Agenda item

Flintshire Micro-care ADM Project


(a)       That the Committee congratulate Social Services in Flintshire for starting a project to add capacity in the caring community; and


(b)       That the Committee received an update report on the progress of the project in the Autumn 2020.


The Chief Officer (Social Services) introduced a report on the implementation of the Miro-care Alternative Delivery Model in Flintshire. He provided background information and commented on the pressures to meet the increasing demand for social care due to a growing older population and the difficulty experienced by care agencies in recruiting and retaining employees.  


The Chief Officer reported that the Authority had established a pilot Micro-care enterprises project to innovatively address the   problem of the supply of care and had been successful in bidding for funding from both Cadwyn Clwyd and the Welsh Government’s Foundational Economy Fund to support implementation of the project.  The pilot would run until June 2021 and together with Social Firms Wales, Wales Co-operative, and other stakeholders would support the development   of   new   Micro-care enterprises in   Flintshire.


The Chief Officer introduced Marianne Lewis, Planning & Development Officer for Micro-Care, and invited her to provide an overview of the Micro-Care project.   The Planning & Development Officer explained that Micro-care enterprises were defined as small companies with five employees, many of which were sole traders, providing   care   or care-related services to Flintshire residents.  She referred to the key points concerning the development of the Micro-care project, as detailed in the report, and advised that two Micro-care development officers had been recruited to deliver the pilot and an Implementation Board established to oversee the project.  There were currently six individuals interested in becoming Micro-care businesses which would be working to promote the pilot and expand the number of Micro-care enterprises operating across Flintshire.  In addition they were working with three micro-care businesses to explore further development opportunities. 


In response to a question from Councillor Martin White around raising awareness of the service the Planning & Development Officer explained that the Project would be actively promoted in the New Year through local community networks


Councillor Tudor Jones commented on an increasing demand on social care services due to the projected rise in life expectancy for people aged 65+.  He asked if the Micro-care service was only available for people who were aged 65+ and referred to the change in the age at which people were eligible to claim the state pension.  In response to the points raised the Chief Officer explained that the project was flexible and support could be provided to requests for care made by individuals.  The Planning & Development Officer said that if Micro-care was not the best solution for an individual he/she would be informed of other options available to support their needs. 


During discussion Officers responded to the further comments and questions raised by Members around ongoing funding to support/develop the project in the future, direct payments, and delivering care in rural areas.  A key point to emerge was the hope that more flexibility might be possible; a micro care business may be able to arrange appointment times which fit in with their other personal commitments.


The Chief Officer advised that the pilot would involve positive risk-taking to enable the Council to safely and legally commission with Micro-care enterprises and alongside them develop a new model of care delivery.  The project would help to provide a solution to the social care challenges faced by the Council and all local authorities across Wales.  The pilot was of interest to the WG and seen as a key initiative in the ‘rebalancing care’ agenda to strengthen public sector and community led social provision.


The Chairman expressed thanks to the Chief Officer and his team for their work to introduce the Project to address the pressure in increasing the demand for social care in Flintshire.


The recommendation was proposed Councillor Tudor Jones and seconded by Councillor Janet Axworthy




(a)       That the Committee congratulate Social Services in Flintshire for starting a project to add capacity in the caring community; and


(b)       That the Committee received an update report on the progress of the project in the Autumn 2020.

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