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Agenda item

Update on the Peer Challenge Commissioned in Adult Services

A verbal update will be provided to the Committee on the recent peer challenge commissioned in adult services and how this will inform future planning in the service.


Members received a presentation on the recent peer challenge commissioned in adult services and how this would inform future planning in the service.


The Corporate Director of People was in attendance to provide the update and answer any questions.


The Corporate Director explained the background and methodology to the peer challenge noting that experienced members and officers from other councils had been invited to visit to assess how the council were working in adult services and to provide feedback on how to improve. These peer challenges were not inspections but a tool for improvement as part of a commitment to improve performance. 


The peer challenge team were asked to:

·        Examine how York was progressing as a Peoples Directorate, taking advantages of the opportunities this offered to improve support to adults and use resources more effectively.  

·        Consider management of demand at the adult social care front door and how strength based approaches were used to reduce the need for council support.

·        Examine how strength and place based approaches were embedded and the impact of these upon York’s approach to supporting people who had existing complex and high cost support - considering examples of good practice from elsewhere.

·        Consider how the Council were using opportunities afforded by the new Peoples Directorate for better commissioning and market management; with particular focus on the strength of collaboration and potential joint brokerage with the Clinical Commissioning Group.


Members were made aware of the following headline findings:

·        The self-assessment was accurate.

·        There was a clear vision of how the people directorate would deliver.

·        Learning culture was in place.

·        Staff were motivated and supported.

·        There were strong partnerships and new structures developing to build on.

·        Committed leadership at all levels, which included elected Members.

·        Good work during the pandemic especially with care homes.

·        Staff were tired.

·        Lot of change – especially senior leadership.

·        Vision to be translated into a plan and recognise cannot do it all at once.

·        Strengthen performance culture and information.

·        Review opportunities to commission and manage the market differently.


The next steps were discussed, including a recovery and development plan that built on strong foundations and good practice, with clear priorities and milestones. This would include:

·        Time and support for social workers – embedding reflective practice.

·        Incentivize preventative work across the system – and really understand what works and do more of it.

·        Stronger link to corporate systems.

·        Agreeing how to use technology to complement services.

·        Intermediate strategy with support from health colleagues to ensure it’s home first and not care homes first.

·        Establishing an Improvement Board.


In answer to questions raised, the Corporate Director of People and the Director of Public Health confirmed:

·        Frontline staff felt supported and a collection of systems were in place to support Social Workers.

·        Staff were encouraged to take annual leave.

·        Modelling work was ongoing with partners to consider various recovery options that would develop a single vision for York.

·        Staff sickness rates were variable but had been better during the pandemic.

·        Partnership working had allowed for creative and innovative solutions to work effectively during the pandemic and this would continue to support recovery.

·        The Improvement Board would develop a plan with clear milestones that would be understood by staff.


The Council’s Chaplin was thanked for his support to staff during the pandemic and the Corporate Director was commended for undertaking the peer review during this unprecedented time.


Resolved: That the update be noted.


Reason: To ensure that the Committee were aware of the current position.


[An adjournment took place from 19:21 to 19:28]


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