Agenda item

Performance Management and Improvement Framework - Year End Performance 2021-22

Report of the Strategic Director, Resources and Digital


The Committee received a report and presentation for the year end performance reporting from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 against each of the 6 policy objectives of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy and the Balanced Scorecard.


The views of the OSCs which were reported to Cabinet following the 6 monthly position included:


·       Prioritisation and Thrive Policy – clearer priorities to achieve Thrive, focus resources to achieve the biggest impact and emphasis on early intervention and reducing longer term demand - LIoN data to be refreshed end 2022 / early 2023 to understand changes post pandemic; Budget approach priority-based transformation review of Thrive and early intervention activity. 

·       Locality based working – ensuring that the right approach is taken with councillor and community involvement from the outset and recognising that different approaches may be needed in different areas of Gateshead – approach to locality working being developed in collaboration.

·        Housing repairs and maintenance – Housing Improvement Plan and timescales for tackling the issues and backlog to meet housing requirements and standards – Review in place to address challenges in delivery impacting on customers.

·       Place and Environment – importance of a clean, safe attractive environment to support the health and wellbeing of local people – part of budget approach.

·       Climate Change – Clarity on actions and progress the Council is making towards its Climate Change ambition with greater communications with local people – extensive engagement taking place.

·       Employees and Workforce – Improvements to employee morale and address recruitment and retention – proposals being developed •

·       Other comments also being incorporated into the PMIF i.e. use of dates, new measures, digital/ online presentation being developed, specific areas of focus such as Community Wealth Building, social care, jobs and employment


Some emerging cross-cutting issues were highlighted to the Committee:


·         The continuing impact of Covid 19 on performance

·         Widening inequalities, income and the longer term anticipated impact to health

·         The demand pressures facing services such as social care

·         The impact of EU Exit/Ukraine Conflict, rising costs for residents and in service delivery

·         Staffing pressures including recruitment and retention across the Council

·         There has been good progress in key policy areas such as climate change strategy and engagement

·         There has been an increase in the shift towards digital and online services

·         Support is being provided to local people and businesses for example the Household support grant

·         There has been an effective response to supporting vulnerable people throughout the pandemic – i.e through local hubs, public health and vaccinations


The Committee heard from Gary Lewis with regards to an update in relation to Looked After Children:


The Committee were advised that research published in February 2022 by Association of Directors for Children’s Services (ADCS) reflected a national picture of increasing demand to social care services.  This general trend has been emerging for several years and has been further complicated by the impact of Covid-19 and the cost of living crisis.  Locally in Gateshead, we have not been immune to the national picture and have seen some significant activity pressures emerge.


The committee were advised of the following:


·         As of 31 March 2022, there were 485 children looked after, a 10.2% increase on the previous year

·         Since August 2021, the number has shown a month-on-month increase

·         When expressed as a rate Gateshead is 123.1 per 10,000 population

·         Compared to the same rates (from 20/21) we can see Gateshead is higher than Regional, Statistical and National Comparator groups

·         The majority of LAC continue to be those between the ages of 10 to 15 years old

·         The most noticeable change can be seen in those children aged 0 to 4 years old

·         This represents a 40% increase compared to 20/21

·         207 children entered care with 182 becoming looked after for the first time (87.9%)

·         150 children becoming looked after (72.5%) were previously subject to a Child Protection Plan – compared to 62.7% in the previous year

·         The number of children placed close by and at a distance was 85 as of 31 March 2022

·         The proportion of children who are placed out of Gateshead in non-Gateshead provision remains similar to the previous year (19.5% compared to 19.3%)

·         The number of children being looked after for a 2nd or subsequent time in the last 12 months is lower than the previous year (12.1%) compared to 15.7%)

·         The proportion of children experiencing 3 or more placements in the previous 12 months remains low

·         6.6% (32) children had 3 or more placements

·         Gateshead remains below the national and regional averages

·         161 (25%) children ceased to be looked after during the period compared to 27% the previous period

·         The largest proportion left care to return home, followed by Special Guardianship Order and then those turning 18

·         The trend over recent years shows a decline in the proportion of children leaving care


The Committee were advised that further LAC analysis is being conducted, taking a deep dive into some of the areas highlighted including age profiles, CP to LAC conversion and leaving care.  A pre-birth team is being developed to focus on the rising proportion of younger children coming into care.  Children impacted by the Adoption Somerset ruling are now progressing through the court process.  Social Work practice models are being strengthened and new quality assurance audit framework is in place.  Implementation of a trauma informed multi disciplinary therapeutic service.  A review of the timeliness of children exiting care is also being undertaken.


It was suggested that we have the two young people back who spoke to Committee previously.  It was also noted that previously councillors have asked that those leaving care are informed who their councillors are and that this is now being done as young people leave care.


It was queried how we make sure young people see this as a positive and what type of resources are available.  It was noted that we make sure children see entering care as a positive thing which is happening to them.  It was also noted that there is a reasonably sized budget for these services.   It was noted that Gateshead is very pro-active at looking at solutions. 


It was noted that the papers are really difficult to study and it would be of a benefit to Councillors to have the presentations in advance of the meeting.  It was also queried whether it would be possible to have a glossary of terms and introduce measure to strengthen the role of the members on the Committee given that they have to scrutinise the work of officers.


It was noted that this would be taken back and it was suggested that something be taken to Councillor Support and Development Group.


RESOLVED        -      (i)         that the comments of the Committee be noted.

                                    (ii)         that the performance report be recommended to Cabinet for consideration in July.






Supporting documents: