Report - London Borough of Hillingdon

hillingdon.gov.uk

Report - London Borough of Hillingdon

SOCIAL SERVICES BUDGET MONITORING 1996/97 ITEM 38

Contact Officers: Dawn Warwick / Rodney D’Costa

Telephone: 01895 250393 / 01895 250398

SUMMARY

This report provides:

• The latest projected budget outturn for 1996/97.

• The overall financial position facing the Council for 1997/98.

• The pressures facing the Committee’s budget for 1997/98.

• Action taken and further possible options to reduce the Committee’s budget

pressures for 1997/98.

RECOMMENDATIONS

It is recommended that Members:

1. Authorise officers to take all practical steps to ensure that the projected

overspend against budget provision is reduced to the absolute minimum.

2. In accordance with the decisions of Finance and Property Sub Committee,

agree urgent action to eliminate the 1997 / 98 financial pressures to enable

budgets to be managed within the rolled forward base budget.

3. Instruct officers to report to the next cycle the implications for Social Services

of the voluntary redundancy programme.

INFORMATION

1996/97 Position

38.1 The latest projected outturn for the year is set out in Appendix A.

38.2 There is a current projected overspend between the range £1.734m and £2.181m.

Appendix B provides the detail on the projected variances listed in Appendix A.

38.3 Overspends on salaries and wages and under-recovery of income have been based

on a straight-line projection of actuals and therefore reflect an assumption of an unchanged

pattern of activity between now and the end of the financial year.

38.4 The projected overspend at Month 5 was £1.5m.

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38.5 A series of measures have been introduced which has reduced the overall projected

overspend and improved the systems of budget management and control throughout the

department.

• Cost efficiency measures - for example, management action in Home Care has

resulted in a drop in the projected overspend from £496,000 to £370-£400,000.

• Significant one-off planned savings - these have been actioned in Older People’s

Services (£200,000); Special Transitional Grant (STG) (£700,000); and emergency

austerity/economy measures by individual managers (£209,000). Under the rules of

Community Care Grant funding, the STG saving has been utilised to offset

Community Care pressures e.g. Home Care.

• Looked after children - a policy of moving young people to more independent

accommodation, where appropriate, is realising benefits in terms of reduced care

package costs as well maximising the potential for claiming Housing Benefit. In

addition action has been taken to improve budgetary control that comes under the

delegated responsibility of service managers.

• Income strategy - due to report its findings in late January, a time-limited group has

been set up to examine ways of maximising income within the overall principles of

the Council’s anti-poverty strategy.

• Health Authority funding - negotiations with Hillingdon Health Authority are underway

to ensure that services provided by Social Services on behalf of Health are mutually

agreed and that funding is on the basis of actual cost incurred by this Department.

• Scrutiny of budgets - the Department is undertaking a continuous process of

reviewing its budgets which has resulted in £456,000 savings toward the corporate

5% savings exercise plus £209,000 one-off Austerity/Economy savings by individual

managers. It should be noted, however, that of the £670,000 savings in 1996/97 that

Social Services were expected to find as part of the 5% strategy there is an amount

of £214,000 which was not achieved.

• Budgetary Control - specific assistance with local budget monitoring plus centralised

systems and training have been introduced to strengthen budgetary control and

highlight and formalise the accountabilities for delegated budget management.

The Council’s Overall Financial Position, 1997/98

38.6 As reported by the Director of Finance to the Finance and Property Sub-Committee,

16/12/96, there is a 1997/98 funding gap of £6.8m. This figure assumes that all

committees will have resolved their overspend problems. Social Services faces a number

of budget pressures in 1997/98 which, in part, are related to the projected overspend in

the current year.

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38.7 Overall, taking into consideration the £6.8m funding gap and the current anticipated

budget pressures, if no further expenditure reductions are made the Council’s budget gap

in 1997/98 will be above £10m. It is unlikely that the Council will be able to set a balanced

budget for 1997/98 without service cuts and job losses. Whilst short term or one-off

measures will help, these will not address the Council’s underlying/structural budget

problem.

SOCIAL SERVICES BUDGET 1997/98

38.8 The Social Services budget pressures for 1997/98 total approximately £4.4m are set

out in Table 1. Further detail is provided in Appendix C.

Table 1 Social Services Budget Pressures 1997/98

A. Staffing

1. Shortfall in staffing budgets compared to staffing establishment identified by managers

2. Cost of implementing Career Progression (to be confirmed)

3. On going revenue effect of enhancement to pensions

B. Operational

Children & Families:

1. Private & Voluntary provision (OBP)

2. Fostering & Adoption - Mainstream

3. Fostering & Adoption - Refugee Children

4. Middlesex Lodge (residual) income budget

£m

1.0

0.260

0.055

1.1

0.8

0.2

0.062

C. Other

1. Under achievement on Departmental income budgets (excluding Home Care)

2. Slippage on 5% savings exercise

0.3

0.595

Total 4.372

Options to reduce Budget Pressures 1997/98

38.9 In the light of earlier comments about the need for individual service committees to

resolve potential budget pressures as well as the further action that is necessary to bridge

the overall funding gap of £6.8m, it cannot be stressed enough that urgent action needs to

be taken to address structural budget problems. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that

service reductions and job losses will be inevitable.

38.10 Options to reduce the budget pressures for 1997/98 across Adults, Children’s and

Support Services amount to approximately £1.998m attached as Schedule 1. These

figures will need to be revised once the cost of staff relocations has been determined.

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38.11 These include staff rationalisation and management reorganisation. Given current

Council Policy, it is assumed that these options will be achieved through voluntary

redundancies and natural wastage. It must be noted, however, that the options relating to

staff savings are based on a theoretical implementation date of 1st April 1997, to illustrate

the full year effect. Actual savings will need to be reduced pro-rata. It should also be noted

that at this stage, it is too early to assess the impact of any voluntary redundancies on

services and that it will be extremely difficult to implement any reorganisation through

voluntary redundancy alone. Progress on implementing voluntary redundancies will be

reported to the next cycle.

38.12 Even if the full £1.998m were to be achieved in 1997/98, there would remain an

overall shortfall of £2.67m of the £4.4m.

Further work in progress

38.13 Further work to reduce the shortfall is underway including examining the further

potential for maximising Community Care Grant monies and further potential savings in

Children’s Provider Services

38.14 Members are advised that the further £2.67m budget reductions cannot be

achieved without sizeable service reductions. A £2m cut in service would equate to a 40%

reduction in the capacity of the Home Care Service with a loss of 156 Home Care jobs

and a loss of service to 560 service users or the closure of 11 day service units with a loss

of 83 jobs and 447 places for service users.

38.15 In accordance with the recommendations of the Finance and Property Sub

Committee on 16th December 1996, Members are invited to consider the options for

budget reductions and if not supported, to identify alternative options in order to achieve a

balanced budget.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

SSC 21/6/96 & 17/9/96 Revenue Monitoring Reports

Finance & Property Sub-Committee 16/12/96, Item 1

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SOCIAL SERVICES CAPITAL PROGRAMME 1996/97

PERIOD 9 MONITORING

ITEM 39

Contact Officer: Rodney D’Costa / Dave Hardman

Telephone: 01895 250398 / 01895 250876

SUMMARY

This report provides an update on the 1996/97 Capital Programme at period 9,

December 1996.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. That the Committee notes the progress on the 1996/97 programme.

2. That the Committee notes the two year programme for 1996/97 and 1997/98

3. That the Committee notes the addition of following items to the programme:-

• the reprovision of Colham Green Day Services

• the reprovision of Acol Crescent Special Needs Day Services

• the installation of a lift at Hatton Grove

INFORMATION

39.1 The programme for 1996/97 to 1998/99 is set out in appendix A

• Work commenced on The Burroughs at the end of September and is on target for

completion by the end of March 1997.

• The residential home for people with multiple disabilities, in Yiewsley Communal

Gardens, was opened on 7th October 1996.

• The Willowtree Lane Resource Centre has been on hold for some time pending

finalisation of the funding arrangements. The project is unlikely to go ahead in the near

future. The capital funds have therefore been redeployed to areas where resources are

more immediately required.

• The funding for the refurbishment of Mountbatten House, and the feasibility studies on

Ryefield and Whitby Dene, have also been deferred pending the outcome of the Older

Persons Strategy and the Council’s overall decision on its Capital Programme for the

coming year.

• Planning for the Respite Care Unit for Asian older people is now well advanced.

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• Work commenced on the development of the Hostel for unaccompanied asylum

seeking young people, and is on target for completion by May 1997.

• The maintenance programme is well underway.

• The roof at Honeycroft Day Centre requires total replacement and is therefore the

subject of an additional bid for 1997/98.

• The Health and Safety contingency in the programme is £36,000. The Department has

recently introduced a Health and Safety monitoring system (CHASE), and, in addition, is

currently undertaking risk assessments at all office premises. These should identify

priority areas of expenditure against this budget.

39.2 Three items have been added to the programme, two of which are externally funded

(nos. 2 and 3):

1. The reprovision of Colham Green Day Services is being funded from capital

replacement regulations from £1 million capital receipt that will be received from the

disposal of Stockley Colham site.

2. The reprovision of Acol Crescent Day Centre is being funded from Health Authority

sources.

3. The installation of a lift at Hatton Grove is being funded from balances in the externally

funded budget, from Health, for people with learning disabilities.

Director of Finance Comments

39.3 The Director of Finance has been involved in the production of this report.

The report covers the position on the currently committed programme for the Committee in

the light of Government decisions on resources available to the Council for new capital

projects next year. The Policy Committee will be considering the overall position for the

programme, and the implications for this Committee will be reported to the next meeting

as part of the regular report on the Capital Programme.

Equal Opportunities

39.4 The progress in planning for the respite care for Asian older people is a welcome

step. It reflects Social Services commitment to address unmet needs for ethnic minority

groups.

39.5 The proposed programmes for improving services for people with multiple

disabilities demonstrates Social Services commitment to the Borough’s residents with

multiple disabilities.

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39.6 The proposal to develop a hostel for unaccompanied Asylum Seeking young people

is a demonstration of the Council’s commitment to this highly vulnerable service user

group.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

Capital Programme working files

Social Services Property Strategy - June and September 1996

Social Services Plans - June 1996

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LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN - EFFECT ON BUDGET

PROJECTION

ITEM 40

Contact Officer: Julie Capaldi

Telephone: 01895 250527

SUMMARY

This report provides an update on the number of children and young people who are

Looked After by the London Borough of Hillingdon. The budget pressures which have

been identified and the action being taken to address the overspend.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. That the Committee notes the action taken to reduce the number of Looked

After children aged 16 and over.

2. That the Committee endorses the further action proposed.

BACKGROUND

40.1 The report to Committee in September 1996 indicated that there were 352 Looked

After Children and the main budget pressures arising from the care of the children was in

the Private and Voluntary Sector residential placements budget.

40.2 A further budget pressure for this financial year has been identified in the Foster

Placement and Refugee budgets. The pressure had not been identified at the time and

therefore was not reported to Committee in September.

40.3 The reasons for the increase in the number of Looked After children were explained

in the September Committee report. The reasons for the pressure on the Fostering and

Refugee budgets are explained by the increase in Looked After children, together with a

lack of clear policy and appropriate resources for young people aged 16 and over.

Current Numbers Of Looked After Children:

40.4 The overall number of Looked After children has reduced from 352 in September

1996 to 272 in December 1996. This is a decrease of 22% (see appendices A & B).

40.5 The reduction in numbers is due to the following:-

• Consistent decision making in a panel forum with services managers, chaired by the

Head of Service.

• Implementation of the 16+ policy which means that young people are not Looked After

unless it would otherwise be seriously detrimental to their welfare.

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• A reduction in the number of unaccompanied asylum seeking young people arriving at

Heathrow Airport and seeking assistance from the London Borough of Hillingdon.

• An improved information system which accurately records and collates the numbers,

ages and placements of children.

Support To Young People Aged 16+

40.6 There are currently 50 young people receiving support under Section 17 or Section

24 of the Children’s Act. These are young people who need either:

(a)

Assistance with accommodation, benefits, employment but do not need looking

after (Section 17).

(b) Assistance with independent living having left Local Authority care (Section 24).

40.7 It is recognised that young people aged 16 and over who have contact with Social

Services require a different and more creative approach than that provided by traditional

social work. It is planned to create a specialist team in the Spring of 1997 to more

effectively meet the needs of young people. In the meantime a temporary team, named

Project 16+, is in place to expedite the appropriate moves to independence of young

people.

40.8 In all services for children and young people it is vital to recognise the inherent value

judgements which influence our assessment of individuals and groups and to strive

towards an equitable service provision. The 16+ Policy aims to help Social Services

make progress on this by ensuring that young people aged 16-18 receive an assessment

and appropriate services which take into account the possible needs of their age group.

This includes how young people may be helped to achieve or maintain independence and

maximise access to housing, training, employment and social networks. The policy

facilitates an approach which recognises that whilst there are common features of need

amongst young people aged 16+, it should not be assumed that all individuals should

receive the same service. For instance, that all young people who are asylum seekers

should be looked after by the Local Authority rather than allowing them to receive the level

of support which will enable them to function effectively in society.

Action Plan

40.9 The attached Action Plan (appendix C) sets out action to address the projected

overspend in the Children & Families Division. An update report on the Action will be

tabled at Committee in order to present the most recent position.

40.10 The move on accommodation (appendix D) details the current and future

accommodation for young people aged 16+. This is one of the most significant

components in achieving both appropriate services and a balanced budget in the future.

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Director of Finance Comments

As noted in the Revenue Monitoring Report reported to this cycle, the cost of Looked After

Children / Young People has been a significant factor that has contributed to the projected

budget overspend for Social Services in the current year as well as making up a large

element of the budget pressures for 1997/98.

The report also outlines action to improve budgetary control that comes under the

delegated responsibility of service managers plus progress on moving children / young

people from (expensive) Looked After accommodation to (cheaper) more independent

accommodation which are additionally attractive as they maximise the potential for

claiming Housing Benefit. The implementation of these action points is essential in order

to reduce the budget overspend in the current year and pressures identified for next year.

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ADULT ASYLUM SEEKERS -

IMPLICATIONS FOR HILLINGDON COUNCIL

ITEM 41

Contact Officer: Howard Stapleton

Telephone: 01895 622424

SUMMARY

This report highlights the needs of people seeking asylum in the United Kingdom, who

have been denied Housing and Welfare Benefits since the introduction of the Asylum and

Immigration Act 1996 and the potential impact upon Hillingdon Social Services

Department.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. That members note the effect of the legislative changes on Asylum Seekers

and the Social Services response to the Collin’s judgment.

2. That members understand the possible financial implications upon Social

Services’ budgets at a time of considerable financial pressure.

3. That this report be referred to the Community Development Sub Committee for

information.

INFORMATION

41.1 The Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 became law in July 1996. The implications of

this Act are that persons entering the UK who wished to register as seeking asylum are

required to register at their port of entry at the time of arrival. Failure to do so invalidates a

person’s application for welfare benefits from the Department of Social Security and

assistance with housing from the Local Authority.

41.2 The consequence of this will mean an unregistered Asylum Seeker will become

destitute - without accommodation, food or funds.

41.3 Four asylum seekers, with the aid of the Refugee Council, took their respective Local

Authorities to Court, claiming that Local Authorities had a duty under the National

Assistance Act 1948, section 21, to provide for this group of people. In October, Judge

Collins found in the asylum seekers’ favour. The Local Authorities concerned have

appealed against this decision and the matter is due to return to Court in January 1997.

41.4 Local Authorities have responded to the judgment in different ways. Initially, some

Authorities, notwithstanding the Collins’ judgment, continued to offer no assistance. Others

offered financial assistance toward accommodation only with a daily or weekly cash

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payment for food; others agreed to pay for half-board in guest houses/hotels. Finally, some

Local Authorities have commissioned buildings which were un-used residential

establishments as ‘hostels’ or have opened part of a Dining Centre for asylum seekers to

obtain a daily meal.

41.5 On the 26th November, The Secretary State for Health responded to a Parliamentary

Question by saying that he intended to make special funds available to Local Authorities to

enable them to support adult asylum seekers refused assistance under the Asylum &

Immigration Act 1996. The extent of that assistance to Local Authorities is not yet known.

