Agenda item

Market Stability Report (Social Care)

To present the report of the Director of Social Services.


Submitted – a report by the Director of Social Services in relation to the above.


The Head of Adults’ Services reported that the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 introduced a new duty on local authorities and health boards to develop a joint assessment of the sufficiency and sustainability of the Social Care Market.  The report enables the authority to understand the social care market in North Wales, so that the authority can effectively commission and support providers of health and social care services to meet the needs of the population effectively.  However, local authorities must ensure that the market stability report also contains an assessment of the market for care and support within each local authority area as well as across the RPB area as a whole.  The report will inform both regional and local decision making around commissioning care and support, feeding into the strategic plan for the RPB area and helping shape local and regional commissioning strategies.  He noted that there is a strong link between the Market Stability Report and the Population Needs Assessment where the population needs assessment sets out current and projected need and demand for care and support, and the range and level of services that will be required to meet that demand.  Both the Population Needs Assessment and Market Stability Report documents will be used to plan local and regional delivery plan and service development plans going forward. 


He further reported that Home Care Service has seen an increase in demand for the service of 33% over recent years and the demand is projected to grow.  There has been a fall in providers affording the Home Care service and it is concerning that recruitment into the Care Sector is decreasing and especially within the Home Care provision with the average age of Home Carers being over 50 years of age.  He referred to Residential Care and concerns regarding the growth in the ageing population requiring these services and especially when individuals require specialist care; greater provision is required especially in Dementia Services. 


The Head of Adults’ Service further said that the demand for specialist care is also required within Children Services and the local authority has established the Cartrefi Clyd provision on the Island.  The Fostering and Adoption Services has seen an increase in Foster Carers with 80% of children in care being located on the Island which compares favourably with areas.


The Committee considered the report and made the following main points:-


·           Questions were raised as to how the authority has attracted Foster Carers and whether they have been sourced through private companies.  The Director of Social Services responded that the package afforded to Foster Carers has been improved and the authority has been able to attract 6 new Foster Carers every year over the last 3 years.  He further said that prospective Foster Carers showed an interest whilst vising the County Council’s facility at the Anglesey Show recently.  The Director of Social Services also referred to the Cartrefi Clyd facility afforded on Anglesey which allows children in care to be looked after within their communities;

·           Questions were raised as to regional collaboration and as to how the authority

ensure that local needs are addressed.  The Director of Social Services responded that regional collaboration is undertaken as regards to specific project and it can be advantages to share information between local authorities.  He further referred that due to the cost of living crisis and fuel costs, people will not travel to work from a distance and regional collaboration will not work as regards to this issue.  The Authority is advertising for Care Staff on Councils vehicles so as to encourage the interest of prospective applicants for vacant posts with the local authority.  The Portfolio Holder for Adults’ Services – Social Services expressed that he considered that collaboration between the 6 North Wales local authorities needs to be undertaken and that one local authority should not decide not be participate with the other 5 local authorities.  He further said that there is added value in regional collaboration between the local authorities but Anglesey should ensure that the best possible services are afforded to the residents.  He noted that he has visited the Local Authority’s Residential Care Homes recently and the provision and care the residents are afforded is of the highest quality.  The Committee referred to the decision by the Isle of Anglesey County Council and Gwynedd Council to deviate from the regional model on Care Homes and questions raised as to whether this will cause problems in the future.  The Head of Adult’s Services responded that whilst accepting that there are advantages in working regionally within different services afforded through Social Services, some aspect needs to be balanced and this Authority wishes to target specialist services where there are shortfalls.  The Chief Executive said that there is a commitment to continue to collaborate within a framework but it is acknowledged that there are local issues due to the geographical location of the Authority and different service needs of residents;

·           Reference was made that the report refers to a number of gaps in the Care Market.  Questions were raised as to how the Authority intends to prioritize the work that is required to address these gaps.  The Head of Adults’ Services responded that the Authority is currently preparing a work programme which is in response to the Market Stability Report (Social Care) and the need to address the Dementia Services, support for Unpaid Carers, Learning Disabilities and Recruitment of staff within the Care Facilities. He noted that the care needs of residents have changed over the years together with the ageing population of the Island;

·           Questions were raised as to the difficulties of recruiting and the retention of staff within the Care Sector and the current staff expressing that they feel undervalued and overworked and the current wages are below other job opportunities.  The Head of Adult’s Services responded that a National solution is required to address the recruitment and retention of staff within the Care Sector.  He said that financial recognition and the terms of conditions should be addressed as the work undertaken by domiciliary care staff is often more complex and they are expected to assist with a wider range of care needs.  Further questions were raised as to the requirement of bilingual staff to undertake the work and especially within Residential Homes.  The Head of Adult’s Services responded that Care Sector staff are encouraged to learn Welsh.  He specifically referred that it is important that people with Dementia are able to communicate with the staff in their first language;

·           Questions were raised as to whether the Authority engage with schools, the local college and Bangor University to attract staff to work in the Care Sector and to attract specialist Therapist.  The Director of Social Services responded that the services encourages young people to consider working in the Care Sector within the local schools and colleges.  He noted that the Authority afford opportunities internally to staff within Social Services to train to become Social Workers and Occupational Therapist.


It was RESOLVED to accept the regional and local Market Stability Report (Social Care).


ACTION : As noted above.


Supporting documents: