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
Decision type: Non-key
Decision status: For Determination
Division affected: (All Division);
Notice of proposed decision first published: 13/09/2022
Decision due: Not before 21st Sep 2022 by Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
Lead director: Richard Smith
Department: Social Care, Health & Wellbeing
Public consultation undertaken or planned:
Engagement has been carried out with a number of stakeholders, including the Deaf community, language professionals, external contract partners, existing users of the service and other local authorities.
Cabinet Committee consultation planned:
The proposed decision will be discussed at the Adult Social Care Cabinet Committee meeting on 28 September 2022.
Financial implications: The estimated annual cost of this service to Kent County Council is £20,000 per annum, or £80,000 over the proposed four-year contract period. Other public sector authorities will be able to use the contract, making the total estimated spend via the contract £50,000 per annum and £200,000 over the four-year contract period.
Legal implications: Commissioners will follow the Public Contract Regulations (2015) and Spending The Council’s Money guidance in relation to the procurement undertaken.
Equalities implications: Equalities implications: An EqIA has been carried out and has concluded that there should be no negative impact on people with protected characteristics. Data Protection implications: It is likely that a DPIA will be required, and this will be completed once the service specification is produced