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Contact: Constitutional Services
Apologies For Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Alexander.
Declarations of Interest
To Receive Declarations of Interest in any Contract or matter to be discussed at the meeting.
There were no declarations of interest received.
Urgent business, if any, introduced by the Chair
There were no items of urgent business received.
Public Question Time
To receive Questions from the Public, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.
There were no public questions received.
The Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Performance Committee held on 26th August 2021 are attached for approval.
RESOLVED - That the minutes of the meeting held on 26th August 2021 be approved as a correct record.
The Committee gave consideration to the Oldham Safeguarding Chidren Partnership (OSCP) Annual Report 1st April 2020- 31st March 2021.
The Independent Chair of the Oldham Safeguarding Partnership, Dr Henri Giller, provided an overview of the report and the Strategic Plan Statement.
It was reported that the 2020-21 business year had been challenging for the OSCP and had been tested by the challenges of Covid-19 during the second year of the new arrangements with the Council, Greater Manchester Police and the NHS via the CCG.
The impact of Covid on children and families in Oldham had been disproportionate due to the levels of poverty and inequality that affect the Borough. Lockdown had reduced the visibility of children and gathering intelligence was difficult.
The partnership responded well to the pandemic by, identifying and responding to new levels of demand particularly with respect to harm to infants, increases in levels of domestic abuse affecting children and meeting children’s mental health and wellbeing needs.
The arrangements were also enhanced to enable reflection and learning of good safeguarding practice on a co-ordinated cross agency basis, in addition examining current practices and looking at the arena of transition from Children’s Services to Adult Services.
During the pandemic partners had picked up issues early in relation to an upturn in abuse and neglect if infants under two years old , which had become a national issue and issues in relation to abuse and neglect through schools and enhanced work was undertaken with schools. A response was also developed in relation to complex safeguarding with arrangements in Oldham being found to be robust and some of the best in the region, during an external audit
Despite the challenges the partners had continued forward with the strategic priorities, launching the new complex safeguarding hub, restructuring the partnership to ensure maximum effectiveness and introducing a new model of quality assurance in the form of a learning hub.
The Partnership had developed six strategic aims;
· Excellent practice is the norm across all practitioners in Oldham.
· Partner agencies hold one another to account effectively
· There is an early identification of new safeguarding issues
· Learning is promoted and embedded
· Information is shared effectively.
· The public feel confident that children are protected.
The new safeguarding arrangements required that provision was included for the scrutiny by an independent person of the effectiveness of the arrangements and p.28 of the report provided the scrutiny of the Independent Chait of the Oldham Partnership of the second working year of the new arrangements as per the criteria proposed by Sir Alan Wood paragraph 69 of the Wood report. The scrutiny was RAG rated and he Chair concluded that in the short period of time the new arrangements had been in place were robust.
Th Strategic Plan for 2021-2024 was provided at p. 31-40 of the report and contained the strategic aims, principles, priorities and the Oldham Safeguarding Business Plan April 2021- March 2022.
Members welcomed the report as a representation of the work undertaken during the ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
Consideration was given to the Oldham Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report 200-21.
Dr.Henri Giller and Jayne Ratcliffe, Deputy Manager, Director of Health and Social Care provided Members with an overview of the report.
Members were advised that the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the Board and its partner agencies and substantial working practices had been introduced and innovative ways to identify, respond and meeting safeguarding needs developed.
A consequence of the pandemic was at the height of lockdown significantly reduced visibility of vulnerable people that may have been experiencing a safeguarding need.
The period demonstrated the continuing demand for safeguarding services across the Borough and how the demand reflected the complexities in the dimensions of safeguarding needs presented.
The challenges presented key questions for the Safeguarding Partnership and partners. The Board reflected upon strategies employed to deliver its objectives including to adopt a learning approach including:
· What worked well?
· What could we do better?
· What strategies were required for complex need?
The Board achieved the following in 2020/21 period:
• Adult Safeguarding response to Covid-19 - The Board reacted swiftly to the pandemic by setting up a weekly Covid-19 Assurance Group. Senior leaders from Adult Social Care, police and primary and acute healthcare services monitored local data to identify safeguarding trends and understand the levels of risk for people in Oldham. Additional insight was collected by Healthwatch Oldham, Age UK and Keyring to help understand people’s experiences during lockdown.
