Cllr Green continued that that DASS was learning a lesson in how they needed to speak to people earlier enough. Communication was important. Mike was the project manager and could provide added reassurance. He was confident the program had not improperly added undue haste to the timescale. They had to make sure the changes were sustainable.
Previously projects had been thrown over the fence and it was up to someone else to get on with it. It was right to proceed with the process. The benefits were financial and cultural. He was confident, the key thing was proper project review. Lessons would be learnt and these should be put in a common area so other people can learn. It was a continuous improvement cycle. There would be “bumps in the road”.
Cllr Green said “to be honest, as I always am, I think the process is really, really good”. He said he hoped the change and project management would have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge.
Mr. Green said he would give councillors some comfort. The improved project management skills had been signed off on 9th December 2010. The projects were developing no reports or problems. They were being signed off and constantly reviewed.
Cllr Salter then asked if he was confident of a quality service?
Cllr Green replied that a key element of the consultation had been providing the same if not better. Seven people had been permanently in the respite home. Consulting better as to how to meet their needs meant better placement. A couple were being supported at home.
Cllr Kenny said some of his points had already been covered by Cllr Davies and Cllr Salter. He referred to 4.4 of the report and the £7 million of savings in transforming Adult Social Services. He also referred to appendix C and said the £5.37 million of savings was “very ambitious”. He was not clear on what it means and the difference between item 3 and 33. What was the difference between project 3 and 33? He said he had had a lot of complaints. He asked Cllr Green if he was confident enough to assure him that he had the right people?
Cllr Green replied that he was confident and that he had asked similar questions himself as well as speaking to clients, carers and staff. He had been reassured in some cases. There have been things that have gone wrong but lessons have been learnt. Councillors haven’t heard where things have gone well. To a degree there were cultural issues in DASS.
Cllr Gilchrist referred to the Cabinet report of the 15th October 2009. He stated that this report had said by April 2011 the target was for 30% to have personal budgets. He then referred to project 33. He said Social Services reform had been more difficult. There were people that we had to help and look after sensitively and that there had been delays that weren’t envisaged.
Mr. Green said this was one of the benefits of this approach. This had been a project with no associated savings. As it had been no set out as a project there had been no oversight. It was not just about financial savings but transformation too. In the program was a major piece of work. They would measure the performance and learn lessons whilst applying project management skills. There was no reason why it couldn’t become a Corporate Project Delivery program.
Cllr Salter asked about the reprovision of in-house care services and the homes that would close. Had suitable alternative providers been found?
Cllr Green answered that to be precise he should ask the Director of Adult Social Services. However he was assured they had the right people in place. It was an amber but he was still confident it would be achieved.