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Frequently asked questions and responses: 226 to 297 | Adults Social Care Day Opportunities Consultation 2019 | Birmingham City Council

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Frequently asked questions and responses: 226 to 297

The following questions have been asked at different Day Opportunities consultation 2019 events and we have provided answers. This will be updated on an ongoing basis as more questions are asked at different consultation events.

Last updated 16 August 2019

226. The consultation should have been finished by now, why has it taken so long?

It was considered by the council that it was essential to conduct a consultation which maximised the inclusion of all those with an interest in day opportunities provision. The consultation was originally planned to run for a ninety day period, from 8 April 2019 to 6 July 2019. However, Birmingham City Council extended the consultation period to 4 August 2019. The reason for the extension was in response to feedback from the public. The council was asked to make three additional key background documents more prominent to better inform citizens' consultation returns, and to action a number of amendments in the main consultation documents.

227. How is the information taken from the questionnaire and entered into the report?

All copies of questionnaires received via the post will be inputted into the online version on BeHeard, a specialist Birmingham City Council database used for consultations, which captures and analyses responses to questionnaires. This is done to ensure that all feedback expressed via both on-line and paper versions of the questionnaire are represented as a whole in the analysis and analysed in the same way.

228. Will inter-generational work be included in the new strategy?

Ideas such as this will be retained and if the draft strategy were to be approved by Cabinet then they can be looked at as part of any planning that might take place.

229. Why doesn’t the easy read language questionnaire have simple yes/no questions to assist those with difficulties verbalizing?

The easy read documents were developed with input from citizens and experts from the sector.

230. It can take ages to get through to a SW – why don’t you have a Freephone?

This suggestion has been fed back to senior management for consideration.

231. Missing link with/between social workers and service available – can this be included in the consultation that social workers are kept up to date about services, make it part of BCC training?

This has been fed back to senior managers for discussion.

232. It was stated at an event by an attendee that Birmingham City Council funded clients are not accessing day centres - why is this?

This is not correct. Birmingham City Council funded clients continue to access day centres.

233. There is limited transport at the centre; maybe you should have a contract with Ring and Ride to collect people? Can the transport model used for schools be replicated for transporting groups of elderly people?

If the draft strategy were to be approved then transport provision may be considered for further development with our partners.

234. How much did it cost for the consultancy firm that produced the NDTi report?

To disclose the exact value would be commercially undermining for the organisation.

I can confirm the work commissioned from NDTi in relation to the Adult Day Opportunities was at a cost of less than £50,000 to the council.

235. Do you have representatives from social work to support your discussions?

There have been weekly governance and operational meetings throughout the consultation process. Membership of the groups includes social care professionals.

236. Concern regarding citizens who need routine and without this it impacts on their behaviour. How will changes be managed to ensure minimal effect of citizens?

One of the six aspirations is “Focus on the individual, their strengths, choices, assets, and goals through person centred planning.” So, as with any change in an individual’s circumstances a review or re-assessment will identify and consider the impact of change and how to manage this.

237. The Stage 1 coproduction report concluded that although many of the activities that service users do in day centres can be accessed in the community “the sense of belonging and being part of established groups is harder to replicate”. Because of this we asked a question at the consultation meeting “How is the council going to replicate this in the new model. The reply in the FAQ was: “The council acknowledges how our day centres are valued and how they help maintain friendships and a sense of community. The draft strategy and proposed model focus on the individual and what is important to them. Friendship groups give a sense of wellbeing and we would want to harness that”. But this does not answer the question that we asked. Please could you tell us in detail how the council intends in practice to replicate in the new model the sense of belonging and being part of established groups that is currently provided by day centres. Please could your answer address how this to be done for people with a significant learning disability?

The consultation has been concerned with establishing the key aspirations of the draft strategy and the proposed day service model for consideration by Cabinet. If the draft strategy is approved by Cabinet then a more detailed implementation plan will be developed. As with any change in an individual’s support a review or re-assessment will identify and consider the impact of change and how to manage this.

