Back to the Scottish Parliament Audit Committee Report
Archive Home

Business Bulletin 1999-2011

Minutes of Proceedings 1999-2011

Journal of Parliamentary Proceedings Sessions 1 & 2

Committees Sessions 1, 2 & 3

Annual reports

SP Paper 770

AU/S2/07/R2

2nd Report, 2007 (Session 2)
Community Planning: an initial review

CONTENTS

REMIT AND MEMBERSHIP

THE REPORT

ANNEXE A – EXTRACTS FROM THE MINUTES

Extract from the Minutes – 11th Meeting 2006 (Session 2)
Extract from the Minutes – 12th Meeting 2006 (Session 2)
Extract from the Minutes – 14th Meeting 2006 (Session 2)
Extract from the Minutes – 15th Meeting 2006 (Session 2)
Extract from the Minutes – 16th Meeting 2006 (Session 2)
Extract from the Minutes – 17th Meeting 2006 (Session 2)
Extract from the Minutes – 3rd Meeting 2007 (Session 2)
Extract from the Minutes – 4th Meeting 2007 (Session 2)

ANNEXE B – ORAL EVIDENCE AND ASSOCIATED WRITTEN EVIDENCE

WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Note by the Clerk of fact finding visit to East Ayrshire

Audit Committee Official Report 15th Meeting 2006 (Session 2), 7 November 2006

ORAL EVIDENCE

Mr George Black, Chief Executive, Glasgow City Council
Sue Laughlin, Head of Inequalities and Health Improvement, Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Health Board
Chief Inspector Adrian Berkeley of Grampian Police Community Partnership Department
Mr Stuart Ogg, Operations Director, Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley
Ron Culley, Chief Executive, Strathclyde, Regional Transport Partnership
Bryan Poole, CVS Fife
Linda Cunningham, Community Planning Manager, West Lothian
Mary Benson, Community Representative, West Lothian
Brian Murray, Chief Fire Officer, Highlands and Islands Fire Service
Elizabeth Morton, Depute Chief Executive, East Ayrshire Council

Audit Committee Official Report 17th Meeting 2006 (Session 2), 5 December 2006

ORAL EVIDENCE

Dr Andrew Goudie, Accountable Officer and Head of the Finance and Central Services Department
Paul Gray, Director, Directorate of Primary Care and Community Care Division, Heath Department
Mike Neilson, Head of Housing and Regeneration Group, Development Department
David Henderson, Head of Local Government Finance Division

SUPPLEMENTARY WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Letter from Dr Andrew Goudie, Head of Finance and Central Services to the Clerk
Letter from Dr Andrew Goudie, Head of Finance and Central Services to the Clerk

ANNEXE C – OTHER WRITTEN EVIDENCE

The following unpublished evidence is available from the Clerk:

Submission from the Highland Wellbeing Alliance – 7 November 2006

Remit and membership

Remit:

1. The remit of the Audit Committee is to consider and report on-

(a) any accounts laid before the Parliament;

(b) any report laid before or made to the Parliament by the Auditor General for Scotland; and

(c) any other document laid before the Parliament concerning financial control, accounting and auditing in relation to public expenditure.

2. No member of the Scottish Executive or junior Scottish Minister may be a member of the Committee and no member who represents a political party which is represented in the Scottish Executive may be convener of the Committee.

(Standing Orders of the Scottish Parliament, Rule 6.7)

Membership:
Mr Brian Monteith (Convener)
Susan Deacon
Robin Harper
Margaret Jamieson
Mrs Mary Mulligan
Margaret Smith
Mr Andrew Welsh (Deputy Convener)

Committee Clerking Team:

Clerk to the Committee
Shelagh McKinlay

Senior Assistant Clerk
Joanna Hardy

Assistant Clerk
Clare O'Neill

Community Planning: an initial review  

The Committee reports to the Parliament as follows—

INTRODUCTION

1. This report sets out the Committee’s findings in relation to the joint report of the Auditor General for Scotland (AGS) and the Accounts Commission entitled “Community planning: an initial review.” (AGS/2006/7)

EVIDENCE

2. The Committee held two oral evidence sessions on Tuesday 7 November and Tuesday December 5 2007. The following witnesses gave evidence to the inquiry:

7 November: Mr George Black, Chief Executive, Glasgow City Council, Sue Laughlin, Head of Inequalities and Health Improvement, Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Health Board, Chief Inspector Adrian Berkeley of Grampian Police Community Partnership Department, Mr Stuart Ogg, Operations Director, Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley, Ron Culley, Chief Executive, Strathclyde, Regional Transport Partnership, Bryan Poole, CVS Fife, Linda Cunningham, Community Planning Manager, West Lothian, Mary Benson, Community Representative, West Lothian,

Elizabeth Morton, Depute Chief Executive, East Ayrshire Council.

5 December: Dr Andrew Goudie, Accountable Officer and Head of the Finance and Central Services Department; Paul Gray, Director, Directorate of Primary Care and Community Care Division, Health Department; Mike Neilson, Head of Housing and Regeneration Group, Development Department and; David Henderson, Head of Local Government Finance Division.

3. The Committee also undertook a fact finding visit to East Ayrshire where members spoke to representatives of the community planning partnership and visited the North West Kilmarnock Area Centre, a “one stop shop” facility which brings together a range of primary care and other services.  Staff from East Ayrshire Council, NHS Ayrshire and Arran and the voluntary sector work side by side in the centre to provide integrated and “joined-up” health and social care services to the local community. Further information on the centre is at Annexe B.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

4. The Committee’s main findings and recommendations are set out at Appendix A.

SUMMARY OF KEY ISSUES

5. While community planning is clearly based on effective partnership working by a range of organisations, in conducting this inquiry the Committee has focused on the role of the Executive in supporting community planning partners (CPPs).

6. The Committee has identified a number of fundamental issues which require to be addressed by the Executive if the community planning process is to fulfil its potential.

7. The Committee strongly believes that the Executive can make a significant difference to the effectiveness of community planning – but this will only happen if the Executive changes fundamentally its ways of working.

8. Key issues which emerged from the inquiry are set out below:

  • Executive Departments are failing to work together, leading to a lack of clarity about policy priorities, creating significant bureaucracy and undermining the potential of community planning at local level;
  • There are too many funding streams supporting community planning and monitoring and reporting arrangements are overly complex and burdensome;
  • Too much effort and resource can be tied up in managing and servicing partnership structures rather than in delivering real improvements.

9. In order to address these issues, the Executive must change fundamentally its ways of working in order to:

  • improve joint working between Executive Departments;
  • build skills and capacity among Executive staff to better support partner agencies in delivering services;
  • take the lead in ensuring that staff at all levels receive training to develop the skills that partnership working requires – this training should draw on the experience of existing successful partnerships;
  • effectively integrate and prioritise policies, streamline funding and develop single outcome agreements to replace the current myriad of reporting and monitoring arrangements.

10. In responding to this report the Executive should set out how these issues are to be addressed.

BACKGROUND

11. The Committee agreed the following remit for this inquiry:

  • Difficulties caused by different geographical boundaries, accountabilities and financial regulations;
  • The lack of integration and prioritisation of national policy initiatives;
  • Fragmented funding streams.

12. The evidence session of 5 December, when the Committee took evidence from the Accountable Officer of the Finance and Central Services Department, focused on the final two parts of the remit and members also put questions to the Accountable Officer on work undertaken by the Executive to support community planning.

