To receive a report from the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and the Corporate Director of Adult Social Care and Health and to consider and either endorse or make a recommendation to the Cabinet Member on the proposed decision to tender for a new contract.
Ms E Hanson, Head of Strategic Commissioning, Community Services, was in attendance for this item.
1. Ms Hanson said that the current spend from Kent County Council on physical disability grants was £181,053, and this was due to expire in March 2018. The plan was to work with the Council’s peer-led network of physically disabled adults, associated carers and families to review the service delivery and any changes that needed to be made. Key areas requiring improvement were as follows:-
a) support with information and advice;
b) support to people to understand and access disability benefits;
c) support to people to understand how direct payments worked;
d) close working with adult social care to improve accessibility of direct payments;
e) signposting people to services that best met their needs; and
f) access to a wide range of community activities and peer support.
2. The plan was to reinvest the money into a new service with a contract of three years, plus an additional two years to ensure the desired level of sustainability.
3. A Member asked a question about the specification of those who were involved in the review of the service. Ms Hanson said that the County Council looked at user-led organisations. In order to set the correct tone it was important that organisations working with people with physical disabilities employed and were managed by people with physical disabilities. The County Council looked closely at what this meant and then translated it into a specification.
4. A Member asked a question about the equality implications and how the County Council aimed to incorporate those who were not involved in the review, specifically physically disabled people under the age of 16. Ms Hanson said that, following the Equality Impact Assessment, the scope of the offer had been adapted to ensure that the website and helpline were accessible to all. Further work would be undertaken to map out what services were available in order for people to be signposted correctly. For those under the age of 16, there would be a clear indication of how to access services.
5. RESOLVED that the decision proposed to be taken by the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, to:-
(a) tender for a new contract to deliver an information, advice and peer support service for people with a physical disability; and
(b) delegate authority to the Corporate Director of Adult Social Care and Health, or other nominated officer, to award the contract to the successful organisation,