5.1 Rob Ayliffe presented the report which provided an overview of performance at the end of Quarter 1 2022-23.
5.2 The Committee were informed that going forward, the performance data would begin to measure against the headline priorities and objectives from within the council strategy. This would include RAG rating and narrative from the Director which would give members a better understanding as to whether the strategy was being implemented, and overtime would allow better long-term scrutiny.
5.3 Members noted that there were a number of challenges affecting the council’s performance as a whole. The ongoing recruitment challenge in many of the service areas meant there were a number of outstanding vacancies, this coupled with increased demand and budget pressures, the Council was currently operating in an extremely challenging environment.
5.6 Overall, 58% of corporate performance indicators were either on or within target, which left 31 indicators off target, 12 of which were within children and young peoples and 10 which had gone off track within this first quarter.
5.7 The Committee noted the reduction in reviews and re-assessments in the last 12 months within adult services. This was due to the level of unfilled vacancies within the teams and increased demand.
5.8 There continued to be a long-term issue in relation to the timeliness of initial decisions and visits for children and issues around children in care persistently absent from school. This showed again the challenge of keeping up with increased demand and staff vacancies.
5.9 Children’s services had however begun to see a steady improvement, through the previous three quarters, on case audits meeting good or outstanding. This was really significant for social workers to see what good and outstanding case management looked like, in order to bring about long-term improvement as a whole.
5.10 It had been identified that there were two main factors contributing to higher number of children in care for Gloucestershire: an increase of readmissions to care, as well as the length of time children were staying in care.
5.11 The Committee noted that 7 new risks were being tracked at a strategic level this quarter, which were:
· Insufficient resources to deliver procurement and re-procurement activity. This was due to the high level of big procurement projects identified in the near future and the need to ensure the Council were getting best value for money on contracts.
· Corporate health and safety.
· Contract management and quality assurance. There were a number of services that the council outsourced, but that did not absolve responsibility or accountability for those services.
· Compliance with the Equality Act in decision making – this was identified as a possible future item for the committee to review progress on.
· Various resettlement and immigration programmes which meant unplanned for demand on Council services.
· The potential financial impact of the implementation of the Care Act, which was the only new high risk.
· Staff fatigue and burn out.
5.12 Finally, the Committee noted that the majority of risks remained stable. Stability was something officers were challenging however as it was only a good thing if within the right levels. There would therefore now be a target score for each risk to measure this.
5.13 It was raised that there was an ongoing issue of securing social care packages for elderly residents wanting to remain in their own homes. Figures were requested on the number of clients the brokerage team were dealing with and the time it was taking to secure appropriate care packages.
ACTION: Rob Ayliffe
5.14 Members noted that Adults was a very different provider market, it was very difficult for care operators to operate and remain competitive, whilst offering prices that local authorities were able to pay. It was suggested that this could be future item for Adult Social Care Scrutiny to look into in more depth.
5.15 There remained a frustration that a number of the indicators did not have targets or a narrative to accompany the RAG ratings. Whilst it was explained that there would always be some indicators where it was not appropriate to set targets, this should be in the minority.
ACTION: Rob Ayliffe
· Request an update on the Fastershire rollout (progress and timescales)
· Raise the possibility of the Local Transport Plan being added to the Strategic Risk Register (due to the very strict targets it included particularly around public transport use)
· Raise issue of missing targets/narratives
5.16 There was a discussion as to whether the current economic crisis needed to be added as a new risk which would have an effect on every department. Officers explained that time needed to allow for the market to settle before reviewing the risk register, it may be that there will be some positives for the Council in terms of interest rates remaining high. Inflation was also something that was constantly measured through everything the Council did and therefore did not necessarily require a separate risk.