Agenda item

Adult Social Care - Cllr Patel and Nicola Hobbs-Brake


Cllr Patel began by giving an overview of Adult Social Care and the current issues facing the sector.

NHB presented on Northamptonshire Adult Social Care and talked about the following:

  1. What the organisation  does
  2. Structures
  3. Spending
  4. Summary of Activity Levels
  5. Overall Picture in Northamptonshire
  6. New Target Operating Model (TOM)
  7. New opportunities for OP Accommodation
  8. New approach to Home Care
  9. Market Management

ACTION: Presentation to be circulated with minutes

Cllr Oldham thanked NHB for the presentation. Northamptonshire County Council has a £1 billion budget. Half of this budget has been ring fenced on education. Therefore £428 million is the net budget. Cllr Oldham asked where it is forecast for this money to be spent.

Cllr Patel will be having a meeting with the Leader to look at this for the next financial year. NHB is also exploring ideas  but there are not set in stone.

NHB said that people are coming out of hospital but still need care. Eg houses need adapting.

DH discussed that there is an aging population and the demand for services is increasing. DH talked about private care providers and the need to look at the standard of care. Care providers are closing down. However, his friend is spending £600 per week on his care. DH commented that the County Council is bankrupt and the problem is that there is no funding - we cannot make do with less.

TM added that not all elderly people are on benefits. People have paid National Insurance since 1947. This is a worrying situation and people are struggling. TM also raised that Queens Park Nursing home is closed as some residents had to share a room. They did not object to this but because this broke the rules and regulations, the home had to be closed down.

JR advised that Healthwatch have been talking to staff and residents. The scale and progress of Dementia needs addressing. There is also criticism of County Council – we have the lowest paid carers in the country which is why providers do not take this on. However, it was commented that even if the money was available, we don’t have the staff. JR added that there are a number of retired professional workers on Healthwatch.

Cllr Patel advised that NCC consult providers, and added that NCC do have challenges this year and next year in order to balance the  books.  Cllr Patel also advised that he has spoken to ministers in London and demand is increasing nationally.

AT asked how referrals are made. NHB advised that referrals are made through GPs, hospitals, neighbours, friends, family and through self -referrals.

ACTION: An exact breakdown to be given on this.

VM asked about people who are newly discharged from hospital and how there are assessed. The forum shared concerns that there is a time delay between when people leave hospital and when their care package is in place at home. NHB advised that there is a wraparound service and services which are needed are provided for. This includes equipment, nurses, physios etc. There is a virtual team to support people at home.

VM also asked about failing care homes with poor standards and what is in place for safeguarding when care homes are failing.

NHB advised that if there is a notification of an increased risk there are more frequent visits. CQC are more stringent on assessing. Two or three homes are on special measures and immediate protection plans are put into place. There is training and monitoring too. NCC has brought two homes to better standards and they are now performing ok. Adult Social Care is aligned with a quality team with safeguarding and we have bi weekly meetings, working to prevent homes to going to special measures in the first place.


JR advised that Healthwatch have trained volunteers  - anyone can ring Healthwatch  and complain about a service they are concerned about. Many of the homes have made notes of the criticisms and addressed them. These care homes also have whistle blowing policies.

JFS said that a lot of people her age hope that they will die because they have no support. NHB commented that social isolation is an issue, and is something that Adult Social Care is trying to help combat. JFS added that she felt that isolation has increased since the Door to Door service allowance was been cut. AM advised that NBC has a partnership grant pot which funds organisations such as the Door to Door service through an annual competitive bidding process. Door to Door was successful but due to pressures on the funding pot, the grant award was less than what has been awarded in previous years. NBC and Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire have offered help and support for future funding. The service is still available. 

GS commented that Care and Repair are part of Independent Home Improvement. Funding has been withdrawn without notice. Their handyman service has grown but the organisation only receives 60% of funding that they received 2 years ago. GS is still waiting to hear whether C&R will receive further funding – they currently have 9 staff but there is uncertainty for the future. 

ACTION: NHB advised she will look into this for GS after the meeting 

RR commented that he is not political. 50 years ago RR attended a meeting with an MP and predicted that this would be happening in 30 years.