Agenda item

Attendance of the Portfolio Holder for Adults' Services

This report details the areas covered by the Portfolio Holder for Adults’ Services which fall within the remit of this Committee.




Members received an overview of progress on the areas of work within the terms of reference of this Committee and covered by the Portfolio Holder for Adults’ Services, Councillor Brake, as set out below:

  • Adults' Mental Health and Disability Services (including Learning and Physical Disabilities)
  • Adults' Partnership Commissioning (25+) and Better Care Fund
  • Community Care
  • Health and Health Partnerships
  • Independent Safeguarding and Review Service
  • Older people
  • Public Health - Lead Member, including Health and Wellbeing Boards.

Councillor Brake responded to Members’ questions and comments as follows:


·       Increase in safeguarding concerns – in response to a query whether Councillor Brake was concerned by the increase in this area, the Portfolio Holder commented that people felt more comfortable raising concerns now and the Council was a victim of its own success.


·       Hospital discharges – regarding whether the current situation in the NHS was impacting on discharge pathways, Councillor Brake replied that in normal circumstances when someone was ready to be discharged there was a plan for this. The Council would do its utmost to support the hospital but not at the expense of patient safety and, as far as he was aware, the situation in the NHS was not impacting on the Council. The Assistant Director – Adult Social Care added that the situation was challenging and the Council was working very closely with the hospital to minimise delays to discharges and by discussing where patients can be discharged to.


·       Government funding for extra care beds – in response to a query about how many care homes in Medway would receive this funding, the Portfolio Holder commented that he was aware that the Government was supporting  hospitals with discharges into the community.


·       Dementia alliance – whether this Alliance was receiving sufficient support was queried. The Portfolio Holder responded that he shared the concerns around this. The number of people with dementia was increasing but the Council’s work on this would not cease.


·       Integrated Care Board – regarding whether Medway would receive its fair share from the new Kent and Medway Integrated Board, the Director of People commented she was confident Medway would be treated fairly and was respected as a partner but whether the area received the level of resources it needed would remain to be seen.



·       Recruitment in the care sector – in terms of what the Council was doing to help its partners with recruitment in this sector, the Portfolio Holder noted some staff had left the sector following the pandemic, although some were starting to return. The people who worked in care were very committed and saw it as a vocation. The Council wanted to work with partners to make this a career. Using expensive agency staff was not the way forward. In response, the point was made that low pay was a key reason why people were leaving care and there was a need for a complete review of the care industry.


·       Support to live at home service  - noting this service was being recommissioned, whether there were any plans to develop a step-down service to help people to recover in a supported environment was queried. The Portfolio Holder commented that there were newer facilities in some areas for people with longer term conditions. The Assistant Director – Adult Social Care added that the Council was looking at how funding could be used for step down units.


·       Local account  - the content of this document was praised and a suggestion was made that the work of the adult social care team should be promoted on the Council’s social media platforms, which the Portfolio Holder agreed with.


·       Adult mental health and disability services – a point was made that the number of people aged under 64 needing these services would increase and an assurance was sought that this increase in demand had been future proofed. The Portfolio Holder commented that Medway was well placed as the Council was constantly reviewing services and he was not aware of any concerns. The Assistant Director – Adult Social Care added that the supported living service had recently been re-procured. The service was in tiers to make sure people with complex needs got the right support.


·       Community hubs – the Portfolio Holder was asked to do more to highlight work done in community hubs on mental health and wellbeing.


·       Role of Voluntary Sector- the Portfolio Holder was asked to promote the work of the voluntary sector on the cost-of-living crisis. The Portfolio Holder acknowledged the work of the sector and that the Council helped by providing respite care for carers. The Council had also awarded grants to local food charities.


·       Addressing health inequalities – in response to what was being done on this, the Portfolio Holder commented this was constantly under review.  The Director of Public Health added that Medway performed the best in the south East for NHS health checks and had some of the lowest smoking rates. 80% of the impact on health outcomes related to non-clinical determinants. He was aware of the challenges and felt he had the resources to do more.


·       Support for people with a learning disability – a comment was made that 705 seemed a low number of people supported with a long-term package of care with a primary support reason of Learning Disability. The Assistant Director – Adult Social Care clarified that the Council was required to categorise people and the figure of 705 related to those people who were supported because they had a primary support reason of learning disability. The Assistant Director added she could not be 100% confident everyone was captured and the Council was looking at how everyone could be identified.


Decision :


The Committee agreed to thank the Portfolio Holder for his support and noted the report.

Supporting documents: