Agenda item

Deep Dive - Adult Social Care Corporate Risks


Graham Hodkinson, Director Adult Care and Health introduced his report that informed of the three key areas of risk related to the provision of Adult Care and Health identified as Corporate risks to the Council as a whole - shown in Appendix 1 to the report.  The report further informed that each area of risk had a number of mitigations in place to help reduce the level of risk exposure. The report aimed to support a more detailed in-depth exploration via Audit and Risk Management Committee of the identified risks and mitigations, in order to seek assurance that the risks are being appropriately managed.


Key duties had been set out in relation to the context for Adult Care and Health services. The report did not include any specific recommendations or actions as it described mitigations already in place or being progressed, and Members of the Audit and Risk Management Committee were requested to note the content of the report and the specific actions and mitigations already in place to reduce corporate risks.


At the request of the Chair, Councillor Jeff Green, a copy of the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) report that had investigated a complaint made against the Council in respect of provision of a package of care and support at home for ‘Mr Y’, and had found the Council at fault was appended to this item. Members noted that the Cabinet report and the LGO report, as presented to Cabinet in June 2019 had made a number of recommendations that had been accepted in full.


The Director Adult Care and Health informed of the higher level corporate risks that would have an impact on the Council if not addressed. He further informed of the statutory requirements placed upon the service as set out in section three of his report, and how the service was demand-led  whereby the Council must deliver on identified care needs (as opposed to being driven by budget) for individuals who need day to day support across the borough, currently 20,000 people.


The Director Adult Care and Health informed Members of the key risks within his report covering a variety of issues, namely:


  • Failure to improve the quality of health and care services through integrated commissioning and delivery arrangements, could lead to demand continuing to increase, leaving the Council exposed to increased financial pressures in relation to meeting social care assessed need.


  • Insufficient time and resource for preventative and upstream activity mean that outcomes for vulnerable people do not improve, resulting in demand for reactive services not reducing, or increasing.


  • The Council and its partners do not effectively manage their relevant safeguarding risks, leading to a safeguarding incident, resulting in harm to individuals and/or families, potential legal challenge, resident dissatisfaction and public scrutiny.


Members noted that the above risks as identified within the Corporate Risk Register for Adult Care and Health were continually monitored and mitigations were reported and addressed via the Audit and Risk Management Committee.


The Chair questioned the Director of Adult Care and Health as to whether the Council had we captured all the risks and if the various mitigations were effective, to ensure that such issues didn’t happen, or if they did, it was addressed.


The Director of Adult Care and Health provided assurances that this was the case and that the service had organised and aligned itself with the NHS i.e. structure and working, and that the governance and contracted services mechanisms were in place to review the performance of these arrangements. In addition to the tight performance framework, arrangements were further monitored by the Cabinet Member portfolio holder.


The Chair expressed an interest in seeing a map of the mitigations and their effectiveness.


Resolved – That the report be noted.

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