13. In undertaking this inquiry, the Committee was struck by a number of common themes which have featured in several inquiries undertaken by the Committee in the course of this second session of the Parliament. For example: the need for more effective joint working; the need to focus on service delivery rather than organisational structures; and the positive difference made by committed and effective individuals despite bureaucratic obstacles.

WORK BY THE EXECUTIVE TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY PLANNING

The Role of the Executive

14. A common theme which emerged in considering the joint report, in evidence sessions and during the Committee’s fact finding visit, was the need for Executive Departments to work differently if the best possible support is to be provided to CPPs. Particularly, it was apparent that the partnership working required at local level was often not replicated between key Executive Departments.

15. The Committee is aware of the recent report “Taking Stock Review: Fit for the Future” which followed the review of the Executive undertaken by an external team. The Committee has not taken evidence on this report but has noted the extent to which some of the review team’s findings reflect the evidence considered during this inquiry. For example, the review team found that: 

“The Executive needs to continue breaking down organisational barriers and encourage working across departmental silos in order to achieve overarching objectives.”

“The Executive recognises that insufficient collaboration between departments has created significant bureaucracy in the form of multiple reporting arrangements and funding streams from different departments.  This has caused difficulties for partners in delivering objectives.” 1

16. The report also identified a number of skills gaps in relation to Executive personnel and a need to improve the corporate services functions which support Executive staff in carrying out their work.

17. Conclusion: The Executive’s failure to work corporately and to ensure effective co-ordination between Departments undermines the benefits to be achieved from partnership working at local level.

18. Recommendation: In supporting community planning, the Executive needs to change fundamentally its ways of working to:

  • improve joint working among departments;
  • build skills and capacity among staff to better support those organisations tasked with delivering services;
  • focus more on the delivery of outcomes rather than “top-down” guidance; and
  • reduce the number of reports that community planning partners need to make to different Executive Departments.

The Hub Initiative

19. The Committee considered evidence from the Executive on the proposed “Hub” initiative which is currently under development and which aims to support joint development and procurement of community based facilities.2 (Col 1895)

20. The Committee is keenly aware that some CPPs, such as East Ayrshire, already have a strong track record in developing such services and it is important that their experience is built on. The Committee notes that the Hub initiative is still under development and has not yet received Ministerial approval. The Committee is generally supportive of efforts by the Executive to promote joint development and co-location of services. However, from the evidence presented, it is difficult to get a sense of what “added value” the Hub initiative will bring.

21. Conclusion: In developing the Hub, or similar initiatives, the Executive must not “reinvent the wheel” by developing overly complex strategies when best practice from existing successful projects is available.

22. Recommendation: Where best practice is available from existing successful projects, this must be rolled out across Scotland.

The Role of Individuals

23. An interesting aspect of the inquiry has been the disparity between those partnerships which seem able to overcome many of the obstacles and difficulties set out in the joint report, and those which appear to find them insurmountable. 

24. This issue was brought into sharp relief by the Committee’s fact finding visit to East Ayrshire.  The positive developments in East Ayrshire have been due to the hard work of staff in partner organisations and it would be wrong to imply that improvements have been easily achieved.

25. However, it is important to highlight the extent to which East Ayrshire, and other partnerships, have overcome potential obstacles primarily through creating a culture of trust, openness and commitment. 

26. For example, the Committee’s visit to the North West Kilmarnock Area Centre demonstrated that issues such as: different insurance arrangements, building design standards, and VAT treatment and accounting procedures can be overcome with flexibility, energy and commitment from staff at all levels and strong senior management support.

27. Conclusion: The role played by individuals in achieving success in community planning is crucial; from senior Executives who lead by example in showing commitment to collaborative working, to front-line staff who, working with colleagues in other agencies, develop day-to-day practice to ensure that a seamless service is provided to users.   

Supporting Individuals and Supporting Leaders

28. In this context, improving leadership capacity is clearly central to the success of community planning. In evidence to the Committee, Mike Neilson highlighted improving skills in engaging communities and collaborative working as a priority. (Col 1905)

29. The Committee has noted developments in relation to the Executive’s work to build leadership capacity. This includes increased funding for the Scottish Leadership Foundation, although the sums involved remain relatively small, and the establishment of the Scottish Government Forum. However, it is too early to say what impact these developments will have.

30. Conclusion: The Committee remains concerned that efforts to improve leadership capacity are not sufficient, and notes that effective leadership is fundamental to the success of community planning.

31. Recommendation: The Committee requests that in responding to this report the Executive addresses how key leadership skills relevant to community planning, such as those required to manage collaborative working and community engagement, are to be strengthened.

32. In doing so, the Committee would expect the Executive to build on the experience of those partnership areas where strong and effective leadership and effective joint working is already established.

33. However, if the aims of community planning are to be achieved, staff at all levels need to work differently and support must be given to the wide range of staff involved in delivering “joined up” services, not just to leaders. Issues such as the different terms and conditions of staff from different sectors need to be handled sensitively and practically to ensure that staff work together to provide the best possible service.

34. Recommendation: The Executive must take the lead in fostering both a culture, and day to day practice, based on partnership working. This should include:

  • providing training for staff at all levels to develop the skills that partnership working requires, such as working across professional boundaries. This training should draw on the experience of existing successful partnerships;
  • examining reward systems to ensure that they value effective partnership working.

LACK OF INTEGRATION AND PRIORITISATION OF NATIONAL POLICY INITIATIVES

35. A theme which emerged strongly from the joint report was the difficulties which CPPs face in managing the myriad of different Executive policy initiatives and strategies.  The Executive encourages partners to make links between different strategies – but the burden of developing and co-ordinating these strategies is significant.3

36. Elizabeth Morton of East Ayrshire Council commented “Fitting national priorities into our local needs can cause difficulties. On a number of occasions, the East Ayrshire partnership has successfully resisted the requirement…to produce a separate strategy…The Executive needs to be less focused about its initiatives, to take a broader approach to its priorities…” (Col 1837)

37. In response to questions on setting a smaller number of strategic priorities, Dr Goudie and his colleagues referred to the move towards an outcome based approach, commenting that Ministers want more “sharpness about what the outcomes are and on prioritising actions to achieve those outcomes.” The Executive intended to increasingly focusing on agreeing outcomes with partnerships, rather than dictate how services are to be delivered.(Col 1894, 1885, 1888 – 1891) However, the Committee notes that the advantages of outcome agreements have been apparent for some time, and that the Executive has a longstanding commitment to adopt an outcomes based approach, yet progress against this has been slow. In addition, the Executive still requires local partners to make multiple reports back to individual departments.

38. In addition, the Committee is of the view that none of the Executive witnesses addressed the issue of how better co-ordination and clear prioritisation of policies between Departments would be achieved. It does not necessarily follow that a focus on outcomes will necessarily result in  a different, more integrated approach to policy development at a national level.

39. Planning and delivering “joined up” public services within existing structures, which are based on more traditional and compartmentalised models of service delivery, is a complex task.  However, the lack of prioritisation and integration of policy initiatives at Executive level, and the consequent need for partnerships to make the necessary links at local level, has led to community planning structures becoming more rather than less complex as originally envisaged. As a consequence the resources required to manage and operate the partnership can be significant.

