Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Procurement of Interpreting and Communication Services for People who are D/deaf and Deafblind and delegation of authority to the Corporate Director Adult Social Care and Health to take relevant actions to facilitate the required procurement activity.
Reason for the decision:
Kent County Council’s (KCC) statutory responsibilities under The Care Act 2014, Equality Act 2010 and the Accessible Information Standard 2016 are partly met through an Interpreting and Communication service for People who are D/deaf or Deafblind. The framework contract provides a list of pre-vetted and approved communication professionals that interpreting and translation services can be purchased from as and when required. The framework commenced in June 2019 and will expire in June 2023. New contractual arrangements for purchasing these communication services need to be in place by 17 June 2023.
How the proposed decision meets the objectives of “Framing Kent’s Future”:
This decision supports the delivery of the corporate equality objective to ensure ‘council information and services are accessible for everyone’ identified in Framing Kent’s Future – Our Council Strategy 2022-2026, and of the Adult Social Care strategy, Making a difference every day, by offering a person-centred approach to accessing communication support to people who need it.
Options considered and discounted:
Option 1 - Do nothing
This would pose risks to the council in terms of control over costs, service quality and inconsistent service provision
Option 2 - Commission managed interpreting services from a single provider
This option has been discounted due to the lost opportunity to develop relationships with and support local interpreters, and the potential to lose control over quality and interpreter availability.
Option 3 - Commissioning D/deaf interpreting services from an external provider via an existing Framework
National frameworks do not guarantee the provision of qualified interpreters, and research suggests this type of framework directly leads to a poor service to users which in turn increases the demand on social services e.g., poor interpreting can lead to people not understanding the issue and the person may require additional support from health and social care providers
As Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, I agree to:
a) APPROVE the procurement of Interpreting and Communication Services for People who are D/deaf and Deafblind
b) DELEGATE authority to the Corporate Director Adult Social Care and Health to take relevant actions to facilitate the required procurement activity.
Publication date: 05/10/2022
Date of decision: 05/10/2022
Effective from: 13/10/2022