Partnership Working between Care and Support West and the Four Local Authorities

Here are the notes of the meeting. To download a copy, follow this link: Meeting Notes 13th May2015

Welcome: Len Collacott welcomed everyone , particularly the local authorities and looked forward to a new era of non-adversarial, partnership working to improve care in the current difficult environment.

Introductions / Rules of engagement: Those present introduced themselves.

  •  It was agreed that notes would be taken and not minutes, to encourage openness.
  • LA representatives will be referred to as LA Partners for the purposes of these minutes and ongoing work together.
  • Outcomes of meetings will generally be shared with LA and C&SW members
  • LA Partners will see and agree any text before it could be added to internal C&SW membership wide communications.
  • Ongoing meetings reviewing the sector and partnership working taking place will be held quarterly.

Action: DS to set dates and share with grp.

Existing partnership working: David outlined the current activity in the 4 authorities and suggested that much of current good practice could be usefully shared and potentially duplicated across all four LA’s. The following were briefly described by DS and the relevant LA partner.

S Glos:

  • Res Care Provider forum joint chairs Richard D and Guy S.
  • DS is a member of Care Home Partnership Steering grp
  • (Windmill Care and Care Futures also members)
  • C&SW is lead for NHS Act 2006 S256 LD New Types of Practice project
  • RM Network run by Mik Alban


  • Res Care Provider forum joint chairs David S and Leon G
  • DS is a member of Main Provider forum
  • DS is lead for new Care Home Strategy Co-Production Group
  • RM Network run by Mik Alban
  • DS involved in BCC senior staff Interviewing panel

North Somerset

  • Res Care Provider forum joint chairs Sharon D and Gerald H
  • DS is lead for Service Costing Framework sub grp
  • RM Network run by Mik Alban


  • RM Network run by Mik Alban

Important factors in current climate:

1. Post-election: Differentiate between national and council politics: local councils

  • SG: conservative; Matthew Riddle still leader
  • NS: Conservative, but more independents. Key people for social care lost their seats.
  • Bristol: no significant change.
  • B&NES: significant change from Lib Dem to Conservative overall control

2. Likely to be changes in funding and ‘back office’ practices.

3. Care Act focus on advocacy and transparency

4. Dilnot: due to be live come 2016, but still no clarity, possible changes in figures; potential lack of fairness between residential and Dom Care.

5. Integration of health and social care: could it be a ‘smoke and mirrors’ switch of resources without real change?

6. There is however a changes of focus towards discharge and care package rather than focus on admissions.

7. Workforce issues

Partnership working: How

  1. Need to separate the financial frameworks from the opportunities for working towards delivery improvement. The latter represents a real way of meeting collective challenges. It is important that the right space be created for that to happen.
  2. Innovative providers should be listened to and acknowledged in their wishes to work together and creatively
  3. CCGs could take a larger part in the discussions given the push to integrate health and social care
  4. C&SW could take on a role that is not simply representative of members but of the wider care provider community. This can be done via their joint chair roles and modelli9ng via current partnership working.
  5. There are potential problems operationalising decisions; important that work is not seen as another talking shop but that real benefits can be developed.
  6. Tap into existing activity

Partnership Working: Suggested Areas. These issues were discussed

  1. Cost of Care / Service costing frameworks: already in place.
  2. Models of Care: EG Housing stock / Supported Living. There was some discussion about different ways that this had been carried out in NS, Wilts, and B&NES where outcomes had been improved and savings made. There were offers to share learning
  3. Appropriate Placements: particularly in mental health and LD environments, inappropriate placements lead to poor outcomes at higher costs.
  4. Workforce: seen as critical area and biggest challenge. The following points were made:
    • Demand outstrips supply at all levels: management and care staff
    • Tension between growing professionalism required and remuneration offered
    • Added accountability and responsibility. Older, experienced and good carers are leaving because of added ‘admin’ tasks and expectations
    • Shift patterns can be very difficult;
    • Reg Mgrs can feel isolated, vulnerable and unsupported.
    • Improved economic climate; more alternative jobs available at better pay level
    • Media profile gives the work a negative image.
    • There is little work in schools to demonstrate careers in the care sector
    • Many clients particularly in Dom Care, can be very difficult; carers may leave rather than work with them; clients move to different providers causing more issues.
    • Nursing shortages: people can earn more in hospitals or via bank work.
    • Providers need to work at making their organisation ‘good places to work’
    • Providers need to better at recruitment practice

5.  Encouraging Providers to be more participative and creative: There is a need to overcome attitudes amongst many providers which make them apathetic towards participation in partnership activity and forums, reducing their capability of creative and innovative working.

  • LAs need to look at the way they work to encourage participation and promote membership of the support organisation.
  • Distinguish between forum and working group activity.
  • Use pre-meetings. / Use voting to get buy –in.
  • LAs don’t automatically take the chair
  • Allow the forums to say what the priorities are for them and in solutions

6. Purchasing Agreements: using partnerships to generate bulk buying power and better deals.

NEXT STEPS: Using the existing forum structure and joint chair structure to take these areas forward as partnership working projects across all of the local authorities

  1. Workforce
  2. Market Shaping: placements/ service costing framework/ solving local problems.


  • Joint chairs to raise the topics under 7a) and 7b) above in their provider forums and invite discussion to identify other potential areas of critical pressures in the sector.
  • Organise small work groups lead by one or other (or both) of the joint chairs to take forward activities under subject headings
  • Report regularly to members of this LA/C&SW group the following:
  • Provider forum interest in these or other critical areas identified
  • Set out how each sub group is going to work toward progressing their chosen areas
  • Identify outcome targets
  • Set a time line for progress review
  • Include sub group membership data

Next meeting

Date: September 9th 2015

Time: 10 to 12am

Venue: TBA

Barbara Harris/David Smallacombe