‘A Good Place to Grow Older?’ - responding to the ageing society through Overview and Scrutiny
‘We are at a critical point. The time has come for a radical rethink of the way we think about age, and how we design and provide services.’ Age UK, Local Action for Later Life, 2010
The Ageing Well programme supports local authorities to prepare for an ageing society. The Centre for Public Scrutiny has been commissioned by Local Government Improvement and Development as part of the national Ageing Well programme; which was launched by the Government in July 2010 and is sponsored by the Department of Work and Pensions.
CfPS have delivered four regional events during 2011, and provided 26 OSCs with Expert Adviser support, based around two guides we published earlier this year;
The support was designed to help councils appreciate the value that their scrutiny functions can add to tackling the challenges of the ageing society, by using the published guides as a springboard to action.
A publication is due in early April which summarises what happened in the 26 areas, setting out special attributes, the lessons and the early impacts by highlighting a selection of examples. You can find more information below on the 26 areas and what they did.
Review whether Barnsley is a ‘good place to grow old’. Identify good practice outside Barnsley to inform a consultation plan. Tips for good consultation, potential consultation questions and advice about reaching seldom heard people.
Support for older people in Bradford and the ‘personalisation’ agenda. Role play between an older resident and a representative/carer/worker from Adult Social Care highlighting some key messages about personalisation, co-production and alternative delivery models.
Brighton and Hove
Raise the capacity of the Older People’s Council (OPC). Interview each member of the OPC and identify their vision, motivators and support needs. Results were shared with the OPC and scrutiny officers and a number of recommendations about changing approach to become more effective, raise their profile and better represent older people.
Revisit a recent review of services for people with dementia to challenge the emerging findings. Interactive session about effective scrutiny. Discuss recommendations and made a commitment to implement changes.
‘Ageing well’ as the focus for planning and scoping reviews, along with questioning skills in the context of the CfPS four principles of good scrutiny. Small group work to scope and plan a review, identify witnesses and prepare a questioning strategy.
Revisit the principles of ageing well, looking at how scrutiny could be used as a lever to improvements to promote ageing well. It was helpful to look at ageing well in a holistic sense rather than focusing solely on health.
Ageing Well Scrutiny Summit for county and district councillors, health service professionals and the voluntary sector. Emphasis on sharing of ideas and experiences.
Innovative use of digital media to allow people to take part. Action Plan referred to Corporate Scrutiny to identify how to follow up the ideas in the relevant scrutiny committees.
Overview of opportunities and challenges of the ageing society locally. Compare key local trends against national trends and issues. 10 questions guide helped identify housing and the environment as key local priorities and a work programme building in next steps was developed collaboratively. Members identified how scrutiny could add impact.
Develop a scrutiny framework to embed needs and concerns of Older People using 10 questions to identify and prioritise to demonstrate value. Protocol, flow chart and prioritisation matrix designed. Identify criteria to be met for consideration as a topic and a gold standard question leading to KLOE and potential for change.
Identify issues to investigate from the ageing well strategy, looking at how to evaluate, develop and implement work already done. Review proposed closure of a rehabilitation unit. NHS Haringey built recommendations into a tender specification.
“Mapping the Health Horizon for an Ageing Population” event followed by a meeting of scrutiny committee Chairs to consider the outcomes. Reports from the event being considered by committees to identify topics for future scrutiny.
Event about the impact of dementia to inform a subsequent scrutiny review about diagnosis, early intervention and support in crisis. Outcomes collated and presented to a Dementia Working Group to influence the direction of the review and the recommendations made by the Group.
Strengthen the process for choosing topics and setting objectives for task group reviews, defining questions more tightly to focus reviews. Made recommendations more robust through a ‘gold standard’ approach. Integrated mental health issues in to broader scrutiny work, but seek to have greater impact through evidence based recommendations. More rigorous scoping of reviews with a strong evidence base rather than relying on anecdotal knowledge.
Interactive learning event including input from a neighbouring authority with differing demographics and representatives from the local voluntary sector and local authority commissioning, together with a session for the Health OSC. Both sessions highlighted the need for councillors to be proactive in building ageing well into scrutiny activity recognising different life stages.
How non-executive councillors can support the development of services relating to the ageing well agenda. How the council and its partners work together (especially in the context of best practice across other two-tier rural counties) and in the context of reducing budgets.
North East Lincolnshire
Interactive event for Health OSC and shadow Health and Wellbeing Board. The older people’s needs assessment within the JSNA was a key source of evidence, but lacked clarity. Recognised that members need to engage with the voluntary sector and review their work programme and range of methods available for scrutiny of the ageing well agenda.
A review of the draft independent living strategy for older people, providing a ‘critical friend’ role to challenge the style of the review and whether there are better ways of undertaking scrutiny. Refocused questioning to ensure evidence collected related more effectively to the review, and more specifically to independent living and ageing well, to help articulate recommendations more clearly.
Oldham and Rochdale
Asset based approach to identify common ambition and ways to achieve it, moving away from conventional ways of scrutiny. Informal joint scrutiny group established to hear expert advice and make recommendations.
Redcar and Cleveland
Ageing well policies, strategies and services from the perspectives of vulnerable groups. Used ‘Walk a mile in my shoes ’ to look at different perspectives. Look to build a scrutiny review of the issues into the work programme for next year.
Sefton and NHS Sefton
Interactive sessions to develop awareness of impending challenges of the ageing society to contextualise scrutiny work programmes, including input from NHS Sefton’s Public Health Intelligence Team. Facilitation allowed debate to look not only at the issues of ageing society, but how scrutiny can add value to this agenda.
Use a fictional case study to examine how the ageing well agenda can be embedded at three levels - city, ward and community, so that councillors feel empowered to challenge services both inside and outside the Council to increase the focus on prevention and downstream investment with an understanding of the strategic benefits of that work.
Two sessions to identify issues and develop a scrutiny action plan, recognising that the HWB is the best place to lead on ageing well partnership strategy but that scrutiny should both hold the Board to account and contribute to policy development by exploring key issues and engaging with older people. Ageing well is now embedded in the draft list of topics for next year.
Built ‘ageing well’ in to a review about using volunteers to improve the quality of life of older people. A focus group to look at the challenges and benefits of volunteering, and the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed volunteers strategy and recruitment pack. How volunteering can promote ageing well and the need for flexible frameworks relating to volunteers.
Improve ageing, make Stevenage a good place to grow older and begin to develop a strategy for independent living. Growing support for a survey or consultation to identify the key issues for local people that impact on ageing well and to use this information to inform the development of a strategy.
Members sharing their experiences and identify key issues within their wards. Used in conjunction with the CfPS guides to widen out discussion to an understanding that Ageing Well is about life experience, not just older people’s services - challenges and changes from birth and the support, services and resource put into place by the council and other agencies.
Access practical support from CfPS Expert Advisers
CfPS can provide CfPS Expert Adviser support to help you identify the solutions that overview and scrutiny can bring to the challenges of the ageing society.
We can tailor support to suit the needs of your scrutiny process. For example, we can deliver a development session for councillors across a number of different committees on the challenges of the ageing society and ways scrutiny can influence future service improvement. Or, we can provide expert advice to an existing scrutiny review in order to demonstrate its impact on services that influence ageing well.
To find out more about how CfPS expert advisers can help you please contact firstname.lastname@example.org