Housing Related Support Contract Management Framework 2009/10

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1 Housing Related Support Contract Management Framework 2009/10 0

2 If you would like this information in large print, audio tape or in any other format or language please contact the public information officer on Version Date Approved Approved by Review Date 1

3 Contents Page Introduction Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Performance Management Aims Indicators Outcomes Monitoring Management Service Review Aims Review Process Stage 1: Service Self Assessment & Evidence Stage 2: Desk Top Review & QAF Assessment Stage 3: VfM Assessment Stage 4: Validation Visit Stage 5: Service User Consultation Review Outcomes Quality Scores and Performance Related Increments VfM Aims Assessment Process Parameters Assessment Assessment Outcomes Decommissioning Aims Definition Decommissioning Process Project Plan Communication Protocol Monitoring Arrangements Evaluation Code of Conduct Defaults and Appeals Aims Default Notices Default Situations Performance Submission of Information Brach of Contract Persistent Default Appeals Procedure 2

4 Appeal Criteria Exceptions Stages of Appeal Stage 1: Submission Stage 2: Appeal Consideration Stage 3: Appeal Panel Stage 4: Local Government Ombudsman Appendix 1.1 Appendix 1.2 Appendix 2.1 Appendix 2.2 Appendix 2.3 Appendix 3.1 Appendix 3.2 Appendix 3.3 Appendix 4.1 Appendix 5.1 Indicator Targets Performance Management Process Review Process Service Self Assessment Performance Related Increments VfM Definitions Value Calculations & Benchmarking Example VfM Report Decommissioning Process Appeal Form 3

5 Introduction This framework outlines how Supporting People (SP) will manage service contracts to support the priorities in the Housing Related Support Strategy 2008/11 and fulfil our aim to: promote working with partner agencies to provide housing related support services that are good quality and offer Value for Money (VfM), so that we can meet the needs of vulnerable people and help them to live independently. Our Priorities: This framework contributes to achieving our aim and is supported by our priorities to: make sure that housing related support services offer Value for Money (VfM) and choice, develop housing-related support services that are flexible and support other local services, work more closely with partner agencies to provide services that meet the needs of vulnerable people. We want to: provide high quality, housing related support services that meet the diverse needs of vulnerable people, ensure the views of service users, carers and advocates are included in the planning of services, promote services that respond to the changing needs of service users, work with Providers to ensure they continue to offer good quality services and value for money, develop innovative housing related support services to enable people to achieve their potential for independent living. We will: make sure that contract management processes and activities are fair, open and transparent, identify opportunities to work with other stakeholders and local authorities in the development of service provision, involve service users, their carers, our stakeholders and partners in the processes for managing our services. 4

6 Background This framework brings together existing SP policies and procedures used to monitor and manage housing related support services in Walsall. These are: Housing Related Support Contract Review Procedure 2008, Housing Related Support Performance Management Procedure 2008, Housing Related Support Annual Service Self Assessment, Supporting People VfM Methodology 2007, Supporting People Decommissioning Policy and Procedure, Housing Related Support Services Appeals Procedure, This framework will provide a single, transparent document, detailing the processes and procedures used in the holistic management of our housing related support services. Our processes and procedures in this framework have been updated to take into account changes in legislation and guidance. The procedures will be reviewed regularly and will take into consideration the views of service users and Providers to ensure our processes remain transparent. 5

