The Strategic Director for Social Care and Education submits a report on the Carers Strategy Consultation to inform the Adult Social Care Scrutiny Commission on the outcome of the engagement exercise carried out in relation to the Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland Carers Strategy, and to advise of the consultation on the draft joint Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) Carers Strategy 2022-2025.
Members of the Commission are recommended note the report and pass any comments to the Strategic Director for Social Care and Education.
The Deputy City Mayor for Social Care and Anti-Poverty introduced the item.
The Joint Integrated Commissioning Lead introduced the report, provided an overview of the strategy and talked about the engagement work carried out with carers. It was also noted that a further engagement session had been planned to take place at the King Power Stadium on 28 June 2022.
As part of the discussions, it was noted that:
· The Chair took the opportunity to note that no organisation in the city would be able to match the work carried out by family members who care for loved ones fulfilling a role in their family without the recognition as a carer
· It was suggested that 59 responses to the consultation when a vast number of people provide care was low and that this could be as a result of people not identifying as a carer, carers not liking to go online, language barriers and engagement fatigue, where a lot of consulting takes place but no change for carers
· Members of the Commission noted that the documented evidence was good, but the responses were too low to improve the strategy and that feedback from the upcoming event should provide additional information to the consultation
· Consideration to improving responses and the inclusion of the diverse workforce needs improving
In response to Members, it was noted that:
· This was a short piece of engagement work carried out and not a full consultation
· A lot of work was being undertaken to readdress things that have not already been covered
· There was a real challenge to get people to respond to consultations and this was not unique to the department
· The face-to-face event and online sessions are being carried out to further promote the consultation which is running until July
· The lack of diversity in the consultation was acknowledged and there was ongoing work with national charities on challenges with engaging with carers from the diverse backgrounds in the city
Members of the Commission went on to suggest that it was vital to understand the root and branch of the situation and what was the make up communities that were being considered and what were their individual motivations. Being unable to change the system we use to create dialogue with the people of Leicester for whom the council served was a problem and it was important to understand how to create dialogue and get the channels right to improve the overall situation.
The strategic Director for Social Care and Education praised the Member for their contributions further noted that, writing a strategy simply to have a strategy was a failing of the public service, the service were clear of the enormous contributions of informal carers. There was a stark realisation that people in the city did not consider public services to be on their side and there was a distance between the two.
Members of the Commission were not happy or comfortable with what was being said in regard to carers from the BAME Communities and suggested that there was a deeper conversation on this matter that warranted a deeper conversation outside of this topic. Members queried whether VCS had been involved in the engagement process and what ward level involvement had there been. The departments push for Strength Based Practice relied heavily on personal relationships with carers and that this on-going process needs to be revisited and improved.
The Strategic Director for Social Care and Education thanked the Members of the Commission for their contributions and suggested that this level of scrutiny was good for the department to make improvements.
Members further noted that only together, we can make a difference and we need this to improve as an authority. It was apparent that how the authority consults with the people of the city may need reconsidering. Members of the Commission suggested that the Chair be requested to take the opportunity to raise Commission Members concerns around public consultation at the Overview Select Committee.
1) That the Chair of the Commission be requested to raise the Members of the Commissions concerns around the consultation process at the Overview Select Committee
2) That the event in June be used to further promote the consultation
3) That the Strategic Director for Social Care and Education be requested to consider the comments and concerns raised by the Members of the Commission
4) And that the report be noted.