Older Persons' Partnership Minutes

Older Persons' Partnership Minutes

Wednesday 5 March 2014
1:00 p.m.
Mandela Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough

Attendance Details

Rostron (Chair); Councillor J Sharrocks (Vice-Chair); Councillors Harvey, P Purvis, J A Walker
L Henman
B Carr, D Fleet, R Fothergill and C Walker
Apologies for absence:
Councillor M Saunders
Declarations of interest:

There were no Declarations of Interest made at this point of the meeting.

Item Number Item/Resolution

The minutes of the meeting of the Older Persons' Partnership held on 4 December 2013 were taken as read and approved as a correct record.


There were no items of correspondence for consideration.


The Quality Development Officer from the Department of Wellbeing Care and Learning submitted a report to advise the Older Person’s Partnership of the outcome of the Older Person’s Care Homes Residential Care and the Domiciliary Care Quality Star Rating Assessment for 2013-2014.

Middlesbrough Council had introduced the quality star rating assessment for all Older Persons Residential Care Homes linked to the Fair Price For Care in April 2008. The quality rating assessment for Domiciliary Care was introduced in 2009. The aim of the assessment was to evaluate the quality and performance of a home in order to provide a mechanism to drive forward improvements. It was highlighted however that the review of Domiciliary Care Providers had not taken place in 2013 as the tender process for these services was still in progress. Since then however, six providers had been approved and they would be subject to a quality review.

The outcome of the quality star rating for all Older Persons Residential Care Homes was usually announced in October for the period covering the following October - September. Revised prices in accordance with Fair Price for Care were applicable from October and as a consequence the rating had been re-assessed in order to bring the Quality Framework in line with the pricing framework. The October 2013 assessments would remain in force for a period of one year.

The Quality Assessment Framework for Older Persons Residential Care comprised of the following elements:-

  • An assessment of the property;
  • A Contract Review which sought the views on the quality of the care provision from residents, their representatives and the staff employed at the home.

The way in which information with regard to views on the quality of care was gathered involved face to face interviews for residents and staff and a postal questionnaire for resident’s representatives or relatives with the offer of a face to face interview if required. Each element was scored on the following basis:-

Property Survey 

(which involved a physical survey of the building)                                                       30%
Contract Review 

(which involved examining policies and procedures and care plans                      20%
Face to face questionnaires excl EMI                                                                             20%
Postal surveys to representatives/relatives/legal representatives                            20%
Staff Surveys                                                                                                                        10%

Each home was rated between 1-5 on a scoring framework with a score of 1 representing a "Poor" rating and 5 representing an "Excellent" rating etc. Each assessment was revised on a yearly basis to reflect national and local priorities. The overall rating awarded to a home would determine the price paid for a bed space at the home per week.


It was highlighted that under the current rating system it was very difficult for a care home to achieve a 5 star rating as in order to be awarded this rating, a care home would have to achieve a score of 95%. As a consequence it was intended to review the framework weightings and the parameters of the star rating would change. There would also be reduced emphasis placed on the physical condition of a property as many of the older care homes were marked down on this aspect of the rating.


The assessment for each home also identified areas of good practice and suggested areas for improvement. All the people that had contributed to the assessment process as part of the interview or questionnaire process were given the opportunity for feedback which was provided on an individual basis.

A breakdown of the rating assessment for each Older Persons Care home was attached at Appendix A to the report. It was highlighted that 24 of the homes had maintained their previous star rating; 3 homes had their star rating decreased by 1 star and one home had their star rating increased by 1 star.

The star rating for each Care Home was published in the Council’s Older Persons Residential Care Brochure. The Care Homes brochure also included information with regard to the facilities and amenities offered by a home including details of its star rating, price, food hygiene, proximity to other amenities, rating from the Care Quality Commission and general information to assist individuals in selecting a suitable Care Home. The latest edition of the brochure had been published in January 2014.


Members were advised that positive feedback had been received with regard to the Care Home Brochure. A Member commented that the brochure was a useful tool to assist individuals in selecting a suitable Care Home.


RECOMMENDED that the information be received and noted. 


The Shopmobility Development Manager advised Members that she had written the submitted report as part of her foundation degree with regard to research into the requirements of developing a "Scooter Safe" training course. Members were advised that the purpose of the Development Manager's attendance at the meeting was to report back on the findings of the report.  


As part of the research into the issue of the requirement for developing a Scooter Safe course, it was learned that the Department of Transport had identified that there was an increase in the number of individuals using mobility scooters and a correlating increase in accidents involving mobility scooter users. It was highlighted that the option to purchase a mobility scooter was a personal choice as GP's did not recognise mobility scooters as being a preferred medical device. As a consequence, mobility scooter users were not subject to any medical or capability assessments and they were not required to undertake any necessary training with regard to operating the device.


