Voluntary Sector Working Group 4 November 2010 at Café WestPresent;Paul Hunt – Contract and Quality Assurance Manager, gave a briefintroduction to the meeting and stated that the aim of today was to reaffirmthat Adults and Community Services within the Council are still committed tothe both the concept and implementation of a support planning and brokerageservice. Meetings have taken place with our partner’s iMPOWER, externalproviders and colleagues within the Council to ensure we continue to developfuture services in line with the national and local Personalisation Agenda.The outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review has necessitated thatthe Council will need to examine current budgets and future planning. Thatsaid, ‘personalisation’ remains high on the Departments agenda.Ultimately, we remain committed to Support planning, despite the fact we willbe working with less resources than we had planned for. There is a possibilityof a small amount of funding being available for Support Planning.Question: What messages are you getting from the new government?Paul Hunt: In the main, this hasn’t filtered down as yet but as previously stated we are committed to the personalisation agenda. The principle of personalisation had cross party agreement from the beginning and this would fit into the governments ‘Big Society.’Question: Where are we in meeting the direct payments target?Paul Hunt: We are on target although this mainly involves the younger age group.Question: How will the Voluntary Sector develop a Support Planning service and what information will be provided about service users?Paul Hunt: We need to identify those organisations who wish to work with us and together consider what we need to do ensure Support Planning is fit for purpose. Ultimately, we would want to share as much information as possible.Question: At the Open Event there was discussion about the need to develop the market but this may take a while.
Paul Hunt: We fully acknowledge this, however it could be argued that the ‘Independent Sector’ is far more responsive to change than some internal services and therefore develop more choice for service users.Question: As stated the Independent Sector is responsive but we can’t float around without any money and therefore how will the transition be managed and supported?Paul Hunt: The key message is that we haven’t got as much money as we’d originally thought but we may have identified a small funding stream to develop support planning. We are going to have to be innovative in our thinking but I believe together we can achieve this.Question: I can see the need to be part of Support Planning but how do we survive?Paul Hunt: Support and guidance will be provided by the Council and with the support of other organisations sat around the table today. It is in everyone’s interest to make this work.Question: Some service users will not want the hassle of organising their own support.Paul Hunt: This may be the case for some people and choice in itself can be difficult. We acknowledge there will be some people who will want the Council to arrange services and that is fine.Question: Personalisation decisions have already been taken although admittedly not for the longer term. How will this be developed?Jill: Jill will send out information regarding the customer journey.Comment: Jill noted that all local authorities are developing and finding their own way and there isn’t a national model which authorities can utilise.Question: What will the money that has hopefully been identified actually be spent on?Paul Hunt: Ultimately developing external support planning.Question: Will support planning be external from the Council?Paul Hunt: Currently Social Workers and Community Care Officers are carrying out this in house. We want Voluntary Organisations/Private Sector/Third Sector involved because of the creativity it would bring and to afford support to both Social Workers and Community Care Officers.
Comment: Flow chart on process for voluntary organisationsComment: Tender process is going to be really criticalComment: Some voluntary organisations can only plan up until March 2011 due to budgets and existing agreementsQuestion: Some voluntary organisation appeared missing from the working group today and could we include all at the next meeting?Paul Hunt: Jill did send invites to everyone who had expressed an interest or indeed attended the previous meeting and will I understand send out to all with dates for next working group.