04 April 2019
The Department for Health and Community Services has responded to the ‘Follow up report on Community and Social Services for Adults and Older Adults’ issued by the Comptroller and Auditor General today (4 April 2019).
The C&AG report follows a 2015 review of the then Community and Social Services (C&SS) operated by the (then) Health and Social Services Department (HSSD).
In her follow-up report, the C&AG notes that "over the last 12 months arrangements have improved" within Health and Community Services.
However, more work is required to embed a robust approach to responding to external reviews and agreeing, implementing, monitoring and reporting on change.
Speaking about the findings of the follow-up report, Managing Director for Health and Community Services, Rob Sainsbury, said: "The timing of this report coincides with the implementation of the recommendations of the C&AG’s 2018 report, ‘Governance Arrangements for Health and Social Care’.
"As we outlined in our response to the 2018 report, we are currently undertaking fundamental changes in our approach to governance in Health and Community Services, which includes establishing clearer reporting lines and a clearer supporting committee structure to enable greater clarity in decision making.
"This means that the valuable issues highlighted by the C&AG in her 2015 report are also being dealt with through the current workstreams, as it makes more sense to implement these recommendations and streamline them together, than to implement two sets of recommendations separately."
Mr Sainsbury added that his role as Group Managing Director for both Health and Community Services gave increased oversight of Community Services and that substantial changes are being implemented within health and social care as part of the One Government reforms.
Mr Sainsbury said: "We are currently re-organising HCS to support our new model of working, which integrates what was Community and Social Services as part of ‘One HCS’.
"The new model aims to ensure consistency across all of our care groups, which includes the services that were part of the former C&SS. Smoother governance arrangements will ensure that there is regular assurance across all of our services, particularly in relation to management of budgets, quality, risk, resources and performance.
"We will reconcile the recommendations from the C&SS report with our response to the 2018 C&AG recommendations, which we have already started to implement.
In her 2015 report on ‘Community and Social Services for Adults and Older Adults’, the C&AG raised concerns about health and safety, particularly around Health and Safety notices served to HCS in 2018 regarding Orchard House.
HCS is taking forward these recommendations as part of the Improvement Plan for Mental Health Services.
The Minister for Health and Community services has given full support and commitment for plans to improve the Mental Health estate across the island.