Agenda item

North Wales Market Stability Report


That Council approved the North Wales Market Stability Report 2022.


The Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Social Services and Wellbeing presented the North Wales Market Stability Report.  


Welsh Government (WG) had asked that local authorities and local health boards work in collaboration to produce a Market Stability Report alongside the Population Needs Assessment.  The Market Stability Report would provide an assessment of the sufficiency of care and support required when meeting the needs and demand for social care as set out in the Population Needs Assessment and the stability of the market for regulated services providing that care and support. 


A single Market Stability Report must be produced for the North Wales region and approved by Full Council for each of the Local Authority areas and the local Health Board as a requirement of the Social Services and Well Being Wales Act 2014.  The final Market Stability Report must be published on all Local Authority websites, the Health Board websites and the Regional Partnerships Board’s website in both English and Welsh with a copy of the report submitted to Welsh Ministers.   Both the Population Needs Assessment and the Market Stability Report documents would be used to inform local and regional delivery plans and service development going forward.  Therefore, she asked that Council approve the North Wales Market Stability Report for 2022.


The Chief Officer (Social Services) thanked the Contract and Commissioning Manager and her team for their work in completing the report.   The report had been presented to the Social & Health Care Overview & Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet and he was proud of the work undertaken in the development of services, such as the Children’s Homes in Mold and the expansion of the facility at Marleyfield in Buckley.  The latest Market Stability Report outlined the partnership working with partners in North Wales within the Regional Partnership Board and included the regional footprint and he highlighted the Flintshire themes.  


An overview of the elderly population in the county was provided with the over 65 predictions during the next 20 years higher in Flintshire than the regional average.  The Authority had to plan to ensure all services were resilient to provide the best quality services with the report providing excellent information not just for Health and Social Care but other services too.


In response to a question on the closure of care homes from Councillor Peers, the Chief Officer (Social Services) outlined the close working relationship with the care home partners but said that because of the pressures they had experienced some had stopped operating but this did not happen often.  The sensitivities of working with care homes, families and residents was understood to ensure that all were supported and settled in other homes.  Referring to the overall capacity he confirmed that this had reduced and highlighted that the Authority needed to provide its own good quality care provision, which was why Marleyfield had been completed and plans were ongoing to extend Croes Atti in Flint and for options to be considered for  Llys Gwenffrwd in Holywell.


In response to a question from Councillor Bateman on day care at Croes Atti, the Chief Officer (Social Services) explained that Croes Atti was used for day care support for younger people with dementia prior to the pandemic.  Day care remained part of the Council’s provision and when it was safe to continue it would be provided in the existing Croes Atti facility and at the new Croes Atti facility when it was developed in two years’ time. 


Councillor Thew commented on the importance of day care for people who remained in their own homes. The Chief Officer (Social Services) agreed saying day support was very important and he would feed back to the appropriate team.  He said there were issues in recruiting staff to cover all services which was why residential care was prioritised. 


In response to a question by Councillor Ellis on the demand and need for the resumption of day care services, the Chief Officer (Social Services) outlined the alternative community settings used, such as memory or dementia cafes which had reduced some of the demand.   He agreed that for some people day care was a highly valued service and that it was intended to provide these wherever there was the demand and workforce to facilitate it.   Workforce recruitment was an issue and he asked for Members support in encouraging constituents to consider health and social care roles which included day care, extra care services and residential care services.  These staffing pressures were limiting the authority’s ability to deliver all services.   He fully understood the comments made around day care saying that it was an important part of this document.


In response to a question from Councillor Hughes on the severity of Covid and moving forward, the Chief Officer (Social Services) agreed but said that Covid had also impacted on staffing levels.


            The Chief Officer (Social Services), in responding to a question from Councillor Brown, confirmed that there were staffing pressures, similar to every department in the country.  Day care had not been prioritised because of public health advice but also the demand had decreased.  There was a commitment for continuing to provide day care, but staffing was a key factor.  The service had responded to local demands within its services at Marleyfield and at Croes Atti in the future.


The Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Social Services and Wellbeing explained that there were 8 memory cafes across Flintshire supporting not only people with dementia but any elderly person who would like to visit.   They had been hugely successful with residents spending the morning or afternoon at the café and had reduced the need for day care.   She suggested that an item on day care be included on the forward work programme for the Social & Health Care Overview & Scrutiny Committee.  Referring to Croes Atti she explained the attendance had decreased because people were using these other settings. During Covid staff had worked in extremely difficult circumstances and it was distressing for residents, but Covid was still present, and the service had to be managed carefully. 

Councillor McGuill referred to the warm hubs saying the premises were ready and heated but that there was a shortage of staff to run them and asked if the third sector could assist. She referred to her local community centre which provided a place for a variety of groups to hold meetings which could replace the need for day care centres. 


  In response to questions from Councillor Richard Jones, the Chief Officer (Social Services) said he would welcome a discussion on day care at Social and Health Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee as it was an important part of the service provision moving forward.  The service was not just for older people but for people with disabilities and other needs too with a lot of valuable support provided.


The Commissioning Manager provided an overview of the commissioning provision and how it had changed since the Pandemic.  Information was given on the Commissioning Carers Scheme, Bridging the Gap Scheme, Direct Payments and Micro Care Project which enabled people to access different opportunities moving away from the traditional day care service.


On being put to the vote the recommendation was carried.




That Council approved the North Wales Market Stability Report 2022.

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