Agenda and minutes

Healthier Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 13th April, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Hybrid - Neuadd Cyngor Ceredigion, Penmorfa, Aberaeron / remotely via video conference

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies


Councillor Elaine Evans, Ann Bowen Morgan and Sian Maehrlein apologised for their inability to attend the meeting.


Disclosures of personal interest (including whipping declarations) Members are reminded of their personal responsibility to declare any personal and prejudicial interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 2000, the Council's Constitution and the Members Code of Conduct. In addition, Members must declare any prohibited party whip which the Member has been given in relation to the meeting as per the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011.




Housing Strategy, setting out Ceredigion's vision and plans for housing in the County for the next 5 years - 2023-2028 pdf icon PDF 2 MB


            Consideration was given to the draft Local Housing Strategy 2023-2028. Under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, local authorities had a strategic role to play in the way the local housing market functions. One of the key ways for this to be delivered was through a Local Housing Strategy. The intention was for the Local Authority to play a lead role in developing an approach to housing across all tenure and ensure the delivery of appropriate housing and related services in order to meet local need.


            The current Local Housing Strategy had been in place since 2018 and was a 5-year plan. As a result, the Housing Strategy had been reviewed and updated. The review had involved Senior Officers of the Housing Team, key Partners, and Corporate Managers from across the Porth’s together with data collection and analysis.


            The updated Housing Strategy sets out the vision for a further 5 years:

             ‘There will be sufficient, suitable and sustainable accommodation to meet residents’


            Following discussion, it was AGREED

            (i) to recommend to Cabinet the approval of the draft strategy and to begin on its formal consultation; and

            (ii)that Cabinet considered Members recommendation that Cabinet write to Ms Elin Jones, Senedd Constituency Member and to the four Regional Senedd Cymru Members, expressing concern that providing sufficient housing according to need in Ceredigion was not possible due to all regulations requiring LPAs under the Habitat Regulations, to consider the phosphorus impact of proposed developments on water quality within the SAC river catchment. This had a significant impact on the current housing crisis and should be considered.








Statutory Director of Social Services Annual Report for 2020-2021, 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 3 MB


             Consideration was given to the Statutory Social Services Directors Report        2020/2021 & 2021/2022. The duty to compile the Annual Report of the Statutory Director of Social Services requirement is defined in Part 8 of the     Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 under the ‘Code of Practice   on the Role of Directors of Social Services’.


            The completion of the reports had been delayed during the Covid-19 crisis. It      was reported there would be no reason for delay in producing and publishing the report for the current year.


            Following questions from the floor, it was agreed to recommend that Council

            accept the report for information. 


            Members thanked Officers for their hard work and commitment during what               had been a difficult time.




To present to Committee an update on the Porth Gofal Occupational Health Service pdf icon PDF 287 KB


Consideration was given to the report update on the Porth Gofal             Occupational Therapy Service. A detailed background was given to the     Occupational Therapy Service together with an update on the current situation.


             The OT service had high numbers on the waiting list which was contributed      by the build-up following Covid restrictions as only urgent visits undertaken       during restrictions. Inability to recruit into vacant posts for a long period had prevented the service from being able to reduce the waiting list. The service          had also had some long-term sickness and the only full time OT has recently        returned from maternity leave.


            It was reported that the current Challenges for the service were as follows:-

1) Recruitment of Qualified OT’s Advert for 2 full time OT post has been out for nearly a year with no applicants.

2) Integrated OT leads concerns regarding ability to manage team due to IT access and resource availability. Current demands of service exceed what they were able to provide which has resulted in them stepping back from operational management to only providing clinical guidance. Current OT service was operationally manged by Porth Gofal Integrated Triage Manager who was a Social Worker.

3) The 2 senior practitioners had given notice. 1 retired on 18.5.2022 and other was working remotely away from Ceredigion and on an extended notice until the 31/3/23.

4) Recent advert for 2 senior practitioner post had received no applicants since last May .Current vacancy was being managed by Agency worker while other senior continues to work extended notice period.

5) Risk that waiting list wouls continue to increase, resulting in escalated risk due to extended delays and situations escalating for individuals and families.

6) Increased need for care and support due to delay in availability for preventative intervention from OT service.

7) Increased complaints and loss of trust in service as service users and families are getting frustrated with delay and no solution or timescale.


Recent outsourcing of waiting list to agency did not go as well as expected due to difficulty in agency obtaining OT’S that would be able to travel to Ceredigion. As only 34 assessments completed in a 4-month period and concerns raised regarding quality of work the contract was ended. Negotiations were taking place with another agency in South Wales who had advised that they would be able to provide numerous OTS to support with reducing the waiting list cost of this is £255 per assessment.