• Safeguarding Assurance - The Board distributed safeguarding leaflets to Council and voluntary sector Doorstop Engagement Teams and requested assurance from agencies on emerging issues including responses to domestic abuse, DNACPR concerns (Do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and support for carers.
• Domestic Abuse and Elder Abuse – These emerged as key areas for concern during the Covid-19 lockdown and agencies were quick to adapt services to focus on prevention. Greater Manchester Police led a successful domestic abuse Facebook campaign and the Domestic Abuse Partnership have commissioned the SafeLives charity to work with survivors of abuse to develop an early intervention offer for Oldham.
• All Age Safeguarding Offer - the Board has worked closely with the Oldham Safeguarding Children’s Partnership to develop an all age Safeguarding Communications Plan. As part of this, the joint website and social media platform went live in 2020 and a fortnightly children’s and adults Safeguarding Bulletin was launched to keep practitioners and managers up to date with resources and training opportunities.
• Complex Safeguarding – The Board has identified a growing number of Complex Safeguarding cases. This term is used to describe adults who experience different types of abuse and/or neglect at the same time, with cases often involving criminal activity such as sexual or financial exploitation or trafficking and historical factors such as childhood trauma.
A successful multi-agency forum now meets to support adults with complex safeguarding needs. It brings together statutory, voluntary and independent housing partners to share information and discuss multi-agency barriers and solutions. Regionally, Oldham has ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
Consideration was given to an Update on the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Inspection Re-Visit.
David Shaw, Assistant Director SEND provided the Committee with and overview of the report and progress to date which addressed the two remaining recommendations from the Written Statement of Action (WSOA) that had formed the priorities identified in the Accelerated Progress Plan (APP) being monitored by the Department for Education (DfE).
Following the inspection in September 2019 and identification of two remaining areas requiring improvement continued to be made in relation to area 3, Education Health and Care Plans and area 5 Exclusions and persistent absenteeism for children with SEN or disabilities.
The final draft of the APP was submitted to the DfE IN March 2000 including 6 and12 month milestones.
Following two formal review meetings a further meeting took place on 25th June 2021 and the outcome was that based upon progress made, it was the opinion of the DfE and NHS England that formal monitoring via the 6 monthly progress reviews were no longer necessary.
It was reported that this demonstrated the clear and sustained progress being made through a strong partnership approach to co-production in Oldham.
In relation to ECH plans the main Education, Health and Care Plan Team continued to work effectively, co-productive work continued to take place across the partnership to provide challenging but constructive feedback to improve working practices and the quality of information included in the EHC plans. Quality standards continued to be reviewed and raised through an increasingly rigorous audit process completed in partnership with Education, Social Care and Health and the CEO of POINT.
Despite the introduction of a third lockdown, Oldham schools had been above the national average for children with an EHC plan or supported by a social worker, a strong multi agency approach had been a key strength to support this.
The positive impact on attendance could also be seen at various points following a full return to school in Spring and Summer 2021.
Work to improve the achievement, attendance and to reduce exclusions for Children and Young People with SEND had continued despite the turbulence of COVID-19 and overall exclusions had fallen during the Autumn term 202 and Spring term 2021compared with the same period the year before.
Members welcomed the report and asked how the service would keep improving. It was reported that monitoring with Key Performance Indicators, challenge, support and benchmarking would continue to take place.
Members dissed the Home to School Transport process and asked if the policy would be reviewed in relation to criteria, accessibility and parental choice. Members were advised the policy would be reviewed picking up lived experiences and challenges and this would be done in consultation with Andrew Robinson from POINT.
RESOLVED – That:
1. The Local Partnership, for maintaining the significant ongoing improvements to equality and consistency of EHC plans being delivered and quality assured through effective partnership work be commended.
2. The Local Partnership, for the strong positive focus on reducing ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
The Committee gave consideration to the Local Government Ombudsman Annual Review of Complaints 2020/21.
Caroline Lee, Head of Revenue and Benefits provided an overview of the report to the Committee.
It was reported that the Local government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) had published its annual review for complaints. The Council had received 911 complaints of which 55 were reviewed (6 %) by the LGSCO.