41.6 Advice from Legal Services and the Department of Health, is that cash payments to

asylum seekers by Local Authorities are ultra vires. In effect, Local Authorities are

prevented from providing cash to asylum seekers, but can provide accommodation and

food. It is known that some Authorities continue to give cash on a regular basis to enable

asylum seekers to undertake their own shopping for food and essential toiletries.

Hillingdon’s Response

41.7 A lead officer from Social Services has been nominated. His task is to:-

i) form a small team of staff from existing resources which will assess those

people, including their eligibility for assistance

ii) produce an operational policy document

iii) manage a designated budget drawn from existing resources

iv) liaise fully with colleagues in Housing, Health and the voluntary organisations

and seek their assistance where possible

v) advise the Director on a periodic basis on the degree of need which emerges and

the budgetary implications

Budget

41.8 The medium to long term impact on the Social Services budget cannot be gauged.

Of the 20 people who have sought assistance, 2 have been assessed as eligible.

41.9 Some inner and East London Authorities have over 100 Adult Asylum Seekers

claiming assistance from Social Services. As a rough predictor of cost implications, a

reasonable estimate is that Bed, Breakfast and Evening Meal can be obtained in

Hillingdon for approximately £20/night. An individual would also have essential toiletry

needs and may need a meal/refreshment at lunchtimes, approximately £10/week.

At a conservative estimate, the figure of £150/week or £8,000/year per asylum seeker

emerges and, as mentioned above, the level of financial assistance to Local Authorities by

the Department of Health is not yet known.

41.10 Many asylum seekers will have lived with friends in this country and would wish to

continue so to do, but their hosts feel unable to support them indefinitely without financial

assistance. Rather than see the person evicted and then need to be accommodated in

B&B accommodation, it is more appropriated to make a payment to the family

accommodating the asylum seeker.

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41.11 It is impossible to gauge the financial demand upon the Department at this stage.

Any payments currently made will be from existing resources and the hope must be that

Central Government remuneration will fully cover the expense. Any shortfall will have to be

borne by an already over-committed budget.

Equal Opportunities

41.12 Staff involved in assessing and assisting adult asylum seekers are aware of the

trauma and distress which many will have experienced in their home country. Support will

be provided sensitively and will aim to direct asylum seekers toward any support groups

where by they can receive support from others who have had similar experiences. Staff

will also be aware of language difficulties and will develop a sound relationship with local

interpreting facilities.

CONCLUSION

41.13 The responsibility for this group of adults has come to Local Authorities with very

little warning and no defined resource allocation. Practice still varies from one Local

Authority to another in how need is met and there remains a legal uncertainty as to

whether, ultimately, Local Authorities do have a duty toward this group of people: it may be

that the Appeal Court will find that no such duty exists or, alternatively, Central Government

will seek to amend the law.

Director of Finance Comments

As indicated in the report, it is not yet possible to quantify the numbers and therefore

overall cost of providing assistance to adult asylum seekers. Funding from existing

resources has been identified which would otherwise have been used for one-off purposes

including planned savings towards the projected budget overspend faced by the

Department in the current year. The Government has indicated that financial assistance

will be provided to local authorities for this specific purpose, however, details of the

amount and conditions are not yet known.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

None.

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A STRATEGY FOR ADULT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

IN HILLINGDON

ITEM 42

Contact Officer: Howard Stapleton

Telephone: 01895 622424

SUMMARY

This full and wide ranging report has been jointly produced by Hillingdon Health Authority

and Social Services Department. It reviews services that currently exist in Hillingdon for

Adults with mental health problems and sets out proposals for future service developments

over the next five years. A copy of the full document has been circulated to Members of the

Committee only.

RECOMMENDATION

1. That members endorse the document and note the partnership which exists

between Health, Social Services and the Voluntary sector in service delivery and

planning.

2. That members acknowledge the positive input of Social Services mental health

staff at a time of increasing demand and pressures upon front line services.

INFORMATION

42.1 The move towards more community based provision of mental health services began

in Hillingdon during the 1980’s.

42.2 Multi-agency Community Mental Health Teams were established and are located at

the two Mental Health Resource Centres, The Pembroke Centre and at the recently

opened Mead House.

42.3 A third community team has been established for the South West of the Borough and

it is intended to obtain a permanent location during 1997.

42.4. It is necessary to look periodically at how services are being delivered, to whom,

and to plan ahead for future needs. The draft Mental Health Strategy sets out the

framework for this review in Hillingdon.

42.5 A positive report from the District Auditor on mental health provision in Hillingdon

was reported to the last Committee. The strategy document has taken on board the Audit

recommendations including those relating to service improvements.

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42.6 The draft Strategy for Mental Health must be seen within the national context. Whilst

both Health and Social Services are committed to working with people with mental health

problems - they do work to different priorities.

42.7 Social Services is required to target its resources at people with serious and

enduring mental health problems, whereas health services also have responsibilities to

people with less severe mental problems.

42.8 The Department of Health advice on how Mental Health Services should be delivered

commends a range of approaches including Community Mental Health Teams, Community

Resource Centres and Primary Care/GP led teams. The challenge locally is to translate

the advice into local, accessible and well managed services.

42.9 A Green Paper is due for publication early in 1997, it will present options for the

future of Mental Health Services. It is anticipated more information will be available by the

next cycle and this will be reported to Committee with the outcome of the consultation on

the draft strategy.

42.10 A further area is the role of the fund holding GP who can purchase services directly

from the Hillingdon Hospital Trust. Again, this presents challenges if services are to be

comprehensive and co-ordinated.

42.11 The Strategy sets out the services offered locally, jointly and by individual agencies.

Inevitably, the bulk of provision is provided by Health Services.

42.12 The resource allocation across Health and the Local Authority reflects the

government’s intention that Health Providers be the main suppliers of mental health care.

42.13 Appendix 1 summarises the contents of the draft by chapter

42.14 500 copies of the Mental Health Strategy document will be produced. During

January 1997, a meeting will take place involving Social Services, Hillingdon Health

Authority, Community Health Council, voluntary organisations and other key agencies to

agree a programme of open consultation sessions during February and March whereby

any interested individuals or agencies can meet and discuss the document.

42.15 It is also intended to set up a ‘stake-holder’ group, made up of service users, carers

and voluntary organisations which will meet quarterly and ensure that commitments and

timescales made in the document are adhered to by the respective agencies.

CONCLUSION

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42.16 The Strategy was recently presented to the Hillingdon Health Authority Management

Board on 28th November 1996 and welcomed as the vision for the next 5 years.

42.17 Social Services welcome the closer working and operational arrangements that

have occurred with Health over the past 5 years and look forward to this partnership

continuing.

Financial Implications

There will be a need to identify revenue and capital input into the proposed South West

base for the Community Mental Health Team which will be Health funded. This sum is, as

yet, unquantified. However, as a marker, Health contribute £50,000 annually as its

contribution to the running costs of Mead House.

Director of Finance Comments

The proposed strategy will need to be contained within existing resources plus any

specific external funding, for example the Health contribution for the South West based

Mental Health Team.

Equal Opportunities

Both agencies are aware of the potential for double disadvantages for mentally ill people

from Black and Asian communities. To address this issues, the staff in both the agencies

work to ensure that the process of assessment and subsequent care plans reflect racially

and culturally specific issues for this group of service users.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENT

‘A Strategy for Adult Mental Health Services in Hillingdon 1997-2001’

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CHILDREN’S SERVICES PLAN 1997-2000 ITEM 43

SUMMARY

Contact Officer: Julie Capaldi / Cathy Bambrough

Telephone: 01895 250527 / 0181 839 0039

In March 1996 the Secretary of State for Health made an order under Section 17(4) of the

Children Act 1989 requiring local authorities to develop Children’s Services Plans by

April 1997. This report outlines the progress made in the development of the Plan and

sets out a revised timetable for the production of the plan.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. That the Committee notes the achievements made in the development of the

Children’s Services Plan to date.

2. That the Committee agrees the extended timescale proposed. This will enable

greater consideration to be given to interagency priorities and planning, and allow

a meaningful public consultation programme to take place.

BACKGROUND

43.1 The Children Act 1989 (Amendment) Children’s Services Planning Order made

under Section 17(4) of the Children Act in March 1996 requires local authorities to assess

the need for provision of services under Part III of the Act; to consult with various

organisations in planning how the need will be met and to publish a plan.

43.2 The Social Services Department is required to take a lead in the planning process.

The plan should cover a three year period with minor reviews held annually and major

reviews every three years.

43.3 The Committee agreed the principles underpinning the plan, the areas of need

prioritised for the first plan and the planning and consultation framework on 21st June

1996.

43.4 A Multi-agency Steering Group chaired by the Head of Service in Children’s

Services was set up in February 1996. This group commissioned 7 Project Groups to

consider the following areas of need.

1. Children and Young People with mental health needs including those with emotional

difficulties.

2. Children and Young People at risk of social exclusion including young people who may

be subject to criminal proceedings, those excluded from school and those with challenging

behaviour.

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3. Children and Young People affected by or involved in substance misuse.

4. Children under eight receiving day care services.

5. Children and Young People with disabilities and long term health needs including those

preparing for adulthood and children with special educational needs.

6. Children and Young People looked after by the local authority including asylum seekers

and refugees.

7. Children and Young People in need of protection.

Progress To Date

43.5 The production of a multi-agency Children’s Services Plan is a complex and timeconsuming

task requiring commitment and participation from all partner agencies

including the Voluntary Sector. The demands made by the Children’s Services Plan have

been additional to the existing workloads of all agencies, and have particularly impacted

on Social Services which are required to lead the process.

43.6 It is important to acknowledge the enthusiasm and commitment shown by those

participating in the planning process, which is strengthened by a shared recognition that

as the demands on all agencies are increased and resources reduced, more effective

services can only be provided through closer collaboration, the elimination of overlaps and

clearer priorities.

43.7 There are difficulties for all agencies in developing a three year plan without knowing

the full extent of likely budget limitations for this period, given that budgets are set on an

annual basis.

43.8 Multi-agency Project Groups have been set up to gain a clearer picture of need,

existing services, gaps and overlaps in services and to make proposals for future action in

relation to all of the areas outlined in .4 with the exception of Children Under Eight who

have already been considered by the Day Care Review. Each reported their preliminary

findings in November.

43.9 Two multi-agency staff workshops were held in June, to provide staff with the

opportunity to influence the planning process. Their views about existing services, and

ideas for future action were collated and used by the Project Groups to shape the plan.

43.10 A Seminar for the Voluntary Sector was held in June to provide organisations with

the opportunity to influence the planning process. 97 voluntary organisations were

identified and invited to this Seminar. The views expressed were collated and used by the

Project Groups to shape the plan.

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43.11 A positive outcome from this Seminar was the Steering Group’s decision to include

the needs of Young Carers as an area to be considered by the plan and a Project Group

was convened, chaired by an officer from the Education Department to identify needs and

plan for these young people.

43.12 A second Voluntary Sector Seminar was held in October to enable officers chairing

the Project Groups to inform the sector how their views had been considered in the

planning process. A positive outcome from this Seminar has been the commitment to

consider further the voluntary sector’s contribution to the broad area of Family Support.

43.13 In September a competition for school aged children was launched to produce a

logo for the plan. Unfortunately because other competitions for children’s drawing were

taking place at the same time, no entries were received. The competition will be

relaunched in the Spring Term.

43.14 Project Groups have taken seriously the need to listen to the views of service users

in the construction of the plan. The following activities have taken place and the outcomes

are being used to influence the planning process.

43.15 A Young Peoples Forum was held at the Compass Theatre in November. All young

people between 12 - 18 who are looked after by the local authority were invited. We were

fortunate in attracting both local and asylum seeking young people. The evening was

hosted by non-operational Social Services staff and a member of staff from the Youth

Service. The views of young people were canvassed about all agencies. A positive

outcome was the young peoples desire to set up an ongoing group and the future for this is

currently being considered. The views expressed by the young people are being collated

and will be used by the Project Group working in this area.

43.16 A survey was undertaken of parents and carers of children and young people with

disabilities. Names were randomly selected from the Social Services Disability Register

and included 17% representation from minority ethnic groups. All respondents were

interviewed and their views canvassed about all agencies. The results of the survey were

collated and used by the Project Group working in this area.

43.17 Parents and Carers who had been involved in the Child Protection Procedures

were randomly selected and interviewed by non-operational staff about their experiences

of this process. Their views were fed into the group working in this area.

43.18 The group working on substance misuse conducted two surveys, one with staff

across Social Services and Education to determine the extent of training needs in this

area. A second survey targeted young people under 18 to gauge both their level of

awareness and their existing use of non-prescribed substances. The information arising

will shape the proposals in this area.

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REVISED TIMESCALE FOR CONSULTATION PROCESS

43.19 The draft plan will need to be approved by the Boards and Committees of all

participating agencies before public consultation can take place.

43.20 The public consultation will take place through advertising public meetings in

Hillingdon People” and by inviting written responses to the document which will be made

available in public places such as libraries.

43.21 It is anticipated that the draft plan will be available for presentation to the June

Social Services Committee, and that public consultation will take place during July and

September. The final document being published November/December 1997.

43.22 A £5000 budget for the publication of the plan has been identified.

Director of Finance Comments

43.23 As indicated in the report, the cost of producing the children’s services plan will be

met from within existing resources.

Equal Opportunities

43.24 The principles for the planning process require that equalities issues and antidiscriminatory

practice are considered integral to the planning and consultation process.

CONCLUSIONS

43.25 The process of developing Hillingdon’s first Children’s Services Plan has already

provided increased opportunities for interagency collaboration and understanding of

Service Users’ needs and views.

43.26 The extended timescale will provide more time for consideration to be given to the

considerable work already undertaken by the Project Groups so that realistic priorities and

plans can be made and a meaningful public consultation can take place.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

Children Act 1989

Children’s Services Planning : Guidance - Department of Health and Department for

Education and Employment

Social Services Committee Report Children’s Services Plan - 21st June 1996

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ARRANGEMENT TO PROVIDE SHARED

ACCOMMODATION FOR 45 YOUNG PEOPLE

ITEM 44

Contact Officer: Don McPhail

Telephone: 01895 250410

SUMMARY

This report informs the Social Services Committee of the decision of the Urgency Sub-

Committee on the 25.10.96 to enter into an agreement with a Hillingdon Housing

Consortium Member to provide shared accommodation for 45 young people who have

been looked after by the London Borough of Hillingdon.

RECOMMENDATION

That the Committee notes the decision of the Urgency Sub-Committee to enter

into an agreement with a local Housing Association to provide shared

accommodation for 45 young people and receives information on the progress of

the scheme.

BACKGROUND

44.1 The report to the Urgency Sub-Committee is attached (Appendix 1).

44.2 A number of young people being looked after by Hillingdon Social Services have

recently been identified as having the skills to live in more independent accommodation

and move away from looked after accommodation.

44.3 At the same time, it was also clear that the demand on the Housing Department to

provide council tenancies through the Social A nomination process was greater than the

supply of available tenancies.

44.4 The Housing Department on behalf of the Social Services Department invited

Housing Associations to bid for a contract to supply 15 houses to accommodate 45 young

people by March, 1997. Two Housing Associations submitted bids.

44.5 The Urgency Sub-Committee on the 25.10.96 agreed to pursue the bid from the

Housing Association A.

44.6 A contract with the Housing Association has been agreed.

44.7 Urgent work has been undertaken within Social Services to identify and prepare

young people for moving from a range of placements to the accommodation when this is

made available.

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44.8 It is currently expected that six young people will be placed during December, a

further twelve in January 1997, and the remaining thirty by March 1997.

44.9 Standards for the continued support to these young people are being devised.

Director of Finance Comments

As reported in the Revenue Monitoring Report, the costs of Looked After Accommodation

for Young People is expensive and has been a significant factor that has contributed to the

projected budget overspend in Social Services. Proposals as contained in this report for

moving young people to more independent accommodation are inherently cheaper as well

as having the advantage to the Authority of maximising the potential for claiming Housing

Benefit.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

Report to Urgency Sub-Committee - 25 October 1996.

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GRANTING OF LEASE ON 1 AND 2 MERRIMANS ITEM 45

SUMMARY

Contact Officer: Dave Hardman

Telephone: 01895 250876

This report asks the Committee to grant a lease of 6 years, to a Member of the Hillingdon

Housing Consortium on numbers 1 and 2 Merrimans, for the purposes of providing 6 units

of accommodation for young people aged 16 and over leaving care.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. That the Committee notes the need to provide ’move on’ accommodation for

looked after young people as part of the 16+ Young Persons strategy in the

Social Services Department

2. That the Committee notes that this is part of a range of proposals to provide

more appropriate and much more cost effective accommodation for looked after

young people

3. That the Committee grants a lease of 6 years to the Housing Association on

numbers 1 and 2 Merrimans in return for nomination rights on terms to be

approved by the Head of the Property Services Agency

4. That members agree that funding will be sought from the Housing Corporation

but if unsuccessful officers seek to fund the project from the existing LAHAG

Shortlife budget if sufficient funds exist.

INFORMATION

45.1 The Social Services Department currently has 99 looked after young people aged

16 or over and has developed a strategy for moving these people on to more appropriate

and more cost effective accommodation.

45.2 A range of new schemes is coming on line over the next few months which will

provide up to 100 units, but it is felt that a further 50 will be required.

45.3 The units 1,2 and 3 Merrimans are located in West Drayton Road, Hillingdon.

• 3 Merrimans is a respite care unit for people with a learning disability

• 1 and 2 Merrimans are both 3 bedroom houses that are currently empty.

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45.4 1 Merrimans was a unit for children with a disability, which earlier this year moved to

Copperfield Avenue

45.5 2 Merrimans has been used from time to time as a temporary unit for people with a

learning disability, and more recently for a family visiting an adoptive child.

45.6 Each property requires £14k to bring them to appropriate standards.

45.7 The Housing Association is prepared to take the properties over, refurbish them, and

manage them for a period of 6 years.

45.8 It is proposed that the money for refurbishment will come from either the Housing

Corporation or the LAHAG budget.

45.9 The young people will be nominated, by the Social Services Department who will

retain ongoing responsibility, from the list of young people who are waiting to move into

more independent living.

45.10 The rent and running costs will be met from housing benefit.

45.11 This scheme will present no cost to the Social Services, and will enable the move

on of young people from expensive placements, thereby representing a reduction to the

Department’s overspend.

Director of Housing Comments

45.12 Housing Services has been working with Social Services to identify suitable

accommodation for looked after young people aged 16 and over. This scheme will

contribute an additional 6 bed spaces.

45.13 Housing Services already works in partnership with several associations who have

refurbished or converted Council owned property into self-contained accommodation for

letting to homeless families. The cost of the refurbishment/conversation works are met

through Shortlife grant either provided by the Housing Corporation or through the LAHAG

budget.

45.14 A Shortlife grant estimate of £14,217 per property has been received for the works

outlined in the report. Housing Services have asked the Housing Corporation whether any

grant funding can be identified from slippage in their current budget. If the Housing

Corporation are not able to fund the grant, then Housing Services would propose to

include these within the existing LAHAG shortlife budget. The LAHAG budget is currently

£600,000 of which £194,000 is spent or committed.

45.15 Although the housing association has not previously undertaken any other shortlife

projects in the borough, it has been asked to develop this scheme because it already

manages a 13 bed space supported housing scheme for this client group and is currently

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Social Services Committee - 30 January 1997 Page 48


in the process of acquiring properties for a shared housing scheme for young people

approved by the Housing Committee on 25 October 1996.

45.16 If Social Services do not need to use the properties for the length of the lease

Housing Services would be able to use them as self-contained temporary accommodation

for homeless families.

Director of Finance Comments

The granting of a short term lease of six years, means that there are no capital implications

from the proposal. The refurbishment costs will be met from resources available to the

housing association and the loans financed by the rents on the properties. As the rents

charged will be fully covered by benefit payments there is no net cost to the Council.

Overall there will be a saving as the young people nominated to the units are in

accommodation where there is a net cost to the Council.

BACKGROUND PAPERS

None

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COMMUNITY CARE PLAN 1997-2000 ITEM 46

SUMMARY

Contact Officer: Guna Mahadevan

Telephone: 01895 250877

This report provides information on progress to date on the Community Care Plan.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. That Members note the progress on the Community Care Plan.

2. That Members note and agree the timetable for consultation and publication of

the plan.

3. That Members note that Hillingdon Social Services Department have been

unable to report on the 1996 Community Care Plan. The Department of Health has

given agreement that Hillingdon will not report retrospectively on the year 1996,

and will produce a plan covering 1997 onwards.

INTRODUCTION

46.1 Local Authority Social Services Departments have a statutory responsibility under

the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 to produce a Community Care

Plan which sets out the following:-

a. Strategic framework for providing community care services to its local residents.

b. Collaborative working arrangements with the Health Authority and partnership

arrangements with all other key organisations involved in the provision of community care

services , including housing and voluntary organisations.

c. Funding arrangements for the provision of community care services.

INFORMATION

46.2 In previous years Social Services Departments were required to produce a one year

Plan on the community care arrangements for local people.

46.3 The Department of Health now requires the plans to span three years and have a

strategic focus, setting out clearly the Local Authority’s intentions of how it is to meet the

needs of people assessed as requiring services.

46.4 The plan covers the following:-

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Social Services Committee - 30 January 1997 Page 50


a. Statutory framework for planning, developing and providing services, and how these

statutory obligations will be met.

b. Strategic context within which services will be provided.

c. Information on service user groups e.g. People with Mental Health Problems, People

with Disabilities and older people.

d. How improvements will be made in service areas, where gaps have been identified.

Financial Implications

The estimated cost of publishing the Plan which includes costs on consultation is £16,000

and will be met from existing resources.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

The plan sets out clearly the equal opportunities framework of the Council. It emphasises

the Councils commitment to ensure that Community Care Services are provided on an

equitable basis, and strictly on the basis of need.

It also sets out information on the Complaints Procedure.

Director of Finance Comments

No specific comments applicable

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COUNCIL STANDING ORDERS - SOCIAL CARE

CONTRACTS

ITEM 47

Contact Officer: Martin Smith

Telephone: 01895 250437

SUMMARY

This report informs members of the decision of the Whips Sub-Committee in June 1996 to

issue revised Standing Orders for Social Care contracts.

INFORMATION

47.1 In June 1996 the Whips Sub-Committee agreed revised Council Standing Orders

and No. 80 is specifically for ‘Social Care Contracts’ (see Appendix A).

47.2 Under the conditions of Community Care Grant Funding, Local Authorities are

required to spend 85% of the Community Care Grant in the Independent (Private and

Voluntary Sector). The revised Standing Order covers the contracts by which Local

Authorities purchase care for services users either on an individual basis or for groups of

people.

47.3 In order to comply with the revised Council Standing Order an Operational Instruction

has been produced for staff use (see Appendix B).

Director of Finance Comments

The funding of independent sector provided care packages is via central government

“Community Care” monies (Special Transitional Grant). The Authority has a fiduciary duty

to ensure that Providers are approved under a process which includes a regular appraisal

of their “financial health” or viability.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

Appendix A - Hillingdon Council Standing Orders - No. 80

‘Social Care Contracts’ - Revised June 1996.

Appendix B - Operational Instruction for the Contracting

of Social Care from the Independent Sector.

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THE ASSOCIATION OF LONDON GOVERNMENT (ALG)

AGREEMENT ON PLACEMENTS OF HOMELESS

HOUSEHOLDS IN THE PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR

ITEM 48

Contact Officer: Donald McPhail

Telephone: 01895 250410

SUMMARY

This report outlines the agreement by the London Boroughs on establishing which local

authority is responsible for the provision of social services to homeless families who are

placed in private rented accommodation out of the Borough. The Housing Committee on

the 3rd December agreed the report and requested that Appendix 4 (attached) of the

Agreement be referred to Social Services Committee.

RECOMMENDATION

That the Social Services Committee agree to the provision of appendix 4 of the

ALG Inter-Borough Agreement.

INFORMATION

48.1 The principles of Appendix 4 of the Agreement have been applied since 1990 when

the Greater London Association of Directors of Social Services agreed to a London-wide

approach to the provision of social services to homeless families.

48.2 It has been helpful to have a London-wide agreement to principles which establish, in

a range of circumstances, which the local authority is responsible for the provision of social

services. Disputes between Social Services Departments are now very rare, and there is

continuity of service for families at the times they are most vulnerable.

48.3 The Committee is being asked to confirm their agreement to the principles

contained in Appendix 4 on the basis that this agreement does not change existing

practice.

Director of Finance Comments

No specific comments applicable.

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ASSOCIATION OF DIRECTORS OF SOCIAL SERVICES

CONFERENCE - 16-18 OCTOBER 1996 - REPORT BACK

ITEM 49

Contact Officer: Dawn Warwick

Telephone: 01895 250393

SUMMARY

This report sets out the key themes of the National Annual Conference of the Association

of Directors of Social Services which was attended by the Chair of the Social Services

Committee and the Acting Group Director.

RECOMMENDATION

That Members note the report.

INFORMATION

49.1 The themes of the conference, Citizenship, Governance and Social Justice are

fundamental to the planning and delivery of welfare services.

49.2 The conference provided the opportunity to explore these themes in relation to the

future role of Social Services.

49.3 Particular emphasis was placed on “partnership” both with other agencies and with

service users and carers in the planning and delivery of effective services within limited

resources.

Key Policy Issues

49.4 The Minister for Health gave advance warning of key policy issues that will be further

developed in a Government White Paper due for publication in Spring 1997.

49.5 Local Authorities will be required to publish data on the cost of services and

demonstrate value for money in terms of both in-house provision and contracting with the

independent sector.

49.6 Greater emphasis will be placed on ensuring collaboration between agencies in

delivering services for people with mental health problems. A document outlining several

organisational options will be published early in 1997 aimed at improving management

arrangements between agencies.

49.7 There will be continued emphasis on the primary role of Social Services as

commissioners of services. The recently published report by Tom Burgner sets out

revised options on the Inspection and Regulation arrangements currently in place in Local

Authorities. The intention is to ensure an “even-handed” approach across the public and

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independent sector and highlights areas where change is necessary including the

registration of small group homes for children and the distinction between the role of

Health Authorities and Local Authorities as registration authorities.

49.8 There was acknowledgement of the major role Social Services have to play in

tackling poverty.

49.9 In keeping with the partnership theme of the conference, the Minister indicated that

there should be greater emphasis on joint working between Health and Social Services. A

way forward to achieve local authority input into strategic health care planning may be to

introduce Local Authority representatives on Health Authority Boards.

Resource Issues

49.10 A key factor throughout the conference was the need to ensure that limited

resources are maximised and targetted at people in priority need.

49.11 The impact of the continued introduction of new legislation and new responsibilities

for Social Services that have to be met and managed within existing resources was

highlighted.

Director of Finance Comments

Not applicable, there are no specific financial issues

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