40. Conclusion: Too much effort and resource can be tied up in managing and servicing partnership structures rather than in delivering real improvements.  

41. Conclusion: The Committee is not persuaded that Executive Departments are working together effectively to ensure that policy initiatives are coordinated or prioritised. As a result, opportunities to effectively integrate policy initiatives are being missed.

42. Conclusion: The move towards an outcome based approach is overdue.   

43. Recommendation: The Executive must integrate policies much more effectively at the development stage and must develop single outcome agreements with CPPs.

FRAGMENTED FUNDING STREAMS

44. The difficulties caused by fragmented funding streams emerged as a key issue during the inquiry. Evidence considered by the Committee highlighted the frustration of community planning partners at the bureaucratic burden created by the number of funding streams which feed into community planning activity.4

45. The fragmented nature of funding means that partners often have to make multiple funding applications to a variety of different sources, the flexibility available to the CPP in meeting local needs is reduced and partnerships must comply with a range of different monitoring and financial reporting arrangements.

46. Dr Goudie confirmed in evidence that the Executive was considering how it might reduce the number of funding streams for local authorities and the number of reporting lines that are requested.  Four funding streams of less than £10m have also been consolidated into two. Work is also ongoing to shift monitoring and evaluation arrangements towards clear outcome agreements and to streamline statistical returns.(Col 1888)

47. However, the Committee considers that the changes to date are largely at the periphery and are not happening fast enough. While not exclusively concerned with community planning, it is worth highlighting as an example the position with funding for the voluntary sector. Chasing short term funding creates uncertainty and diverts voluntary organisations’ resources from delivering important services.  In 2003, the Executive undertook to  move to three year funding in 2003 and Executive Grant schemes are now supposed to operate three year funding. However, there are still instances when this does not happen, particularly when funding streams are new, winding down or have been refreshed.5

48. Bryan Poole of CVS Fife commented “the difficulty of pulling together different sources of funding for local projects is a key issue…the time that it takes to gather and allocate resources often means that there are delays and frustrations for local communities.” (Col 1839) Chief Inspector Adrian Berkely stated “The existence of different funding streams is a significant issue. Each funding stream has its own monitoring and evaluation processes and sometimes the money goes to different areas. That all makes for a highly confusing picture. (Col 1840) Brian Murray of Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Services stated, “The reporting arrangements are not always proportionate to the amount of funding that is available.” (Col 1841)

49. On the Committee’s visit to East Ayrshire, community planning partners also emphasised the difficulty in applying for and managing the large number of funding streams. Partners told members that this required a lot of senior officer time and sometimes made it difficult to meet local needs.6

50. The Committee was struck by this evidence that Executive Departments are not working together on funding issues.

51. Too often different partner agencies working together on the same project must submit separate funding bids, often with different timescales, to different Executive Departments.

52. Departments then do not always work together in deciding on funding bids, often failing to recognise that if one bid is approved but another rejected, the whole project cannot be delivered.

53. Conclusion: There are too many different funding streams supporting the Executive’s range of policy objectives.

54. Conclusion: Monitoring and reporting arrangements are overly complex and burdensome.

55. Conclusion: Executive Departments are undermining local community planning efforts by failing to coordinate funding and monitoring arrangements.

56. Executive Departments need to work collectively so that community planning partners do not have to submit multiple bids for, and reports on, the same project.

57. Recommendation: The Executive must streamline funding arrangements and reduce the monitoring and reporting burden on partner agencies by moving to outcome agreements.

DIFFICULTIES CAUSED BY GEOGRAPHICAL BOUNDARIES, AND FINANCIAL REGULATIONS

Geographical Boundaries

58. The AGS report records that boundary issues are seen as a main barrier to progress in a third of all community planning partnerships (CPPs).7 Witnesses at the Committee’s round table event also commented on the challenges presented by working across geographical boundaries and the burden placed on partners which cover several CPP areas.  Sue Laughlin of Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Board for example, confirmed that the Board covers 10 CPP areas and stressed the difficulty of reconciling a strategic approach to improving health for the whole population, with meeting local needs. (Col 1827) However, the Committee’s visit to East Ayrshire showed that frameworks can be established to ensure that partnerships work effectively across geographical boundaries. Difficulties caused by geographical barriers must therefore not be seen as an excuse for not delivering community planning objectives.

59. Conclusion: Different geographical barriers do cause difficulties and can impede effective partnership working, especially when key partner agencies are required to work across different multiple boundaries. The Executive should be mindful of this in any future consideration of organisational structures and boundaries.

60. Conclusion: However, geographical barriers can be overcome through effort and if partners are sufficiently flexible.

61. Recommendation: The Executive must take action to spread good practice and enable partner organisations to address cross boundary issues effectively. All relevant Executive Departments linked to community planning statutory partners must play a full part in this.

Financial Regulations

62. The AGS report records that partnership working can also be complicated by different financial regulations and reporting arrangements. Such differences include the extent to which partner agencies can carry over funds from one year to the next and the fact that local authorities can recover VAT while the ability of NHS organisations to do this is limited.8

63. The issue of VAT, is an example of how different financial regulations can have significant implications for the delivery of projects. For example, if the NHS is committing the majority of the funding, the local authority may still take the lead since it can recover the significant VAT costs. The health board therefore must transfer significant sums outwith its control if the project is to go ahead. The issue of different financial regulations therefore demonstrates that high levels of trust and commitment between partner agencies are required if partnerships are to get the most out of the resources at their disposal.

64. Some partnerships, such as East Ayrshire, are working in this way and providing best value from the community planning process. However the AGS report indicates that some partnerships are still highlighting differences in financial regulations as a barrier to joint working.

65. Conclusion: High levels of trust and commitment to joint working are required in resolving difficulties presented by different financial regulations.

66. Recommendation: The Executive must be aware of the difficulties caused by different financial regulations and should review the position with a view to better supporting partnership working.

ACCOUNTABILITY

67. Different community planning partners have different lines of accountability. For example, local authorities are accountable to elected members and through them to the communities they serve; NHS Boards and Scottish Enterprise are accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.9

68. Linda Cunningham a community representative from West Lothian emphasised that, for local communities, providing the services people need is the priority - who service providers “report to” is a secondary issue, “We need greater emphasis on accountability to communities and partners instead of the Executive, boards or whatever.” (Col 1831) 

69. However, different accountabilities can lead to tensions between community planning partners in setting priorities.  In evidence to the Committee, Bryan Poole of CVS Fife stated “It seems to me that several community planning partners in Fife… are pulled between a nationally led agenda and acting as a community planning partner.” (Col 1827)

70. Many community planning partners must reconcile competing priorities and demands, some set nationally and some set locally.  For example, health boards must meet demanding national targets while also contributing to the achievement of the objectives of one or more CPPs; local authorities must contribute to achieving national targets in a number of fields but still be accountable to the local electorate.

71. The process of developing outcome agreements should help the Executive and partner agencies in finding a balance between national and local objectives.

72. Conclusion: There are tensions for many community planning partners in responding to local priorities, while still contributing to the achievement of national objectives.

73. Recommendation: The Executive must use the development of outcome agreements to support community planning partners in effectively integrating and prioritising national and local objectives.

Outcome Agreements and Accountability

74. In developing outcome agreements the Executive and partnerships will need to be clear about the respective responsibilities of the organisations involved in delivering the agreement.

