Agenda and minutes

Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 4th March, 2021 7.00 pm

Contact: Jenny Shade, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 479 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 14 January 2021.

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Councillor Holloway referred to page 6 of the agenda and requested that additional wording be added of her concerns that no budget report had been presented to this committee. Councillor Holloway stated that she had raised her concerns and had made several requests for this at previous HOSC meetings. She had also sent emails to the Chair requesting that this committee had the opportunity to overview and scrutinise the budget.


Following this amendment, the minutes of the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on the 14 January 2021 were approved.



Urgent Items

To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

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No urgent items were raised.


Declarations of Interests

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Councillor Ralph declared a non-pecuniary interest as he was a private tutor in mental health who had worked for other providers throughout Essex and the wider area including Thurrock Mind.



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No items were raised by Kim James from HealthWatch.


Update Position on Basildon University Hospital Maternity Services pdf icon PDF 216 KB

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Clare Panniker presented the report that updated Members on the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection of the maternity services at Basildon University Hospital.


The Chair thanked Clare Panniker for attending this evening and was well aware of the amount of scrutiny that the maternity department were currently under and appreciated all the work that had been undertaken.


Councillor Muldowney welcomed the update report where it was evident that progress had been made, the report had answered a lot of the questions raised and was more about the voice of the patient who were actually using the service. Councillor Muldowney asked for further information on what the staff feedback had been on the 1-2-1 training of each band 7 as to how they would own their own incidents and how they closed them down. Clare Panniker stated there were high volume of incidents reported on a daily basis, some minor and some more serious, as staff were encouraged to report incidents. Not only for when things had gone wrong but for incidents such as a piece of equipment missing or if breaks were not taken. For this to be a learning and growing service there was a need for people who were running the labour ward on a daily basis to be review incidents and to make sure that the appropriate action was taken with feedback being provided back to staff members who raised those incidents. That any incidents of a serious nature would be escalated to the daily executive led review group to be properly and thoroughly investigated.


Councillor Muldowney questioned whether staff were happy with this as they would be getting more rapid feedback and rapid action from incidents raised. Councillor Muldowney touched on recruitment and what was being done to recruit more midwives. Clare Panniker stated that all the student midwives who qualified in September had stayed with the unit which had demonstrated they had felt they had a good supported experience. That a campaign approach was being undertaken to make the offer more attractive and more systematic. That head-hunters for the post of director of midwifery was being used to try and find the right person. Councillor Muldowney stated it was good to see that progress had been made and suggested that this item be returned to committee in about six months’ time for further updates.


Councillor Redsell thanked Clare Panniker for the update on recruitment and questioned what the hospital was doing within this COVID situation and what were the maternity ward doing to help mums have home births. Clare Panniker stated the demand for home births was relatively low but was able to facilitate this for those who wanted a home birth. There was a home birth team but at this time was not seen as a high priority as from a staffing prospective the high risk area had been the labour ward.


Councillor Ralph agreed that this item should be added to the 2021/22 work programme to be returned in the next six months.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 95.


Worklessness and Health Joint Strategic Needs Assessment pdf icon PDF 227 KB

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Andrea Clement introduced the report by stating the Worklessness and Health Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) had been developed to gain an understanding of the relationship between worklessness and health and the scale of this issue in Thurrock with the focus of the JSNA was Employment Support Allowance (ESA) claimants with mental health and/or musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions. The JSNA aimed to understand the barriers to employment in this group and to identify support to overcome these. The importance of assisting people who were able to, to return to work had benefits from both a wellbeing and economic perspective. The JSNA identified several key gaps; notably that there appeared to be no overall strategic approach to worklessness and health. Additionally, whilst there were a variety of local services for worklessness in general, access to support could be unclear and disjointed and services were not always identified to be person centred or flexible in their approach. The JSNA report made recommendations for addressing the gaps identified in the JSNA which could be broadly categorised into three overarching high level recommendations. These were:


-           Development of a worklessness and health strategy with a framework of actions which encompassed both prevention and assisting timely return to work.

-           The development of a clear pathway that joined up all services and allowed claimants to be signposted to the most relevant services in a timely and appropriate process.

-           Development of a healthy workplace accreditation scheme for Thurrock that ensured good practice in relation to health at work and promotion of good health.


The next steps would be to refresh the data in the JSNA document as this had been prepared pre-COVID which would have had some impact, look at the impact of universal credit and work with the Economic Development Strategic Partnership to develop a strategic approach as this was a live document, the JSNA would continue to be reviewed.


Councillor Ralph thanked Andrea Clement for the in depth report and questioned whether community liaison officers would be more involved on what happened with job recruitment as they would become a major part of the strategy. Andrea Clement stated there would be a whole system approach to the strategy to involve all partners in driving the strategy forward with the engagement and involvement of all different partners.


Councillor Holloway thanked Andrea Clement for the report and had enormous amount of respect for public health colleagues in the amount of work undertaken in putting reports together but had been a little disappointed with this report. Her concern was that the report had focused on money as a key driver rather than the focus of health. Councillor Holloway questioned why the report had been undertaken at this point and questioned whether this had been a massive problem in Thurrock. Andrea Clement stated that work had started in 2019 and agreed that some of the data was now out of date and the JSNA had focused on the subset of people who could potentially be supported back  ...  view the full minutes text for item 96.


