Venue: South Essex College, High Street, Grays, RM17 6TF, rooms W1.22 and W1.23
Contact: Jenny Shade, Senior Democratic Services Officer Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 13 January 2022.
Minutes of the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on the 13 January 2022 were approved as a correct record.
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. To agree any relevant briefing notes submitted to the Committee.
No urgent items were received and no discussion on briefing notes took place.
Declarations of Interests
Councillor Polley declared a non-pecuniary interest in relation to her employment with the NHS Ambulance Service.
Due to Kim James sending her apologies, the Chair moved onto the next item.
The Chair agreed to change the order of the agenda so Item 7 was heard first.
Councillor Huelin, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Communities presented a PowerPoint on her portfolio holder responsibilities. This PowerPoint can be found from the link below:
Councillor Ralph thanked Councillor Huelin for a brilliant breakdown of her complex portfolio holder responsibilities and questioned what would benefit her as portfolio holder to do the role better, have better access to or help with the challenges of such a complex portfolio. Councillor Huelin stated this would be to have trust and to building relationships, better communications and collaborative working.
Councillor Holloway thanked Councillor Huelin for attending and referred to health checks for residents with learning disabilities and questioned what the portfolio was undertaking to ensure those residents with learning disabilities were receiving their health checks and the health care they required. Councillor Huelin referred to Les Billingham who stated this had unfortunately been an ongoing issue but prior to Covid this figure had improved but was unclear on the situation at present. Mark Tebbs provided members with an update that Thurrock had achieved the national target for checks of 75% in 2021/22. Current performance was around 60%. This was being monitored weekly and every practice had been written to explaining the importance of getting these health checks completed and the financial incentives available. Mark Tebbs continued to state this was a top priority for the NHS.
Councillor Fish stated he was pleased the figures had continued to improve prior to Covid but this was a key issue and was increasingly urgent as some residents were missing out. Councillor Huelin stated she was aware of the issue which had been evident in the increase in the number of care packages for those adults with learning disabilities but due to Covid they were trying to catch up on the checks. Councillor Huelin stated statistics and analysis of data would be available to share with members.
Councillor Fish referred to service users being consulted prior to any vital decisions being made and questioned how the portfolio holder intended to do this to which Councillor Huelin stated this would be through the consultation process.
Councillor Holloway referred to the pressures being faced with the overspend in budgets and questioned what impacts this would have on the service and what the portfolio holder would do to try and mitigate some of those pressures for her services. Councillor Holloway also questioned whether this would have any impact on any of the service users. Councillor Huelin stated the council was trying to identify and understand where those pressures were and would start with work on some of the external packages. Councillor Holloway stated it would be remiss of the council not to be looking years ahead and not have to worry what was to come and that service user ... view the full minutes text for item 44.
A further brief update was provided to Members in:
· CQC undertook a visit of the whole trust in July and August 2021.
· Visited Emergency Department at Southend Hospital, Medicine at Basildon and Surgery and Maternity across all three sites.
· Report had been published early December 2021.
· The report identified the trust had been rated “requires improvement” overall with ratings of good in caring and effective. The rest required improvement.
· Key highlights had been listed as part of the general services and some of the areas for improvement.
· Pleasing to note there had been a lot of positives around the leadership and good for caring and for the care provided to patients.
· Positive of the removal of the inadequate rating for maternity in Basildon which was due to the hard work of all the staff in that area.
· Noted some outstanding practices.
· There were areas for improvement but positive and there were no surprises as the leadership group were aware of those and had plans in place.
· Listed some areas for improvement in maternity which was across all three sites.
· Next steps – CQC improvement plan reported to quality governance committee which was a sub-committee of the board. This was being revamped to include all the actions. With a particular focus to make sure any actions taken were sustainable moving forward not just a tick box and not just for one particular area but across the whole trust.
Councillor Ralph gave thanks for the updates and questioned whether there was a robust procedure for prioritising those women in triage to which Diane Sarkar stated was correct and a lot of work had been undertaken alongside safety teams from NHSI to offer support around maternity services and gain best practices from other trusts and was being rolled out across the Broomfield and Southend sites. There was also evidence of a good sign of sustainability which was monitored as part of the Section 31 report.
Councillor Ralph questioned what steps had been taken in regard to the cleaning of the hospital and whether this had been a lack of staff or an oversight. Diane Sarkar stated this had not been an oversight there had been a number of challenges during Covid with audits being reduced which had now been picked up. There had been some issues around consistency and continuity of staff but was well on track to ensuring the sustainability of cleaning standards.
Councillor Fish stated his shock on the amount of issues in the report especially those basic issues such as storing of medicines and staff appraisals, but the report had stated the trust had been aware of those problems. He questioned how the trust could be aware there was an issue on how medicines were being stored but took no action. Councillor Ralph agreed with Councillor Fish on these points. Diane Sarkar agreed during Covid the number of times items were checked had been reduced and had been an on-going challenge to ensure checks were undertaken. Diane Sarkar stated it ... view the full minutes text for item 45.
COVID Update - Presentation
Jo Broadbent provided Members with an update on the latest Thurrock COVID Data and Intelligence:
· Current Picture, Rate per 100K Population and Positivity - Thurrock compared to some of our near neighbours, Thurrock’s current positive rate was 277 per 100K with intermediate levels at this time. The positivity rate was 13% which was down from 40% at the start of January 2022.
· Current Picture, Positive Tests, Testing and Positivity – Covid rates had dropped dramatically since January 2022 but still had intermediate levels of Covid. The rate of Covid had gone down there was still some Covid transmission within the community with a positivity rate of 13%.
· Current Picture, Positive Tests by Age Band – Highest rates in working aged adults (30 to 39). The rate had fallen in the age bands 0 to 9 and 10 to 19 - this was due to increase of vaccinations in those age groups and that many young people had Covid over the last few months. Rates had fallen in all age bands.
· BTUH Bed Occupancy by Type – Beds still being occupied but mainly Covid-Oxygen beds and not ventilation beds which was good news. There was still a residual number of people who were being hospitalised with Covid.
· Highlights – Vaccinations, First and Second Dose in Thurrock – Rates of fully vaccinated individuals had fallen from highest in the aged 80s, 95%, down the list to the aged 12 to 15 with 21%. These rates had not increased appreciably over the last couple of months.
· Highlights – Vaccinations, Boosters – Similar pattern, high uptakes in the over 60s and then falls gradually down the listed ages.
· Highlights – confirmed cases – Distribution of Covid – Every unique postcode in Thurrock had at least one case in the past 14 days. Three school/college in a live outbreak and three care homes with a live outbreak. These numbers were much lower than previously seen over the majority of the pandemic.
· Living with Covid – Government issued guidance on stepping down remaining restrictions on the 21 February 2022. The Living with Covid plan was structured around four principles – Living with Covid-19, Protecting People most vulnerable to Covid-19, Maintaining resilience and Securing innovations and opportunities. This required action by the council and wider system in three areas – Covid -19 Public Health Management Response, Thurrock Council Operations and Wider Health and Care System.
Jo Broadbent concluded:
· Thurrock’s overall rate of positive tests had continued to decrease since mid-January 2022 after seeing the highest rates over December 2021. Nationally, Thurrock sat towards the lower end of the UTLA rankings (89th out of 149).
· Test positivity had increased over the last seven days to 13% but was considerably down on levels seen from December 2021 to January 2022.
· The number of PCR tests taken by Thurrock residents had continued to decrease over the last week. Over 300 tests per day had been undertaken over the last seven days, which compared to a figure close to 2000 ... view the full minutes text for item 46.
Anthony Mckeever thanked Members for inviting him to this evening’s committee and provided members with an update. He thanked Councillor Mayes for alerting him that this needed to be kept on top of and that every particular had to be right and nailed down. Also thanked and was grateful to Councillor Halden for being involved in all the matters affecting the integrated care system and had continued to brief him and Councillor Mayes on ongoing discussions. Officers in financial departments had explored a range of specific solutions to particular aspects of the complex building schemes and there were two initiatives that would address the remaining aspects of those schemes that they were trying to nail down. Councillor Mayes had been written to outlining the issues that had been submitted to the finance group around the complexities that needed to be brought together such as the contaminated site, flood plain and parking.
Due to technical issues the meeting was paused for four minutes.
Anthony Mckeever continued by stating the two ideas being explored fell into two different camps. The first was technical, such as the period of which a scheme was costed and charged against, looking at discounted cashflow, the most common standard in councils would be towards 60 years that would essentially affect the monthly rental charges. The second was around the concern around the burden on design fees. Anthony Mckeever stated he had been looking at how the NHS could address the concerns of the costs the council had incurred and how to assist with them through funding from the NHS. Anthony Mckeever stated the gap was being closed, with a clear and shared rational but what needed to be done was to keep a close eye on valued engineering of the schemes. All were committed to making this happen as quickly as possible to ensure the right results for residents. The services of an experienced and capable programme manager had been offered who would be in-situ on the programme board who would act on behalf of Anthony Mckeever at all times and make sure all NHS Partners coordinated all their separate elements of the scheme and therefore accounted for the finances.
Councillor Mayes gave thanks to Anthony Mckeever and his team for pushing this item forward and to get this finished.
In attendance on MST for this item – Carmel Micheals, Katie Arnold, Hannah Coffey, Diane Sarkar, Rahul Chaudhari and Martin Mizen
A PowerPoint was presented on the Thurrock Integrated Medica Centre Update which can be found from the following link:
Councillor Ralph thanked all for the great presentation and referred to the 50 hot desks at the Corringham IMC and questioned whether this was an addition to the plans to which he was informed these were part of the original plan. Councillor Ralph stated he had not seen sight of the travel plan as yet to which Martin Mizen stated there ... view the full minutes text for item 47.
Members signed off the work programme for 2021/22.