75. Recommendation: Given the increasing focus on outcome agreements, the Executive must ensure that it makes clear who is accountable for delivering these outcomes, how they will be held to account, and that accountability arrangements are agreed across all Executive Departments. 

Appendix A

KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

WORK BY THE EXECUTIVE TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY PLANNING

The Role of the Executive

Conclusion: The Executive’s failure to work corporately and to ensure effective co-ordination between Departments undermines the benefits to be achieved from partnership working at local level. (Para 17)

Recommendation: In supporting community planning, the Executive needs to change fundamentally its ways of working to:

  • improve joint working among departments;
  • build skills and capacity among staff to better support those organisations tasked with delivering services;
  • focus more on the delivery of outcomes rather than “top-down” guidance; and
  • reduce the number of reports that community planning partners need to make to different Executive Departments. (Para 18)

Conclusion: In developing the Hub, or similar initiatives, the Executive must not “reinvent the wheel” by developing overly complex strategies when best practice from existing successful projects is available. (Para 21)

Recommendation: Where best practice is available from existing successful projects, this must be rolled out across Scotland.  (Para 22)

The Role of Individuals

Conclusion: The role played by individuals in achieving success in community planning is crucial; from senior Executives who lead by example in showing commitment to collaborative working, to front-line staff who, working with colleagues in other agencies, develop day-to-day practice to ensure that a seamless service is provided to users.  (Para 27)

Conclusion: The Committee remains concerned that efforts to improve leadership capacity are not sufficient, and notes that effective leadership is fundamental to the success of community planning.  (Para 30)

Recommendation: The Committee requests that in responding to this report the Executive addresses how key leadership skills relevant to community planning, such as those required to manage collaborative working and community engagement, are to be strengthened. (Para 31)

Recommendation: The Executive must take the lead in fostering both a culture, and day to day practice, based on partnership working. This should include:

  • providing training for staff at all levels to develop the skills that partnership working requires, such as working across professional boundaries. This training should draw on the experience of existing successful partnerships;
  • examining reward systems to ensure that they value effective partnership working. (Para 34)

LACK OF INTEGRATION AND PRIORITISATION OF NATIONAL POLICY INITIATIVES

Conclusion: Too much effort and resource can be tied up in managing and servicing partnership structures rather than in delivering real improvements. (Para 40)

Conclusion: The Committee is not persuaded that Executive Departments are working together effectively to ensure that policy initiatives are coordinated or prioritised. As a result, opportunities to effectively integrate policy initiatives are being missed. (Para 41)

Conclusion: The move towards an outcome based approach is overdue. (Para 42)

Recommendation: The Executive must integrate policies much more effectively at the development stage and must develop single outcome agreements with CPPs. (Para 43)

FRAGMENTED FUNDING STREAMS

Conclusion: There are too many different funding streams supporting the Executive’s range of policy objectives. (Para 53)

Conclusion: Monitoring and reporting arrangements are overly complex and burdensome. (Para 54)

Conclusion: Executive Departments are undermining local community planning efforts by failing to coordinate funding and monitoring arrangements. (Para 55)

Recommendation: The Executive must streamline funding arrangements and reduce the monitoring and reporting burden on partner agencies by moving to outcome agreements. (Para 57)

DIFFICULTIES CAUSED BY GEOGRAPHICAL BOUNDARIES, AND FINANCIAL REGULATIONS

Geographical Boundaries

Conclusion: Different geographical barriers do cause difficulties and can impede effective partnership working, especially when key partner agencies are required to work across different multiple boundaries. The Executive should be mindful of this in any future consideration of organisational structures and boundaries. (Para 59)

Conclusion: However, geographical barriers can be overcome through effort and if partners are sufficiently flexible. (Para 60)

Recommendation: The Executive must take action to spread good practice and enable partner organisations to address cross boundary issues effectively. All relevant Executive Departments linked to community planning statutory partners must play a full part in this. (Para 61)

Financial Regulations

Conclusion: High levels of trust and commitment to joint working are required in resolving difficulties presented by different financial regulations. (Para 65)

Recommendation: The Executive must be aware of the difficulties caused by different financial regulations and should review the position with a view to better supporting partnership working. (Para 66)

ACCOUNTABILITY

Conclusion: There are tensions for many community planning partners in responding to local priorities, while still contributing to the achievement of national objectives. (Para 72)

Recommendation: The Executive must use the development of outcome agreements to support community planning partners in effectively integrating and prioritising national and local objectives. (Para 73)

Outcome Agreements and Accountability

Recommendation: Given the increasing focus on outcome agreements, the Executive must ensure that it makes clear who is accountable for delivering these outcomes, how they will be held to account, and that accountability arrangements are agreed across all Executive Departments. (Para 75)

ANNEXE A

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES

11th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)

Tuesday 27 June 2006

Members Present:

Susan Deacon Margaret Jamieson
Mr Brian Monteith (Convener) Mary Mulligan
Eleanor Scott Margaret Smith
Andrew Welsh  

Review of Community Planning Partnerships: The Committee received a briefing from the Deputy Auditor General for Scotland on the AGS report entitled: “Community Planning: an initial review” (AGS/2006/7).

Consideration of Approach (in private): The Committee considered its approach to the AGS reports entitled “Community Planning: an initial review” (AGS/2006/7) and “Public sector pension schemes in Scotland” (AGS/2006/8). The Committee agreed not to hold an inquiry into the report entitled “Public sector pension schemes in Scotland”.  The Committee agreed to hold an inquiry into the report entitled “Community Planning: an initial review” and will consider arrangements for its inquiry at its next meeting in September.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES

12th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)

Tuesday 12 September 2006

Members Present:

Susan Deacon Robin Harper
Margaret Jamieson Mr Brian Monteith (Convener)
Mary Mulligan Margaret Smith
Andrew Welsh  

Review of Community Planning Partnerships (in private): The Committee considered arrangements for its inquiry into the AGS report entitled: “Community Planning: an initial review” (AGS/2006/7). The Committee agreed to make a request to the Conveners Group to undertake fact finding visits in the course of this inquiry. The Committee also agreed to invite community planning representatives to a round table session and to invite accountable officers from the Scottish Executive to a separate evidence session at a future date. The Committee agreed the following remit for its inquiry:

  • difficulties caused by different geographical boundaries, accountabilities and financial regulations;
  • The lack of integration and prioritisation of national policy initiatives
  • Fragmented funding streams.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES

14th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)

Tuesday 24 October 2006

Members Present:

Susan Deacon Robin Harper
Mr Brian Monteith (Convener) Mary Mulligan
Margaret Smith Andrew Welsh

Apologies were received from Margaret Jamieson

Review of Community Planning Partnerships (in private): The Committee considered arrangements for its inquiry into the AGS report entitled “Community Planning: an initial review” (AGS/2006/7). The Committee agreed to invite a representative of the East Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership to attend its evidence session on 7 November. The Committee agreed to delegate to the Convener responsibility for arranging for the SPCB to pay under Rule 12.4.3, any expenses of witnesses in relation to this inquiry.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES

15th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)

Tuesday 7 November 2006

Members Present:

Robin Harper Margaret Jamieson
Mr Brian Monteith (Convener) Mary Mulligan
Margaret Smith Andrew Welsh

Apologies were received from Susan Deacon

Review of Community Planning Partnerships: The Committee took evidence in round table format from –

