Report by the Director of Adult Social Care and Health.
38.1 In 2018 the People Scrutiny Scoping Board identified the Adult Social Care and Health department’s future strategy for bedded care as one of four important areas for future scrutiny. At the time, however, the department were engaged in a significant piece of work in this area. It was therefore agreed to postpone a potential scrutiny review until the Department had had an opportunity to evaluate the outcome of its work and provide an updated overview of the current related workstreams for the Committee.
38.2 The report was introduced by Samantha Williams, Assistant Director, who provided the Committee with an overview of some of the key issues relating to the department’s bedded care strategy. The Committee heard, for example, of the department’s decision to move away from having a fixed strategy to a ‘live document’. This approach now allows the department to have a more dynanmic, responsive strategy which is better suited to meeting the challenges and opportunties which the evolving care market is presenting.
38.3 The Committee discussed the key challenges set out in the report with regard to bedded care. For example, Members discussed a growing concern regarding the future supply of certain categories of residential and nursing beds to meet the needs of the local population, especially in particular geographical locations around the County. Members also heard that the rate at which establishments are closing has been increasing over recent years. Furthermore, additional capacity does not always equate to more ESCC beds. For example, providers with a low Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating are much less likely to attract self-funders. Other key areas of challenge include:
• Over 65s now represent a quarter of the county’s population and are projected to make up nearly a third of all people by 2031.
• The number and proportion of people living with dementia will continue to increase more than elsewhere in the region.
• Much of the demand for health and social care will be driven by the increasingly complex management of people with multiple long-term conditions and those who are becoming progressively more frail.
38.4 Further points were made in response to questions from the Committee about how the Department is adddressing the challenges within the care market, including:
• Nursing homes. In response to the undersupply of nursing beds which is anticipated to emerge over the next five years, and in addition to the increase in rates already being provided by the local authority, the department are considering establishing an approved provider list of nursing care providers to the support hospital discharge later in the year.
• Domestic and sexual violence and abuse. In response to a question about the range of support available to victims of domestic violence, the Committee were informed of a number of steps being taken by the department. For example, work continues on a redevelopment programme which will include the production of a new partnership strategy across East Sussex and Brighton and Hove; as well as a re-design and implementation of the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference operating model.
• Extra Housing. The Committee were informed that the department have introduced a new approach to allocating flats across its seven countywide extra care schemes which aim to make the most of the 263 self-contained one and two bedroom homes available via assured tenancies.
38.5 The Committee RESOLVED to:
i) note the report; and
ii) appoint Councillors Davies, Ensor, Ungar, Webb and Whetstone to undertake scoping work for a potential scrutiny review of issues relating to East Sussex County Council’s Bedded Care Strategy.