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Agenda item

CONTRACT TERMINATION OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE'S SPECIALIST EARLY RESPONSE SERVICE

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

(1)   approved the termination of the contract with NELFT for delivery of the Young People’s Specialist Early Response Service on behalf of Waltham Forest;

 

(2)   authorised officers to take appropriate steps to secure alternate provision of the service elements, with no change in the level of resourcing;

 

(3)   delegated authority to the Deputy Chief Executive, in consultation with the Portfolio Lead Members for Health and Voluntary Sector Partnerships and for Children, Families and Young People, and the Strategic Director for Finance and Governance to approve the new arrangements for provision of the service, including the award of contract(s);

 

(4)   noted that (1) above is specific to the YPSER service contract and that it will not affect other contractual relationships between the Council and NELFT;

 

(5)   agreed to take the opportunity to re-affirm the commitment of the Council to work in partnership with NELFT and others to address the broader issues around children's mental health and wellbeing across the whole population, including the Council’s continued commitment to provide £315,000 per year towards children's mental health services and interventions, as directed by the CAMHS board under the governance of the Integrated Strategic Commissioning Board.

 

OPTIONS & ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

Option 1: Do nothing and continue to work with the current provider to implement the model

 

Risk: Continued failure to provide expected levels of activity increases the risk of non-compliance with the Council’s statutory responsibilities relating to the health and wellbeing of looked after children, and the failure of the Council to provide evidence-based interventions to young people to improve their life chances, reduce risk of immediate health and safeguarding issues, and to reduce long term health harm.  The impact of this risk is significant.  The likelihood of this risk is high.

 

Option 2: Terminate the existing contract with NELFT and enter into alternate provisions

 

Alternate provision may include preserving those aspects of the YPSERS within NELFT that are currently effective where possible; and considering provision of other aspects of the model in-house, or provision via some other commissioning arrangement, including procurement.

 

Risk: The Council may be unable to maintain the model of integrated care as described in the specification.  The mitigation for this risk is for commissioners to ensure robust joint working protocols are in place. Options under consideration include new third party providers, bringing the service in house, or a combination of the two. The provision of care is not reliant on integration therefore this option reduces the risk of failing to meet the Council’s responsibilities for the health and wellbeing of young residents. 

 

Officers do not recommend Option 1 as a viable option due to the impact and likelihood of the risks.  Option 2 is the option that is least likely to result in a failure to provide essential services.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Asghar introduced the report and explained that to continue with the contract as it was would result in failure to meet the Council’s statutory duty.  She confirmed that the North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) had agreed that they had been unable to deliver their objectives and pointed out that failure to deliver could impact on the life chances of young people in the borough.

 

The Leader said that this was a good example of the agility of this Council and confirmed that if an organisation was failing in their duty to young people, then this Council would act accordingly.  She thanked Councillor Asghar for the excellent leadership she had provided.   

 

Councillor Williams stated that there was an expectation that the needs of vulnerable children in the borough should be met and said that she could see the value of the intervention work.  She also referred to the importance of shopping around for a better service if the current service was not meeting objectives. 

 

The Leader confirmed that the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) determined how much funding was available and pointed out that there had been a significant reduction in funding across the country.  She added that the Council was accountable to the general public however pointed out that the CCG Executive were elected by GP’s and only GP’s.  She described this as a deficit in democracy. 

 

Cabinet:

 

(1)   approved the termination of the contract with NELFT for delivery of the Young People’s Specialist Early Response Service on behalf of Waltham Forest;

 

(2)   authorised officers to take appropriate steps to secure alternate provision of the service elements, with no change in the level of resourcing;

 

(3)   delegated authority to the Deputy Chief Executive, in consultation with the Portfolio Lead Members for Health and Voluntary Sector Partnerships and for Children, Families and Young People, and the Strategic Director for Finance and Governance to approve the new arrangements for provision of the service, including the award of contract(s);

 

(4)   noted that (1) above is specific to the YPSER service contract and that it will not affect other contractual relationships between the Council and NELFT;

 

(5)   agreed to take the opportunity to re-affirm the commitment of the Council to work in partnership with NELFT and others to address the broader issues around children's mental health and wellbeing across the whole population, including the Council’s continued commitment to provide £315,000 per year towards children's mental health services and interventions, as directed by the CAMHS board under the governance of the Integrated Strategic Commissioning Board.

 

Supporting documents: