Agenda and minutes

Adult Social Services Review Panel - Wednesday, 30th January, 2019 5.00 pm

Venue: F10, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX. View directions

Contact: Thomas Downs
020 8726 6000 x86166  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received for Councillor Janet Campbell.


Apologies were also received for Annette McPartland (Head of Adult Day Operations) and Guy Van Dichele (Executive Director for Health, Wellbeing and Adults).


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 31 October 2018 as an accurate record.


The Part A minutes of the meeting held on 31 October 2018 were agreed as an accurate record.


Disclosure of Interests

In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct and the statutory provisions of the Localism Act, Members and co-opted Members of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to register disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) and gifts and hospitality to the value of which exceeds £50 or multiple gifts and/or instances of hospitality with a cumulative value of £50 or more when received from a single donor within a rolling twelve month period. In addition, Members and co-opted Members are reminded that unless their disclosable pecuniary interest is registered on the register of interests or is the subject of a pending notification to the Monitoring Officer, they are required to disclose those disclosable pecuniary interests at the meeting. This should be done by completing the Disclosure of Interest form and handing it to the Democratic Services representative at the start of the meeting. The Chair will then invite Members to make their disclosure orally at the commencement of Agenda item 3. Completed disclosure forms will be provided to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion on the Register of Members’ Interests.


There were none.


Urgent Business (if any)

To receive notice of any business not on the agenda which in the opinion of the Chair, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.


Members raised concerns over issues of safeguarding and the state of buildings and equipment at Toldene and Freemans Extra Care Sheltered Housing Complexes. Members listed specific concerns with Freemans Court following a recent visit, and these included: a lack of working heating in communal areas (with many residents in jackets to stay warm), problems with communal disabled bathrooms, a lack of disabled garden access, unkempt communal gardens, reports of resident’s medication being locked in offices over Christmas, limited disabled access to lifts, lack of access to kitchens for residents, plant pots being used for cigarette ends and balconies full of broken furniture.


In regard to the disabled baths at the properties, one of which had been out of order for eight months and the other a year, Members queried who had responsibility for this, and who had monitored the equipment; Members also asked if there were issues with compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act. Members stated that vulnerable people at Freemans Court had been left without heating and hot water for over eight weeks, with the electric heaters provided in the entrance turned off and some broken. Further issues had been identified with bugs in ceiling light fixtures and the strong smell of urine in the property. Members informed the Panel that the kitchens had at one point been reopened, but then again closed as they had become too dirty; Members expressed confusion over this, as no food was prepared on site.


The Head of Adult Safeguarding and Quality Assurance informed the Panel that a new Service Manager for Older People Commissioning and Brokerage had begun to write an improved process for commissioning in these schemes. The Chair added that a Public Question had been asked about some of these issues at January Council (PQ103-19) and the response had detailed that an agreed improvement plan for the gardens had been delayed, as resources had been diverted to fire safety related works in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy. Members also learned that AXIS were responsible for maintaining the heating system, and that as soon as the heating and water system had failed in winter 2018, 130 heaters had been delivered to residents. The Panel heard that maintenance work had begun immediately and that a new boiler system was being installed.


The Chair agreed that there were some serious problems in communal areas at both of these complexes, and that these had been identified at the end of 2018. This had prompted an urgent review of all special sheltered housing, and improvement work had begun. Since 2018, the Head of Adult Day Operations, the Executive Director for Health, Wellbeing and Adults and the Chair had been in direct contact with the management of both complexes, as well as the residents.


The Panel agreed that further discussion of Toldene and Freemans Court would be required in Part B of the meeting.


Perspectives from the front line in Social Work

A discussion and question and answer session with social workers who have have recently completed their first year of employment in Croydon.