        Opportunities for recruitment of OTs through the International recruitment   campaign was being explored. Regular meetings were held between managers from Health and Social care to discuss the issues and consider opportunities to support the service.


The team structure WAS currently being reviewed to identify opportunities that may improve recruitment for the team. A service risk assessment was in place and reviewed regularly.


             It was AGREED to note the current position.



Independent Reviewing Officer Performance Management Report, quarter 3, 2022/2023 pdf icon PDF 586 KB


Consideration was given to the Report upon the Independent Reviewing       Officer Performance Management Report, quarter 3, 2022/2023. This report        represents the monitoring and quality assurance of Looked After Children

            who were reviewed during the third quarter of 2022/23.This information                contributes to Members fulfilling their roles as Corporate Parents.

      The information was based on the monitoring forms completed by the       Independent Reviewing Officers (IRO) following each Looked After Children    Statutory Review(LAC Review) and was informed by other performance           information held by Children Services. The report includes National and   Local standards and targets used to measure outcomes for Looked After          Children (LAC) at the time of their statutory review, and includes Welsh       Government Performance Indicators (PI’s) and Local Performance



    On the basis of the information available and the views expressed during the LACReview Meeting, the IRO makes a professional judgement about the effectiveness of a child/young person’s Care Plan in meeting their needs and may recommend changes to the Plan.


During the Review Meeting the IRO considers whether the child/young person who was being reviewed requires assistance to identify relevant other people to obtain legal advice/take proceedings on their behalf. This action was deemed necessary for 1 young person by the IRO in the period

In addition, the IRO has regard as to whether the child/young person’s human rights were being breached in any way and, if so, might make a referral to CAFCASS. This action was not required at any review.



  • At the end of quarter 3, there were 122 children being looked after

           compared to 112 at the end of Q2.

  • 116 children were reviewed in this quarter compared to 63 in the previous quarter. The large number of reviews completed in this quarter was due to the commencement of the Innovate Team in the county. LAC reviews that had been due were postponed to a time in Quarter 3 where there was more capacity with Innovate starting and the children’s cases were reallocated to new social workers who could participate in the review process. 85.3% of children were reviewed in the statutory timescale compared to 88.9% in Quarter 2.
  • 8 children left care in this quarter compared to 6 in Quarter 2. 6 childrenhad their Care Orders revoked, 6 child returned home to family, 1 child went on to a When I’m Ready placement and 1 child went to supported lodgings or independent living or in to a shared lives placement.
  • The placement provision for the children reviewed during this Quarter

           were 13 in Local Authority foster care, 24 in kinship carer placements

           (19 in county, 5 out of county), 22 were in Independent Foster Agency

placements (7 in county, 15 out of county), 15 children were placed   with parents (12 in county, 3 out of county) and 12 were placed in residential care provision outside of the county.

  • 74 children were being cared for under the legal status of a Full Care

Order, 18 were under an Interim Care Order, 4  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Our West Wales Adult Regional Advocacy Strategy pdf icon PDF 2 MB


It was agreed to confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 09 February         2023.


Matters arising


Advocacy was recognised, in all recent health and social care legislation, as being fundamentally important in situations within which individuals and marginalised groups need support to have their voices heard and their rights respected. Advocacy is designed and delivered to facilitate participation by individuals and groups within the decisions and processes that affect their



  Although not a statutory requirement, the Regional Adult Advocacy Strategy          seeks to shape our commissioning arrangements to meet the legal           requirements to ensure good quality advocacy was readily and equitably    available to those who want, or need it, in the West Wales region of     Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.

  This strategy was based on an extended period of engagement with citizens,          especially those who engage with health and social care services, advocacy    organisations, health and social care practitioners, statutory commissioners      and other relevant stakeholders.


    This Adult Advocacy Strategy had five priority areas, all aimed at improving      outcomes for people who need advocacy. The priorities had been defined in the light of co-productive activity to date, engagement, the Regional       Population Assessment, and in response to legislative requirements. They        include:

• Priority 1. Maintain and develop further our co-productive approach

• Priority 2 Raise awareness of, and understanding of, advocacy.

• Priority 3. Ensure advocacy is easily accessible and equitably available

• Priority 4. Ensure advocacy is of a consistently high standard of quality

• Priority 5. Maintain specialisms and non-statutory forms of advocacy

  Each priority within the strategy outlines why it’s important & what the current situation was in West Wales. Following this each priority outlines the actions      that need to be taken to ensure each of the priority areas were met.


  It was AGREED to endorse the West Wales Regional Adult Advocacy   Strategy as presented.



Our West Wales Adult Regional Advocacy Strategy pdf icon PDF 138 KB


To consider the Forward Work Plan pdf icon PDF 174 KB


It was AGREED to note the content of the Forward Work Programme as         presented.