West Cheshire _ Chester ALD Carers SupportConsultation Meeting

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   West Cheshire & Chester ALD Carers’ Support/Consultation Meeting – 5 February 2009

Parents/Carers Representatives – Iris Barker, Winifred McGlown & Norma Duffy.
Team Manager Kate Fleming, Group Leaders’ Debby Davey & Sue Ridley.

Apologies from Marion Redfern, Helen Griffith, Margaret Ainslee & John Barker


      Minutes of the last meeting were read and agreed.

      Website – difficulty being experienced in accessing the website from home computers
       despite “Googling” same. In addition updating of items hasn’t yet taken place. This will
       be raised with Marion Redfern when she returns from holiday. In the interim, Iris &
       John Barker & Norma Duffy will try and access from their home computers and advise
       the outcome to Marion at the “Friends” Meeting next week. Kate advised that service
       user meeting minutes would be uploaded to the website after “anonymising” i.e. to
       ensure an individual’s privacy is not compromised.

      Staffing & Recruitment;
   o   Domiciliary Care – 48 service users will be moving to the Direct Payments system. The
       staff working in this service area have been advised of their redeployment date/s with
       induction training and shadow shifts detailed. By the end of March 2009 it is
       anticipated that all domiciliary care will have moved to the independent sector.
   o   Recruitment banner at Dover Drive – this has now been removed as with the impending
       redeployment of staff we will have ample staffing and as such a hold has been put on
   o   Move On – Stanney Lane & Flint Court. Following their board meeting earlier this week
       and in light of the current economic situation, Dane Housing have approached a
       Housing Corporation and Kate is hopeful that a decision will be reached within the next
       few weeks. Until such time the prospective purchases of the 2 houses in Ellesmere
       Port, 1 house in Chester and building alterations to 4 & 6 Dover Drive are on hold
       which has a knock on effect on the service as a whole. This is because the care in the 3
       current Chester houses is on target to transfer to MacIntyre Care by April of this year.
       Some good news though is that the house in Blacon that we are interested in Dane
       purchasing to replace an existing house is still on the market and has actually been
       reduced by £50,000 to £220,000.
   o   Short Stay – over a year ago staff were asked to do a 3 week rota with one free
       weekend in 3 off. This was anticipated to be a temporary arrangement pending the
       inception of Specialist Day Care. However the Specialist Day Care will not be
       happening now and the rotas will need to go back to a four week cycle with 2
       weekends off in the 4 week period. Because of this change the 24.5 hour weekly posts
       will need to be replaced by a team of 4 with 18.25 hour posts. This will take place over
       a phased period with staff being redeployed as vacancies occur and 18.25 hour
       contracts offered to recruits unless existing staff wish to transfer to the 18.25 hour
       contract. The 18.25 hour contract does provide more consistent cover and is more
       family friendly for the staff. Obviously this is going to involve some staff changes
       within short stay services, but this will be managed sensitively so that the effect on
       service users will be as positive as possible.

       Feedback from individual service area Carers Meetings held at various dates in
       January 2009.

           o   Specialist Service
               Iris Barker gave a brief summary of the meeting which she described as an
               informal event more like a coffee morning and getting to know you session for
               the parents/carers who attended. Iris and Marion Redfern are the
               representatives for this service and Marion also attends the Partnership Board
    meetings. Iris felt a more structured approach would be beneficial for future
    meetings. Kate felt that a lot of local issues could be resolved at the individual
    service area meetings with relevant Group Leader/s attending.

    Iris advised that Marion has also been talking to John Caswell as she feels she
    needs more support within the Partnership Board meetings and this would
    mean broader representation in this forum. Kate acknowledged the importance
    of carers and service users being involved.

    Iris also referred to a suggestion by a parent that the Citroen Berlingo car could
    be a safer, more economic option for service users than the Vauxhall Zafiras
    currently in use. The use of a screen between the driver and the service user
    seated in the rear of the vehicle could be an additional safety option. Kate
    advised that she has met with this parent and discussed this in detail.
    Potentially the only stumbling block being insurance cover as a maximum of 3
    drivers are included in the policy whereas with current insurance for the Zafiras
    the insurance is an “open” policy with all CCC staff included. Norma Duffy
    mentioned a company called Gorings National Company who are providers of
    Motability cars. Norma advised that they came to her home, assessed Js needs
    and J is now getting a Fiat Doblo. If an “Open “ policy is needed then you can
    apply with a written statement from your Care Provider i.e. Social Services that
    employees need to drive the vehicle , they will then authorise an Open policy
    subject to notification of any driver issues and minimum age of 25 years for
    drivers. However, this age clause may be a problem as Cheshire West &
    Cheshire council stipulate over 18 years of age for drivers.
    Action/s -Debby Davey will check this aspect and respond back to Helen
    Griffith directly. The next meeting date will be advised by Stuart Challinor and
    minutes issued.