Mr George Black, Chief Executive, Glasgow City Council
Sue Laughlin, Head of Inequalities and Health Improvement, Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Health Board
Chief Inspector Adrian Berkeley of Grampian Police Community Partnership Department
Mr Stuart Ogg, Operations Director, Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley
Ron Culley, Chief Executive, Strathclyde, Regional Transport Partnership
Bryan Poole, CVS Fife
Linda Cunningham, Community Planning Manager, West Lothian
Mary Benson, Community Representative, West Lothian
Brian Murray, Chief Fire Officer, Highlands and Islands Fire Service
Elizabeth Morton, Depute Chief Executive, East Ayrshire Council Health Board”

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES

16th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)

Tuesday 21 November 2006

Members Present:

Robin Harper Margaret Jamieson
Mr Brian Monteith (Convener) Mary Mulligan
Margaret Smith Andrew Welsh

Apologies were received from Susan Deacon

Review of Community Planning Partnerships (in private): The Committee considered arrangements for its inquiry into the AGS report entitled “Community Planning: an initial review” (AGS/2006/7). The Committee agreed to invite the Accountable Officer from the Finance and Central Services Department to give oral evidence at its next meeting.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES

17th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)

Tuesday 5 December 2006

Members Present:

Susan Deacon Robin Harper
Margaret Jamieson Mr Brian Monteith (Convener)
Mary Mulligan Margaret Smith
Andrew Welsh  

Review of Community Planning Partnerships: The Committee took evidence on its inquiry into the AGS report entitled “Community Planning: an initial review” (AGS/2006/7) from -

Dr Andrew Goudie, Accountable Officer and Head of the Finance and Central Services Department; Paul Gray, Director, Directorate of Primary Care and Community Care Division, Heath Department; Mike Neilson, Head of Housing and Regeneration Group, Development Department and; David Henderson, Head of Local Government Finance Division.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES

3rd Meeting, 2007 (Session 2)

Tuesday 13 February 2007

Members Present:

Susan Deacon Robin Harper
Margaret Jamieson Mr Brian Monteith (Convener)
Margaret Smith Andrew Welsh

Apologies were received from Mary Mulligan

Review of Community Planning Partnerships (in private): The Committee considered a draft report for its inquiry into the AGS report entitled “Community Planning: an initial review” (AGS/2006/7). The Committee agreed to consider a further draft report in private at its next meeting.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES 

4th Meeting, 2007 (Session 2)

Tuesday 27 February 2007

Members Present:

Susan Deacon Robin Harper
Margaret Jamieson Mr Brian Monteith (Convener)
Mary Mulligan Margaret Smith

Apologies were received from Andrew Welsh

Review of Community Planning Partnerships (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the AGS report entitled “Community Planning: an initial review” (AGS/2006/7). The report was agreed to.

ANNEXE B

AUDIT COMMITTEE: “COMMUNITY PLANNING: AN INITIAL REVIEW” NOTE BY THE CLERK OF FACT FINDING VISIT TO EAST AYRSHIRE

Background

1. At its meeting on 12 September the Audit Committee agreed to conduct a fact finding visit to East Ayrshire to discuss the work of the East Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership (CPP) and in particular to discuss the challenges of making community planning work in practice.

2. Members wished to see at first hand how community planning was enhancing the delivery of services in the area and wished to discuss with members of the CPP how community planning was being approached at the strategic level.

3. The visit took place on Monday 23 October and the following members of the Committee attended:

  • Brian Monteith MSP, Convener
  • Margaret Jamieson MSP
  • Mary Mulligan MSP
  • Robin Harper MSP.

4. Members of the CPP who took part in the visit are listed at Annex A.

The North West Kilmarnock Area Centre

5. Members visited the North West Kilmarnock Area Centre, a “one stop shop” facility which brings together a range of primary care and other services.  Staff from East Ayrshire Council, Ayrshire and Arran Health Board (A&AHB)and the voluntary sector work side by side in the centre to provide integrated and “joined-up” health and social care services to the local community. A detailed note on the centre is attached at Annex B.

6. The centre will replace eleven existing properties many of which are in need of upgrading and will improve access to services for the local community. The centre and the consequent moves will support the Council’s Asset Management Strategy through the provision of fit for purpose accommodation. 

7. Services will include:

  • Social work and adult and elderly community mental health services, brought together with previously hospital based outreach services
  • Services for children and families including a nursery and family centre; social work children and families team and child and adolescent mental health services
  • Out-patient clinics
  • Physiotherapy services
  • Increased dental service provision and a high profile dental student outreach programme
  • Health information centre which will be the first in Scotland to pilot public an professional access to the National Electronic Library for Health

8. The existing leisure centre adjacent to the centre will also be upgraded and incorporated into the centre and linked to primary prevention and rehabilitation work.

9. Better Neighbourhood Services 1.032M
  East Ayrshire Council Revenue 0.280M
  East Ayrshire Council Capital 3.000M
  Ayrshire & Arran NHS Modernisation Fund 2.100M
  Ayrshire & Arran NHS Primary Care 0.872M
  Ayrshire & Arran NHS Dental 1.415M
  Ayrshire & Arran NHS Other 0.701M
  Total 9.400M

The building will be owned by East Ayrshire Council, as a result of which NHS Ayrshire & Arran will benefit as it will not have to account for capital charges on the use of the asset and also gain through the favourable VAT treatment of their capital contribution to the construction.  Common costs associated with the operation of the Centre will be met of an equal basis. 

Community Planning in East Ayrshire

10. Following the visit to the North West Area Centre members of the Committee and the CPP met to discuss the approach being taken to community planning in East Ayrshire.  The AGS report “Community Planning; an initial review” has been discussed by the CPP and relevant actions to address the recommendations agreed. The issues discussed are set out below.

Streamlining Strategic Planning Processes

11. Community planning offered the opportunity to “declutter the landscape”. In East Ayrshire the community plan is recognised by all strategic planning partners as the sovereign strategic planning document for the delivery of public services in East Ayrshire over the next 12 years.

Community Engagement

12. The National Standards for Community Engagement issued by Communities Scotland have been adopted as minimum by the East Ayrshire CPP.

Shared Premises and services

13. Initiatives such as the North West Area Centre where different public and voluntary sector agencies share premises were seen as having very positive benefits including; better access for local people; quicker responses from the agencies involved; and breaking down organisational barriers enabling front-line staff to put the needs of service users first. The need to ensure that co-location of services did not result in services becoming geographically less accessible was also discussed.

14. Some of the difficulties in relation to shared premises outlined in the AGS reports (such as differing approaches to insuring buildings) had not proved to be significant obstacles in the experience of the East Ayrshire CPP.

15. Joint training initiatives were seen as an important vehicle for building relationships between partner organisations and ensuring a focus on service delivery for the benefit of local communities.

Funding

16. Funding streams – a number of participants emphasised the difficulties of managing the multiplicity of funding streams necessary to fund development. In East Ayrshire around £39m of funding had come from a a range of different funding streams. Managing this financial complexity required a lot of senior officer time and reduced the flexibility available to the CPP in ensuring that local needs were met.

17. The benefits of streamlining and balancing national priorities and simplifying the associated funding arrangements was emphasised.

18. Participants felt that the approach to funding for young people out of work had been helpful since, in issuing the funds, the Scottish Executive Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning Department had allocated the funding to local authorities but had stipulated that it should be disbursed through CPP arrangements involving partner agencies.

19. Efforts were being made to better align budgets among partner organisations, taking into account differing budget cycles.

Evaluation and Monitoring

20. The need to streamline evaluation and monitoring was also discussed. East Ayrshire CPP were currently in the process of negotiating a high level outcome agreement. The aim is to ensure that the partnership can be held to account effectively on the delivery of its objectives while lessening the burden of satisfying different monitoring systems.

Transport

21. The importance of effective transport was emphasised.  It was also noted that transport strategies needed to balance a focus on economic development with a commitment to social inclusion.

Geographical Boundaries

22. The need to ensure effective co-ordination and planning across the boundaries of neighbouring local authorities was discussed. In Ayrshire an Integrated Service Delivery Group had been created where the chief executives and leaders of the three Ayrshire local authorities met with A&AHB and Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire on a regular basis and this was seen as a positive development.

23. In general terms difficulties caused by differences in geographical boundaries were not seen as insurmountable. New technologies and new approaches to service delivery could be adopted to deliver a seamless service to the public regardless of boundaries.

24. The need for those partners who covered more than one partnership area to align their internal structures with the CPP structures was discussed.

Working Relationships

25. It was not felt that further legislative change was required to support community planning activity. All participants emphasised that trust among partner agencies and a commitment to making the process work were central to the success of CPPs.

Summary

Key issues for the Committee’s inquiry which arose in discussion are:

  • Partner agencies must take the opportunity afforded by community planning to “declutter the landscape”

  • Concerns that funding streams need to be streamlined and made more flexible;

  • The burden of evaluation and monitoring needs to be reduced with a focus on high level outcome agreements;

  • Further legislative change is not needed – differences in funding regulations, accountabilities and geographical boundaries among partner agencies can be overcome if a high level of trust and commitment exists. 

Annex A

SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT AUDIT COMMITTEE VISIT

Welcome: East Ayrshire Council

Councillor John Knapp,Deputy Leader
Councillor William Menzies

East Ayrshire Council

Elizabeth Morton, Deputy Chief Executive
Gwen Barker, Community Planning Manager

Police

Superintendent Liz Weir

Fire and Rescue

Donald Harvey, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue

NHS Ayrshire and Arran

Wai-yin Hatton, Chief Executive
Maire Currie, General Manager, East Ayrshire Community Health Partnership
Kirsten Major, Director of Strategic Planning and Performance

North Federation of Community Groups

Graham Piggott

Coalfields Community Federation

Ian Smith

Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire

Evelyn McCann, Chief Executive

Annex B

PROGRESS THROUGH PARTNERSHIP – AN OVERVIEW OF THE NEW NORTH-WEST KILMARNOCK AREA CENTRE 

Introduction

Partnership working has been one of the most important tenets of social policy in recent years, with a focus on regeneration, neighbourhood renewal and new forms of delivery in health and community care.  It has been recognised that effective and efficient public services are in a large part dependent upon the strength and quality of the inter-relationships between individuals and agencies. 

Joint working is a key requirement for delivering better and more integrated public services and already here in East Ayrshire we are seeing and recognising the benefits that working together can bring in terms of improved outcomes for our communities.

The Scottish Executive is determined to move this agenda forward and has placed partnership at the heart of its health and social care policy.  In particular, the Joint Futures Agenda aims ‘to bring together the resources of local community care partners in the form of a financial envelope and places these resources under joint management arrangements as a means of promoting and driving service integration.’ The wider Community Planning and Modernising Government agendas have also placed a strong focus on partnership working and joint premises are in many ways seen as the bricks and mortar of the Community Planning Process.

Here in East Ayrshire, we have a proven track record of successfully delivering joint premises initiatives where staff from a range of public sector agencies are co-located and working effectively together under one roof. These one-stop-shop facilities provide seamless access to public services within local communities and offer staff a base from which to provide services which are truly fully integrated. Partner Organisations involved in co-location initiatives also benefit from efficiencies in the form of capital investment and the revenue costs associated with the day to day operation of these premises.

This paper gives a short overview of the most recent co-location and ambitious co-location initiative developed by Community Planning Partners in East Ayrshire to date.

A Brief Description of the Project

The North-West Kilmarnock Area Centre takes the concept of integrated public services to a new level.

  East Ayrshire Council and NHS Ayrshire and Arran have built on the nationally recognised success of the Dalmellington Area Centre to bring together an unprecedented range of primary care and other public services in one of the most deprived areas of East Ayrshire. This development, in addition to bringing together a raft of core primary care services with Council services, has gone a step further to meet the needs of the community by pulling together a comprehensive mental health service, a nursery and family centre, social day care for older people and a community health café and fitness suite. In addition the centre will boast a new ‘teach and treat’ dental facility, and will be at the forefront of implementing Scottish Executive policy of shifting the balance of care from hospitals closer to communities by providing out-patient services.

The initiative is by far the most ambitious co-location development in East Ayrshire to date. The wide range of services being provided, and innovative elements of service redesign, has been achieved through true commitment to partnership working and joint resourcing through the Community Planning process.

Why was the project started?

The North-West Area Centre was identified in NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s Ayrshire Wide Property Strategy as one on two hubs for provision of health care services in East Ayrshire. In addition, as part of the Better Neighbourhood Services Fund Project, the area was identified as being in need of significant healthcare development.

North-West Kilmarnock displays some of the most alarming health and deprivation statistics in East Ayrshire, including almost three times as many adults unable to work due to illness or disability; four times as many children living in workless households and almost twice as many adults dying as a result of Coronary Heart Disease than those in the least disadvantaged areas of East Ayrshire.

In addition, the following bullet points provide an overview of deprivation in North-West Kilmarnock which has an overall population of approximately 11,400:

  • 8 data zones in North-West Kilmarnock (as determined from the Scottish Index of Deprivation 2004 – SIMD04) are in the worst 0-15% data zones in the country;
  • 2 data zones are in the worst 16-15%;
  • hospital admissions related to alcohol and drugs are higher than the Scottish average in the above data zones (with one at just over 5 times the Scottish average);
  • overall in East Ayrshire there has been a 47% increase in alcohol related hospital admissions since 1999 (Ayrshire and Arran Alcohol Profile 2006);
  • 48% of boys and girls aged 15 reported drinking alcohol during the last week, with a further 17% drinking alcohol within the last 1-4 weeks; and
  • breastfeeding rates at 6-8 weeks within East Ayrshire are below the Scottish average at 30.2%, with only 8-19% of women within the most deprived communities breastfeeding at 6-8 weeks.

Community Planning Partners in East Ayrshire recognised that joint action would be required across all health determinants in order to improve the health and well-being status of the area’s residents. However existing services were either disparate in nature, poorly located, or unsuitable in terms of modern service delivery.

What are the key objectives of the project?

The Area Centre will:

  • Provide a comprehensive, integrated, neighbourhood centre offering health, social care and community based services in the heart of the community, which are responsive to the needs of the local population.
  • Expand and improve current models of provision by redesigning services and bringing them closer to local communities.
  • Ensure the local community is at the heart of the development and decision making process.
  • Maximise the use of existing facilities, external funding and mainstream resources.
  • Deliver positive health and social outcomes for one of the most deprived communities in East Ayrshire.
  • Improve the built environment through physical upgrading of local facilities.

Patient and public involvement, as with all developments of this nature in East Ayrshire, is central to the development process. Early engagement was secured through extensive consultation work conducted to inform the Better Neighbourhood Services Fund Local Outcome Agreement, which have been repeated at key stages of this programme.   Other ongoing involvement has taken place through a specifically formed Citizen’s Panel who has overseen the development in addition to regular dialogue with community groups now being formed into a user group. Frequent press releases have also been issued to local newspapers to keep the wider public informed of the process as it unfolds and the services which will be available.

What way does North-West Kilmarnock Area Centre break new ground?

The North-West Kilmarnock Neighbourhood Centre has taken the concept of co-location to new heights. It not only embraces existing ground breaking practice in East Ayrshire by bringing together currently disparate services, but will also create new fully integrated models of health and social care and bring services to the area which are currently not available. This will include:

  1. Social Work and NHS Adult and Elderly Community Mental Health Services being brought together with previously hospital based outreach services

  2. Services for children and families including a nursery and family centre, Social Work Children and Families Team and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

  3. Out-patient clinics, shifting the balance from secondary to primary care

  4. A physiotherapy suite available for Learning Disability Teams, community physiotherapy services and sports injury and lifestyle referral assessments

  5. An extensive increase in dental service provision and a high profile student outreach programme (further more detailed information available as an Appendix to the report)

  6. The incorporation and upgrading of the existing leisure centre more closely linked to primary prevention and rehabilitation work

  7. A heath information centre which will be the first in Scotland to pilot public and professional access to the National Electronic Library for Health.

These services will ensure shorter waiting times for patients in addition to more comprehensive packages of care accessible in their local neighbourhood.

Property Rationalisation- The Centre will replace eleven properties, many of which are in need of extensive upgrading and are not designed for modern service delivery and joint working.

Improved Access to Services- The centre will ensure that local residents are able to access services either currently unavailable to them or located a considerable distance away.

Increased Service Provision- The Centre will enable a significant increase in core services within the area e.g. an increase from 1 dental surgery to 10 (this includes 4 surgeries for the use of final year Dental students) and the provision of a GP branch practice.

17 October 2006

Appendix 1

North-West Area Centre “Teach and Treat” Facility – Overview 

Introduction

Research has proved that dental disease is closely linked to deprivation with children in areas of deprivation experiencing four times the level of dental disease compared to children in less deprived areas. Many areas of Kilmarnock have been identified as localities with the poorest levels of oral health within the boundaries of East Ayrshire Community Health Partnership (CHP) and within the NHS Ayrshire & Arran area as a whole.

A comparative picture of caries (no fillings, no decay and no extractions) between Stewarton/Dunlop (more affluent areas) and North West Kilmarnock (areas within the worst 0-15% Index of Deprivation data zones), is detailed below:

Audit Committee 2nd Report 2007 


In addition, the majority of Independent General Practitioners in Kilmarnock do not see adult patients on the NHS (with some exceptions made for exempt patients).  There is now only one practice in Kilmarnock accepting new NHS patients and they are near to full capacity.

In order to address these issues a new “Teach and Treat” Facility comprising of 10 dental surgeries will form part of the new North-West Kilmarnock Centre.

The new “Teach and Treat” Facility will accommodate:-

  • A pre-qualification teaching and service delivery team consisting of four dental students and dental nurses supervised by a Senior Dental Officer/Salaried GDP – for teaching;
  • A post-qualification teaching and services delivery team consisting of an independent GDP or Senior Salaried GDP who is a Vocational Trainee (VT) trainer supervising two dental VTs and dental therapist VT plus dental nurses;
  • A core service delivery team consisting of a salaried GDP and a dental therapist.

This has a number of potential benefits:

  1. Local pre-qualification and post-qualification teaching for a range of primary dental care professionals as well as:

    • Increasing the local service capacity;
    • Increasing the likelihood of recruitment and retention of the trained staff in the area
  2. The location of the centre and type of care provided through the teaching experience will influence the future career aspirations of the trainees and should help to attract more Dentists to Ayrshire and Arran.

  1. The centre would provide a focus for dynamic future service development and training to support the development and modernisation of NHS primary dental care services such as the “child friendly dentist”.

In particular the "Teach & Treat" Facility will contribute to improving oral health within East Ayrshire.

Audit Committee Official Report 15th Meeting 2006 (Session 2), 7 November 2006

Audit Committee Official Report 17th Meeting 2006 (Session 2), 5 December 2006

LETTER FROM DR ANDREW GOUDIE, HEAD OF FINANCE AND CENTRAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT, TO THE CLERK – 26 JANUARY 2007

Dear Shelagh

INQUIRY INTO COMMUNITY PLANNING PARTNERSHIPS

Thank you for your letter of 11 January on behalf of the Committee seeking further written evidence following my evidence session on the above inquiry held on 5 December.   I am pleased to provide the following.

JOINT FUTURE WORK

You requested further information on recent work to bring together people involved in joint future work with the aim of involving them in setting outcomes this work, including information on how it is to be taken forward eg what areas were considered, whether any outcomes are being developed as a result and plans to continue this process.

Response

The national Joint Future partnership of COSLA, NHS Scotland and the Scottish Executive aims to secure further improvements both in the delivery and consistency of community care outcomes across Scotland.   They have therefore agreed to develop a number of national outcome measures, to build on the delivery of health and social partnerships so far.

A National Outcomes Project Board is taking forward the development of these national outcome measures.   The basis of this development was a 2 day event held in November 2006 (referred to by Paul Gray at the evidence session) and attended by 60 senior managers from health, housing, social work, the Scottish Executive and representatives of service users and carers, and the voluntary sector.  That identified four national outcomes:  improved health; improved wellbeing;  improved social inclusion; and improved independence and responsibility.   The outcomes and measures are currently the subject of consultation, and it is not therefore possible to say precisely what they will be.

The outcomes and measures will be discussed at the Health and Community Care Ministerial Steering Group in March, following which an announcement will be made about the approach to be adopted for 2007-08.

STREAMLINING RELATIONSHIPS WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENT

You requested the following further information:

  • Where funding streams have been reduced ie which have now been removed or consolidated with other funding streams;
  • How monitoring and statistical and performance reporting arrangements have been streamlined, referring where possible to particular reporting requirements which have been stopped;  and
  • Which smaller funding streams have been consolidated or integrated with other programmes, and the timescale for completion of the work on the review of funding streams to local authorities.

Response

All Scottish Executive Departments are working with stakeholders to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy.   The following are examples of results of these activities to date in relation to local authorities and other partners.

Funding Streams

· Regeneration

Regeneration Outcome Agreements (ROAs) bring together the Community Regeneration Fund (CRF) and the resources of local partners to bring about improvements in outcomes for the most deprived communities.   The CRF goes to Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs) via local authorities and itself brings together five previously separate funding streams (Social Inclusion Partnerships, Better Neighbourhood Services Fund, Tackling Drugs Misuse funds, Community Voices Programme and Asylum Integration funding).   The CRF totals more than £300 million over three years.

· Efficiency and Reform Fund

The Modernising Government Fund and the Efficient Government Fund have been merged to become the Efficiency & Reform Fund.   The total amount involved is around £25 million per annum.

