Agenda item

Emergency Duty Team



            That the update be received.       



The Chair welcomed Mr. Jason Winkworth, Acting Regional Co-ordinator for the Emergency Duty Team to the meeting. 


                        Mr. Winkworth introduced to report to provide an update on the joint Wrexham, Flintshire and Denbighshire Emergency Duty Team.  He explained that the successful partnership provided an emergency social work service for the three counties during the hours when the main stream services were closed.  Sharing of considerable resources was a significant advantage for the Team and further enhancement of information services had been achieved with the inclusion of encryption software on desktops.  He explained that it was important to ensure that information could be accessed where it was needed and he detailed how the system currently worked and the changes that were due to be made.  Mr. Winkworth explained that information on the performance reporting provided detail on variations in call volume broken down over each quarter.  He added that in general, the figures for Flintshire over the last year appeared proportionate to the size of area covered and suggested that the service was being used appropriately. 


                        The team had noticed that hospital referrals had increased and a piece of work was being undertaken to look at the issue in more detail.  Key service objectives for 2014-15 were reported which included the review and assessment of the effectiveness of the existing telephony systems.  Mr. Winkworth advised the Committee of the overspill call centre which was in place for the service and he spoke of a project which was ongoing to introduce the recording of incoming telephone calls.  He highlighted the issue of Health and Safety and commented on the introduction of a new monitoring service for staff to ensure their safety during difficult visits. 


                        Councillor Stella Jones requested that percentage figures and numbers of users be reported in the section on performance data for future reports. 


                        In response to a question from Councillor Hilary McGuill, Mr. Winkworth said that the team consisted of 10 core social workers and 10 sessional staff.  On the issue of hospital discharges after hours raised by Councillor McGuill, Mr. Winkworth explained that the team did not have the capacity to start up any new packages of care.  He added that routine referrals made by Accident & Emergency departments were passed on to the day services and that work on hospital referrals would identify which hospitals were making the referrals.  In response to a further query from Councillor McGuill, he said that the service had two incoming phone lines which would increase to three for the new system; the two existing lines would ring out four times before being transferred to the call centre. 


                        Councillor McGuill referred to the table on page 73 about the source of calls received and queried which other authorities the calls came from.  Mr. Winkworth said that the calls were from a number of sources but did not result in a significant amount of work for the service.  The Chief Officer (Social Services) provided details of the computer services used by Flintshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire Councils and said that the percentage figures for the calls generated by each of the authorities had remained static during the period April 2013 to March 2014. 


                        Councillor Hilary Isherwood queried why no calls were recorded in the entry for Drug and Alcohol for the period October 2013 to March 2014.  In response, Mr. Winkworth explained that there could be an overlap with other services as the database only allowed the team to capture calls for one data group.  Councillor Isherwood referred to the Mental Health service which she felt was a ‘Cinderella’ service and in response, Mr. Winkworth explained that the details for the calls for the service were reported on page 72. 


                        Councillor Cindy Hinds asked whether hospitals that made calls provided any funding towards the team.  Councillor Stella Jones felt that hospitals should be paying their fair share.  The Chief Officer (Social Services) confirmed that no funding was received from hospitals and added that the service was the responsibility of the local authority.  He also explained that the partnership took on appropriate referrals but passed back any that were not for those authorities in the partnership.  The Chair suggested that future reports include scenarios of the types of requests that the partnership had to deal with. 


                        In response to a query from Councillor Dave Mackie about the increase in calls from 2731 in quarter 1 of 2013 to 4366 in quarter 2, Mr. Winkworth confirmed that this was as a result of a change in the way the calls had been captured. 




            That the update be received.       


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