Agenda and minutes
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Declarations of Interest
To remind Members of the need to record the existence and nature of any Personal, Disclosable Pecuniary or other interests in items on the agenda, in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct.
Councillor Gordon Lundie declared an interest by virtue of the fact that he worked for a pharmaceutical company which sought to influence public health policy. The company was not currently offering medical treatments and was still at the research stage. He reported that, as his interest was personal and not prejudicial or a disclosable pecuniary interest, he determined to remain to take part in the debate and vote.
Councillor Lundie also declared that he was a member of the Board of Governors for the Royal Berkshire Hospital. He reported that, as his interest was personal and not prejudicial or a disclosable pecuniary interest, he determined to remain to take part in the debate and vote.
Purpose: To seek agreement to the West Berkshire Locality Plan for 2016/17 and make a recommendation to the Council’s Executive.
The Board discussed a report (Agenda Item 3) regarding the Better Care Fund 2016/17, a government initiative established to fast track integration with Health and Social Care. The first year of implementation was 2015/16; all Councils and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) had to agree a plan and then obtain approval from their Health and Wellbeing Boards.
The government had confirmed a continued commitment to the initiative, therefore all Councils and CCGs were required to have a plan for 2016/17 and obtain approval from their Health and Wellbeing Boards.
In common with the previous year there were a number of national conditions that plans had to meet. Importantly for the local authority ‘Maintaining the provision of social care services’ had been retained with the requirement that it would be at least the same or a real terms increase.
The Department of Health (DofH) had also confirmed that the Social Care Capital Grant would be discontinued from 2016/17 and instead had combined the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) and Social Care Capital Grant into one in order to maximise value for money. DofH research suggested the DFG could support people to remain independent in their own homes – reducing or delaying the need for care and support, and improving the quality of life of residents.
Nationally, there had been an average 11% increase in the capital allocations of the DFG. West Berkshire was an outlier receiving a 39% increase. Alongside this funding increase the BCF plan now included a requirement to confirm how the Council plan to use the grant in the coming year.
The Better Care Fund allocation for the West Berkshire Locality had been confirmed as just over £10.6m; this represented a 1.9% increase on the value the previous year. The allocation for social care was £4.367m, a real terms increase on the allocation of £4.021m in 2015/16.
The CCG and the Local Authority had agreed a plan that would allow the continuation of the West Berkshire Better Care Fund projects such as the Joint Care Provider scheme, seven day week services and maintaining the existing capacity within the reablement service. It would also allow the Council and CCG to continue to support the West of Berkshire projects.
This work would support the Council and CCGs to continue to improve performance on Delayed Transfers of Care and reduce Non-elective admissions; key objectives of the Better Care Fund.
The CCG and the local authority had been able to agree a Better Care Fund plan that both met the national conditions and importantly would improve health and care services for local residents. Therefore it was recommended that Members agree the plan as outlined in the report and recommend it to the Council’s Executive.
Councillor Gordon Lundie enquired why West Berkshire had received a nearly 40% increase in the DFG, which seemed disproportionately high. Tandra Forster responded that historically West Berkshire had received a higher DFG allocation than other local authorities, perhaps because it did not have its own housing stock. The ... view the full minutes text for item 105.