Report from Scrutiny Financial Task & Finish Group
The Chair of the Scrutiny ‘Financial
Task and Finish Group’ summarised the main points in the
- The shortage of care workers in
Adult Social Care (ASC) was seen as a key issue because it was said
to be causing delays in moving people out of hospital and into home
care. Cllr Stevens said the Council had
previously looked at setting up its own agency and suggested this
could still be a potential be a way forward.
- Adult Social Care 18-64 years old:
it was recommended that a Scrutiny Task and & Finish Group
should be set up in the next municipal year to consider some the
main issues. ACTION: Scrutiny Advisor to add this to a
list of potential scrutiny items for 2020-2021.
- Costs are continually
- There is a need for more in-house
- Staff shortages in many different
areas are causing further problems.
- The Finance Task & Finish Group
was reported to have spent more time looking at education related
finances this year.
- The High Needs Budget has
borrowed-forward £2.4m and it
will be paid back over a period of time.
Comments from the Commission included the
- Foster carers’ shortage
– a Member highlighted an issue she understood with regards
to the Somalian community not being able to foster children easily
because they don’t often have spare bedrooms and the
guidelines say that to foster you must have one. This it was said was a national issue that needed
to be addressed because it caused a lot of stress to families when
children were often fostered outside of their
community. Members said that they would
raise this with People Scrutiny Commission so that they were also
aware of the issue. ACTION: For this issue to be
highlighted with the People Scrutiny Commission.
- A brief discussion took place about
the pros and cons of the Council running its own agency of care
workers. It was said that the Council
pays £18 per hour to the agencies and yet the actual carers
get about £9 per-hour. It was
said that recruitment and retention of staff had been
problematic. It was recommended that
whatever happened there was need to change employment contacts for
care workers as the current arrangements did not work well for the
carers or those they were caring for.
Officers said they were working with agencies to try and encourage
them to pay a ‘salary wage’ and provide better working
Terms & Conditions.
- A Member from the Finance Task and
Finish Group highlighted the positive changes to adult social care
provision in some areas such Wigan and Tameside. A potential pilot area in Bristol for similar
types of changes is Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston. It was said there are some successes stories
around the country and Members were advised to look at the Kings
Fund website. It was also highlighted that the Tameside model was
once almost the same as Bristol’s model of care and it was
hoped that Bristol would return to be being as good as it was
- The Cabinet Member for Waste,
Commercialisation and Regulatory Services confirmed that BCC
officers had previously looked at setting up their own agency as
part of commercialisation and innovation work that was being
undertaken. He said it was possible
they would to look at this again. Cllr Pearce agreed to
raise this on behalf of the Scrutiny Commission.
- Cllr Stevens made a request that
Cabinet Members consider this report at their forthcoming away
day. Those present said they would see
if that was possible.
- A short discussion about
‘open-book pricing’ was had. The Chair asked about how open the Council was
compared to businesses with regards to their pricing
structures. Finance officers said that
they were now working with providers on pricing structures and
looking at why some of the costs were set so high. Last year they had set a Bristol pricing
The Chair thanked the Task and Finish Group
for their good work.