7 Chapter 1 Performance Management Aims This chapter describes the processes used to monitor the performance of Providers in the delivery of housing related support services in Walsall. It: details the performance indicators used to measure housing related support services, describes the performance monitoring processes, explains the stages of the performance management process. We are committed to continually improving housing related support services to ensure they offer quality, value for money and enable service users to live as independently as possible. Performance Indicators Performance Indicators (PI s) are a way of measuring the effectiveness of service delivery and identifying how well a service is performing. Communities and Local Government (CLG) require SP to monitor Providers performance. We monitor performance against a set of national and service indicators (with the exception of Community Alarms services as CLG have decided it is not compulsory to monitor these services) to help us measure service user independence and service delivery. There are two national indicators 1 that monitor levels of independence achieved by service users. At least one of these indicators will apply to every housing related support service in Walsall. These are: National Indicator 141 (formally KPI2) measures the percentage of vulnerable people achieving independent living. National Indicator 142 (formally KPI1) measures the percentage of vulnerable people who are supported to maintain independent living. We have 3 service performance indicators (SPIs) which we use to monitor service delivery. These are: SPI1 measures the number of units / placements available, SPI2 measures the number of units / placements used, SPI4 measures the number of service users who have moved through the service. 1 From the National Indicator Set for Local Authorities and Local Authority Partnerships, CLG,

8 Performance indicators form part of the Providers service specifications and steady state contracts. They contribute to the overall contract review process and are a valuable source of information in assessing service quality. The monitoring information is also used in the future development and commissioning of services. Providers are expected to deliver their services to a standard that would meet both national and service indicator targets. Performance indicator targets Three year targets have been set for both national and service performance indicators The Commissioning Body and the Government Office West Midlands have set three year targets for national indicator 141. The target level increases on an annual basis in order to drive improvement in housing related support services. The SP service recognises that achieving the target for national indicator 141 would not be possible for every service due to the nature of the client group. To achieve the target the SP service has worked with Providers to set a range of client group specific targets. (See appendix) The target for National indicator 142 has been set by the Commissioning Body. It remains the same throughout the three year period. This target has been set to achieve the expected national levels of service user independence. Service targets have been agreed with Providers based on the average previous year s performance levels and remain unchanged throughout the three year period. Outcomes An outcome is a benefit received by a service user as a result of the support they receive from a service. Communities and Local Government have developed a set of 5 key outcomes to measure these benefits. They identify areas of vulnerability that should be addressed to enable a service user to achieve or maintain independence. CLG have developed a National Outcomes Framework, which authorities can choose to use to help monitor these outcomes. To compliment this the SP service has developed its own local outcomes framework that provides more meaningful measures of the benefits that service users can achieve. Linking local outcomes to the 5 key national outcomes demonstrates how our services contribute to CLG s expectations. SP will use the outcomes data as part of the contract monitoring process to ensure services are meeting the wider local strategic priorities. The agreed local outcomes for service users are to be: supported with healthy eating, supported to access appropriate accommodation, 7

9 supported to access money advice. Signposting service users to specialist support services (e.g. Citizens Advice Bureau), supported to access employment/career/educational or volunteering opportunities, supported to access social/cultural activities, supported to address relationship issues/neighbour disputes, supported to access GP/Dentist, supported to access disability or sensory impairment services, supported to maintain health/hygiene within their environment by accessing non statutory care services, supported to access statutory learning disability/mental health/physical disability or sensory impairment services, supported to maintain family/social and community networks, supported to access occupational health services and access equipment and adaptations, signposted/given information regarding identifying and managing risk, supported to identify appropriate behaviour (e.g. Anti social Behaviour issues), supported to be involved in local decision making, supported to address specific issues regarding equality and diversity, supported to understand equality & diversity. Targets for these local outcomes have also been agreed with Providers. (see appendix) Monitoring The SP service requires Providers to complete a workbook on a quarterly basis for each service they deliver. The workbook collects performance indicators information and outcomes data. It also requests information on complaints, exclusions and safeguarding. All Providers should consult the Guidance to Completing the Performance Workbooks to ensure all the instructions have been followed in full. Add link when guidance updated Providers are required to submit completed workbooks to the SP service by within 10 working days of the end of each quarter to comply with their contractual obligations. In order to ensure that accurate information is being submitted by Providers, a 10% sample of services that are achieving a good level of performance will be validated each quarter. 8

