t would be helpful if members would email in detailed questions arising
from the performance reports in advance of the meeting. This will enable
officers to have prepared responses and also better support the
committee’s debate on these matters.
6.1 Rob Ayliffe introduced the performance report for the third quarter of 2020/21 detailing the indicators where the Council was on or ahead of target, within tolerance range or behind target. A significant amount of lower performance was the result of services being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
6.2 Members noted the graphs showing performance in Children’s Services, which outlined the response to risk and placement stability. There had been a dip in quarter 3 in timeliness of initial decisions. Some of this was due to IT issues that affected timeliness. The Council was below target in relation to repeat work such as re-referrals, repeat children’s plans and readmissions into care. There had been significant improvement since the Ofsted visit, particularly around timeliness of response but slower improvement was around quality but we were started to see those areas also improve. In response to a question, it was explained that there had been a reduction in the number of social care contacts and referrals over the last year.
6.3 Members noted a consistent reduction in time children had been on a child protection plan, but there was now a backlog into the Children and Families Court as a result of the first lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic. This meant that the number of children on a child protection plan for a year or more had begun to increase.
6.4 The Committee viewed a slide showing the balance of care for older people and those with physical disabilities demonstrating high numbers receiving care within the community. There had been increased demand of safeguarding concerns and demands for mental health assessments, demonstrating the impact of the pandemic. Members noted that 62% of individuals in residential care were there with dementia. The Council was above target in relation to the percentage of users who had received a review or reassessment in the last 12 months. Fewer people were going through the reablement service currently.
6.5 The percentage of adult alcohol misusers leaving treatment successfully was above target but the Council had seen a reducing number of opiate users not representing in 6 months.
6.6 Renewable energy produced by the Council remained high and carbon emissions continued to reduce.
6.7 Performance indicators showed a high level of performance in highways, specifically around emergency repairs and 24 hour defects on time.
6.8 The number of killed and serious injured people on the County’s road had reduced during lockdown but was back up between July-September. Compared to statistical neighbours the County had a slightly higher rate.
6.9 Members noted there was a backlog for Safe and Well visits by GFRS, again because of the impact of Covid-19.
6.10 Members were informed of the increased complexity of requests for information; this had led to reduced performance. Additional staffing was being put into the team.
6.11 The Committee noted the risk register within their paperwork and were specifically shown the high risks and changes to risk scores as part of the presentation.
6.12 One member asked whether the pandemic had been a factor in reducing demand for residential care and whether individuals who would have had support in their own home had been reluctant to risk people entering their home. In response it was stated that it was difficult to know for sure and the Council would have to monitor the situation. The trend had been falling prior to lockdown. With regards to Domiciliary Care there was confidence that those that needed that care had continued to receive it due to the Community Health Hub and support for those that had been shielding. The Council had been able to identify those that were struggling to live independently.
6.13 One member identified the risk outlined assigned to Community Infrastructure Levy and queried why it was so high. In response it was explained that this related to future infrastructure development not those with funding already obtained. This related to smaller schemes where there were challenges around discussions with partners and districts to secure funding. A separate report would come to a future committee meeting detailing this risk.
ACTION Simon Excel
6.14 Members wished to pay tribute to those staff members who were working on the frontline and putting themselves at risk.
6.15 In relation to staff sickness figures, one member asked how clear it was whether individuals were working or not and how confident could officers be in the figures? In response it was explained that for some people working in their own home has allowed greater flexibility and productivity. For some individuals they were happy to work from home when feeling slightly unwell where they would not have been able to go into the office. There were additional health complications that could be caused by working from home and this would need to be factored in moving forward.
6.16 Members discussed the challenges some officers had working from home and what support the County Council would provide to them.