Agenda item

Director's Briefing

The Panel will receive a verbal update on this item.



The Director of Adult Social Care, Complex and Specialist Commissioning addressed the Panel, a summary of her briefing is set out below and will be attached as an online appendix to these minutes.


  • New Infection, Prevention and Control Fund has been allocated to each LA. There are revised conditions with increased monitoring and reporting requirements. Round 2 funding is made up of 80% Care homes and CQC registered community care providers (ie domiciliary care, extra care and supported living providers) and the other 20% to support non-CQC registered providers and wider workforce resilience. Our aim is to use this to support the 3rd sector and other providers in the community.


Like Round 1, the funding is paid out in two tranches and the first tranche has already been received by the Council and passported to all our providers who have returned their signed IPC contracts.


  • The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government issued new guidance for shielding on 13th October 2020, which sets out a framework of support that local authorities are expected to offer to its Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) population, if re-instated.


The guidance has been updated to support CEVs in protecting themselves from exposure to the virus, based on the level of risk in the local area. The guidance is linked to the Local COVID Alert Levels and provides advice at each Alert Level (Medium, High, Very High and if ‘Shielding’ were reintroduced). Shielding measures specifically may be introduced in the very highest risk areas, based on clinical advice and only for a limited period of time. Note, if an area is designated at the Very High Local Covid Alert Level this does not automatically mean shielding is reintroduced.


They will be less restrictive than the original shielding guidance. No areas in the South West have yet been asked to reintroduce shielding and Directors of Public Health would be involved before such a decision is taken. It has been made clear that the reintroduction of shielding is regarded as a ‘last resort option’ and it is currently not being viewed as an option at this time in the South West. 


  • There are amendments to the Mental Health Act (MHA) Treatment Regulations which have been prompted by the pandemic.  The new arrangements make provision for the electronic signing and receiving of detention papers which will bring the MHA into the electronic era and hopefully reduce the issues with ensuring that hospitals receive the paperwork in a proper and timely manner.



  • Winter Plan – the Council have been drafting its response to the Governments Adult Social Care Winter Plan which it published on the 18th September. We are in the process of discussing the draft plan with local provider forums and people with lived experience.


·  Local services are seeing a rise in the number of both young people and adults presenting to secondary mental health services (AWP and CAMHS) with more complex needs such as eating disorders along with an unusually high numbers of young people waiting for in-patient beds.  Increasing levels of need are also been reported by commissioned community services albeit anecdotally.  Discussions are taking place at BSW and locally level to proactive look at what actions we can take with partners to strengthen community preventive approaches and identify issues earlier.  Winter pressures and alternative to crisis pathways funding has been made available to CCGs including BSW and proposals are being worked up jointly between BSW and localities partners to help reduce the impact of these issues.


·  There is a lot of activity currently both at BSW level and locally between health and social commissioners, providers and partners (including the 3rd sector) to develop high level proposals for the implementation of new Community Services Framework for adults and older adults with mental health problems.  The aim is transformation of the way local health, social care and provider services work together and develop a new place-based community mental health model of delivery.  This will build on the all mental health pathway review which took place in place in B&NES.


Councillor Alison Born commented that the increased pressure on Mental Health Services was a worry and not likely to be a short-term issue. She asked if there was any investment forthcoming.


The Director of Adult Social Care, Complex and Specialist Commissioning replied that funding had been allocated and that the CCG were looking across the BSW area to identify specific priorities.


The Chair thanked her for the briefing on behalf of the Panel.


The Director of Children & Young People addressed the Panel, a summary of her briefing is set out below and will be attached as an online appendix to these minutes.


She informed the Panel that a three-week Ofsted inspection had to be paused this week due to the announcement of the second national lockdown in relation to Covid-19. The Local Authority had met all requirements for week one submission. She wished to thank all the schools and services that had carried out preparation work and had made themselves available for interview in week 2.


She stated that all Children’s Services continue to work diligently to ensure that all vulnerable children and their families are well supported in this ongoing Covid 19 period. She said that staff across Children Social Care, Children Centres, Connecting Families and our Youth Offending Services have continued to work really hard to ensure that the Local Authority discharges all of their statutory duties and early help support.  Children Social Care established a dedicated phone line to increase its offer to school colleagues.


She explained that during the first lockdown, the Virtual School expanded to offer additional support to children in need and children on a child protection plan. This expansion proved a successful way of providing additional educational support to these children and supported the role of the social worker during a difficult time. She added that on the back of this, the Virtual School bid for additional funding to continue this expansion throughout the new academic year, from the What Works Foundation. The School was successful in this bid and has been awarded £130,000 to continue this work as a pilot. This is fantastic news and work is currently underway to deliver this expansion to our most 70 vulnerable children. These children will benefit from extra planning for their education, and resources to support their educational needs, tutoring etc.


She informed the Panel that Care Leavers' Week (26 October – 1 November) had recently taken place and that notably 4 young people had graduated from university this year and a further 10 had enrolled in university courses.


The Chair thanked her for the briefing on behalf of the Panel.