238. The consultation paper says that during 2018 that a group of adults with disabilities and BCC officers visited a range of community facilities to assess accessibility. Please could you provide all the details of what was done, the kinds of disabilities of those who were involved, and the conclusions reached. We understand that there was a report on this that was prepared. Please can we have a copy? If it does not contain all the details requested, please could you provide these as well.

The report details how, over the summer of 2018, a team of 27 disabled adults and Birmingham City Council commissioning officers visited a range of Birmingham City Council commissioned services and Birmingham City Centre to assess accessibility using a set of jointly developed accessibility standards. Generally the visits found that both the venues visited and the city centre were accessible and people were supported by staff across the sites visited. . A set of recommendations have been written to support further improving accessibility they can be found towards the back of the report.

The report does not form part of the Day Opportunities Consultation 2019.

Day Opportunities – Co-production Report Accessible Community Assets July and August 2018 can be accessed on the Citizen Involvement Team website https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/citizenvoice within the carousel.

239. Will the local community activities receive more support? Will the council support local initiatives to increase choices available in the local community?

Currently the council is supporting an increase in choices available in local communities via:

  • Neighbourhood Network Schemes - facilitating good communication and collaboration between a whole range of public, voluntary and community sector organisations, practitioners and professionals.
  • Community Catalysts - developing very small local ventures that offer people the help they need to live the life they want.
  • Local Area Co-ordination - helping people to draw upon their own strengths to live the life they want, connected and contributing to their communities; and to strengthen the capacity of communities to welcome and include people.

240. How will you monitor citizen’s activities in the community?

In line with Care Act 2014 we are seeking to increase choice, control and independence for individuals. When someone who is eligible for support from Adult Social Care chooses to access support and activities out in the community they will still be entitled to regular review.

241. What if certain individuals only want to stay at the day centre will they are allowed to?

One of the aspirations for the proposed strategy is that future provision is based on a person centred planning approach. This will include a conversation with a social worker about their interests, choices and support needs. This will determine the best option for an individual.

242. Long term Mental Health issues – those with long term needs should have some access to facilities as those with long term disabilities?

Any adult who is eligible for support from Adult Social Care is entitled to an assessment of their support needs which might include access to day opportunities. This includes adults with long tern mental health issues.

243. In the proposal, my concern is whether business will be on board re employment opportunities? It is good to suggest employment opportunities, but will this be regulated? Business may take advantage of our kids.

Birmingham City Council is already investing in employment opportunities. The PURE project is European Social Funded project which brings together a range of coordinated interventions to assist the needs of citizens with barriers into the employment market. The council is able to access the Disability Confident Employers list -

See the disability confident campaign on GOV.UK website

244. If there is an adult who has identified a centre which is independent - does the funding arrangement allow the individual to make the choice? Would like clarity on this.

Yes, this is part of the conversation between social work staff and the service user who should be informed that the funding arrangement can be used to attend external day care provision if it meets the goals identified in their support plan.

245. When taking people accessing day opportunities out in the community ‘with support’ would staff be fully trained in all capacities of awareness of autism, mental health and learning disabilities etc?

Any individual employed in a care role would need to be appropriately trained and qualified.

246. Who will enable me as there are not enough personal care facilities in community e.g. hoists (wheelchairs users)?

When someone who is eligible for support from Adult Social Care chooses to access support and activities out in the community then all of their specific support needs linked to this will be assessed.

247. Is there training that people get to use Direct Payments, as many users are struggling to use it?

There are organisations such as Compass. Ideal for All and Penderels that can help you manage your Direct Payments. Your social work team can also support you through the process. The council’s Direct Payments team is also here to help make things as easy as possible.

248. All the terms in the model need a clear definition. Can this be made available?

A glossary of terms can be found at the end of the draft strategy document.

249. Will multiple providers be able to join together to create more and more tailored opportunities for younger adults?

The council wants to work towards a “one market approach” which would enhance much closer working between providers.

250. Life skills, day trips. Highbury Park walks, cricket, football weeding, washing up, keeping greenhouse tidy and safe, working on land, growing vegetables cooking, what can you offer me in the community that will help me achieve better than this?

