Report by Cabinet Member for Adult Social Services; and Managing Director, Kent Adult Social Services) (Mrs M Howard, Director of Operations, KASS was present for this item) The Chairman invited Mrs Dean and Mr Christie to speak on this item)
(1) Mr Gibbens said that this report reflected the considerable amount of work undertaken by KCC and the KASS Directorate in particular since the consultation on these proposals commenced in June 2010. He said the review was all about providing care for older people now and into the future and the challenge was how that was done against a backdrop of changing demographics. So the overall exercise was not about budget savings but looking at providing care for older people with respect and dignity. Now the consultation process was at an end reports on the outcomes were being submitted to both Cabinet and the Kent Adult Social Services Policy Overview Committee which was meeting on 12 January. Following those two meetings Mr Gibbens said he would, as the responsible Cabinet Portfolio Holder take a decision in respect of the 11 individual care homes which had been subject to this process. Once his decisions had been published they would automatically be referred to the meeting of the Cabinet Scrutiny Committee taking place on 19 January 2011. Therefore for the purposes of this meeting of the Cabinet he would be listening carefully to the discussion and would not be expressing any views.
(2) Mrs Howard gave a presentation which supported the comprehensive report which Cabinet had before it. As part of this she explained the reasons why it was necessary for the review to be undertaken and the drivers behind the proposals for change and modernisation. She detailed the proposals in respect of each home and gave a breakdown of the comments which had been received in response to the consultation. She said the proposed changes would see a mixture of modernised residential provision through the re-provision of some services working in partnership with the private sector and through the provision of Extra Care Housing. These changes were needed so that KCC could provide into the future modern fit for purpose care to older people at costs which could be commissioned for less in the independent sector.
(3) The Chairman invited both Mrs Dean and Mr Christie to speak on this item and they both asked a number of questions of detail related to the consultation process, the changes these proposals would mean for current residents and their families, staffing and property management issues and the nature of the partnership arrangements with the private sector. Mr Christie and Mrs Dean thanked the Chairman for the opportunity to speak and on a general point Mrs Dean said the overall way the process for this review had been undertaken was an exemplary piece of pre scrutiny and this should establish a precedent for how similar matters are dealt with in future. At the conclusion of the discussion Mr Carter thanked those who had contributed to the debate and confirmed that once the decisions to be taken by the Cabinet Portfolio holder had been published then they would be referred to the Cabinet Scrutiny Committee which had to be able to fully explore all issues, including those related to property which may need to be discussed under the exempt provisions.
(4) Following further discussion Cabinet noted the contents of the report and the attached 11 reports.