A number of parent / carers from Bankfields were in attendance at the meeting and the Chair invited a parent / carer representative to provide an update to the panel, as had been received from the Chief Operating Officer of the 5 CCGs.
The parent / carer representative advised that they had met with the Chief Operating Officer and had received the following assurance:-
The ninety five families using the service would be able to continue with the support as it now stood. The service as it now stood meant 5 places in Bankfields, 6 places in Aysgarth, 95 families and 33 nights and NHS funding would continue to be spent on NHS Nurses.
The view was expressed that during the course of this review the nurses who had chosen Learning Disabilities as their speciality had been diminished and that it was the view of parent / carers of those with profound Learning Disabilities that CCGs from all over the UK should come to Teesside to see what could be achieved through the provision of gold standard care. TEWV were the leaders in this field.
Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland Councils had supported the parents / carers from the outset and it had been impressive to see what scrutiny did actually mean, if democracy meant that no one was left behind then it was evidenced in this very room and the people of Teesside were better for it. The parent / carers at Bankfields and Aysgarth were very grateful and only requested that the panel remain as vigilant partners.
The Chair thanked the parent / carer representative and expressed the view that the news had made his Christmas and New Year. It had felt as though everyone had been holding their breath for a long and there had been an exhalation, which had been joyful. The Chair offered his congratulations to the parent / carer representatives and the CCGs for making the right decision. The scrutiny process had helped ensure transparency and the parent/carer representatives dedication to their children had always been there; they had been fighting all of their lives.
Assurances were offered that the panel would remain vigilant and it was the panels understanding that TEWV had been given the responsibility to provide that service and there would always be pressure on that service. The panel would continue to be vigilant and liaise with TEWV in relation to what they were planning to deliver as part of the ring fenced budget to ensure that people were receiving the right type of support in line with their level of need. The Chair expressed the view that the panel was relieved that the parent/carers had received the outcome they deserved.
Reference was made to the formal referral to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and it was acknowledged that the outcome of that referral was still awaited. However, it would be viewed by the parents / carers as the cherry on the cake should it fall in their favour. The parent / carers expressed their appreciation for the work undertaken by the Councils Legal and Democratic Services in pulling together the evidence bundle for the formal referral to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, as well as support provided throughout this process.
The Chair expressed the view that although a local resolution had now been achieved, there remained issues of national importance contained within the panels formal referral. This related to how the consultation was conducted and the future funding of NHS health respite provision.
The Chair of the Adult Social Care Services Scrutiny Panel advised that the panel had agreed to consider the proposed new assessment process, as part of its work programme 2018/19 and at a meeting prior to Christmas in relation to the proposals it had been acknowledged by colleagues at the CCGs and TEWV that there was a need for communication with parent / carers to be improved. The panel would continue to consider the new assessment process for families first accessing adult services and it was anticipated that an update on the new assessment process would be provided at the panels forthcoming meeting on 11 February 2019.
AGREED that news of the local resolution be forwarded to the Local Government Association and Centre for Public Scrutiny to demonstrate the value that can be achieved locally through effective scrutiny.