10 Performance Management Process There are several processes in place for the management of performance data. These range from processes for the non receipt of workbooks, to the actions taken for under performance. (See appendix) Exception Reports As part of the performance management process an exception report will be issued to Providers for failure to explain performance levels. The exception report will detail the underperformance and Providers will need to record the activities being undertaken to address these issues. The SP service will closely monitor the service over the following quarter to ensure that these issues are being addressed. (See appendix) Non Receipt of Monitoring Information If a Provider has not submitted quarterly workbooks within 10 working days of the quarters end, the SP service will contact the Provider and request the workbooks be returned within an additional 5 working days. Failure to provide the information within this time will result in the service recording a nil score for each performance indicator during that quarter. Quarterly workbooks submitted after the final deadline will not be accepted or processed and the service will be identified as under performing. In this instance the Provider will be required to complete an exceptions report. Information Quality If inaccurate workbooks are received they will be returned and the Provider will be given a further 5 working days to re-submit to the SP service. Failure to provide the information within 5 working days, will result in the service recording a nil score for each performance indicator during that quarter. Quarterly workbooks submitted after the final deadline will not be accepted or processed and the service will be identified as under performing. In this instance the Provider will also be required to complete an exceptions report. Under Performance of Services When a service does not meet performance targets and the Provider has failed to explain poor performance, Providers will be required to complete an exception report. The report will detail actions Providers will need to take to ensure performance targets are met by the following quarter. The SP service presents quarterly performance reports to the Core Strategy Group (CSG) outlining the actions detailed in the exception reports. The SP service will continue to closely monitor the reports over the next quarter. If the actions have not been implemented by the end of that quarter, the SP service will issue a default notice to the Provider. 9

11 Where a default notice has been served the CSG may recommend: more frequent monitoring requirements, validation visits, issuing a further warning letter or improvement plan to the Provider, suspend payment under Clause 10.4 of the Steady State Contract, renegotiation or remodelling of the service/contract, commence the decommissioning process (Chapter 4), with a view to re-provide or withdraw the service. Recommendations from the CSG will be reported to the Commissioning Body (CB), who will make the final decision on any action to be taken. Written details of the actions to be taken will be sent to the Provider, including timescales to implement the decisions made. Should Providers not agree with the decision made by the CB they will need to refer to the Appeals Procedure (Chapter 5). 10

12 Chapter 2 Service Review Aims All services will be reviewed on a regular basis and the dates for reviews will be agreed with Providers. The purpose of conducting a review is to: determine if the service is meeting the local strategic objectives of the SP programme, assess whether there is a continued demand for the service, assess Value For Money (VFM) evaluate the quality and performance of services, assess the outcomes achieved by service users, assess the extent to which continuous improvement is taking place, highlight whether significant changes should be considered (e.g. service remodelling or decommissioning). Review Process The SP service will produce and publish a timetable in agreement with Providers. The order in which reviews are conducted may vary year on year. The review process is conducted in five stages. These are: the completion and submission of a Service Self Assessment (SSA) and all supporting evidence by the service Provider, a desk top analysis by the SP service of the SSA and supporting evidence, an assessment of VfM, a validation visit, service user consultation, Following the completion of the service review process performance related increment will be awarded as agreed by CB. (See appendix) Stage 1 Service Self Assessment and Evidence Service Providers are required to complete and submit with relevant supporting evidence a SSA, (see appendix). Supporting evidence is required in hard copy format and should be 11

13 clearly cross referenced with the Quality Assessment Framework (QAF). If it is not submitted in this format it will be returned to the Provider for re-submission. The SP service will continue to use the principles of the QAF to monitor quality through the Providers self assessment. Guidance on the completion of the SSA and the evidence required is available on request from the SP service and on the Supporting People pages of the Walsall Council website. (Add link when SSA updated) Stage 2 Desk Top Analysis The SP service will review the Provider s SSA, the evidence submitted to support the assessment and conduct an analysis against the QAF. We will determine if the Provider s self assessment and the evidence supplied supports the QAF score. During the desk top analysis, if the SP service feels that insufficient evidence has been supplied to demonstrate the Provider s self assessment standard, we will give the Provider a further opportunity to supply this information by the date of the validation visit. Stage 3 VfM Assessment The third stage of the review process requires a VfM assessment of the service. The assessment is against four criteria and not based on costs alone. The criteria are: strategic relevance - based on the priorities identified in the Housing Related Support Strategy supported by the Supporting People Needs Analysis 2008 and subsequent refreshes service quality - based on the score achieved in the QAF, service performance achieved against both performance indicators and outcomes, cost - based on an assessment of the weekly service unit cost and hours of support delivered per service user per week. A full detail of how a VfM assessment is conducted is in Chapter 3. VfM assessments provide an overall score on the four criteria above. Stage 4 Validation Visit The SP Service will conduct a validation visit to the service in order to assess any outstanding evidence not submitted for desk top analysis. We will also interview staff to ensure all elements of the QAF are met. Stage 5 Service User Consultation Service user consultation is an essential part of the review process and the peer assessors programme, has been developed to assist the SP service in service user consultation. Assessors consist of current, potential and former service users, carers or advocates. They have been specifically trained to conduct service user interviews as part 12

14 of the review process. This will usually take place on the same day as the validation visit, if not soon after. The outcomes will be considered as part of any recommendations made by the SP Service. Where possible service user consultation is carried out by peer assessors who obtain feedback from service users about their experiences of the services they receive. This gives service users the opportunity to discuss any issues that they may have with the service in a confidential environment, independent of the SP service and the Provider. Occasionally, it may be appropriate to offer a different method of consultation e.g. by means of a telephone interview or a postal survey. Review Outcomes The outcome of the review process could be: continuation of contract and services with no changes, continuation of contract and service but with minor changes to comply with VfM criteria, closure of the service and decommissioning the Provider and start a tendering exercise for the service. Following completion of the service review and agreement of actions to be taken, a report and improvement plan will be issued to Providers. The Provider has 28 days to comment on the report and complete and return the improvement plan. The agreed final report and an executive summary will be issued to the Provider who is expected to share the executive summary with service users. Where the completed review recommends remodelling, re providing or decommissioning, a report will be provided to the CSG. The CSG will consider the outcome of the review and the impact on service users and service provision and make their final recommendation to the CB, who will have the final decision on the outcome. At any time in the review process, Providers have the right to appeal against any decisions or recommendations made by the SP Service or the CB. (See chapter 5). Quality Scores and Performance Related Increments (PRIs) Performance Related Increments (PRI) are awarded to Providers based on the outcome of their QAF assessment and subject to the VfM process. Where a service falls outside VfM, no increase will be awarded. (See appendix). Service reviews are conducted at different times of the year, if a PRI is awarded it will be backdated to the beginning of the financial year. This is to provide consistency and fairness across all Providers, irrelevant of when they are reviewed. 13

15 Chapter 3 Value for Money The SP service is required to assess the value for money of every service that is funded by the programme. VfM assessments are a key component of the service review process and take into account cost, quality, strategic relevance, performance and outcomes delivered by a service. Purpose The purpose of assessing VfM is to: ensure services are of high quality and are offering choice, gain an understanding of VfM issues with current service provision to inform future commissioning decisions, allow service Providers to use their experience to challenge and improve current costs; price and service value. During a VfM assessment, four checks will be carried out: does the service meet the objectives set out with in the Housing Related Support Strategy , is the service performing well against indicators and outcome targets, what level of quality is the service delivering, how does the hourly unit cost and number of hours of support per service user compare to the average expected levels set for the local area, The process uses a set of locally agreed costs and hours for each specific client group. (See appendix) There are four checks conducted as part of the assessment process. These are: strategic relevance, quality, performance and outcomes, value (comparison of costs and hours). Each element of the assessment is measured equally and contributes to the overall VFM assessment score. 14

16 Strategic Relevance The strategic relevance of a service is measured against priorities placed on the client groups identified in the Housing Related Strategy The strategic relevance of a service is a critical part of the assessment process. (See appendix). The priorities are based on the findings of the Supporting People Needs Analysis 2008, which is updated on a six monthly basis. Priorities are high, medium or low. The needs analysis takes into consideration existing provision, changing need and demand by each client groups. The analysis enables the SP service to define which level of priority each client group should fall under. Client groups are prioritised following each review of our needs analysis and housing related support strategy. Once prioritised, client groups will retain their prioritisation for the whole period of the review programme, to ensure that assessments are consistent for all Providers. Quality The scoring of quality within the VfM assessment is based on the level of quality achieved in the QAF. Each QAF score carries a weighting, the higher the quality of a service, the higher the quality score. Performance Performance is measured by assessing if a service is achieving either above or below target on both indicators and outcomes. The assessment provides a score for each of the indicators and looks at the average levels of performance over a 12 month period, prior to the VfM assessment being conducted. Outcomes are scored as a whole, i.e. the service is either achieving above or below target over a 12 month period. The targets for indicators and outcomes (see appendix) Value The value provided by a service is assessed against the: number of hours of support being delivered per service user, per week, hourly unit cost of the support, based on the weekly unit cost and the number of hours being delivered per week. The formula used to calculate the hourly unit cost allows the SP Service to benchmark the value offered by similar services across other local authorities. We will compare them to the value of the services delivered in Walsall. We will use hourly unit costs, rather than weekly unit costs, in order to achieve a robust measure to assess the value provided by services. 15

17 Where hours are identified as high, further investigation would be conducted to determine the reason behind this. Where a low number of hours are being delivered, the SP Service may feel that the Provider is unable to provide the level of support expected. Again, where hours are identified as low, further investigation would be conducted to determine the reason behind this. The formula used to calculate the hourly unit costs, along with the benchmarking information that informs our agreed set of costs and hours is in appendix Value Calculations & Benchmarking. Assessment Tool VfM assessments are conducted using a computer based tool following the input of the relevant service information. This performs several calculations and scores based on the stages detailed in the document. The tool is updated with the needs analysis and developments in performance and quality standards. The tool is specific to Walsall and is used for all VfM assessments of housing related support services administered. The tool is available to download from the Walsall website for Providers and stakeholders to use; to assess their current services or test new service delivery models against the VfM criteria. Add link to website Assessment Outcomes The VfM assessment tool provides three potential outcomes. The outcomes are only recommendations and are based on the VfM assessment alone. VfM assessments are conducted as part of the service review process and along side regular performance monitoring processes. The recommendations of the VfM assessments will be considered along with the outcomes of service reviews and performance management. VFM outcomes (see appendix) Outcomes of VfM assessments will be reported as part of the overall service review report, which is issued following completion of the whole review process and in agreement with the Provider. 16

18 Chapter 4 Decommissioning This section of the framework will ensure that all potential decommissioning or service closure recommendations are treated with sensitivity and transparency. We will consider all relevant information and consult with service users, advocates, stakeholders, referral agencies, additional funding agencies and the service Provider, before a final decision is made by the CB. Aims The aims of the decommissioning process are to: ensure that no service users are at risk of becoming homeless, minimise the risk of service users loosing essential housing related support, work with Providers, stakeholders and service users to make sure the process is managed fairly and is transparent, reduce the disruption to service provision or quality of service delivery. The SP Service will make sure that service users and Providers are kept informed about the actions being taken throughout the process. We will also try to ensure all stakeholders involved in the decommissioning process are informed in a timely, transparent and professional manner. We will also maintain a clear record of all decisions and actions to demonstrate a robust process. Definition Decommissioning is the withdrawal of funding and termination of a housing related support contract with the SP service. The end of a contract may result in an alternative service being provided, should this be appropriate and available. Decommissioning of a SP funded service is likely to occur should one or more of the following be applicable: the service is no longer strategically relevant, based on the needs, demand and provision detailed in the updated needs analysis and Housing Related Support Strategy, negative feedback from stakeholders, service users, carers or advocates, failure to achieve the minimum level C QAF within the Service Self Assessment, (and/or ongoing failure to meet the objectives of any agreed action/improvement plan), continual failure to support Service Users to maintain or increase their independence, or achieve other positive outcomes evidenced through performance information, 17

19 continued failure to offer VfM. Decommissioning Process The decommissioning process consists of four stages: project plan, communication protocol, monitoring arrangements, evaluation. A flowchart summarising the decommissioning process (see appendix) Project Plan The SP service will develop a Decommissioning Project Plan which will be agreed with the Provider. It is important that all parties involved in the decommissioning process are aware of the plans, activities, resources and that timescales are clearly stated. The plan will cover all aspects of the service re-provision or closure, including: staff redundancy, Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) issues, risks to and needs of service users, impact on partner agencies, referral arrangements, organisational issues for the Provider, information sharing and communication, compliance with regulation, conduct (expected behaviours by all parties involved in this process). Communication Protocol The SP service is responsible for ensuring prompt and accurate communication between all parties involved in the decommissioning process. A communication protocol will be agreed as part of the project plan, detailing what and how information will be communicated and within what timescales this will take place. The SP service will assist the Provider in drafting letters, (jointly if appropriate) to staff, service users and stakeholders. The SP service will also attend meetings with staff, service users, representatives, or other stakeholders to explain the action being taken. The SP service will outline the work being done to decommission the service and minimise disruption to service users. 18

20 In order to protect the confidentiality around this process, the SP service and Provider will seek to meet with service users, their advocates and carers on an individual basis. These meetings may also incorporate individual needs assessments and support planning exercises, to ensure that service users are appropriately housed or supported through and following the decommissioning process. Monitoring Arrangements An appropriate protocol, detailing the expected code of conduct to be adopted by each party, will be developed as part of the project planning process. During the period of notice before closing a service, the decommissioning project plan will be closely monitored by the SP governance structure; the CSG and the CB. Regular meetings (at least monthly) will take place between the Provider and the SP Service to monitor the plan and update the governing bodies and other stakeholders and service users. Evaluation The decommissioned Provider, new Provider, if appropriate and key stakeholders involved in the process, will be invited to give feedback on their experience and views. The decommissioning project plan will detail a period of evaluation which the SP service will seek to gain the views of the people involved in the process. This will be formally reported to the CSG and CB to revise and update our practices as appropriate. Conduct This is to ensure that all stakeholders involved in the closure of any service behave professionally throughout the process. The SP service will expect the service Provider to share an understanding of behaviours to ensure a smooth closure of the service and/or handover to any new Provider. 19

21 Chapter 5 Defaults A default is any failure to carry out contractual obligations. The SP service will ensure services provided to vulnerable people are of the highest quality and are delivered to the best standard. In order to ensure quality standards are maintained, there may be situations where the SP service needs to issue a default notice. A default notice sets out the nature of the default committed, if the default can be rectified and the action required to correct the default within defined timescales. Aims The aims of the default process are to: provide clear information on situations where a default notice may be issued, detail the process taken in the issue of default notices and the potential outcomes. Default Situations Default notices are served as a result of three potential situations. These are: if the Provider continues to under perform in the same area for a second continuous quarter, failure to submit or the submission of inaccurate information for a second continuous quarter, instances where there is a breach or breaches of contract terms. Default The default notice will clearly specify what the Provider must do to rectify the issues raised and within defined timescales. This will normally be within 20 working days but will vary depending on the nature of the concerns. Submission of Information SP require Providers to submit specific information e.g. quarterly workbook returns, four weekly amendment declarations to process payments and service self assessments. This information has a direct impact on the administration of the programme and must be submitted within the timescales specified. Failure to provide any contractual information required by the SP service will result in the Provider being requested to submit the information within 5 working days. If the Provider fails to provide the information, a default notice will be issued. If a Provider fails to submit performance monitoring information the SP service can suspend payments until information is submitted. 20

22 Breach of Contract A default notice will be issued where a Provider has breached the terms and conditions laid down in the contract to deliver the support. For example, failure to have sufficient insurance cover, failure to comply with the quality assessment framework minimum requirements, or provide performance information on time. Serious Default A serious default means the Provider places the health and safety or welfare of a service user at risk. The Provider will be served with a serious default notice requesting immediate action to resolve the default. If the default is not resolved the service maybe suspended. Persistent Default A persistent default is where the SP Provider has committed more than two defaults during any consecutive period of six months, whether or not they are the same or different defaults. If the service Provider fails to resolve the third default, the decommissioning process will be initiated. The decommissioning process will be followed and the service will be either re-provided or decommissioned. 21

23 Chapter 6 Appeals Appeal Procedure The aim of this procedure is to provide an open and transparent process where an appeal may be made against a decision relating to a housing related support service, for example; following a commissioning decision, an outcome of a service review, the issue of a default notice. Criteria for Appeal An appeal can only be submitted if the administering authority (AA) has: failed to adhere to published policies and/or procedures, not taken account of wider strategic considerations for the service, failed to consider all the relevant facts while carrying out various activities, for example during a service review or a commissioning exercise. Exceptions Appeals will not be accepted if the decision is to: amend a service in line with VfM requirements, remodel or reconfigure a service against changing, new or emerging strategic priorities, allow the council to discharge its requirement to continually improve services having regard to a combination of economy, efficiency and effectiveness as required under the Local Government Act 1999 section 3, withdraw funding where incidents of fraud or gross misconduct are revealed, where contractual defaults have occurred or where child/adult protection investigations have been instigated. The CB will be informed of all appeals and their outcomes at scheduled meetings. Stages of Appeal Stage One: Submission The Provider must submit an appeal within 20 working days of being formally notified in writing of the AA decision. 22

24 The appeal must be submitted in writing, using the Housing Related Support Services Appeal form (See appendix) together with any supporting information. The completed appeals form, covering letter and any supporting information should be marked as Private and Confidential and sent to: Supporting People Manager, Supporting People Service, 2nd Floor Civic Centre Darwall Street Walsall WS1 1TP Any request to extend the appeal date, must be in writing to the SP service and can only be agreed and authorised by the SP Manager. Stage Two: Appeal Consideration The SP manager or delegated officer will confirm receipt of the appeal within 5 working days. Within 15 working days of the appeal request, a written response will be sent to the Provider confirming whether or not there are grounds under the appeals criteria for the appeal to be supported. The SP manager will then take the necessary actions to address the issues raised and submit recommendations to the CB. Written confirmation of the CB s decision will be issued to the Provider within 10 working days of the CB meeting. Stage Three: Appeal Panel If the Provider is not satisfied with the outcome of Stage Two, they must submit a further appeal to the CB within 10 working days of notification of the CB decision. The Provider will then receive notification from the CB of the date the request will be heard by an appeals panel. An appeals panel consisting of voting members from CB and Core Strategy Group (CSG) including two independent members approved by the CB and the SP manager will consider the evidence submitted by both the Provider and the AA. The Provider may submit evidence to the panel in person or appoint a representative. However CB must be advised prior to the appeal panel meeting how the Provider will be represented. The Provider will be notified of the decision of the Panel, in writing, within 5 working days of the panel meeting. If the grounds for appeal are upheld, the Appeal Panel will instruct the AA to reconsider or analyse the decision further and resubmit recommendations to the CB. 23

25 If the appeal is not upheld, the original decision will stand. The appeals procedure cannot be used to address any other issues outside the appeals criteria. Any other issues must be addressed through Walsall Council Complaints Policy. Link to Website Stage Four: Ombudsman If the Provider is dissatisfied with the outcome of the appeal panel, they may seek legal advice regarding judicial review. The Local Government Ombudsman cannot be involved in certain appeal decisions, for example changes to a service Provider s contract following a service review, as these are related directly or indirectly to the procurement of goods and services and are therefore outside of the jurisdiction of the Local Government Ombudsman, under Schedule 5 of the Local Government Act

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