PROVIDERS FORUM MEETING WITH SOCIAL WORK DEPARTMENT
DALKEITH ARTS CENTRE
1ST DECEMBER 2008 FROM 2.00-5.00PM
Attendance Voluntary Sector: Anne Scott, Aaron House, Penicuik; Hazel
Johnston, Alzheimers Scotland; Janis Wadge, Ian Laidlaw, Ark
Housing; Rhona McNeil, Carr Gomm; Martin Dawson,
Columncille/Glenesk; Helen King, Margaret Elliot, ELCAP;
Elaine Alexander, Ella Grear, JB Agency; Louise Richardson,
Elaine Johnston, Link Living; Peter Inglis, Midtext SAMH;
Elaine Monteith, Places for People; April Robertson, RNIB;
Drew Binnie, Winnie Tuohy, St. Josephs; Jackie Deans,
Thistle Foundation, George Wilson (MVA), Eric
Johnstone(MVA), Margaret Mackey(MVA) and Sadia
Attendance Social Work: Colin Anderson (Director of Social Work), Tom Welsh
(Joint Future Manager), Joan Stead (Client Relations Officer),
Alison Brook (Resource Manager of Adults), Margaret Cox
(Planning Manager Children), Joan Griffiths (Planning
Manager for Older People)
George Wilson, MVA welcomed everyone and explained what we hoped to gain
from this meeting.
Tom Welsh, Midlothian Council then spoke about the outcomes from the Social
Work Inspection Agency (SWIA) Report which had highlighted areas needing to be
addressed. Strategies are in place to deal with many of them, and this meeting
would also help to focus on areas where improvements could be made.
George then highlighted some of the information being disseminated by MVA,
MCCF, Forward Mid, and the need to update web-site for them as well as the
providers’ web site. The meeting moved into the main purpose of the event and
broke up into 4 groups which would discuss what was good/not so good about
present communication arrangement between the Providers and the Social Work.
The groups discussed the pro and cons of the current arrangement and proposed
the followings for improving the communication between them.
Feedback from Workshop Sessions:
What is Working Improvement?
Commitment from Social Work/providers to Communication between provider reps/
participate in planning process planning - one person or other mechanism
Good communication at field work level re. Tension between traditional planning forum
queries/finance and general working context and business arrangements between
council and providers = challenge
Planning officer bringing positive approach Need to know who people are and how to
to working = providers and information best include in planning process/
sharing information sharing
Need to be aware of discussions and how to
feed into them
More populated map – names/timescales/
tasks relative to group
Strategic level – only hear about things when
they are about to happen
Need to define mechanisms for feedback so
providers are clear what is required
Lots of complex planning occurring but
information not being disseminated? How to
improve information sharing?
Mapping of Com/P/Partnership
- How do we get information – where to go
- Who is the best contact – need a name – who leads on initiatives?
- Re-examine provider mechanism for representation on groups
- Structure important but move away from it to examine specific issues.
- Require to ‘lift heads’ and consider the best vehicle of communication
- Need to share existing knowledge within different groups
- Examine who is best placed to represent special interest forum (i.e.
Clear commitment to communicate between Social Work and Providers
All levels of social work staff are informed of agreements:-
1 Mechanism for providers to contribute to strategies/commissioning/service
design/etc. (clear roles and responsibilities)
2 Clear link within Social Work for reference if there is a problem/lack of
information – and leave them in post!
Message alert service for information you want to know about. Be clear
what we want from each other.
3 Consider specific provider forums to compliment MVA (i.e. MH/LD)
Things improving in last few months Not aware of resource panel process
Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) Changes to names on Panel not being
according to the guidelines of Adult Support communicated and also who is who
and Protection Scotland 2007 Act (ASPA)
Finance department clear with contracts? No written feedback on decision from
quickly resource panel (seen as a weakness)
Who makes decision not clear
Inconsistency of communications across
Written communications not seen as good
Decisions prolonged – due to Social Work
How to Improve It
Issue Flow Chart of process – control panel
Clarify criteria for decisions
Publish current social work organisation chart
More providers Forums “SW” should be more involved at this level i.e. team
Joint training “social work” and providers will improve understanding of
each others problems in specific areas
‘One stop shop’ developed
Amend overlord of communications – conflict
- Inconsistent messages
What’s Working What’s Not Working
Having an active contact person Lack of continuity
It’s positive having person to contact Communications within council…
There are very focus and dedicated workers Reviews of existing contracts…
Don’t run with vacancies
Sickness, please re-direct emails
Impact on decisions being made…
Not getting relevant and updated
More open, honest communication.
Positive Responses to what’s not working
Having an identified person in the council (key worker/link person)
Roles and responsibility
MVA to facilitate joint information/development events
What would Work
1 Link Person –Empower Service User in regards to choices
2 Single Assessments – Copy – be available to service provider/agency
3 More events will all service providers talking – communicate more
-More resources |
-Emails regular/updates |
-Joint email shared events |
What’s Good What’s not so good?
MVA information very good Staff changes – keeping up with who’s who
and what they now do
Once identified council person Photo’s on web site would be good
communication is good
At SW/team leader lever communication Need to be briefed about these changes
good ‘first class’
Good relationship re. problem solving – Lack of recording at meetings
around funding/POC issues
Don’t know what we don’t know
Internet SW communication doesn’t appear
Follow up missing
Invoicing – time take to resolve issues
What would we like to see?
1 Named person (photo on web-site)
Clear definitions of role and areas of responsibility
Where does decision making lie?
2 Clarity as to what communication is needed/routes this should take
3 Links on web-site to relevant information – good on MVA – needs to include
Improvements needed to council website – SW website would be very useful
Re-do meet and greet with key council people/providers
Update council website
Update links on council & MVA website
Call to ask someone even if not sure who the right person is – they’ll maybe
able to point you in right direction.
What happened during the Event?
1. Groups had a half-an-hour tea/coffee break that allowed them to do
useful networking with the participants.
2. Few relevant documents/handouts were provided to the
3. Feedback form given to the participants for their anonymous
opinions about the Communication Event.
What Happened Next?
1. Meeting with Tom Welsh (Joint Future Manager) and few of his
colleagues, along with George Wilson, Eric Johnstone and Sadia Kadri
from MVA as working group to discuss and execute all the points that
put forward by the groups to develop an Action Plan.
2. In the process of developing an Action Plan on the basis of group
suggestions to move forward.