BRIDGEND COUNTY BOROUGH COUNCIL REPORT TO CABINET 7 OCTOBER 2014 REPORT OF THE CORPORATE DIRECTOR, WELLBEING

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1 BRIDGEND COUNTY BOROUGH COUNCIL REPORT TO CABINET 7 OCTOBER 2014 REPORT OF THE CORPORATE DIRECTOR, WELLBEING PROCUREMENT OF A DIRECT PAYMENT SUPPORT SERVICE 1. Purpose of Report 1.1 To update Cabinet on the regional work across Western Bay to procure a collaborative Direct Payment Support Service and to: a) obtain authority to enter into a collaborative agreement with Neath Port Talbot Council and the City and County of Swansea Council, to establish the finance and governance arrangements for the Direct Payments service on terms to be approved by the Assistant Chief Executive, Legal and Regulatory Services. b) authorise an officer to represent the Council on a Project Board to be established which will manage the financial governance and performance management arrangements of the contracted service c) inform Cabinet of a contract award by the City and County of Swansea on behalf of the Western Bay authorities, based on the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT) received, to Dewis CIL for the provision of a Direct Payments Service. d) approve a reduction in the direct payment hourly rate by 0.36 to compensate for a change from the service user paying the provider for the payroll to the Council paying the provider directly for this element of the service. 2. Connection to Corporate Improvement Plan/Other Corporate Priority 2.1 This report links to the following themes in the Corporate Plan: Corporate Plan, Priority 4 Working together to help vulnerable people to stay independent ; Corporate Plan, Priority 5 Working together to tackle health issues and encourage healthy lifestyles ; Corporate Plan Priority 6 Working together to make the best use of our resources Also there are links to: Learning Disability Commissioning Plan so that further cost savings can be made in accordance with the Council s MTFS. Adult Social Care Commissioning Plan , Living Independently in Bridgend in the 21 st Century ; LSB Bridgend County Together Plan People in Bridgend are engaged and empowered to achieve their full potential

2 3. Background 3.1 The Direct Payment Support service has been delivered in partnership between Bridgend County Borough Council, Neath Port Talbot Council, City and Council of Swansea for the last 11 years. The service has been commissioned from Shaw Trust during this time. 3.2 Shaw Trust gave the partners notice earlier this year as they made a corporate decision to withdraw the model of support from their portfolio. This resulted in a review of the Direct Payment Support service and it was agreed that the partners would retender this service from the open market. 3.3 It is a statutory duty for Local Authorities to offer a Direct Payment Support service. A direct payment is a monetary payment made directly to individuals who have been assessed as having community care needs that are eligible for certain services (including to people who care for others). Direct payments enable individuals to purchase in their own right the assistance or services that the Local Authority would otherwise provide and give individuals greater control over their own lives. Since the original legislation was passed in 1996, the scope for direct payments has been extended to include older people, carers, parents of disabled children and disabled 16 and 17 year olds as well as disabled adults. From 2011, people who lack capacity or who are subject to mental health legislation have become eligible. Where the Council makes a direct payment, it retains its functions with respect to overall provision of the services under the applicable Social Services legislation, so long as the Council is satisfied that the individuals assessed needs will be met through direct payment, it is not obliged to provide or arrange those services for that individual. 3.4 As part of their individual support plan, adults and parents of children with a disability are provided with a direct payment which enables them to exercise greater control over their own lives or their children s lives by providing an alternative to social care services arranged by the Council. A direct payment gives the individual flexibility to look beyond the Council s service solutions and look at innovative and more person centred interventions which may be more appropriate to their needs. 3.5 The Direct Payments Support Service helps give increasing control to individuals who receive direct payments through enabling them to be better placed to commission, manage and evaluate the appropriateness of their chosen options as commissioners of their own support and care. 3.6 An exercise was undertaken to procure a support service for those in receipt of direct payments in the unitary authority areas of Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot and City and County of Swansea. Previously, delegated powers were obtained (ref: decision number WEL-ASC-14-26, dated: 6 th June 2014) to invite tenders through an open competition in accordance with OJEU and Bridgend s Corporate Procurement Rules. 3.7 City and County of Swansea led the procurement process, as a result of which seven tender submissions were received. A panel consisting of representatives from each Local Authority evaluated the tender submissions on a 60% quality 40%

