Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Lambeth Town Hall, Room B6, Brixton Hill, London, SW2 1RW

Contact: David Rose, Tel: 020 7926 1037, Email: drose@lambeth.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Declaration of Pecuniary Interests

Under Standing Order 4.4, where any councillor has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (as defined in the Members’ Code of Conduct (para. 4)) in any matter to be considered at a meeting of the Council, a committee, sub-committee or joint committee, they must withdraw from the meeting room during the whole of the consideration of that matter and must not participate in any vote on that matter unless a dispensation has been obtained from the Monitoring Officer.

 

 

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed all to the meeting and it was noted there were no declarations of interest.

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 158 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the previous meeting held on 27 September 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting dated 27 September 2018 be approved and signed as a correct record of proceedings; subject to the below changes:

·         To record that Councillor Anna Birley arrived during the meeting.

·         To add the Committee’s request that monitoring of agency work between directorates and for a meeting with officers on agency staff (agenda pack, page 2) be added to the action log.

 

3.

Work Programme and Action Monitoring pdf icon PDF 95 KB

    (All wards)

     

    Report authorised by: Strategic Director of Corporate Resources, Jackie

    Belton

     

    Contact for enquiries: David Rose, Democratic Services, 0207 926 1037,

    drose@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    It was noted in discussion that some actions were getting delayed and needed improvement, whilst Corporate Committee members could contact Democratic Services to chase up actions.

    ·           Christine Webster noted that action 5 (agenda pack, page 19) meant a detailed audit would take place in housing repairs and would be reported to the Committee separately. 

    ·           Continuous audit monitoring was regular and housing repairs had shown enough improvement to move from a red to amber RAG-rating.  It was requested that further information detailing the movement from red to amber be provided to Members.

    ·           For Democratic Services to email the action log to Members a fortnight prior to the meeting.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.         To note the Corporate Committee’s work programme for 2018/19.

     

    2.         To note the Corporate Committee’s actions monitoring log.

     

4.

Safeguarding Annual Report pdf icon PDF 193 KB

    (All wards)

     

    Report authorised by: Fiona Connolly: Acting Strategic Director for Adults and Health

     

    Contact for enquiries: Richard Outram, Assistant Director, Adult Social Care (Children, Adults and Health Directorate), 020 7926 7750 or routram@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Sian Walker Independent Chair of Lambeth Safeguarding Adults Board (LSAB); and Richard Outram, Assistant Director for Adult Social Care (ASC), responded to questions as below:

    ·           The Lambeth Safeguarding Adults Board (LSAB) was independent of the Council and held partners to account, enabling people with care and support needs protection from abuse and neglect.  The LSAB reported to the Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) and decided whether to undertake adult safeguarding reviews, working with the Safer Lambeth Partnership and other statutory boards.

    ·           This report was from 2017-18 and was designed to be accessible and easily understood. 

    ·           The LSAB’s successes included the Community Reference Group, community events and its website, but there remained more work to do to promote and communicate adult safeguarding.

    ·           It was hoped that training for councillors would be completed by January-end 2019.

    ·           Sian Walker was the LSAB Chair for another borough and commended Lambeth’s use of appropriate resources, officer structures, strong safeguarding commitment, and working together with partners.

    ·           The LSAB Vice-Chair was also the Lambeth Healthwatch Chief Officer, who worked with all community reference group and service users.  In addition, the LSAB Board had representatives from groups such as AidsUK and the LivingWell Alliance, with further work to develop voluntary participants on the Board.

     

    Members thanked Sian Walker for her consummate chairing of the LSAB and also to officers for the easily accessible and detailed report.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.         To note the contents of the Annual Report of Lambeth Safeguarding Adults Board for 2017-18.

     

5.

Audit and Investigations Update pdf icon PDF 234 KB

    (All wards)

     

    Report authorised by: Strategic Director of Corporate Resources, Jackie

    Belton

     

    Contact for enquiries: Christine Webster, Interim Head of Internal Audit and Counter Fraud, Corporate Resources, 07763 575612, cwebster1@lambeth.gov.uk     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Christine Webster, Interim Head Internal Audit and Counter Fraud (IACF); Charlotte Bilsland, PWC Outsourced Internal Audit; and, Michael O’Reilly, Counter Fraud Manager; introduced the report and answered questions as below:

    ·           Christchurch Primary and the Elmgreen Schools were deemed to be lower risk and their audits had been replaced by audits of Immanuel and St Andrews CE Primary and Elmwood School.

    ·           Officers would report back on the outcome of the Holland Rise TMO audit.

    ·           Response times to FoI requests in Adults and Public Health was unsatisfactory, but this and the higher allocation of limited assurance risk, had been noted by senior management.

    ·           The tracking of internal audit recommendation progress took place until evidence of full implementation. The lack of implementation did expose the Council to risk as these risks were agreed to be addressed in previous audit work, and were all high or critical, however the graph (agenda pack, page 30) also included some old agreed actions.

    ·           It was agreed that an age analysis would be provided in future meetings.

    ·           19% of agreed management actions had now fully implemented, from 5%, within three weeks.

    ·           Medium and low risks were not followed up by internal audit.

    ·           The Stockwell and Jessops Foundation was audited because of specific concerns raised and was not in response to concerns raised in other schools.

    ·           There would be a themed IR35-audit for all schools covering issues already identified in St Marks CE Primary School, which had not been undertaking the assessments.

    ·           The whistleblowing cases (agenda pack, page 32) had been raised by unions and was ongoing.

    ·           Totals and past figures would be added to the Counter Fraud outcome table (agenda pack, page 31); these figures also included housing investigations and were comparable to previous periods.

    ·           Neighbourhoods and Growth received many allegations and a higher number of internal referrals than other directorates, however four cases had no further action and it now ran an improved service.

    ·           Full confidence could not be provided by the second line of assurance since it was not possible to guarantee it was operating as it should to oversee first line controls.

    ·           Management Board (senior management group) had agreed for assurance mapping for key risk areas such as Children’s Services.

    ·           Members praised the Counter Fraud team for raising more money than targets.

    ·           Members noted that effective systems were needed, for example, in consistently answering Member’s Enquiries, to ensure the effectiveness of the first line of defence.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.         To receive and consider the report which provides an update on matters relating to the Internal Audit and Counter Fraud service, its activities and outcomes.

     

6.

LGO report on enforcement and noise nuisance pdf icon PDF 281 KB

    (All wards)

     

    Report authorised by: Sue Foster: Strategic Director for Neighbourhoods and Growth

     

    Contact for enquiries: Calvin McLean, Head of Public Protection & Regulatory Services, 0207 926 6136, CMcLean@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Doug Perry, Assistant Director for Commissioning, Environment; and, Calvin McLean, Interim Head of Public Protection and Regulatory Services, briefed Members on the report and noted:

    ·           The officers involved in the original decision had now left the Council.  The drivers of the original decision included budgetary pressures and perceptions of an inefficient service.

    ·           Although found in breach of statutory duty, many outcomes of the service were successful, including dealing with long-term consistent noise nuisance issues.

    ·           The new service did respond to single complaints, but prioritised all complaints in a timeframe and how best to respond with limited resources whilst complying with statutory duties.  In addition, action was taken more quickly, with no calls refused or complaints received to date, and it had already halted some issues from escalating.

    ·           The new service was delivered via existing resources and would be included in the audit plan.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.         To note the update report and the LGO’s recommendations in paragraph 2.3.

     

7.

Children's Social Care - Annual Complaints pdf icon PDF 246 KB

    (All wards)

     

    Report authorised by: Annie Hudson: Strategic Director for Children’s Services

     

    Contact for enquiries: Naeema Sarkar, Assistant Director, Quality Assurance, 020 7926 5310, nsarkar@lambeth.gov.uk      

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Annie Hudson, Strategic Director for Children’s Services; and, Naeema Sarkar, Assistant Director, Quality and Assurance, introduced the report and responded to questions as below:

    ·           The report detailed figures from 2017-18 and future reports would be brought forward.

    ·           It was difficult to compare data to previous years as prior record keeping was poor.

    ·           Systems were in place to focus on responding to Children’s Social Care (CSC) Enquiries and FoIs to improve robustness, and response data was reviewed fortnightly by senior management.

    ·           A dedicated officer was now in post to work with young people so they knew how to complain.

    ·           Only four or five cases from the Subject Area Requests (SARs) backlog remained and had been undertaken by paralegals as Children’s Services did not have the expertise nor resource.

    ·           Current resources were used efficiently, but continuity had been improved by reducing staff turnover and recruiting permanent team managers.

    ·           A 10-day response was always opted for regardless of complexity.

    ·           The key message (agenda pack, page 65) had been rolled out to all teams, and there were also six-monthly complaint reports.

    ·           Lesson were learnt from individual cases; audits; the Child Protection Service; service users’, parents’ and looked after children’s feedback, and was shared with social workers via the Social Worker Forum, but was an ongoing process.

    ·           The service learnt from any cases and not just ones upheld.

    ·           BAME persons were overrepresented on the system and in child protection plans, and so it was expected that more complaints would be received by BAME groups.

     

    Members noted the improvements, alongside structure and management changes, and that the results were better than expected.  In addition evidence for lessons learnt was requested for greater assurance.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.         To note the attached Annual Complaints report.

    2.         To note that actions in each upheld complaint will be tracked to ensure they have been fully addressed.

    3.         To note that lessons from complaints will continue to be disseminated in every quarter to social workers and manager.

     

8.

Children's Social Care - Risk Management pdf icon PDF 417 KB

    (All wards)

     

    Report authorised by: Annie Hudson: Strategic Director for Children’s Services

     

    Contact for enquiries: Tom Barrett, Senior Commissioning and Programme Manager, Improvement Team, Children’s Services, 020 7926 2235 tpbarrett@lambeth.gov.uk       

     

    Minutes:

    Annie Hudson, Strategic Director for Children’s services, introduced the report and responded to questions as below:

    ·           The Risk Register would be supplied outside the meeting.

    ·           The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) were gathering evidence from Children’s Services around local authorities to gather evidence of Universal Credit impacts, but officers were conscious that some families were under greater stress and increasing poverty.

    ·           The placements budget included in-house foster carers and residential placements (agenda pack, page 93), whilst the number of in-house carers had decreased.

    ·           Foster cares with capacity might have accommodation that prohibited extra children or was a long way from Lambeth; but work was being undertaken to ensure better placement-type combinations and was a crucial piece of financial management.

    ·           There were issues with lack of secure accommodation in London and for accommodation needing to be purchased in the interim.

    ·           Budget proposals were to be published shortly and would detail the £12m savings to be achieved.

    ·           Ensuring recruitment and retention of staff within the staffing budget envelope was key, and this was being done by providing slightly different opportunities and career progression.

    ·           It was important to ensure children were in the correct placement and correct value placements, and not placed too far away from family networks.

    ·           The poor reputation of local authorities in the care market and weak payment processes were ongoing issues, and this had been discussed at Management Board in October to ensure that teams were going through processes and received support to improve payment timescales; and would be inserted into the audit plan.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.         To note the contents of the report.

     

9.

Adult Social Care - Annual Complaints pdf icon PDF 593 KB

    (All wards)

     

    Report authorised by: Fiona Connolly: Acting Strategic Director for Adults and Health

     

    Contact for enquiries: Richard Outram, Assistant Director, Adult Social Care (Children, Adults and Health Directorate), 020 7926 7750 or routram@lambeth.gov.uk

    Minutes:

    Fiona Connolly, Strategic Director for Adults Services; and, Richard Outram, Assistant Director for Adult Social Care (ASC), responded to questions as below:

    ·           The report detailed figures from 2017-18 and future reports would be brought forward.

    ·           Table 2 (agenda pack, page 106) grand total should be 84 and not 89.

    ·           Complaints were largely on assessment and social work, and officers were working with providers to improve practice

    ·           Only one of five complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) was upheld.

    ·           1.8% of Lambeth’s population delivered direct care.

    ·           Compliments were now being recorded and passed onto officers, with 11 received to date.

    ·           The use of Mosaic was improving, with all complaints and casework using this system for a seamless service, although some data recording issues remained.

    ·           Officers would bring the reports earlier in the year subject to the Committee’s direction, so that the data was more relevant, including provider complaints data and lessons learnt.

    ·           £3.5m had been removed from Adults and Health’s staffing levels and officers would supply this data outside the meeting.

    ·           The complexity of complaints was increasing and were covering a multitude of council services and the management of this was under review.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.         To note the contents of the Adult Social Care Complaints Annual Report 2017/18.

     

10.

Adult Social Care - Member's Enquiries pdf icon PDF 205 KB

    (All wards)

     

    Report authorised by: Fiona Connolly: Acting Strategic Director for Adults and Health

     

    Contact for enquiries: Richard Outram, Assistant Director, Adult Social Care (Children, Adults and Health Directorate), 020 7926 7750 or routram@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Minutes:

    During the discussion of this item, the guillotine fell at 8.00pm.

     

    It was MOVED by the Chair, and,

     

    RESOLVED: That in accordance with Standing Order 9.5-9.7, the meeting continue for a further period of up to 30 minutes.

     

    Fiona Connolly, Strategic Director for Adults Services; and, Richard Outram, Assistant Director for Adult Social Care (ASC), responded to questions as below:

    ·           The Risk Summary (agenda pack, page 139) showed results from February 2017-18 and detailed increasing performance, with systems in place to ensure continued improvement.

     

    It was agreed to include Adult Social Care – Member’s Enquiries within the Annual Complaints report in future.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.         To note this report.

     

11.

Adult Social Care - Risk Management pdf icon PDF 627 KB

    (All wards)

     

    Report authorised by: Fiona Connolly: Acting Strategic Director for Adults and Health

     

    Contact for enquiries: Richard Outram, Assistant Director, Adult Social Care (Children, Adults and Health Directorate), 020 7926 7750 or routram@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Fiona Connolly, Strategic Director for Adults Services; Christina Thompson, Director for Finance and Property; and, Richard Outram, Assistant Director for Adult Social Care (ASC), responded to questions as below:

    ·           Adults and Health had a motivated and enthusiastic workforce with keen managers, with support for staff at every level, but had decreasing staff numbers and increasing complexity of cases, although sickness levels were lower than in previous years and comparable to the Council’s average.

    ·           Staffing budgets had been reduced, but the Social Care Grant (running to 2020-21) and additional funding (e.g. winter pressures) helped mitigate impacts.

    ·           The service was not at a stage where it could not provide care or had to reduce care packages due to budgetary cuts.

    ·           Officers worked with local providers to mitigate current issues facing them, noting that London Living Wage had helped stabilise the market, but there were continuing significant pressures for providers.

    ·           The service had developed contingency plans to respond to any such failure, although this effort had impacted on complaints during a 3-4 week period and was likely to be noted in future reporting.

    ·           There had been a successful transfer of care and continuity from Allied Healthcare to local providers.

    ·           There was a corporate risk of large contractor failure which covered many mitigating actions covering provider failure and was not covered in these reports.  Officers would review how to incorporate this information for reports in the future.

    ·           Additional central Government funding and resources had helped manage key change programmes whilst maintaining business as usual.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.         To note the contents of the Lambeth Adult Social Care Assurance Report 2017-18.