Paul Richards (Principal Social Worker and Head of Mental Health)


The Principal Social Worker and Head of Mental Health introduced this item by reminding Panel Members that this was an update to a report given at a previous meeting in June 2018. The Panel heard that that Principal Social Worker role had core values of promoting social change, social development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. The Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) had been brought in following the Munro Report (2011) which had identified problems with overburdening of new social workers. The programme was structured with a varied portfolio to support the new social workers, and this included two dedicated supervisors and assistance from the Learning and Development Team. The scheme supported around 30 social workers in 2018, and Croydon had achieved an 85% retention rate of staff who had completed the ASYE. The implementation of the ASYE had also helped with the recruitment of new social workers to Croydon.


The Social Worker from the Older People South Team explained that their role supported residents over 65 in the south of the borough, by going out into the community, and to people’s homes and hospitals, to complete assessments for clients and carers; this helped to join them up to services which could support their health and wellbeing. The Social Worker gave the example of people living at home with reduced mobility, increased fragility or who were prone to falling, and described some of the services that might be appropriate in these cases; these included regular visits from carers, occupational therapy, new equipment, being linked up to befriending services, carer breaks (especially where the primary carer was a family member), or temporary residential placements. The Panel heard that residential care was sometimes necessary, but only in cases where risks were no longer manageable. The Social Worker went on to describe some of the pressures that had faced the service, with the first being waiting lists due to the complex needs of some users (both physical and mental, e.g. dementia) and long term health issues (including addiction, mental health and difficult family dynamics).


Members heard that the Social Worker had completed their ASYE two years ago, and had found it initially daunting, but that the programme had been good and that the restricted case load with strong supervision had worked well. The Panel learned that the transition from the ASYE had been smooth and the Social Worker was still in the same team with which they had started, which they had found very supportive, and that they were still enjoying their work with plans to remain in Croydon. Their main reasons for wanting to remain in Croydon were to follow their current cases and to continue working with community networks (including Huddles), as well as the strong training opportunities available.


The Social Worker based with the Hospital Discharge Team described their role as very fast paced and busy, dealing with a large volume of referrals. Many of the clients seen had been in crisis, had come in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5/19


Update on Community Led Support

An update on the progress of Croydon’s Health Wellbeing & Adults department’s work to adopt and embed a strength based community led support approach.


Anne Flanagan (Adult Care and 0-65 Disability Service Team)


The Adults Health and Wellbeing Project Manager introduced the item by explaining that this would be an update on the initial report provided to the Panel in October 2018. Members heard that the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) had completed a two day ‘readiness visit’ in December 2018, where they had met 60 people across various council teams and the One Croydon Alliance. NDTi believed that Croydon was extremely ready to begin implementing the new Community Led Support (CLS) programme due to the commitment of leadership, the locality focus and the gateway approach. NDTi believed that Croydon would move fast, and had asked if Croydon could be used as an exemplar for future readiness visits to other local authorities.


NDTi had recommended that a geographic innovation area be identified, where the implementation could be started small and lessons learned, before scaling up began. Gateway North Croydon had been identified for this in particular, as many services were already in place that could assist with learning. It had also been recommended that work begin with the CDT and ‘front door’ teams from the outset, and this had started with a workshop in early January 2019. Further ‘Good Conversations’, customer journey and evidence & learning workshops would be set up for March 2019 with council and health staff, people with lived experience, local community organisations and the Croydon Adult Social Services User Panel (CASSUP). These workshops would decide what the key measures of success for the implementation of CLS would be, in addition to waiting list and waiting time information. Evidence from other areas that had adopted CLS suggested these would both be improved.


In response to queries from Members about how this would reduce waiting lists and times, the Panel heard that improved IT systems and reduced bureaucracy both contributed to these improvements. A secondment role would be created to oversee performance evidence and learning, as the data work would be crucial to the success of CLS. The Adults Health and Wellbeing Project Manager explained that in the future this work would help to inform commissioning decisions and identify gaps in services. The Panel also learned that CLS aimed to reduce the number of home visits, as a lot of time could be wasted, with people not home and people who could have received the same information through different routes; there would be additional focus on multi-disciplinary teams in community hubs as this would be more effective in supporting people.


