The Corporate Director for Social Services and Wellbeing submitted a report, in order to:-
· Request Cabinet approval to implement the proposed recommissioning plan for Specialist Supported Living services, for people with a learning disability, across Bridgend County Borough;
· Request Cabinet approval for Bridgend County Borough Council (the Council) to undertake a procurement exercise to invite tenders to establish a Framework Agreement of commissioned specialist service providers;
· Seek authority to vary the current contract in place at Clos Penglyn, which is a supported living service commissioned for people with a learning disability and complex challenging behaviour, including autistic spectrum conditions, by extending the existing terms for a further 7 months, in accordance with Contract Procedure Rule (CPR) 188.8.131.52
She commenced by stating that since 2015, in collaboration with colleagues in health, the Council had procured three specialist supported living services for people with learning disabilities. These services were based in houses named Clos Penglyn, Condors Rest and Viesther, known collectively as the Closer to Home project, and were occupied by eleven individuals.
The aim of the Closer to Home project was to provide local, specialist supported living services for people who have a learning disability and a high level of health and social care needs, and who would otherwise live outside of their local area in more specialist residential provision. All the people who lived in these schemes, had their own tenancy and bespoke support arrangements designed around their individual needs.
The Corporate Director for Social Services and Wellbeing confirmed that there were also operational and strategic groups which overseen the day to day management of the schemes and the strategic direction of the Closer to Home project.
Following an in-depth review of the generic schemes in 2018-19 conducted by the Council’s Adult Social Care Transformation and Review team on the effectiveness of service delivery and outcomes, it was concluded that three of the schemes reviewed at 19 Glyn Y Mel, Pencoed, Tregroes Bungalow, Pencoed and 107 Cwrt Coed Parc, Maesteg would be more suitable for inclusion within a specialist service arrangement, due to the needs of the seven individuals living in them. It was decided to group all six schemes together under the Closer to Home service category. These schemes also had a common characteristic, in that there was an element of funding from Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board in each of them.
She advised that it has been agreed with the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board that a refreshed Closer to Home Commissioning Strategy was needed and a new planning group has been developed to progress the needs analysis and develop the optimal accommodation and care and support services.
Turning to the present situation, the Corporate Director for Social Services and Wellbeing, confirmed that a market testing event took place on 19 April 2021 where attendee providers gave very positive feedback on how the Council’s supported living schemes had been recommissioned in 2020. It was clear from this meeting that the preferred option for recommissioning Specialist Supported Living Services, was to use a similar model for the service specification, where there would be a clear emphasis on co-production and improved communication links between providers and commissioners of the service. As with the supported living framework, the proposal is to implement a four year Framework Agreement, which will bring both service types more in line with one another.
The proposals here was as follows:
a. Stage 1 – Undertake a procurement exercise in May 2021 to establish a Framework Agreement with a number of service providers who meet the quality specification who would then be considered for future delivery of the listed Specialist Supported Living Schemes (the “Specialist Service”) – the Framework Agreement to be awarded by November 2021;
b. Stage 2 – Undertake a series of call-off tenders under the Framework Agreement for each Specialist Service. This will be a phased procurement undertaken over a number of months following award of the Framework Agreement.
She continued by confirming that the Council was committed to working with high quality and experienced service providers, and there would be a very strong emphasis on quality as part of the Framework Agreement tender evaluation process. To enable this, the cost:quality ratio of 20:80 will be strongly weighted in favour of quality which would be evaluated through the written responses from the providers, as well as presentations and/or interviews that are part of the tender process.
The table in paragraph 4.8 of the report, set out the planned Stage 1 procurement timescales, should approval be given to implement the recommissioning plan.
It was further proposed that the Council carries out a (Stage 2) procurement exercise over the next 12 months in order to recommission those services so listed.
The Corporate Director for Social Services and Wellbeing, advised that in July 2020, a report was submitted to Cabinet seeking authority to vary the current contract with DRIVE Ltd in respect of the specialist supported living service at Clos Penglyn, by extending the existing term for a further 12 months, in accordance with Contract Procedure Rule (CPR) provision 184.108.40.206, meaning a revised end date of 31 August 2021, as highlighted in the table in paragraph 3.10 of the report. The reasons for this, were also outlined in the report.
The necessary engagement work had now been carried out, but in order to align all of the Specialist Supported Living Schemes and to ensure compliance with the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules, it was proposed that the Council authorises the extension of the existing terms for Clos Penglyn for a further 7 months to 31 March 2022, in accordance with CPR 220.127.116.11.
The report culminated by outlining the financial implications relating to the report’s proposals.
The Leader asked if the service users and their families, where it was appropriate, will have an involvement in the proposed commissioning arrangements with regard to the care and support that is going to be provided to them through the service. Some of these clients had very complex needs. Secondly, he asked where these support services would be located throughout the County Borough.
The Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help, confirmed that she had experience of seeing first-hand the complex needs that some of these young people have as they require these support services and how much input key services such as those exampled in the report, have a bearing in determining the future they want to lead in life. This was the start of their journey and the specialist support provided through the facilities referred to in the report, would assist them going on to lead the best life possible. It was important she added, for there to be a person centred approach in this venture, paved in such a way, that will help these young people live an independent yet supported life. As the Leader had alluded to, it was very important to engage with the individuals and their families/carers, in order to ensure the appropriate support for each individuals differing requirements were available and subsequently met.
The Corporate Director for Social Services and Wellbeing advised that through the commissioning process service users and those that supported them, would have both a ‘voice and a choice,’ in terms of the type and level of support put in place for them. Specialists such as those in Social Care, Health and the Learning Disability, would ensure that this is the case, though working in an integrated manner. People First would also would provide ongoing engagement support through the re-commissioning process. Independent advocacy arrangements were also critically important as part of the service changes, she added. In terms of the supporting accommodation, there would be 3 such complexes in Pencoed and 1 each in the areas of Tondu, Cwmfelin and Maesteg. The longer term vision was to add to these throughout other areas of the County Borough.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet:
Noted that a further report would be presented to Cabinet, requesting approval to enter into a Framework Agreement for externally commissioned Supported Living services and to implement the Stage 2 procurement of Specialist Service tenders.