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Agenda item

Called-in Item: Update on Reablement Service

To consider the decisions made by the Executive on 15 March 2011 in relation to the above item, which have been called in by Councillors Alexander, Fraser and Simpson-Laing in accordance with the provisions of the Council’s Constitution.  A cover report is attached setting out the reasons for the call-in and the remit and powers of the Scrutiny Management Committee (Calling In) in relation to the call-in procedure, together with the original report to and decisions of the Executive.

Minutes:

Members received a report which asked them to consider the decisions made by the Executive at their meeting on 15 March 2011 in relation to a report providing an update on the opportunities offered by a remodelled reablement service and seeking a decision on the next steps for the service.

 

Details of the Executive’s decisions were attached as Annex A to the report and the original report to the Executive was attached as Annex B.  The decisions had been called in by Cllrs Alexander, Fraser and Simpson-Laing, on the grounds that:

 

  • The Executive failed to properly assess the performance of the previously privatised part of the Home Care Service, and analyse the reason for its many failures
  • Inadequate consultation has taken place with the Council’s major partner affected by the performance of the Reablement Service, York Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, the Council Leader and Executive Member having only met with the hospital Chief Executive the day prior to the Executive Meeting
  • No analysis of the reasons for the escalating hospital delayed discharge statistics has taken place
  • The financial comparisons of the costs of providing the service between  the in-house team and the private sector are flawed
  • The decision runs contrary to previous assurances given to the Council’s staff in 2005/6, at the time of the privatisation of the Long-term Care Service.

 

Members were asked to decide whether to confirm the decisions (Option A) or to refer them back to the Executive for re-consideration (Option B).

 

Cllr Fraser addressed the Committee on behalf of the Calling-In Members.  He expanded on the reasons given for the call-in and queried in particular why a partnership with the hospital had not been considered.  He echoed the comments made by the union representative concerning the time allowed for staff to submit a tender for the service and urged Members to refer the matter back to the Executive for re-consideration.

 

Officers responded to the points made, stressing that the quality of the service would not be put at risk by outsourcing, that consultation had been carried out with the hospital, and that staff had been given sufficient opportunity to submit a tender.  They noted that the assurances to staff in 2005/6 referred to in the calling-in reasons had included a notification that the service would be reviewed. Current proposals represented the outcome of that review.

 

After a full debate, Cllr Simpson-Laing moved, and Cllr Horton seconded, that Option B be approved and the matter referred back to the Executive, for the reasons outlined in the calling-in, with a recommendation that they amend their decisions to allow staff sufficient time to work on plans to form a mutual or social enterprise company, or a Local Authority Traded Company.  This proposal was then put to the vote.  4 Members voted in favour and 4 against.  The Chair then used his casting vote in favour of the proposal and it was

 

RESOLVED: that Option B be approved and the matter referred back to the Executive for reconsideration, with a recommendation that they amend their decisions to allow staff sufficient time to work on plans to form a mutual or social enterprise company, or a Local Authority Traded Company.  

 

REASON:      In accordance with the requirements of the Council’s Constitution and for the reasons outlined in the calling-in.

Supporting documents:

 

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