Contract Monitoring Process

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

  • To assess compliance with residential care contracts;
  • To 'check' that Service Providers are achieving the standards that they have been contracted to deliver;
  • To provide a mechanism for liaison between staff from the Procurement Team, Access to Resources Team (ART), Commissioning Team and the Children and Families, Quality Assurance Unit.

Residential care establishments with current placements of Children Looked After by Knowsley MBC include residential homes and residential schools.

AMENDMENT

This chapter was reviewed and updated in June 2021.

1. Stage 1 - Desktop Review/Information Gathering

The first stage is a desktop review is to make contact with the provider to complete introductions, this is to ensure that the correct person is liaised with. At this stage the process and purpose of the review is discussed, the expectation of the provider, a timeline issued and agreed date for submission. The QISO/ART will contact the provider to inform them that a monitoring visit is being planned and request copies of the following documents, where available, to assist with the visit:

  • Current staffing list, including qualifications held or in the process of being attained;
  • Staff induction process and/or company training policy;
  • Health & Safety Policy/Procedures;
  • Safeguarding Policy;
  • Behaviour Management Policy;
  • Admissions procedure;
  • Young Person Information or Welcome pack;
  • Statement of Purpose (if not available on PIMS);
  • Latest Ofsted inspection report (if not available on PIMS);
  • Ofsted Registration Certificate (if not available on PIMS);
  • Current Insurance Certificates (if not available on PIMS;
  • Any Information Sharing Protocols and the nature of these ISPs;
  • Medication Policy;
  • Young Person's Internet Policy;
  • Complaints Policy;
  • Anti-bullying Policy;
  • Child Friendly Guide to the home;
  • Supervision Policy;
  • Supervision and appraisal matrix;
  • Training matrix;
  • Regulation 44/45/46 visits outcomes and any action plans;
  • Young people's meeting minutes;
  • Team meeting minutes;
  • The registration status will be checked with PNW policy;
  • Staff Rotas;
  • Independence & Move On;
  • Safer Recruitment & DBS policy;
  • Professional boundaries/ Staff Code of Conduct;
  • Disciplinary Policy;
  • Lone Working;
  • Support plan & Risk Assessment policy;
  • Agency Use Policy;
  • Staff Spreadsheet- start/end date, hours, type of contract;
  • Staff Rotas;
  • Independence & Move On;
  • Safer Recruitment & DBS policy;
  • Professional boundaries/ Staff Code of Conduct;
  • Disciplinary Policy;
  • Lone Working;
  • Support plan & Risk Assessment policy;
  • Agency Use Policy;
  • Staff Spreadsheet- start/end date, hours, type of contract.

The registration status will be checked with Placements Northwest policies. These documents will be reviewed and any concerns or issues noted in the Pre-Visit Activity section of the monitoring form.

The process commences with a review of the documentation submitted starting with the provider's most recent Ofsted inspection report, the Ofsted registration certificate, insurance certificates, statement of purpose, Reg 44 reports for the last 3 months and other generic documentation checks as outlined in the Merseyside and Partners Collaborative Monitoring Document. Consult with the LCR database to ascertain if other LA's have any information/experience of the service from previous audits or have future audits planned. This information will be obtained by the Quality Improvement Support Officer (QISO) or ART either directly from the service provider or via the Placements North West "PIMS" system as appropriate. Any key points or concerns will be recorded on the Contract Monitoring Template (see Appendix 1: Merseyside and Partners Collaborative Monitoring Document for further details). The LCR spreadsheet is kept up to date with progress of audits, planned audits / visits and findings.

Any statutory requirements from the last Ofsted report will be recorded in Theme 1 section of the Contract Monitoring Template. Any expressions of concern raised at previous monitoring visits or issues which have been brought to the attention of the ART, will be recorded in Theme 1 section of the Contract Monitoring Template. ART will also check if any notifications have been received in the last 6 months via the placements NW information sharing protocol. These are stored on the ART Sharepoint site. Where a notification has been received, this will be reviewed and further details obtained from the issuing authority where appropriate, whose details are contained at the end of the form. Art will issue notifications to the quality team upon notifications being received to request reviews to be completed. A QAS meeting is held regularly to discuss areas of concern and to manage oversite.