CCG Update: 2019/20 Financial assistance provided to Cambridge and Peterborough STP pdf icon PDF 442 KB

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Mark Tebbs presented the paper that provided an update to HOSC regarding the repayment of the financial assistance given to Cambridge and Peterborough STP during the 2019/20 planning process. The paper set out the steps taken to date and the overall financial flows in 2019/20.  


Mark Barker provided Members with details of the financial NHS allocation process and referred to the funding allocations to the system at the start of 2019/20, the additional funding which flowed into the system during the year and the final 2019/20 year-end financial position. These figures can be viewed on page 112 of the agenda.


Councillor Ralph thanked Officers for the report and update.


Councillor Muldowney thanked Officers for the update and noted that it was good a finance officer was at this meeting to answer questions. Councillor Muldowney questioned whether a letter from the Chair as requested two meetings ago had been sent to the CCG from the committee and whether a response had been received. That it was still unclear from the report whether that money had or would be paid back and was the position that as Thurrock had received extra money in the last year, even though extra money should have been received for the Council to cope with the pandemic, that £480,000 was included in that. It was unclear from the figures in the report what this extra money was for and did other parts of the system get extra funding. Councillor Muldowney concluded that even though we had received extra funding this did not compensate for the £480,000 and we still wanted this back from Cambridge and Peterborough. This was not good enough for the residents of Thurrock and needed to understand from a finance level that everything had been done and questioned what the chair and the portfolio holder for health were now going to do to take this to the next level and take further action.


Mark Barker stated he was unable to say for certain whether the £480,000 had been received back but was able to confirm that significant more money had come into the system than was previously lost and significantly more than in 2019/20. That 2019/20 was not a COVID year, 2021 was the COVID year and the system had received an extra £42 million to support COVID expenditure, on top of that another £52 million for other initiatives, £60 million top-up funding and £8 million worth of growth. So significantly greater than the £29 million that was referred to in the report. Mark Barker stated that he was unable to pinpoint £480,000 but was able to pinpoint many figures which were in excess of £480,000. Even if we lobbied NHS England for the return of the £480,000 their answer may be that we had already received it and more in kind from the investments which had been given back. Out of those monies at least £9.2 million had come into Thurrock CCG which was a third of what was received in 2019/20.


Mark  ...  view the full minutes text for item 97.


COVID Update

This will be a presentation and verbal update on the latest available data.

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Jo Broadbent provided Members with an update on the latest Thurrock COVID-19 Data and Intelligence:


·         Current Picture, Rate per 100K Population and Positivity – Thurrock Overall rate was 98.1 cases per 100K population which had been a substantial reduction based on figures provided at the January HOSC. Thurrock were still at a higher case rate than neighbouring authorities. Something that will be worked on. The epidemic curve had shown sharp increases over Christmas and New Year and then a substantial decline since then. A small increase in cases last week but seemed to be going down again with the downward trend continuing.

·         Current Picture, Positive Tests by Age Band – Still seeing high number of cases in adults aged 22 to 59 and also seeing high numbers of cases within the working age adult population. That low case numbers were being shown in the over 70s. A report published by Public Health England had looked at the effectiveness of the vaccine programme which had shown that the vaccine had been 80% effective in reducing hospitalisation of older residents and between 57% and 73% effective in reducing symptoms of COVID. So although not 100% effective it was having an impact and were seeing some low case numbers in older age groups.

·         Current Picture, Asymptomatic Testing, All Ages – There was evidence that there had been a higher take up among women than men.

·         Current Picture, Testing Positivity – That between 24 January and 2 March, there was evidence that those aged 10 to 19, secondary school age who had been offered asymptomatic COVID test before returning to school had taken up that test which was very positive. A very small proportion of all asymptomatic tests, 1%, had come back positive which equated to 455 cases that would not have been identified and showed the importance of continuing with this policy.

·         BTUH Bed Occupancy – That since early January the numbers had fallen although fallen more gently than and not as sharply as case numbers had. The graph showed that fewer people were being hospitalised with COVID it still indicated that the NHS system was still under pressure.

·         Confirmed Cases – One school currently in a recovery outbreak and three care homes with a live outbreak and work would continue to support those care homes. In Thurrock there was 11 local areas where there were no localised infections and when compared to previous data the geographical spread had got such better.

·         Members were shown the data that was being published nationally on the uptake of vaccinations under 65s and over 65s first and second doses. In Thurrock over 90% of over 70s had been given their first dose and about 85% of 65 to 69 year olds. Which compared well with rates across the country.

·         Members were shown the locations of testing sites within Thurrock and that three new sites would be opening in South Ockendon, Corringham and Tilbury and displayed that better coverage had started to take place across the borough  ...  view the full minutes text for item 98.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 123 KB

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Members agreed to add the follow items to the 2021/22 work programme:


·       Update on the Worklessness and Health Joint Strategic Needs Assessment


·       Update Position on Basildon University Hospital Maternity


The Chair thanked Members and Officers for their input into the Committee and he had enjoyed chairing the meetings and hoped to be back as Chair following the elections.


Members thanked Roger Harris for the work that he had undertaken and what a pleasure it had been working with him and wished him all the very best.