The purpose of the report is to provide the Adult Social Services Review Panel with an update on the Extra care housing (Special Sheltered housing) offer within Croydon.
The Director of Operations Adult Social Care introduced the report and presentation which provided an update on the Extra care housing offer within Croydon including the progress and the future plans for insourcing the transformation programme. The moved in-house provision would commence on 4 January 2020 and council staff were already introducing and familiarising themselves with the contracted sites and staff. Tenant liaison had occurred which included communications with all tenants, evening tenant meetings and tenant reviews and full social worker allocation to residents.
In response to a Panel Member asking where service users were predominantly referred from and whether there were concerns with oversubscription, the Director of Operations Adult Social Care stated that housing services was the main pathway to care services and oversubscription did exist on particular sites.
In reference to housing issues that required improvement, a Panel Member raised that building repair work should be the council’s responsibility and asked whether Mears or London Care had previously flagged the repair work needed. The Director of Operations Adult Social Care replied that the work was supported by volunteers and results were achieved by cross department efforts, the listed contractors had reported repair tasks which were now being delivered.
In response to the Chair stating that London Care had experienced a situation where kitchens were completely out of use due to regulation restrictions, the Executive Director for Health, Wellbeing and Adults said that those issues related to regulations surrounding standards of commercial vs communal kitchen spaces and they intended to get areas back in to use and to install kitchenettes into every communal area.
A Panel Member described that during end of life care there was a maximum of four visits per day for patients, which did not include night visits. This meant that patient care requirements would exceed this offer, becoming an unviable option, and therefore the patient’s end of life care would be better placed in a hospice.
The Director of Operations Adult Social Care stated the improvements would initially look to all sites and then would focus on the needs of individual users. They were working with council employees and looking to engage with London Care employees which would include transfer care and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) arrangements. Approximately 150 employees would be eligible for TUPE however not all London Care employees may choose to transfer to the council, but high numbers were expected to opt in due to the favourable staff benefits offered by the council.
In response to a Panel Member asking whether meals would be cooked on-site in the new scheme, the Director of Operations Adult Social Care stated that currently meals were delivered to sites however commissioners were working with providers and analysing costs for on-site preparation to begin in the New Year.
In response to a Panel Member asking if there would be an exit charge for the council from the Care UK contract, the Director of Operations Adult Social Care stated there was no exit charge and Care UK profits were generated from residential care.
The Director of Operations Adult Social Care informed the Panel that a rolling cycle of pest control biannually was now in place in blocks and empty apartments were being treated before the homing of any new tenant. There were still some areas of concern for problem cases where enforcement, which had to be aided by social workers, was necessary to clear apartments due to breach of tenant contracts. There was a meeting planned with Housing to align the pest control strategy. In response to a Panel Member, the Director of Operations Adult Social Care confirmed that the pest problem was not related to the cleanliness of areas and in extreme cases hazmat suits were required.
A Panel Member asked what was available to tenants in terms of social prescribing including the status and levels of external support. The Director of Operations Adult Social Care replied that there were activities planned for all care units during December 2019, including school children visits, and when services came in-house the number of activities provided would be increased, such as hosting coffee mornings which would enable tenants to socialise. The Chair suggested that councillors should be encouraged to take part in the drive to support tenants in the homes.
Councillor Avis nominated Councillor Campbell to be appointed as Vice-Chair for the remainder of the 2019/20 municipal year. This was seconded by Councillor Hopley.
Councillor Jane Avis left the meeting at 6.29pm
Councillor Janet Campbell was thereafter the acting chair for the meeting.the acting chair for the meeting.