The inspection, which took place between March and May 2015, looked closely at the arrangements for commissioning and contracting domiciliary care by Powys County Council.
This followed the introduction of new contract arrangements with providers in 2014 and concerns that these arrangements were not working effectively in some areas which was having an adverse effect on people’s care and support.
During the period, CSSIW carried out regulatory inspections of all domiciliary care providers operating in Powys to investigate concerns and obtain assurance on the quality of services. These reports are being published separately for each agency. The council’s role and relationship with providers forms part of today’s report.
CSSIW also monitored the council’s response to the contracting issues and the transition to new arrangements, including the transfer of some services in-house, with a focus on the experiences and well-being of people using services.
While this transition has largely been successful, the council now faces a challenge to establish sustainable services that will meet the needs of its people and communities in the future.
The report states:
A number of people in Powys wanted to share their experiences of the past year and the serious concerns they had with some of the previous agencies, where carers had failed to turn up or were constantly changing.
One relative told us that she had lived with the anxiety about the safety of her mother, but she now was able to relax and go to work because she was confident in the reliability of the care providers and knew the agency would contact her if there were any problems.
Powys faces a very demanding and ambitious schedule to modernise social services, and the failure of the commissioning framework for domiciliary care has made this more difficult. The prospects therefore are uncertain, and questions remain about the future arrangements.
CSSIW will monitor Powys County Council’s improvement plan and have made recommendations.