· Children’s Services

Several of the main funding streams which support children’s services are already included in the core local government settlement and local authorities have considerable flexibility to allocate these resources across budgets to meet local priorities. £15 million has already been moved from the Changing Children’s Services Fund into Grant Aided Expenditure. 

Planning, Monitoring and Performance Reporting Arrangements

· Regeneration

Funding for financial inclusion has also been aligned with the mechanisms in place for the CRF and reporting on outcomes has been integrated into the ROA Performance Management Framework.   We are currently considering how this approach can be extended to funding recently allocated to tackle the problems of worklessness and young people not in education, training or employment (NEET).

· Employability

Officials have agreed with CPPs that, if they wish, they can combine their plans for Workforce Plus, More Choices, More Chances (the NEET Strategy) and, where appropriate, the DWP Cities Strategy.  This is not a requirement but the CPPs may progress their action planning to suit their local circumstances.

· Homelessness

The introduction of a new outcomes-based monitoring regime for local authorities’ homelessness activities involves a move from detailed scrutiny of Local Authority Homelessness Strategies to tracking progress against a small number of key outcomes should help reduce administrative burden on local authorities.   The changes include a new single point of administration within the Scottish Executive for scrutiny and payment of relevant invoices.   The planned amalgamation of homelessness funding streams and move from detailed processes for claiming and scrutinising funding from different programme lines to an automated single monthly payment and annual audit would help further reduce the administrative burden considerably and is under discussion with CoSLA.

· Children’s Services

The Integrated Children’s Services Planning Framework brings together previously separate plans for children’s services, school education, youth justice, children’s social work and child health.   The Framework encourages local authorities, NHS Boards, Children’s Hearings, police services, and voluntary and community groups to work together to develop joint improvement objectives and to devise local strategies and management plans to deliver and monitor achievement of these objectives.

We have published the Quality Improvement Framework for Integrated Children’s Services which is aimed at supporting self evaluation within services and across integrated services.   The Framework sets out a suite of key performance indicators, agreed across Executive Departments and after consultation with local partners, which we intend to embed within annual updates to the Integrated Children’s Services Plans. Implementation of the Framework is at a relatively early stage but our overarching aim is to reduce bureaucracy and to focus on the key outcomes for children and young people.

Streamlining statistical returns

As part of the Scottish Executive’s work to streamline the large volume of requirements placed on the Public Sector, we recently undertook a co-ordinated review of statistical and administrative returns across the Executive.   The Office for the Chief Statistician will be reporting on streamlining improvements and an indication of future intent across Departments in April this year.

The work also forms part of the Statistics Reform agenda.  The Scottish Executive collects a great deal of information from public bodies in order to meet our own requirements and as an important part of developing the quality of decision making and service delivery across the public sector.   However, concerns remain regarding whether we are collecting too much, collecting it inefficiently or placing too much of a burden on those providing the information.   However, in this context, Best Value is as much about producing high quality information (in terms of meeting important management/policy or public accountability needs) as it is about minimum burden.   Improvements in efficiency, in particular obtaining information directly from administrative or management systems, are the key to balancing the burden against the information needs.

Under the Statistics Reform Agenda, we will shortly be initiating discussion with partners regarding the collection and organisation of statistics across the public sector to explore the possibility of a new partnership which would put in place new arrangements for collection, processing and publication of statistics.

Smaller Funding Streams

In 2006/7 four funding streams have been consolidated into two new funding streams.   These are:

  • The Domestic Abuse Service Development Fund (individual value £1m per annum) and the Violence Against Women Service Development Fund (individual value £0.2m per annum) have been combined into the Violence Against Women Fund.
  • The Urban Community Transport (individual value £0.5m per annum) has been integrated with the Demand Responsive Transport Grants (individual value £0.3m per annum).

Review of Funding Streams to Local Authorities

We are working to complete the review of funding streams to local authorities in time to feed into this year’s Spending Review.   Any decisions taken by Ministers will flow from that as part of the outcome of the Spending Review.

THE HUB INITIATIVE

You requested further information on the Hub Initiative and the work it has undertaken to date, including when it was established and the projects which it has helped to support. 

Response

The Hub initiative is in development, and implementation is subject to Ministerial approval.   We have undertaken an analysis of possible delivery models, and prepared a strategic business case to test the viability and value for money of the proposition.

Hub is intended as a flexible long-term approach to the development and procurement of community based facilities through local joint venture arrangements (local Hub companies), supported by a national delivery vehicle.   The Hub model is capable of offering cost efficiencies in delivery and procurement, and has been designed to be capable of meeting premises development needs over the next 20 years.   There are of course existing examples in Scotland of joint premises development, although these have not generally been part of a strategic approach to joint service delivery.

The maximum benefit will be derived from Hub through joint working between health and local authorities and other partners, allowing them to take up opportunities for co-location and integrated service delivery.   Initial discussions about the feasibility of Hub have already acted as a catalyst in some areas for the development of joint planning and joint asset management.   Hub therefore offers an opportunity to develop and strengthen joint planning and delivery at local level.   However, the success of Hub will depend on the availability of capital and revenue funding over the business case period, and willingness of the partner organisations to participate in the approach.   Ministers will shortly consider the business case, and the risks and the issues, before reaching a final decision on Hub.

DR ANDREW GOUDIE

LETTER FROM DR ANDREW GOUDIE, HEAD OF FINANCE AND CENTRAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT, TO THE CLERK – 21 FEBRUARY 2007

The Executive committed to following best practice in funding in the refreshed 2003 Scottish Compact.  The specific commitment to move to three year funding was made in the accompanying Scottish Compact Good Practice Guide and was  restated in May 2005's Strategic Funding Review Action Plan.  This called on the partners (the Executive, SCVO and CoSLA) to "Support the practice of 3-year funding for the voluntary sector across the public sector and encourage the wider use of longer term funding arrangements where possible".

Executive Grant schemes now operate three year funding, and we will shortly issue 'Guidelines for Funding the Voluntary Sector' to all Departments which will reinforce that commitment.  There have been instances where this has not been the case, but only where funding streams are new, winding down or being refreshed.  For example, the Executive's Unified Fund recently issued funding on a one year basis.  This was done to provide continuity of funding to voluntary organisations while the fund was redesigned and moved to a 3 year funding model.

Ministers expect to see a similar approach adopted across the public sector, and CoSLA are also committed to encouraging 3-year funding, while recognising that it remains a matter for local authorities and other independent public bodies to decide on the local priorities towards which their funding is directed.

Dr Andrew Goudie

ANNEXE C

OTHER WRITTEN EVIDENCE

The following unpublished evidence is available from the Clerk

Submission from Highland Wellbeing Alliance, November 2006


Footnotes:

1 Taking Stock Review: Fit for the Future, Scottish Executive. part 5

2 Letter from Dr Goudie, 26 January 2007

3 AGS report, page 10, paras 39 to 44

4 AGS report, page 12, paras 45- 49; Note of fact finding visit to East Ayrshire, Committee paper AU/S2/06/15/4

5 Letter from Dr Andrew Goudie, Head of Finance and Central Services Department, to the Clerk, 21 February 2007

6 Note of fact finding visit to East Ayrshire, paras 16- 19

7 AGS report, “Community planning: an initial review”, page 8, para 30

8 AGS report, page 9, paras 34 to 35

9 AGS report, page 8, paras 31 to 33.