Other constabularies such as Norfolk and South Yorkshire had devised Scooter training programmes in order to reduce the number of fatalities attributable to the use of mobility scooters. The courses were very practical and consisted of road safety awareness and a basic understanding of the law in relation to mobility scooters.


The Development Manager had carried out a number of test exercises within the Middlesbrough area where members of the public were asked for their views with regard to the use of mobility scooters. The negative responses however outnumbered the positive responses and many people perceived the mobility scooters to be a danger to the public. The common theme emerging from the research was the requirement for mobility scooter users to undergo a training course which would enable the individual to drive safely. This would ensure the safety of the user and reduce the risk of harm to pedestrians and other road users.


Discussions had been held with scooter users, professionals and shop mobility staff with regard to the proposed content of the training course. It was suggested that the course should contain elements of practical, educational and independence skills. This would include measuring ability, risk, eye sight, knowledge of legislation, road safety and maintenance. The assessors would also be able to highlight any concerns and health problems in relation to the individual and enable them to signpost individuals to other services e.g. opticians.


The cost of delivering the course would be in the region of £50 per person per session for one to one training and funding had been received from Public Health to facilitate the training for the year 2014/2015. The current situation was that the lesson plan had been written and the practical elements of the course had been determined which included consideration of how the scooter would be stored, maintained, serviced and parked. The course facilitators were currently looking for an indoor venue to provide the training. It was highlighted that the Police would also be invited to attend the courses in the hope that they would recommend the course to mobility scooter users that they identified as not driving safely.  


A Member raised a query with regard to whether there were any bylaws or legislation that covered the use of mobility scooters and where on the highway they could be used. Members were advised that the Road Traffic Act specified that Class 2 mobility scooters were allowed to travel at no more than 4 miles per hour and were allowed to travel on the pavement. They were only allowed on the road to make a crossing or if the pavement was blocked. Class 3 mobility scooters were allowed to travel up to 8 miles per hour. They were allowed on the pavement if they travelled at 4 miles per hour and on the highway (including A roads where the maximum speed was 50mph) for speeds over 4 and up to 8 miles per hour.


The Development Manager advised Members that Michael Stewart would be responsible for the Shopmobility service for the following twelve months as she was to be seconded to deal with Independent Travel Training and would be based in Vancouver House for the duration of the secondment.


RECOMMENDED that the information be received and noted.



Two representatives from Sporting Chance provided Members with an overview of the work of Sporting Chance, a new project aimed at providing activities exclusively for men aged 50 and over living in the Middlesbrough area.


The project, which was a partnership between Community Service Volunteers, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme, Tees Valley and Active Middlesbrough Sports Development Team was launched on 27 January 2014 and was funded for an initial 3 years through the Big Lottery Fund.


The aim of the project was to improve inequalities in men's health in Middlesbrough, create volunteering opportunities and encourage engagement with isolated and hard to reach men aged 50 and over to become involved in community activities. It was highlighted that two or three of the men involved in the project had already expressed an interest in becoming a volunteer.


The project increased socialisation through the use of reminiscence, sporting activities, physical exercise and trips. Taster sessions had been held in local community venues such as the Grove Hill, North Ormesby and the Manor Community Hubs and Acklam Green.  A total of 48 men had attended the taster week. The types of activities included chair based exercises, boxercise, table tennis, badminton, short tennis, curling and indoor 10 pin bowling.


The current weekly sessions were held on Tuesdays between 10am - 11am in North Ormesby Community Hub, Wednesdays between 10am - 11am in Trinity Methodist Church and Thursdays between 10am - 11am in the Manor Community Hub. The participants of the taster sessions were also encouraged to suggest other activities and as a consequence Sporting Chance were looking at setting up walking groups, swimming sessions and fishing groups.


Each person that participated in an activity was encouraged to socialise with other participants and work at their own pace as some of the participants included people recovering from strokes and people who hadn't participated in any physical exercise for a number of years. It was highlighted that Sporting Chance were not trying to replicate any activities that were already in existence; they wanted to provide for any gaps in provision particularly for men aged 50 and over. At the moment all the activities provided by Sporting Chance were free.  


The reminiscence sessions had been held in the North Ormesby Day Centre and these had involved looking at every-day objects from the past and encouraging the participants to remember when and how they were used. Sporting Chance had also linked in to Barker and Stonehouse and they were going to provide some old artefacts such as old cricket bats, horse saddles, tennis racquets as part of the reminiscence sessions.  


One of the representatives from Sporting Chance was GP referral qualified and as a consequence referrals were received via GPs through the Active Middlesbrough Health Through Activity Programme, self-referrals or through signposting from partner organisations such as Erimus Housing Engagement Team, MFC Foundation, NHS Mental Health Team, Mind, the Libraries and Learning Service and Older Persons Supported Living Venues. Sporting Chance were working on an initiative with the MFC Foundation which provided advice on exercise, health and nutrition and a free ticket to a Boro game and to date 25 men aged 50 and over had signed up for the initiative.


In response to a query whether any evening sessions were held, Members were advised that evening gym sessions at the UCA had been organised and it was hoped that more activities would be held on an evening in the future. Sporting Chance was also looking at the possibility of including the Lakeside as a venue and they were liaising with local libraries to see what kind of intitatives could be arranged. Discussions had also been held with Durham Football Association with regards to attending the amateur football exhibition on show.


In response to a query whether there had been any participation from men from diverse and faith communities, Members were advised that the activities were open to all men. A presentation was due to be delivered to the Diversity Forum and the group had provided information to Anglican and Methodist churches, the Chinese community centre and mosques. The group had also attended the Carers Forum and provided information with regard to the range of activities on offer.


RECOMMENDED that the information be received and noted.


The Engagement Officer requested Members to notify her of any items that they wished to be considered for inclusion in the Forward Work Programme.


Two representatives from the Middlesbrough Senior Citizens Forum delivered their regular update.  The annual concert which was for people aged 60 and over had been arranged for 8 April 2014 at the University Hub and 200 people were due to attend. The concert was scheduled to commence at 6pm and it involved a two course sit down meal with drinks and entertainment.  


Reference was made to the proposals to set up a "Help Yourself Day"; the purpose of which was to inform the senior citizens with regard to the work of the Middlesbrough Senior Citizens Forum and to provide information with regard to the range of services available to support older people.


The annual "Years Ahead" conference which was held in Newcastle had taken place recently and the topics discussed included ageing and transforming dementia care.


The Years Ahead Board had established a Loneliness and Isolation Task Group. The Board had also sent out questionnaires with regard to the impact of the public sector cuts on older people and copies of the questionnaire would be circulated to the Middlesbrough Senior Citizens Forum. The completed questionnaires would be returned to central government.


Reference was made to the Older Persons Strategy and it was commented that some of the content might have to be removed because of the impact of the public sector cuts. The proposed closure of some of the community facilities or reduction in opening hours could impact on the ability of people aged 50 and over to participate in leisure or community activities. It was suggested that the representatives of the Middlesbrough Senior Citizens Forum liaise with the Engagement Officer prior to the publication of the Older Person's Strategy.       


It was proposed to circulate a survey with regard to the DfT wheelchair bound training. Reference was made to the Older Person's Friendly Seating which had been installed in the shopping malls. It was highlighted that Newcastle had involved their local university in the design and engineering of the seats.


Reference was made to the Caring Crisis Bill  due to be considered by Parliament. Members were advised that the bill was not at the Parliamentary stage yet however working groups had been established to consider all the different aspects of the bill. Members were advised that the new Care Bill would broaden the definition of who constituted a carer and define the responsibilities of the local authority to carers. The introduction of the Care Bill would strengthen the rights of carers and would give new carers additional rights to assessments.


In response to a query from a representative for the Middlesbrough Senior Citizens Forum with regard to whether the Council had an Older Person's Champion, the Chair, Councillor Rostron advised that the role of Older Person's Champion  was incorporated within her position as Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health.


RECOMMENDED that the information be received and noted.


The Chair of Social Care and Adult Services Scrutiny Panel advised Members that the Scrutiny Panel were currently investigating the topic of Continuing Healthcare - To Ensure the Health Economy Funds Health Needs.


NHS Continuing Health Care (CHC) was a package of ongoing care and support provided to a person aged eighteen or over which was arranged and funded solely by the NHS. Eligibility for CHC was based on an individual’s assessed level of health need and was not dependent on diagnosis, disease or condition. People who had a rapidly deteriorating condition or were nearing the end of their life would be Fast Tracked and receive treatment immediately.


The Panel had received evidence from representatives from the North of England Commissioning Support Unit (NECS) with regard to this issue and the next meeting would involve a round table discussion between those involved in delivering CHC. The Chair of the Social Care and Adult Services Scrutiny Panel advised that the investigation was in the very early stages however he would provide further updates as the investigation progressed.


RECOMMENDED that the information be received and noted.

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