The Adults Health and Wellbeing Project Manager informed the Panel that they would soon go to the All Age Disability and Adult Social Care Transformation (ADAPT) Board to agree the innovation area, and that the governance would also be done through here. There would be additional steering groups as well as ‘Good Conversation’ workshops with all frontline staff to provide tools and guidance on strength and asset based assessments and to have all staff using the same language.. The Adults Health and Wellbeing Project Manager stressed that there should be ‘bottom  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6/19


Breakthrough Counselling Group Project pdf icon PDF 63 KB

The purpose of the report is to update the Adult Social Services Review Panel on the Breakthrough counselling Group Project. This is an innovative project developed with partners in Croydon to address the complex issues which underpin Hoarding behaviours.


Nick Sherlock (Head of Adult Safeguarding and Quality Assurance)


The Service Manager informed Members that the Breakthrough Borders counselling project had begun in 2017 in conjunction with the charity Mind, and consisted of psycho-social support alongside decluttering activities. The project involved providing clients with a “declutter buddy” and counsellor over 12 weeks, consisting of group sessions and individual visitations. There had been success for all six of the 2017 participants, with large scale decluttering, and all sessions having been attended.


The 2018 project involved nine clients, many of whom were also dealing with past traumas, as well as active psychiatric and mental health disorders; joint work and referrals with partners had been implemented to assist clients, with contributions from the London Fire Brigade and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Seven of the nine participants had completed the project, with two having dropping out very close to the start, and one of these going on to individual counselling instead.


Black bags had been used as a measure of decluttering, as it was hoped that this could be used as an indication of success year on year. On average, 30 bags had been removed per client, with one having cleared 50. This had led to a large reduction in fire risks, fall hazards and vermin; clients had also experienced a significant increase in quality of life and social interactions. With two years of data, officers had now begun to look at the efficacy of the project, and had used telephone interviews with past participants to see to what extent hoarding had ceased. The Panel heard that anecdotal evidence indicated that some clients had stopped hoarding, and some were merely not increasing the clutter already accumulated.  The Service Manager stated that the joint work with Mind had been very successful, and had generated some positive press, with one participant and Mind councillor being interviewed in the Croydon Advertiser.


Members heard that there were 23 people on the waiting list for the 2019 project; in response to queries on how people were able to be placed on the list, the Panel learned that participants had to be willing to engage in decluttering and reducing hoarding. Those who did not see this as a problem in their lives were not eligible, but could be referred to Mind for one to one counselling. Members queried the scope of hoarding in Croydon, and learned that the council and London Fire Brigade had identified 135 potential addresses in 2016. The Panel commented on the prevalence of these problems in smaller properties, without access to external storage space, and those with mental health issues. The Chair informed the Panel of a personal experience with a women who had only agreed to declutter after their telecom provider had refused to fix their internet until their home became accessible.


The Head of Safeguarding and Quality Assurance expressed their desire for the project to become mainstream to avoid having to apply for and secure funding each year. The Panel heard that the project cost around £15,000 per year, and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7/19


Exclusion of the Press and Public

The following motion is to be moved and seconded where it is proposed to exclude the press and public from the remainder of a meeting:


“That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information falling within those paragraphs indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.”


The following motion was moved by Councillor Hopley and seconded by Councillor Clouder to exclude the press and public:


“That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information falling within those paragraphs indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.”


The motion was put and it was agreed by the Panel to exclude the press and public for the remainder of the meeting.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting

To approve the Part B minutes of the meeting held on 31 October 2018 as an accurate record.


The Part B minutes of the meeting held on 31 October 2018 were agreed as an accurate record.


Adult Safeguarding in Croydon

The purpose of this report is to update the Adult Social Services Review Panel on the key developments in Croydon in regards to Adult Safeguarding.


Nick Sherlock (Head of Adult Safeguarding and Quality Assurance)



The Panel received an update on Adult Safeguarding in Croydon, and had a more in depth discussion pertaining to Toldene and Freemans Court.