3 cost basis. Three providers were subsequently disqualified from the tender process for failing to meeting the minimum required scores at the first stage of the process. 3.8 Of the four tenderers remaining, Dewis CIL received the highest overall score. Dewis are a voluntary organisation based in Pontypridd. Dewis currently provides support of this type to six other local authorities in Wales. Swansea informed the provider of their success in accordance with the particulars of procurement. The previous provider, Shaw Trust, has advised they were happy to continue delivering the service in the interim, until the new provider commences the service around October Given the time pressures for Swansea to award the contract, Delegated Powers were obtained (ref: decision number WEL-ASC-14-36) to enable the City and County of Swansea to do so on our behalf. The award was based on the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT) received from Dewis CIL for the provision of a Direct Payments Support Service. 4. Current situation / proposal. 4.1 Although Dewis CIL will contract directly with the City and County of Swansea Council, there will be direct referral, invoicing and payment arrangements made between Bridgend Council and the new provider. 4.2 A draft collaborative agreement to underpin this joint commissioning project and has been circulated for comment and review. The agreement will specify the need for the service to be contract managed by a Programme Board which will consist of representative from each Western Bay Authority. The Project Board s remit will be to monitor the service and the govern the contractual arrangements entered into by the City and County of Swansea on behalf of the other authorities. 4.3 The new direct payments model is slightly different from the previous one, and as a result, there will be a need to adjust the hourly rate paid for all service users for the payroll element of the new service. Previously, recipients of direct payments would directly pay the provider a flat rate of VAT so that the provider could manage the payments to those commissioned under this arrangement. The new model will enable the Council to pay the provider directly for this element of the service. For this reason, it is recommended that the previously agreed hourly rate of should be reduced by 0.36 to an hour to reflect the change in arrangements. In accordance with Welsh Government and CIPFA 1998 (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) guidelines sufficient prior notice of the reduction will be given to service users, to enable them to make alternative arrangements or to provide an opportunity for any dispute over the level of direct payments to be resolved before the change takes effect. 5. Effect upon Policy Framework and Procedure Rules. 5.1 As City and County of Swansea were lead commissioners, the tender process has been undertaken in accordance with Swansea s Corporate Procurement Rules.

4 6. Equality Impact Assessment. 6.1 An Equality Impact Assessment Screening has been undertaken, which concluded that there is a minimal impact. 7. Financial Implications. 7.1 The financial implications to Bridgend of the award to Dewis CIL are as follows: Bridgend CBC s current budget for the provision of a support service is 38,820, although additional support has been required over the last year which has resulted in an actual cost of 41, Based on the current level of payments made, and assuming that 95% of recipients use the payroll service, the cost paid by Direct Payment recipients to the current provider for payroll, managed accounts and recruitment service is approximately 57,000. This gives a total current yearly spend, including the payroll service, of approximately 99, The cost for the new service with Dewis is estimated to be 114,000 per annum for the current number of service users, so there will be an annual cost increase to Bridgend Council in the region of 15,000. This increase will need to be met from within existing service budgets The reduction of 0.36p per hour should not have any impact on the majority of our service users as the cost of the payroll service is currently met from the direct payment they receive Service users are financially assessed in accordance with the council s Fairer Charging Policy. Only one user would be affected by this rate change and this would result in a marginal reduction in their contribution The contract will be for a 5 year period and Bridgend s element of the contract is estimated to be 843,000 over the 5 year period. 8. Recommendation. 8.1 Cabinet is recommended to: 1. Authorise the Council to enter into a collaborative agreement on terms to be agreed by the Assistant Chief Executive Legal and Regulatory Services, with the City and County of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, which will set out the finance and governance arrangements. 2. Delegate authority for the Head of Adult Social Care to represent the Council on to a direct payments Project Board, which, once established, will manage the day to day aspects of the service including the monitoring arrangements and financial governance. The appointed officer for the Council will identify if there are any fundamental changes or impact to the agreed contracting arrangements, these will be reported back to Cabinet for approval. 3. Authorise the reduction of the direct payment rate by 0.36 an hour, to take effect from the 1 st November 2014, to reflect the change in the arrangements for

5 the payroll element of the new service. Cabinet is requested to note that individuals affected by the proposed reduction in direct payments will be informed of the changes in accordance with paragraph Note the award of a contract based on the most economically advantageous tender received, by the City and County of Swansea to Dewis CIL for the provision of a Direct Payments Service to the Western Bay authorities. Susan Cooper Corporate Director - Wellbeing September 2014 Contact Officer: Ian Oliver, Group Manager Commissioning and Transformation Telephone: (01656) Background documents Equality Impact Screening Assessment

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