Population Needs Assessment
The population needs assessment has been a significant focus of our work during 2016/17. As part of this, we undertook extensive consultation with organisations, service users and the public. The approach was based on the national principles for public engagement in Wales and principles of co-production, which informed our consultation plan. The population assessment engagement was planned by a group of staff from each local council, the health board and Public Health Wales.
The consultation was publicised widely through the county voluntary councils in North Wales and various other regional networks. The local councils and health board promoted it through their websites, Facebook and Twitter pages and press releases. Specific groups, including people with protected characteristics, were contacted through existing groups and networks. A quarterly newsletter was produced, giving updates about the project for staff and partner organisations, which also helped identify groups to contact about the consultation and engagement.
In Conwy, we received 133 responses from organisations to our survey about people’s need for care and support. We and our partners held 16 events and circulated three questionnaires that reached around 260 people who use our services. A questionnaire for the public (people who do not use care and support services) was available on the Citizen’s Panel website, and the Citizen’s Panel carried out interviews with 34 members of the public. We used the findings from over 300 consultation and research reports and local councils arranged around 20 workshops for staff and councillors.
Running in parallel with this population assessment was the production of well-being assessments for the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. North Wales has four Public Service Boards who were preparing for this. Where possible, any engagement taking place was planned to meet the needs for both assessments. In some areas this involved sending out joint questionnaires while others held joint workshops and discussion groups.
This piece of work was a key priority for informing our commissioning strategy and set the context for our service-specific vision and priorities over the next 5 years. Already we have seen services using this information to refine their service vision and set priority areas for development and delivery. This will mean more informed decisions responding to the robust evidence, which includes co-production with service users and wider citizens.
Next year our focus will be to start the journey realigning existing commissioned services and developing new services to the priorities that have been identified.
The County Conversation
To develop our priorities for Conwy, we took 2 approaches; an assessment of well-being based on demographic analysis of information about the county, and the development of a conversation with local communities. We shared these views with other statutory public bodies working locally, including Health, the Police, Natural Resources Wales and the Fire and Rescue Authority. Conwy County Borough Council used the community feedback to help inform the priorities set out in the Corporate Plan.
Communities were involved in developing the priorities and the Council will continue to involve communities going forward, particularly by connecting local community discussions through the development of place plans. Our cross-cutting themes refer to the importance of assessing our actions and key decisions in order to have a positive impact on tackling poverty, equality and promoting the Welsh language. The engagement process undertaken monitored responses to ensure that feedback represented all areas of the county, every well-being goal, all age groups and all protected characteristics.
Service User Engagement and Activity/Consultations
We also consult with our Service users in Conwy through our Participation team:
Youth Participation: We are currently engaging with 3 main groups for young people:
- Conwy Youth Council – representation for Secondary Schools across Conwy, including Ysgol Gogarth/Youth Services
- Loud Voices Forum for Looked After Children aged 9-14
- Leaving Care Forum – Shaping Futures
In March, Conwy Youth Council participated in a joint meeting with Conwy’s Cabinet Members and Scrutiny Chairs in reviewing the Corporate Plan. Their feedback has influenced both the design and layout of the plan.
Education and how children in Conwy can be supported to achieve a good standard of education was also discussed. This was followed by a question and answer session with the Chief Executive and Members.
Priorities for 2017/18 include:
To develop working links with the Pupil Referral Units in Conwy and the Youth Council in order to engage with hard to reach young people, who are still in education.
Chosen work topics for coming year:
- The Additional Learning Needs Project/Working with the ALN Coordinators in secondary schools.
- Mental Health and Stigma – currently engaging with the Samaritans to develop a presentation/video on how to develop better support systems for young people experiencing mental health issues in school settings.
- The Leaving Care Forum (renewed as Shaping Futures) is currently preparing for the visit from the Children’s Commissioner on 12 June 2017 and will be consulting with the Group and evaluating ourselves against The Hidden Ambitions Report for Young Care Leavers.
Adult Participation: As well as working with the commissioning team on the Population Needs Assessment the Adult Participation Network continues to link in with local planning groups (COGs) and the task and finish groups. Representation on the group includes older people groups i.e. Age Connect, Learning Disabilities, Men’s Sheds, Physical Disability and Citizens of Conwy. Membership is welcomed from people who have an active interest in participating in and influencing social care services. We also work with CANIAD – as the representative group for mental health and substance misuse.
Work undertaken has included:
- Corporate consultation – health check on the partnerships and how they are working.
- Falls Coordinator work programme – information sharing.
- British Red Cross – information sharing.
- Population Needs Assessment.
- Learning partnership and how the groups represented can be a part of this work.
- Consultation on Conwy Social Care transport.
- Reducing social isolation, including reviewing available booklets and creating a poster (see above).
- Pre and post retirement questionnaires: the Network tested the questionnaire and they helped to distribute the questionnaires amongst their groups and other people they knew.
- One of the group attended the consultation on the groups’ behalf on Community Transport.
Feedback after intervention
Short Term Intervention: Non-statutory services such as OPUS, FS, and TAF also consult with service users who received short term intervention. These are considered after a series of training events for example, and any changes required implemented, and discussed in team meetings. Case studies are also shared when support has gone particularly well, or badly. These are held immediately, and again to reflect after a period of time.
Another example is at the end of an intervention from the reablement team. Clients are asked to complete a quality monitoring form which asks a range of questions allowing them an opportunity to comment on their level of satisfaction with the service. An example of a question would be if the client was happy with their level of independence, confidence and wellbeing following the period of support. Information from these forms is fed back to both the community and management teams through team meetings. Any comments are discussed with the client at the time in order to resolve any concerns in a timely manner.
Promoting the Child/ Young Person’s participation at reviews: We also encourage children and young people to complete consultation documents prior to each LAC review.
We continue to monitor the findings from the consultations; some key messages are identified regarding the review process.
Welsh Government consultation
Please see the qualitative section under each quality standard. Whilst high response rates were achieved for Adults, the response rate for children was low and we are considering alternative means to gain feedback for this survey for 2017/18.