A report and presentation will be given by Kim Newton and Felicity Shenton of Healthwatch Gateshead
Felicity Shenton, Operations Manager / Deputy Chief Executive and Kim Newton, Project Manager, Healthwatch Gateshead provided the Committee with an update on the range of work being carried out by Healthwatch Gateshead.
The Committee was advised that since Healthwatch Gateshead had presented its findings and recommendations on Continuing Healthcare (CHC) to the Committee contradictory information had been received at Healthwatch Gateshead regarding the funding of care under CHC. Information had been received which suggested that a policy was in place which restricts funding for care at home under CHC so that if a person requires more than eight hours care per day they would need to move to a nursing home. In light of this, the Committee was asked if it would request NewcastleGateshead CCG to provide the OSC with an update providing clarification on the position of funding for CHC funding at a future meeting.
The Committee considered that if the above was the case, it was a matter for concern given the major drive to support individuals in their homes for as long as possible. The Committee considered that it was important that clarification is received on this matter and supported the requested to seek further information from NewcastleGateshead CCG on this issue.
The Committee received information on the work Healthwatch Gateshead had carried out in relation to the impacts of reduced funding for adult social care in Gateshead and their recommendations for Adult Social Care.
The Director of Adult Social Care confirmed that there had been some really positive work between Healthwatch Gateshead and the Council on in relation to this work and the issue around having the right people present when engaging about proposals had been accepted and addressed via a follow up event.
The Committee noted that there seems to have been a policy vacuum around the way forward for Adult Social Care for some time given the uncertainty arising from Brexit.
The Director of Adult Social Care confirmed that the LGA Green paper arose out of the delay in the government issuing a Green Paper on this matter and confirmed that the Council and NHS colleagues were continuing to lobby for a fair deal for social care. As yet there is no sign of the government’s Green Paper being issued.
The Committee noted Healthwatch Gateshead’s comments in relation to individuals receiving S117 accommodation potentially facing financial difficulties and sought clarification as it was the Committee’s understanding that individuals should not be charged.
The Director of Adult Social Care noted that the Committee was correct in their understanding of the current position. However, work is taking place to explore whether Gateshead should develop a policy for charging for S117 accommodation in the future and whether other Council’s are also considering charging. Individuals in Gateshead who might be affected by such a potential change in Council policy had been invited to a meeting last year as part of the budget consultations. If such a policy is to be implemented in the future Cabinet would need to agree this.
The Committee noted the ongoing outreach and engagement work being progressed by Healthwatch Gateshead and highlighted that there may be gaps in engagement work in the west of the borough where individual members of the Committee may be able to assist in terms of providing contacts etc. Attempts had been made to share this information but no progress had been made. Felicity Shenton thanked the Committee for drawing this to her attention and advised that she would progress this matter.
RESOLVED (i) That the information be noted.
(ii) That Newcastle Gateshead CCG be requested to
provide an update on Continuing Healthcare