News Article

West Midlands ADASS/IEWM Transforming Care Finance and Assurance Workshop – 1st February 2018

Posted on 14 February 2018 (Permalink)

Some of you may know me as Director of Adult Care and Housing Options in Birmingham, up until just over a year ago, when I took early retirement from the City Council. Since then I’ve been carrying out a range of work for the LGA and ADASS, regionally and nationally, including as a Transforming Care Programme (TCP) financial adviser nationally. I am also an IEWM Associate.

The TCP comes from something called “Building the Right Support”, and is essentially about the NHS and Local Authorities working together to safely discharge from inpatient/secure hospital care a large proportion of some 2,500 adults and children with learning disability and/or autism and other often very complex  and variable needs into more appropriate community care or “step-down” services, strengthen infrastructure locally to prevent people having to be admitted into hospital in the first place, and modernising remaining inpatient services for those people who still need that.

There are 48 TCP areas in England, and the 14 WMADASS local authorities feed into 7 TCPs across the West Midlands.

WMADASS/IEWM asked me to carry out a specific piece of work to give our Directors of Adult Social Services more assurance that they are their key staff were properly engaged on the right issues in their TCP areas, the local authority view was being acted upon, and what if any issues should be escalated nationally. I reported on this to the November WMADASS Branch meeting, and this and supporting information was shared widely. It was agreed that a workshop would be held early in the new year, inviting TCP leads from our 14 local authorities, senior Finance staff and key local and regional NHS colleagues.

Myself and other colleagues nationally are in the midst of running LGA/ADASS TCP Finance workshops in each of the ADASS regions, and it made sense to combine what we were doing in these into one West Midlands’ workshop. We agreed three aims from the November Branch meeting: which issues needed to be escalated nationally; how best to share good practice across the region; and discuss what a regional TCP balanced-scorecard might consist of, with the aim of giving DASSs ongoing assurance.

The West Midlands workshop was held on the 1st February in Birmingham. The workshop was well attended, with some 35 colleagues from across the region, and a good mix of disciplines.

Taking the agreed three aims for the workshop:-

  • A number of strong points were raised and questions asked, particularly around funding and risk-sharing, for national escalation. I will ensure these are properly escalated to a new a joint TCP Finance Task Group. 
  • As to the sharing of good practice regionally, Catherine Nolan, who took up her appointment at the beginning of November, is in a good position to be able to ensure this happens.
  • The clear message from colleagues was that a regional TCP balanced-scorecard wasn’t necessary - there are already quite a number of TCP reports being produced which can be drawn from. However, colleagues felt that three issues needed more attention – concerns that the numbers of people in the TCP cohort have drifted upwards significantly from the original Building the Right Support figures as at December 2015 yet regional escalation still focusses on original inpatient reduction trajectories; market-capacity concerns are being faced now with regard to the availability of appropriate, safe care and this will get worse; and concerns that children and young people might not be getting the same TCP attention as adults. Again, we agreed who should what to gauge the scale of the challenge faced here, to use best practice from other regions, and to progress key issues with colleague Directors of Childrens Services.

Alan Lotinga IEWM Associate