o   Short Stay Service
    Norma advised that the meeting was quite structured with an agenda provided
    by Sue. Sue also produced the minutes. During the meeting Sue gave out
    handouts that provided a starting point for the parents/carers talking to each
    other. There were 3 significant issues raised in the meeting:
        1) Booking System – some parents/carers were confused by the recent
            changes. Kate advised that she would look into this situation and
            consider sending out a briefing note to clarify the situation.
        2) Transport – short stay houses don’t have vehicles specific to the
            establishment/s. Official council transport i.e. to/from day centres &
            home is only available from Monday to Friday. Discussion as to whether
            Rivacre Bus Centre could be tried but the feeling was that this has been
            attempted in the past and always declined. Iris suggested we check
            again and possibly service users could share the costs. Norma felt that
            the benefits would vary according to the how able the service users are.
            More able service users might get more out of driving trips further
            afield whilst less able service users might not benefit as much. Norma
            also raised the cost of short stay breaks and enquired as to why the
            council doesn’t provide the transport as part of the package. Debby
            pointed out that the official government viewpoint is that Mobility is
            paid to cover service users’ transport needs and that service users own
            cars could be used when they are having a short break. Norma was
            concerned that if service users did bring their own vehicle to the short
            break establishment that it would be used for transporting other service
            users as well. Kate and Debby confirmed that this would never be
            allowed to happen and indeed would conflict with insurance
            arrangements. Action/s – Sue to check with Rivacre. Sue also sending
            out “Let’s Make It Personal” booklet with the minutes and giving copies
            to Debby and Dreena for their respective carer groups.
        3) Personal Budgets – parents/carers seemed confused or unaware in
            some cases.
       In addition Sue advised that the Carers Representatives who had volunteered
       within the meeting were as follows:

       18 Dover Drive – Elaine Crank
       Beech Grove – Margaret Clarkson
       Pooltown Road – Val Jones

       Norma being the existing rep for 20 Dover Drive.

Kate asked if the 3 reps were happy for their details to be distributed and Sue will now
meet with the 3 new reps and Norma and go through all relevant aspects.

   o   Kate raised the “social events” organised in recent months e.g. December
       Coffee Morning and asked if the group felt the coffee mornings were worth
       continuing. After discussion it was decided to leave this decision to the
       individual group meetings. However the Sports Challenge Day and
       Presentation Evening and the Christmas Events such as “Mulled Wine”
       afternoon etc were very successful and warmly received by service users and
       families. Debby suggested that weekend events might be helpful as family
       members who work could attend.
   o   LGR – Kate gave an update of events to date advising that Tier 1 to 3
       appointments had been made and Tier 4 appointments would be notified by 13
       February 2009. Kate explained that the Team Manager role is being replaced by
       a Service Manager position at Tier 5 level and this will involve a larger service
       area. Group Leader roles will be replaced by a Unit Manager position reporting
       to the Service Manager. Prospective applicants for Tier 5 positions have been
       asked to put in a proposal for what the service will look like as part of their
       application. This needs to include a 10% cost saving. According to the Chief
       Executive, Tier 5 managers should be in post as from 1 April 2009.The
       restructuring process will then cascade down to Group Leaders and Senior
       Support Workers. Kate advised that major changes will take place over the next
       12 month. Unions are involved in the consultation processes and a Voluntary
       Redundancy programme is allied to the restructuring process and timescales.
   o   Jez Hunt – Jez leaves on 27 February 2009 and in the interim, pending a Tier 4
       appointment, another Locality Manager will pick up Jez’s work.
   o   Partnership Board – Kate distributed the last newsletter and will continue to do
       so at future meetings. Kate advised that it looks like there will be 2 local forums
       followed by the Partnership Board meeting although the details aren’t clear, as
   o   Minutes of this meeting will be distributed including the 3 new reps.
   o   Date of next meeting is 2      April 2009 – 10am at Dover Drive.

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