Of those 55 complaints 15 were investigated (1.6%) and 10 were upheld which was 67% compared to an average of 72% in similar authorities.
It was reported the Council worked hard to resolve complaints at an early stage in the complaints process to avoid the need for residents to pursue issues further.
Unfortunately the LGSCO did not consider that the Council had provided a satisfactory remedy in the 10 cases it upheld, before the complaint reached the Ombudsman. This compared to an average of 11% in similar authorities.
The Committee was advised that the Complaints Service had recently undergone a full team restructure and all posts had now been filled.
A review had been undertaken of the Council’s Corporate Complaints Policy and the introduction of an Unreasonable Behaviour Policy was implemented 2020/21 and reviews of the Council’s Adult Social Care and Children’s Social Care Complaints policies would also be undertaken this financial year. 2020/21.
The team were also working with services to improve practice in relation to complaints and this work was ongoing.
Members were advised that most complaints were made via email, online and telephone rather than face to face but now that Covid restrictions had changed this would be taken into account. The timescale of complaints was also discussed with Members being advised there are differing timescales due to the complexity of some complaints.
Members discussed complaints supported by Councillors and those complaints through casework, which assist in complaints being made officially to the Council.
Members asked of the 911 complaints how many had been upheld before reaching the ombudsman, was there a typical complaint and the extent of service support. Members were advised that detailed data of the complaints would be circulated to the Committee and were given assurances that support is given to services in relation to the process, remedy and service improvement.
RESOLVED – That:
1. Detailed data of the complaints would be circulated to Members f the Committee.
2. The committee receives monitoring of improvements
3. The report be noted.
The Committee gave consideration to the Council’s Performance Report June 2021.
Naaira Zaman, Performance Improvement Lead, provided Members with an overview of the report.
The new Corporate Performance Report (CPR) was designed to report progress against the Covid Recovery Strategy.
Actions, risks and measures were derived from Team Oldham’s annual business planning process – plans were finalised in June 2021.
The new format of the CPR had been designed to:
• Streamline performance information in a user-friendly manner
• Support an automated process for the CPR enabling updates in a timely manner
• Ensure greater challenge around performance
The new format provided:
• End of Year (EOY) predictions re introduced (page 2)
• Performance Summary by recovery area and theme (Pg. 3-4)
• Performance Measures (pages 5 to 18)
- Trend information (previous 3 years columns)
- Data periods introduced for transparency (period for Q1 actual)
- Benchmarking information where available (right hand side)
• Action updates by exception reporting of ‘red’ actions and x2 consecutively amber actions (page 19)
• ‘High level’ risks exception reporting. Risk and insurance team will automatically elevate high level risks to the strategic risk register and report to Audit Committee (page 20)
• Oldham in Profile Dashboard (page 21)
• New HR Dashboard being worked up and will replace page 22(see Appendix 1)
• Finance dashboard removed (avoid duplication of reporting)
Members were advised there were 6 red measures
There were 4 red measures for which portfolio holders & lead officers were requested to be accountable at Q2:
There 4 red measures were
• M63 number of visitors to Gallery Oldham
• M197 number of visits to OCL Leisure Centres per 100k population
• M619b percentage of care leavers 19-21 in Education, Employment and Training
• M656 Mandated Health visits completed in time
Due to the late receipt of the Performance report by this Committee Members were assured there was improvement and action being taken and the next Performance report would reflect this. The red actions were detailed at p.19 to the report and included:
• DA 101/102 – for CHASC Stakeholders to have established plans for balancing year end budget
• DA103 – Focus on the actions and plans to start delivering on savings requirements
• DP208 – Increase uptake & reduce inequalities in uptake in national screening & immunisation programme
• DA118 – Deliver and embed a strength based approach in Community Health and Adult Social Care
M501 Percentage of Household Waste sent for reuse, recycling or composting, the end of year target being amber and were advised this was because recycling was seasonal and there were peak periods and targets were set on previous.
M333a Percentage of Council Spend in Oldham, the end of year target being amber, and were advised this was a rolling target and local spend was not in the control due to Covid.
S368 Business Rates and S357 percentage of Council tax collected in year. Members asked for a full report on Council Tax and Business ... view the full minutes text for item 10.
RESOLVED – That:
1. The Key Decision Document be noted.
RESOLVED – That: