Officers introduced the agenda item. They explained that in February 2017, the CCG governing body took the decision to serve six months' notice on a number of initiatives (marked in yellow in the report), advising them that their services would be decommissioned. They also served six months' notice on a number of other services (marked in blue in the report), which were to be reviewed by the CCG before a re-commissioning decision was made. Officers added that an urgent meeting was subsequently held between council and CCG officers, and that it was agreed that meetings would be held with the affected providers to try and ascertain the impact of the CCG's funding reductions.
The Council have proposed to produce a scoping paper on proposed measures to limit the impact of the cuts. Members were advised that the Council's Gateway service would be involved in mitigation work to reduce the impact of these cuts on affected service users.
Officers highlighted the services which the CCG governing body have decided to continue funding in 2017-18, which are set out in paragraph 4.5 of the report. They also listed the services which the CCG have now decided to decommission:
- Imagine Drop-In service
- Rethink Carer Support Service
The Cruse initiative is also being decommissioned by the CCG but the Council have agreed to accept responsibility for the CCG's element of the funding.
Members were advised that the CCG governing body had now accepted the Council's recommendations. They expressed disappointment at the cuts brought about by the CCG, after expectation had been raised following increases in funding from central government.
It was observed that some of the services which have been cut had not been reviewed for a number of years, and that there had been no analysis of outcomes from these initiatives, or of potential service duplication. This was a particular issue with joint contracts. Members stressed the need to do this systematically in future and expressed the need for a clear strategic plan for mental health service provision, with its various elements fitting in with objectives in a logical fashion. They expressed concerns regarding the adhoc nature of proposals for efficiencies, and feared that ill-thought through cuts could end up bringing about higher service costs.
Officers remarked that the Outcome Based Commissioning initiative should bring about greater clarity in terms of outcomes and effective use of funding.
Members expressed concerns regarding the decommissioning of the MIND welfare benefits advice service. They highlighted the fact that the Woodley review had acknowledged the fact that financial problems could cause or exacerbate mental breakdowns. They were advised that the Gateway initiative could cover some elements of this service but could not replace it in its entirety, and that officers were exploring the possibility of identifying sources of council funding which could cover this service.
Members also discussed service reviews initiated by the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, including that of services for dementia sufferers. They expressed the wish to find out the outcome of the consultation process on this specific review.
The Panel RESOLVED to note the contents of the report.