Agenda item

Regional Integration Fund Financial Plan


The next item on the agenda introduced by the Leader was a report outlining the financial liabilities arising from the proposed tapering of the Gwent Regional Integration Fund, describing how the fund was established as part of the Programme of Government to drive and support transformation in social care and health across the public sector.


The Regional Integration Fund was set up as a five-year programme to lever positive change and innovation to improve services for our most vulnerable citizens. The total pot of the Regional Integrated Fund remained in place for the whole five years, but the taper was proposed to release funding each year for new projects while previously funded projects were main streamed.


However, the fund came as a successor to the previous grant funded programmes of the Integrated Care Fund.


Many of the programmes previously funded by the Integrated Care Fund and now funded by the Regional Integrated Fund were integral to the continued safe delivery of social care for adults and children’s services.


Some of the many services supported by the fund are early intervention services for people with dementia, support for unpaid carers, Special Guardianship care and step up/step down beds.


Many of the services were managed and run regionally but services solely for our residents received a total of £2,049,655 in Regional Integrated Funding. In 2023/2024 the first proposed year of the taper we would need to secure £396,719 in order to support the current services.


Cabinet colleagues supported an ambition to be able to deliver continued innovation and ensure positive learning was a key part of the delivery of our services. The proposed tapered funding would be a mechanism to release grant funding after piloting and trialling of new models.


Sadly, the change in the financial outlook would mean that the adoption of the taper would mean the ending of key services as we would be unable to fund them through alternative budgets.


All Local Authorities and Health Boards were currently considering the proposed tapering arrangements and the challenges such a model now presents. The Gwent Regional Partnership Board was seeking the views of the partners in order to reach an agreed position.


Comments of Cabinet Members:


·        Councillor Hughes, who represented Cabinet on the Gwent Regional Partnership Board mentioned that Newport remained committed to the RIF objectives and the significant progress that had already been achieved.  We wanted to see the transformational change delivered across the health and social care sectors that benefitted the citizens of Wales, Newport and the Gwent region.  There had been significant economic changes since the establishment of the fund which had brought challenges regarding implementation of the taper. The fear was that this would destabilise and undermine the core demands and elements of provision. The implementation of the taper in 2023/24 would have an impact on core services and place additional budget challenges on the social services budget. The key aspect of the report was that the proposed taper risked fatally undermining the achievements thus far.  The Cabinet Member welcomed the MS efforts to find a solution. The Regional Partnership Board Leadership Team were renegotiating and seeking to revise the grant conditions and the Cabinet Member supported the Regional Partnership Boards decision and would recommend that this was the position that we take as a Council moving forward.  There was a unanimous position within the Gwent Regional Board, Local Authorities and the Health Board and the Cabinet Member therefore supported the recommendations being made.




That Cabinet:


a)       Considered the financial liabilities and implications of the Regional Integration Fund and its tapered funding model.

b)       In light of the significant financial challenges the proposed tapering arrangements would place on the LA Cabinet supported the RPB leadership in seeking to revise the grant conditions.

Supporting documents: