I am a member of the Adult Social Services Review Panel (ASSRP), which is chaired by Cllr Janet Campbell of the Labour Administration. Since January 27th 2020 the panel has not met. It appears that the impact of the Pandemic and COVID-19 is not worthy of discussion and this important committee has not taken place for months. We then learn at Monday’s 12th October council meeting that it was decided to abolish this committee.
Important data regarding safeguarding and provider concerns has not been discussed at any point during the height of the pandemic at a meeting of ASSRP. We know that our most vulnerable residents are in care homes and detailed information about which care homes and indeed care providers have been impacted has not been brought to a table for discussion. I know that 12 people have died in my ward of Sanderstead from the ONS statistics but I have been unable to seek clarification as to whether this is in a care home, care setting or other location. I feel it is important that all councillors on the panel have this information and in particular it is important for the Adult Social Services Review Panel to fully understand and scrutinise what is going on during a pandemic. Given Cllr Janet Campbell’s role this should have been top of her agenda but sadly the most vulnerable in our borough do not seem to be a priority for her.
At the recent Safeguarding Board, of which opposition members have at last been invited to attend once again hard data was not available. This time the excuse of technical difficulties with the new IT system and its migration were given. How is anyone expected to fully understand how to measure impact and address important issues when so much information is not made available and discussion is stifled. It is a mystery to Conservative councillors. We have been left with having to call care homes ourselves to assess and offer support and undertake our own analysis of the impact of the pandemic on elderly and vulnerable residents.
We know that infections are spreading and care homes have once again reported cases both with residents and carers. It is more than disappointing that full discussion has not taken place and I have emailed Cllr Campbell to ask that this be rectified.
The terms of reference for the ASSRP are to monitor the provision of Adult Social Services in the Borough including cross-party departmental working by receiving reports from the Executive Director of Adult Social Care. Full reports on this matter need to be urgently provided to ensure the best outcomes for our residents.