Our workforce and how we support their professional roles
We carried out a workforce analysis in 2016-17 which identified a number of risks:
- High turnover over of staff working within residential and domiciliary care services within Conwy.
- Qualification rates for care workers were just above the 50% mark.
- The Social Care sector was experiencing significant challenges in recruiting staff to the sector.
- New Social Care managers lacked learning opportunities to develop their management skills.
To mitigate the risks we undertook the following actions:
- Created the Conwy Social Care Workforce Partnership; the partnership is supported through the Social Care Workforce Development Programme and includes representatives from the independent sector, third sector, public sector, education and training.
- Allocated additional funding to support the uptake of Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) within the residential and domiciliary care workforce, resulting in a 11% increase in the number of care workers holding a relevant qualification.
- Working with Social Care providers and Llandrillo College, we will be launching a Conwy Social Care Work Experience programme.
- In partnership with Denbighshire County Council we have delivered a new managers learning programme.
- Supported the all-Wales Step Up To Management Programme
Challenges: The Conwy Social Care Workforce Partnership has been successful in engaging with adult care providers. However, we need to ensure we engage and include children’s service providers from the third sector.
Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2014 (RISCA)
An underlying theme of the RISCA requirements is evidencing ‘quality’ in all aspects of service provision. Working with Llandrillo College we have developed a new accredited learning programme for Social Care managers. This will enable them to demonstrate the importance of the quality improvement process within the context of both health and social care and welfare, to enhance the provision of services and experiences of service users.
We have run workshops and briefings across the sector to ensure managers are fully aware of the requirements of RISCA.
Challenges: Supporting the domiciliary care sector to undertake registration. To achieve this we will need to allocate greater resources to the sector at the cost of other learning programmes.
To support the workforce to work to outcomes we have delivered outcomes training and this will continue throughout 2018. Although the training equips the worker with the relevant knowledge and skills to support delivering outcomes, the challenge for the Workforce Development & Learning Team is to support the sector in the transfer of learning into practice. Therefore in 2018 we will undertake the following:
- Deliver short toolbox sessions to staff focusing on key elements learning from the training course – the sessions will be bite-sized and assist in reinforcing the learning gained from the training course.
- On completion of each delivering outcomes training course we provide a report summarising the feedback from trainees, the challenges they have identified and recommended actions to support the transfer of learning.
We have commissioned a leading professional within dementia to work with care home staff to assess dementia practices – working not only with the staff, but residents and family members. This approach of taking the knowledge into the home, facilitates learning in the workplace, and includes residents within the learning process rather than theory. We will be revisiting the home next year to assess the level of change and the impact of the culture change.
New initiatives during 2017-18 have been working with Conwy Voluntary Service Council (CVSC) to deliver basic safeguarding awareness training to volunteers within Conwy. We are supporting the Early Years Development Childcare Partnership Group to deliver safeguarding basic awareness training. This also supports our corporate target, that people are safe and feel safe, and the national drive to make safeguarding everybody’s business.
Challenges: The work with CVSC has highlighted a significant deficit for the 3rd sector in accessing safeguarding training. In addition, the evaluation of the training programme emphasised the need to train those who manage volunteers to ensure they are fully aware of their safeguarding responsibilities. To address this we have commissioned CVSC to deliver training to volunteer managers and in Safeguarding Week 2019, we will be jointly hosting with CVSC a Safeguarding and Volunteering event.
Our financial resources and how we plan for the future
Despite the current ﬁnancial pressures, Conwy continue to provide the best service we can for our residents. Social Care also had to identify £2.4m of savings in 2017/18. We continue to protect direct service delivery and aim for best value, being efficient and not duplicating.
Our partnership working, political and corporate leadership, governance and accountability
The Welsh Government’s Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 has created a set of national outcomes and placed a duty on public bodies to put sustainable development at the heart of decisions. It should be a central organising principle to consider the environmental, social and economic impact of decisions. For Conwy County Borough Council they have been incorporated into the Conwy Corporate Plan. The 7 goals and 5 ways of working are aligned to Conwy’s 8 Citizen Outcomes.
Other priority areas which have been taken into consideration include:
- Welsh Government Building Resilient Communities
- Taking Wales Forward
- The Welsh Government’s Well-being Objectives (2016-2021)
The Corporate Plan includes actions which are preventative not reactive, aim to work towards the longer term impact, are integrated in the consideration of how they contribute to the 7 Well-being Goals and are collaborative in terms of the focus on working closely with communities – so they are involved in owning and working collectively to meet the Citizen Outcomes. The Corporate Plan priorities have been considered by the Conwy & Denbighshire Public Services Board to reflect on where priorities impact on other public organisations and where there are opportunities for collaboration.
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.
Councillors robustly challenge business cases and options appraisals for service change monitoring arrangements to assess whether the impacts are effective. Conwy’s stakeholder engagement is comprehensive, and the Council proactively reviews and improves the effectiveness of its decision-making arrangements. Last year, we reviewed our Overview and Scrutiny Function to consider whether they were still working effectively and to consider any improvements. As a result, Social Care now has its own Social Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
Social Care and Education Service Integration Programme
Good progress is being made on the Social Care and Education Service Integration Programme, which involves service staff and other stakeholders. The Programme has been running over the last 17 months, with the work being undertaken through either tasks or projects aimed towards achieving the following benefits:
- Staff having a sense of belonging and commitment to a single Social Care and Education team and vision
- Improved understanding/transparency across the service in relation to roles responsibilities and functions
- Acknowledgment and utilisation of specialisms/expertise across the service to improve practice and deliver service improvements
- Contributing to more efficient ways of working; and through achieving these benefits,
- Improving service delivery and outcomes for children, adults and families
Whilst it’s currently too early to fully evidence that these benefits are being achieved, the changes taking place do indicate that progress is being made. These changes are varied in nature, from shared working practices and expertise, training and information sharing and reducing duplication, to developing new models of working to support families. Some examples are included below:
- Staff having a clearer understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities across the service, developing relationships and integration opportunities
- Joint working taking place e.g. through the Additional Learning Needs (ALN) and Disability Services:
- The development of joint Social Care and Education Service outcomes and actions