In summary the key aspirations of the proposed strategy aims to give you more informed choices, flexibility and control through person centred planning.

The opportunities that person centred planning opens up can lead to many achievements.

Citizens would be supported to achieve their outcomes, and staff would work with the individual to make this happen.

251. Will employment be meaningful?

The draft Day Opportunities strategy considers how to compliment and support the opportunities that working age adults with disabilities have to prepare for access to employment. Consideration would be given to what the best approach would be to supporting individuals, if they are able, into meaningful employment.

252. What services will be provided that meets the person's needs at the centre rather than them being "accommodated" in the mainstream world as an addition?

Birmingham City Council is implementing a new social work model, Three Conversations, which very much focuses on the individual, their desires and outcomes that they want to achieve and how they want to achieve them. Exercising choice and control and giving you more flexibility through person centred planning is a key part of the proposed strategy aim.

253. Do the service users understand the implications of the choice they make regarding their service?

Social work staff would work with service users and their family/carers to provide personalised support in exercising choice.

254. Is there a plan to extend to those who we do not know about? Need to be a bit more focused on older adults.

Anyone who has a concern about an adult can make a referral to Adult Social Care. Referrals can come from the person themselves, professionals, the general public and family members.

The proposed Day Opportunities strategy does not focus on any one particular need. The council has a duty of care to provide support to those that are assessed as having an eligible need over the age of 18.

255. I understand independence and quality of life, but these are some of the most vulnerable people. What is going to happen to them?

Birmingham City Council does not wish to prejudice the result of the consultation and therefore cannot determine how the 6 key aspirations outlined in the draft strategy might be delivered. If citizens are to access services in the community a person centred assessment determines the necessary support alongside a risk assessment.

256. In other councils around the country they’ve struggled with getting enough people to use Direct Payments, how do you plan to change this?

Birmingham City Council recognises that Direct Payments are not for everyone before making a direct payment the council must be satisfied that the following apply:

  1. The person who is entitled to the direct payment has needs which can be met using a direct payment.
  2. Prior to agreeing to Direct Payments, the council must be satisfied that the payments will be made to someone who is capable of managing them.

Birmingham City Council continues to develop and improve plans for Direct Payments.

257. Is the council going to schools and asking students leaving if they want to go to a Day Centre or take Direct Payments to go out in the community?

This is not the approach currently adopted by Adult Social Care.

258. Following this consultation will social work staff be more consistent i.e. cases seem to be allocated and deallocated at random and the new social worker does not necessarily know the service user.

The consultation in relation to the Day Opportunities draft strategy will inform any wider evidenced improvements we might need to make across Adult Social Care.

259. Has enough research been done into the potential costs of providing extra Home Care/Respite/Residential Care?

The Directorate has costings for Homecare, Residential and Respite Services.

260. Families don’t like to engage with Social Workers they feel there is a stigma attached to meeting with a Social Worker and on occasions when suggested by the school or college families / young people should meet with a Social Worker to begin the transition process they refuse. Perhaps the Social Workers who are allocated to these young people could be called Transition Worker. Is it possible to rename this group of workers?

This is a sensible suggestion and will be considered in any service re-design in the future.

261. I have concerns about the risk of exploitation of the vulnerable service users. In one of the meeting it was mentioned that sometimes parents don’t aspire to much so if the parents and carers are being disregarded to help 'develop' skills for service users then who will advocate for them? Will it be social workers or community care workers who ensure that the service user will not 'fall through the net'?

The responsibility to ensure vulnerable adults are safe and do not fall through the net is a collective responsibility, including family members, where appropriate, professional and the wider community. The draft Day Opportunities strategy, if agreed, will strengthen this wider responsibility.

262. How do you expect the service users to understand the four key documents (stage 1 and 2, NDTi and the vision)?

All individuals have different capabilities and strengths, support has been provided to enable people to contribute in a meaningful way to the consultation.

263. The strategy mentions people with LD etc but not with sensory loss. Over 11 million people in the UK have a hearing loss and with an increasing ageing population. With the exception of BID we are not aware of provisions for older adults with hearing loss, I believe the council are now responsible for this, and therefore will it be added to the strategy?

This is valuable feedback and will be taken forward as part of the ongoing analysis.

264. Where does capacity of the individual come into this? What someone choses to do, may not be in their best interest, so will we be having ‘Best Interest’ meetings?

Where it is deemed that an individual lacks mental capacity in respect of making decisions, then Birmingham City Council has a duty to consider what is in the best interest of the individual. Best Interest meetings are a forum for discussing and making decisions in respect of the individual.

265. Step backwards to go forward. There was an Enablement Centre now it’s gone, so what’s the point?

Birmingham City Council continues to learn from past initiatives and will use this as part of future planning.

266. Why don’t centres work together to put on activities?

It is beneficial for centres to work together to share expertise and other resources. This is an approach that is encouraged by Birmingham City Council.

267. How do people have genuine choice if they aren’t being offered a referral to a Day Centre?

The expectation is that social workers will inform citizens of all choices available so that they and their advocates can make an informed decision on what best meets their aspirations, outcomes and support needs.

268. If someday centres can’t match the quality of Harborne, how will you ensure that the others are all the same standard?

The proposal is that all centres, including those that are not operated by Birmingham City Council will be governed by the same quality standards.

269. With the suggestion of increased enablement who would be responsible for the training?

If the draft strategy is approved then consideration will be given to resource requirements.

270. What is Enablement? We have been getting different versions/definitions of Enablement.

Clarification of definition of enablement and other terms used in the draft strategy will be reviewed in the light of any responses received during the consultation and updated in the final strategy document.

271. Given the prominence of the term “enablement”, mentioned in the consultation on the strategy and prominent in the New Model diagram, would it not be advisable, along with all the other amendments that have been made, to redefine the term in the Glossary of the full consultation paper? The current explanation of the word, which has not changed since the beginning in April, seems to suggest it is about regaining skills lost by injuries in a road accident; yet it is being used extensively in relation to people disabled from birth

Clarification of definition of enablement and other terms used in the draft strategy will be reviewed in the light of any responses received during the consultation and updated in the final strategy document.

272. Why aren't the same services available at each Day Centre?

The activities within each Day Centre are developed in response to the feedback and desired outcomes of the citizens. Birmingham City Council seeks to ensure that expertise is shared across services.

273. Why isn’t the garden used more at Alderman Bowen help service users to grow flowers and do flower arranging? Why isn’t there a beauty option at Alderman Bowen?

Birmingham City Council will ensure that the citizens at Alderman Bowen are asked their views on how they would like the garden to be used and whether there is a desire for a beauty programme.

274. Who will help me when outside? I have fits they would need to stay with me?

All citizens who are supported in the service will have a detailed risk assessment for known health conditions such as epilepsy. The risk assessment would be adapted as appropriate for when individuals access activities in the community.

275. Why don’t they sell old building that are left and not being used? e.g. Bordesley Green Day Centre is still empty.

This is not a question on the draft Day Opportunities strategy 2019.

276. Why is the Day Centre not used in the evenings as a Youth Club?

Birmingham City Council welcomes all suggestions for improving the use of buildings.

277. Will access on the current 2-days I have agreed continue and will an additional respite type day if required be possible (on an ad-hoc basis) in view of this consultation and possible changes?

All arrangements will be discussed as part of a person centred review.

278. 2017 – BCC stated Fairways Day Centre was going to close, why was this letter sent out of the blue without any consultation?

The decision with regard to Fairways Day Centre has been addressed. Birmingham City Council will ensure that the lessons learnt are considered for future planning.

279. Can Ebrook have a games room?

Ebrook has a multipurpose room in which games takes place. Birmingham City Council will work with the citizens and staff at Ebrook to consider how resources might be used differently.

280. It’s difficult to get into these Day Centres. Is there a waiting list?

Some Day Centres operate a waiting list and any information relating to these details would be available by contacting the centres direct.

281. My son/daughter has been attending a day centre for 9 years, and a review has not taken place why is this?

The expectation is that each citizen who is in receipt of an Adult Social Service should have an annual review. Sometimes these are not always face to face with a social worker. Birmingham City Council is required to monitor the number of reviews that are taking place across day centres and the quality of those reviews.

282. How will you ensure that social workers take into account the thoughts and knowledge of providers when it comes to clients reviews and assessments?

The new model of social work, Three Conversations, ensures that the citizen is at the heart of any discussion and subsequent decision making. Three Conversations has a person centred approach. As part of supporting the best outcomes for each citizen, the social workers are required to share relevant information as appropriate with providers who are involved in supporting the citizen.

283. I work in the field and can see what is going on; care assessments don’t meet people’s needs. What will Birmingham City Council do about this?

The new model of social work, Three Conversations, ensures that the citizen is at the heart of any discussion and subsequent decision making. Three Conversations is built around a series of “conversation” and has a person centred approach, and is currently being rolled out across Birmingham. The roll out is being evaluated by an independent organisation.

284. Is a Day Centre being offered to people leaving school/education?

Birmingham City Council supports eligible individuals who have completed their education.

285. Those who are not able bodied and cannot enable themselves, where will they get the help from?

The draft strategy proposes that there are some individuals that will require additional assistance due to their complex support needs.

286. How will you maintain the standards at the Internal centre?

There are governance arrangements in place to maintain quality standards relating to Day Services.

287. Will it be easier to access services?

Our proposals are about doing things differently to better meet the needs of people now and in the future.

288. You talked about the lady with disabilities, who wanted to learn how to use computer and was going to college to learn. What happens when she finishes her course, will there be a job waiting? Will whoever she works for have the facilities and assistance she needs to help her with her disabilities? If not, where would she go or spend her time after she finishes her training. Service users need a base they can come back to and the Day Centres provide that.

Employment is not the desired outcome for all citizens. Others may choose to have a flexible package allowing them to access different activities in different places. Birmingham City Council continues to work with employers to ensure that real employment opportunities can be created as part of an inclusive society.

289. Will there be any backup solutions to those who will not be able to cope within the community? If this doesn’t work out, what will they be able to fall back on?

If the citizen does not feel this right is the right choice for them this will be discussed with a Social Worker, alternative can be explored.

290. Additional support whilst at the Day Centre. Will additional resource be provided to help my son eat a full meal? He only eats a small amount and then stops. Then after a while he eats a small amount again. I am concerned that he is not fully supported at present will may be provided appropriate support in future to eat a full meal properly.

All citizens who are supported in the service will have a detailed risk assessment and support plan which will reference support requirements. Any issues relating to an individual will be managed through person centred planning, concerns should always be raised with staff at the centre.

291. Aren’t these community activities already accessed through the day centre?

The draft strategy proposes to increase choice and control over the activities that citizens choose to do and where and when they do them.

292. If things are going on at the Day Centre I enjoy could I increase the amount of time I spend at the centre?

Any request for a change in package of care should be discussed with a Social Worker.

293. Will the more independent person lose out and will they be asked to leave the centre and lose their place?

Each individual has the right to a review and any decision to change the support will be based on the desired outcomes and safety of the individual.

294. Support workers – can they help someone improve their abilities?

Each citizen has a support plan that reflects their outcomes and aspirations. These may include skills development as appropriate which will be support by a member to improve their abilities.

295. You mentioned about choice. How can a citizen have choice when a social worker tells them what they feel and tells them what they are having? Where is the citizen’s choice in that?

Social workers will adhere to a person centred approach so as to ensure that the choice of the citizen is at the heart of any decision making.

296. What is the point? This has already been done, Tyburn Road split into Beeches Goldd, we had meetings then, what is going to happen to the Day Centre?

The draft Day Opportunities strategy is not about closing particular day centres. Birmingham City Council will ensure that the lessons learnt are considered for any future planning.

297. There was a BCC surplus of funds reported in the papers in April/May where has this gone?

“In 2018/19 the city planned to use £30.5m of reserves to meet its expenditure commitments, the underspend against budget meant that the city was able to reduce its use of reserves and maintain more of those balances to meet future needs of the citizens of Birmingham”