Thank you for the question you raised at the County Council meeting on 24 May 2017. Below is your question and my response.
Please find enclosed some follow on Questions from the responses provided to the questions submitted to the 26thApril County Council meeting.
Q1 i) Now that the service has transferred to Dimensions UK Ltd (– and the Social Enterprise Vehicle known as Discovery) will the contract(s) now be released into the public domain?
- ii) Do you know if the recent Freedom of Information request (to SCC) – “Please supply all contractual details, “the contract” between Somerset County Council and Dimensions UK Ltd which led to the transfer of the In House Learning Disability Provider Service (LDPS) to the Social Enterprise Vehicle (SEV) – named as Discovery – on 1st April 2017”- has been responded to and will the response be shared with Elected Members?
Q2 What steps and measures have been taken to address the recruitment and retention problem identified and acknowledged recently, what monitoring information has been produced and will this information be put into the public domain (as anecdotally, there has been increased amount of well trained and experienced staff leaving the service)? Are the number of leavers, joiners, relief staff and agency staff now available on a monthly basis? If so, please release the information.
Q3 This relates to the responses to our Q7-Q10
The transformation costs shown at the 15th March Cabinet of £5.1m (from the July paper) presumably appeared in the original bid. However the press release on 10th March noted that:
“And a compensation fund set up by Cabinet members last year to offset any changes to pay and conditions, could be in line for an increase, thanks to extra financial flexibility as a result of the major social care funding announced by the Government in the budget on Wednesday.”
How much additional funding is available (above the £5.1m agreed with Dimensions UK Ltd last year) for the Compensation Fund as indicated in the press release?
Q4 How much is the end of year (Quarter 4) “overspend” for the Learning Disability Provider Service (LDPS) – on the date of transferring the Service to Dimensions UK Ltd? Can you release the totals costs (expenditure, movement of funds from reserves, staffing costs etc.) of running the LDPS in the 2016-2017 financial year?
Thank you Nigel – many of the points have been answered in the past but I will give a brief response to the four main questions. First, we are currently reviewing the contract documentation between Dimensions UK Ltd, Discovery SCBV and Somerset County Council. Once appropriately redacted, the contract documentation will be available for release. We envisage this being completed within the next few weeks.
Second, we have previously indicated the KPIs that exist within this contract and SCC will be monitoring performance closely. We have not yet received the data for the performance in the first month of the contract. We also do not accept the anecdotal description you have given about staff leaving the service but would be grateful to have any specifics once you have them.
Third there is not a specific sum identified. Initially, this is a matter for Discovery as part of their consultations with unions. Discovery will keep the Council informed of their progress and this may determine the course of action required in relation to the compensation fund.
And finally, the Learning Disability Provider Service finished with a small overspend of £0.236m, after the allocation of £3.000m one-off funding in quarter 3 from reserves. The total direct costs for the LDPS service were £28.638m.
Cllr David Hall
PA : Kerrie Jones
Personal Assistant to Cllr David Fothergill – Leader of the Council
Personal Assistant to Cllr David Hall – Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources and Economic Development