Conservative Bill Borrett has criticised the ruling Alliance’s failing Adult Social Services department, telling the Alliance they are the reason for the department’s woes.
At the meeting of the adult social care committee this morning, the committee heard how the Council’s budget is projecting an overspend of £5.6m[i], only two months after the start of the new financial year. This news followed hot on the heels of a damning performance report showing the department was failing in a number of key measures. In particular:
- Staff sickness has jumped in the department, to a total of 10.19 days per full time member of staff, with 34% of all sickness down to stress, depression and anxiety[ii]
- The department missed its mileage reduction target by over 50,000 miles, failing to deliver more than £22,000 of savings[iii]
- The number of carers supported after an assessment fell to just 44.3%[iv] and the number of people receiving a review of their package of care fell to just 64%[v]
A bigger worry than the poor statistical performance came as the results of the ‘Adult Social Care Users’ Survey’[vi] were published, showing that in four of five areas measured, satisfaction with the service provided had fallen.
Councillor Borrett berated the Alliance[vii] county councillors for being complicit in the department’s budgetary and performance failures telling them, “We have repeatedly warned you of the dangers in the budget you put to Council; that there was not enough money for adult social care services and you could not deliver on the savings you needed to make. Now, only two months into the new financial year[viii] you are projecting an overspend of £5.6m and are saying you are unlikely to deliver the savings you agreed in February.
“Time and again we make these points; tell you your savings cannot be delivered and time and again you return to committee empty-handed, saying you cannot deliver on the savings. When are you going to start listening?”
The viability of the financial information was even questioned by the Alliance Members themselves, when Liberal Democrats asked about the ambitious plan to reduce current residential placement use by 800 places and the risk register shows virtually no prospect of the department delivering against its savings by 2017.
[ii] Page 19, paragraphs 2.1.1 and 2.1.4(c)
[iii] Page 20, paragraph 2.2.1
[iv] Page 20, paragraph 2.3.1
[v] Page 20, paragraph 2.4.1
[vi] Page 22, paragraph 3.1.1 and page 23 image
[vii] The ‘Alliance’ is comprised of Labour, UKIP, Liberal Democrat and Green group county councillors
[viii] The report is for the month ending May 2015, two months into the new financial year