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.
AMENDMENTThis chapter was updated in July 2017 to reflect current roles and responsibilities in Knowsley.
1. Stage 1 - Desktop Review/Information Gathering
The first stage is a desktop review of the provider's most recent Ofsted inspection report, the Ofsted registration certificate, insurance certificates, statement of purpose, and other generic documentation checks as outlined in the Merseyside and Partners Collaborative Monitoring Document. This information will be obtained by the Quality Monitoring Officer (QMO) 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).
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. The 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.
The ART will contact the Children's Social Care Quality Assurance Unit (QAU) to identify which Independent Reviewing Officers (IRO) currently have involvement with the provider and the social workers of all young people currently placed with the provider to inform them of the monitoring visit and provide a copy of the latest Ofsted inspection report. The ART will ask the social workers and IRO's to provide any relevant information by issuing them with a copy of the Provider Monitoring Form - see Appendix 3: Provider Monitoring Form for further details. 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.
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, Susan Jones or Radha Wilkinson).
The QMO/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.
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 QMO/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 QMO/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 QMO/ART will give the provider a summary of the itinerary of the visit, as detailed below, and 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. It is a pre requisite that the registered manager must be in attendance at all site visits.
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:
- Health & Safety;
- Behaviour Management;
- 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.
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 Sharepoint 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 QMO/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 Children's Commissioning Manager should be informed once the template has been completed so it can be reviewed/signed off.
The QMO/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 Children's Commissioning Manager will be notified and will review/sign off. Once signed off, the QMO/ART will issue to the Provider and store the form in ART Sharepoint under Children Contract Monitoring Reports.
The QMO/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, theSchools 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 QMO/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 QMO/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
Appendix 2: Protocol for Information Sharing
Under this Protocol members agree to share the following information about providers of Children's Services:
- Change of ownership (including merger);
- Closure of a business;
- Voluntary withdrawal by Provider from contract;
- 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;
- 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;
- Successful prosecution of Directors, Trustees, Committee Members or management under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995;
- Proceedings for bankruptcy or similar proceedings currently pending;
- Outstanding obligations in relation to payment of social security contributions or taxes;
- 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;
- 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;
- Successful prosecution of Directors, Trustees, Committee Members or management for Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud;
- 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;
- Accreditation refused;
- Temporary suspension of purchasing arrangements;
- Removal of temporary suspension of purchasing agreements;
- Temporary restriction of purchasing arrangements;
- Removal of temporary restriction of purchasing arrangements;
- Permanent end of contractual arrangements;
- Notification of poor Ofsted Inspection.