personal care, although domestic and shopping calls are also common

·         The vast majority of calls are between 7.30a.m to 9.30p.m with late night calls and 24 hours packages of care much less common. LBI do not commission visits of less than 30 minutes

·         Contracted care workers provide support for service users, and may also provide respite services for informal carers. The current service specification requires providers to pay care workers the London Living Wage (£10.55), for all work delivered, and for travel time between calls. Providers are required to provide consistent care workers to each service user and to ensure care workers are trained to a minimum of NVQ2

·         In response to a question it was stated that it was difficult for local providers to bid for work, due to the block contracts and the capacity needed, however providers needed to have an office in the borough. Block contracts share the risk and reduce costs

·         It was noted that Care UK is no longer a block provider for Adult Social Carers

·         It was stated that block provider contracts supplied 70% of the capacity, with the other 30% being provided by spot contracts

·         Members noted that the Green Paper on Social Care had not yet been published and therefore the scrutiny process may take longer than envisaged

·         Members were of the view that the following additions should be made to the SID – the addition of Professor Segal Birkbeck University, to the list of witnesses, and the addition to the list of witnesses, carers who can detail experiences of conditions/employment. In addition, block providers should be requested to provide information as to why more residents were not employed locally as carers



That, subject to the above amendments, the Scrutiny Initiation Document be approved

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