5.1 Ann James introduced two researchers from Oxford Brookes University, Agnes Turnpenny and Fiona Richardson, as well as the Director of Care for Homes2Inspire, Philip Cass. She also gave an overview of the report, explaining that this was an independent evaluation carried out by Oxford Brookes to compare Trevone House to other similar types of provision in the sector. She explained that the findings were broadly positive but also mixed giving lessons to be learned for commissioning of future provision and it particular the development of Southfield House.
5.2 Officers from Oxford Brookes highlighted that is was a draft report, with the final report expected to be ready the following week. They explained that there were some difficulties with missing data and that it was difficult to find comparable provision in the UK.
ACTION – DSU to update the item as a draft report
5.3 Philip Cass gave an overview of the Shaw Trust’s involvement with Trevone House, explaining that their ambition was to innovate and design high quality services and Trevone House was one way of doing that. He highlighted that new projects would also carry a level of risk but that the report confirmed for them that this work should be replicated within Gloucestershire and shared with other Local Authorities. He particularly highlighted the outcomes from the wellbeing suites and the cost savings of caring for residents at Trevone House.
5.4 The Ambassador explained that she had visited Trevone House the previous day and asked about the criteria for a child to be accepted to Trevone House as only about a dozen were currently residing there and her understanding was that capacity was up to 30. It was explained that the intention was to have up to 17 residents and 30 could only be achieved if rooms were shared. It was also explained that the criteria for acceptance would be revisited.
5.5 A member asked if it would be possible to send questions directly to the researchers. He also asked whether they had been involved with GCC before. The researchers explained that Oxford Brookes had worked with the County Council in the past, such as doing some research into GCC’s current Sufficiency Strategy, but no specific advice had been given regarding the development of Trevone House.
ACTION – DSU to facilitate communication between the member and the researchers
5.6 In response to a question about what Trevone was compared to, it was explained that the Trevone model was unique and that primary comparisons were made with other provisions in Gloucestershire.
5.7 A member raised concerns that the report was positive, but not an unequivocal success. He asked whether the Cabinet Member was still confident basing the Sufficiency Strategy on this model was still sensible. Stephen Davies, Cabinet Member for Children’s Safeguarding and Early Years, explained that regardless of the report, it was clear that GCC needed to make its own provision. He further explained that whilst the report was not perfect, there were parts of Trevone House that were working and that with the right lessons learnt, this would shape thinking moving forwards. He explained that the strategy would be adjusted according to the results of the report and that he was confident GCC still had to enter the market with their own provision. The Director added that the Sufficiency Strategy went beyond just repeating Trevone House.
5.8 A member asked the Ambassador what her peers thought of Trevone House. She explained that the ambassadors did have their doubts and saw the areas that needed improving. She highlighted more trauma informed training as a necessity and expressed a hope that it would be possible to build from this report.
5.9 In response to a question about whether the report gave confidence to go ahead with developing Southfield House, the Cabinet member explained that lessons would be learnt from the report and that he was confident that Southfield House development should continue. He also explained that an improvement plan would be taken to Trevone House residents to ensure they were satisfied with the planned improvements. Following a request to scrutinise that plan, the Cabinet Member agreed to bring it back to this Committee when appropriate.
ACTION – DSU to add the Trevone House Improvement Plan to the work plan
5.10 A member asked for clarification over Trevone’s maximum capacity.
ACTION – DSU to liaise with Rob England and Philip Cass to clarify
5.11 A member asked for more practical data from Trevone House’s operating that was not covered in the report. Members also raised their interest in visiting Trevone House to get a better understanding of day-to-day operations.
ACTION – DSU to help facilitate a Trevone House visit
5.12 In response to a question about whether Trevone House was value for money, it was explained that the report did speak to value for money but more work would go into properly calculating the value of the improved life outcomes for residents of Trevone House. The Cabinet Member added that plans regarding creating provision would only go ahead with a solid business case that they were confident would deliver value for money.