The quality Team will discuss with the social worker for feedback on the placement and young person. The Provider Monitoring Form - see Appendix 3: Provider Monitoring Form is to be re-introduced to IRO's to monitor concern. Where appropriate, the Educational Support Team, CLA nurse, LADO, other placing LAs, Police/Missing Coordinator, Health and Safety (reports of RIDDOR) and the Young Person's views should also be obtained. Once returned, any issues will be recorded in Pre-Visit Activity Section of the Contract Monitoring Template and the form stored in SharePoint under Art / Children Contract Monitoring Reports. The Quality Team gather information using a Stakeholder Questionnaire to all professionals involved that is to be completed & returned.

If the placement is in a residential school and/or is joint funded, the Special Educational Needs (SEN) team will also be notified of the monitoring visit and be given the opportunity to raise any concerns or issues (Contacts are: Norma Turner or Radha Wilkinson. These documents will be reviewed and any concerns or issues noted in the Pre-Visit Activity section of the monitoring form.

Information obtained from the desktop review will then be circulated to the QISO /ART at least one week in advance of the visit & verified with the provider during the visit.

Contract Monitoring forms and documents are available in SharePoint under ART/Contract Monitoring Documents.

2. Stage 2 - Site Visit

The QISO /ART will contact the provider to arrange a date for the site visit, giving at least 1 weeks' notice. This will be confirmed in writing and the QISO /ART will give the provider a Visit Plan based on the self-assessment & evidence submitted, contact is made with Social Worker and IRO to see if there is any additional area that they wish to include on the visit plan. A list of the information that will be required during the visit to include details of any specific staff who should be available for interview will be included. It is a prerequisite that the registered manager must be in attendance at all site visits, The provider is informed of any specific information that is required during the visit- staff files etc.

The visit will include the following:

  • Tour of the building and a service users room (only with consent or if vacant);
  • Discussions with staff;
  • Discussions with service users (only where appropriate and pre arranged);
  • Spot checks of documents.

The contract review will cover the following topics:

  • Staffing;
  • Health & Safety;
  • Safeguarding;
  • Behaviour Management;
  • Education;
  • Health;
  • Quality Assurance and Monitoring;
  • General Establishment Facilities;
  • Food and Meals;
  • Personal Requisites;
  • Participation and consultation.

Plus, any issues or concerns highlighted by either social workers or the IRO's.

Further details of the areas to be covered are provided in the Merseyside and Partners Collaborative Monitoring Document.

Where there are several young people placed in the same unit only one monitoring form will be completed. Where the same provider has multiple units, then one monitoring form should be completed for each unit where Knowsley has a young person in residence.

Frequency

A contract review will be undertaken at intervals of not less than once every 12 months from the date of placement of a young person in an eligible establishment.

An up to date list of all current placements is available in the shared folder on the ART Share Point site and is called Current ICS CLA Placement.

An unplanned review, or more frequent reviews may be initiated where:

  • A service provider has received a unsatisfactory Ofsted inspection report;
  • Where information of concern has been received via the Placements Northwest Information Sharing Protocol;
  • Where performance concerns have been highlighted by social care or contract staff;
  • Where there have been previous concerns about a provider and./or an individual service;
  • In agreement with the service provider for other reasons.

3. Reporting and Feedback Mechanism

The Contract Monitoring Template is to be completed electronically by the QISO /ART within a week of the site visit and stored in ART SharePoint under Children's Contract Monitoring Reports.

The Head of Service (Permanence & Provision) and Art Team Manager should be informed once the template has been completed so it can be reviewed/signed off.

The QISO /ART will also prepare some written feedback summarising the key outcomes and findings of the visit using the Site Visit Feedback Pro forma. Once complete, the Head of Service and Art Team Manager will be notified and will review/sign off. Once signed off, the QISO /ART will issue to the Provider and store the form in ART SharePoint under Children Contract Monitoring Reports.

The QISO /ART will then e-mail a copy to the IRO for each young people placed in the establishment, the Service Manager (QAU) and the Team Manager(s) of the Social Work teams responsible for young people placed at the establishment. For establishments which also provide education, a copy of the completed form will be sent to an SEN Officer, the Schools Services Inclusion Manager, currently April Waterson, and the Head of the Virtual School (Alex Roper).

Where significant issues have been identified, the Head of Service or Children's Commissioning Manager may ask the QISO /ART to arrange a meeting with the provider to discuss the review findings. This will give the Provider an opportunity to clarify issues or provide further information and an action plan with agreed timescales can be devised and agreed with the provider. Attendance at this meeting will depend on the nature of concern but will include the ART and if appropriate, social care staff. Where serious concerns arise or issues which fall within the scope of the Placements Northwest Information Sharing Protocol (see Appendix 2: Protocol for Information Sharing) are identified then the QISO / ART shall notify the ART Manager. The ART Manager will be responsible for taking action under the protocol and for notifying Ofsted where appropriate.

Appendix 1: Merseyside and Partners Collaborative Monitoring Document

Click here to view Appendix 1: Merseyside and Partners Collaborative Monitoring Document.

Appendix 2: Protocol for Information Sharing

Under this Protocol members agree to share the following information about providers of Children's Services:

  1. Change of ownership (including merger);
  2. Closure of a business;
  3. Voluntary withdrawal by Provider from contract;
  4. Successful prosecution under any Health and Safety Legislation, including Food Hygiene Regulations 1970 (post hearing) or any other relevant current legislation, Acts of Parliament, amendment or re enactment of any Act, Statutory Regulation and other such laws and statutory guidance relevant to the provision of the Service;
  5. Adverse findings in any formal investigation by the Commission for Racial Equality or any finding of unlawful racial discrimination by any court or industrial tribunal;
  6. Successful prosecution of Directors, Trustees, Committee Members or management under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995;
  7. Proceedings for bankruptcy or similar proceedings currently pending;
  8. Outstanding obligations in relation to payment of social security contributions or taxes;
  9. Successful prosecution of Directors, Trustees, Committee Members or management under the Children's Act 1989, Disqualification from Caring for Children (England) Regulations 2002, Protection of Children Act 1999, Schedule 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 or any other relevant current legislation, Acts of Parliament, amendment or re enactment of any Act, Statutory Regulation and other such laws and statutory guidance relevant to the provision of the Service;
  10. Successful prosecution of Directors, Trustees, Committee Members or management under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, Care Standards Act 2000, or Education Acts of 1944,1981 and 1993 or any other relevant current legislation, Acts of Parliament, amendment or re enactment of any Act, Statutory Regulation and other such laws and statutory guidance relevant to the provision of the Service;
  11. Successful prosecution of Directors, Trustees, Committee Members or management for Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud;
  12. Successful prosecution in relation to any offences under the Food Safety Act (1990) or Food Hygiene (General Regulations 1970) or any other relevant current legislation, Acts of Parliament, amendment or re enactment of any Act, Statutory Regulation and other such laws and statutory guidance relevant to the provision of the Service;
  13. Accreditation refused;
  14. Temporary suspension of purchasing arrangements;
  15. Removal of temporary suspension of purchasing agreements;
  16. Temporary restriction of purchasing arrangements;
  17. Removal of temporary restriction of purchasing arrangements;
  18. Permanent end of contractual arrangements;
  19. Notification of poor Ofsted Inspection.

Appendix 3: Provider Monitoring Form

Click here to view Appendix 3: Provider Monitoring Form.

Appendix 4: Site Visits Feedback Pro Forma

Click here to view Appendix 4: Site Visits Feedback Pro Forma.