Council meetings

Agenda item

Adult social care review update


Resolved: the committee agreed to note the report, monitor the review and receive an update at the appropriate time.



Tom Brown (Executive Director for Community Services) introduced the report and the following key points were noted:

1.1  At the request of the Public Accounts Committee the council is undertaking a formal review of adult social care to ensure that the council is getting value for money and improving outcomes.

1.2  The council is currently in the process of engaging an external organisation to carry out the review and help the council to deliver the budget cuts identified.

1.3  There are some specific areas that the council intends to look into, including: the number of people asking for support and not accessing services; information and advice; prevention; and initial assessment.

1.4  There are also some gaps in services, which are being commissioned, such as provision for people with learning disability and complex needs. The review will explore this and other gaps in order to help identify savings.

1.5  There will be a focus on transformation, looking at what other places have done and using the expertise of the external organisation carrying out the review to help the council support its workforce to change the way it works to deliver improved services for residents.

1.6  A lot of work has already started. The council is aware of a lot of action that needs to be taken although there are still gaps to explore with the external organisation.

1.7  The committee asked how adult social care is planning to meet the needs of residents who have been newly or further disabled by Covid-19.

1.8  The council and its health partners have recently started discussions on exploring, across Lewisham and southeast London, what might be the short, medium and long-term impacts of Covid-19.

1.9  The external organisation carrying out the review will have skills and experience that the council does not have in house. It will be a one-off cost but will produce recurrent savings.

1.10      The council needs to get a better understanding of why Lewisham has, compared to its comparator boroughs, a higher proportion of people making contact but not going on to use services.

1.11      It might be related to factors ranging from the deprivation in the borough to the information available online.

1.12      The council needs to find out so that it can provide people with the right information at the right time to help themselves and be able to support those in the greatest need as soon as possible.

1.13      The council has not yet assessed which type of individuals are contacting us but not needing services. It is suspected that a lot of people are struggling to find information online and therefore phoning in.

1.14      The committee asked how the review would reach the BAME community and whether the council would consider commissioning BAME organisations to get involved.

1.15      It was noted that the review is going to work with a wide range of stakeholders, including some of our voluntary sector and BAME community groups. The council wants to reach all marginalised groups, including those who have been disadvantaged by Covid.

1.16      The council isn’t intending to commission anything at this early, diagnostics stage, but if the review does identify unmet need that specific community groups could address better than existing services then this is the route the council would go down.

1.17      The committee stressed the importance of ensuring that, in the event that any services are outsourced as a result of this review, that any employees taken on after any transfer have the same conditions of service as transferred staff so that there isn’t a two-tier workforce.


Resolved: the committee agreed to note the report, monitor the review and receive an update at the appropriate time.

Supporting documents: