th West Cheshire & Chester ALD Carers’ Support/Consultation Meeting – 5 February 2009 Present: 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 Agenda 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 recruitment. 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 th 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 st 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. th 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 yet. o Minutes of this meeting will be distributed including the 3 new reps. nd o Date of next meeting is 2 April 2009 – 10am at Dover Drive.