Thursday, February 11, 2010

Good day for Edinburgh's vulnerable :-)

Might well have been a bad day for Edinburgh's schools ... but, at least it was a good day for Edinburgh's vulnerable.

In the second half of the Council Meeting, there was a complete, and total, climbdown on the Care and Support Services tender

The Council basically agreed not set a rate for Direct Payment, but to set up consultation involving a wide range of service users, providers and others.

Here's the text of the amendment that was agreed unanimously:

"Council agrees with the need to achieve best value in all of the services provided by the Council. The way in which Care and Support Services have evolved has resulted in a large number of providers with a wide variation in prices. Council recognises that this may not represent best value.

Council notes that the competitive tendering approach was aimed at providing best value in the commissioning of care and support services for Vulnerable people. However, Council agrees that it is no longer appropriate to award the contracts as originally planned, given the shortcomings identified in the Chief Executive’s report to the Finance and Resources Committee of 4 February 2010 and the changes notified in the original business case. Specifically, the level of direct payment applications has risen dramatically, bringing into doubt the viability of awarding contracts.

Council notes that, according to the Deloitte high level analysis the execution of the tender evaluation process is, “not as sufficiently meticulous or as thorough as might have been expected”. Council regrets the distress and uncertainty caused to users, families and carers and wishes to take full cognisance of the representations made on this matter.

Council therefore:

(i) instructs the Chief Executive to review comprehensively the Council’s arrangements for tendering, including the communications and consultation strategy, to ensure that this situation is not repeated;

(ii) instructs the Chief Executive to carry out a rigorous assessment of the development and management of the care and support tender process, including the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the process, and to report on this as part of his report on lessons learned to the Finance and Resources Committee on 1 June 2010;

(iii) instructs the Chief Executive to take account of the findings of these inquiries when preparing the overarching commissioning strategy as a template for future procurement activity.

Council further agrees to:

(a) note the changed position in relation to the number of people who have now applied for Direct Payments;

(b) not proceed to award the care and support contracts as originally proposed;

(c) note that a Commissioning Strategy will be brought forward for consideration by Committee/Council in the summer;

(d) in the meantime, not to adopt the recommended Direct Payment rate of up to £15.04; and

(e) instruct the Chief Executive to set up an arrangement, to include service providers, service users and advocacy organisations, to facilitate a dialogue and process that will help lead to the identification of an appropriate and fair Direct Payment rate, to be reported in no more than 2 Council cycles."

Just what can one say!!

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