Agenda and draft minutes

Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 7th March, 2024 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL.

Contact: Jenny Shade, Principal Democratic Services Officer  Email:


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 101 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 11 January 2024.

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The minutes of the meeting held on 11th January 2024 were approved as a true and correct record.


Councillor Speight noted that it was fundamentally important to add names to the minutes.



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. To agree any relevant briefing notes submitted to the Committee.

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There were no items of urgent business.


Declarations of Interests

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There were no declarations of interest made.



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No issues were raised.



Update on NHS Dental Services pdf icon PDF 225 KB

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David Barter presented their report to the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee:


·       An update was given on the NHS Dental Service in Thurrock

·       There are national issues in the Dental Service.

·       17 dental practices in Thurrock, 7 practices are taking new NHS Patients and a further 2 are taking children under age 17.

·       Try to keep services as close to home as possible.

·       Providing dental care in care homes, with coverage in all areas.

Members raised the following points and asked the following questions:


·       The Chair shared his concerns that dental service demand was not fully known and sort reassurance what plans were put in place to ensure residents needs were met.

o   Access is important, there are a lot of factors to gauge actual need.

·       The Chair asked if a paper be produced.

o   There is a new approach, incrementally increasing service.

·       The Chair asked is there any new learning from the report.

o   Dentist will see patients as appropriate; it is a fast-paced service with spaces opening and closing daily.

·       Councillor Fish asked if an update could be provided on pilots in the future.

o   Pilots run for 18 months and will be evaluated at the 6 month and 1 year mark. Findings can come back to committee (ACTION)

·       Councillor Polley was alarmed with the state of dental care in care homes. She was glad work was being done in care homes.

·       Councillor Polley noted how education is important for children and sort more information.

o   Start young to begin education, a lot is prevention education. A noticeable drop in oral health over the pandemic

·       Councillor Polley asked who decides where NHS dentist are set up.

o   Most dental are mix public and private. Private dentists can apply for an NHS contract.

·       Councillor Speight sort more information, why in the report some dentists stated ‘no’ to new NHS clients and others are listed as ‘not stated’.

o   It is snapshot of the day. The team is working with practices that say not stated,

·       Councillor Thandi asked if NHS budgets were more constrained in months before the start of the financial year.

o   Occasionally, but the team work closely with practices to ensure appointments are available.

·       Councillor Speight asked why information wasn’t available.

o   The 90 days will close at the end of March.

·       Kim James noted most dentists were closed for 2 years for new NHS patients and that children would only be accepted if adults sign up as private. 111 is good but does not fix the problem. Supervised tooth brushing is a good program.

o   The team will work closely with Healthwatch.

·       Neil Woodbridge asked is there a part of the contract with those with needs like autism

o   CDS deliver specialist care dentistry, focused on those with needs.

·       ACTION: Chair request would like to see a plan based on Thurrock need – we look at need, developing a dental plan across ICB, happy to present plan



Update from Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust pdf icon PDF 161 KB

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Fiona Ryan presented their report to the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee:


·       Industrial action is expected in the future.

·       Impact on cancer related care, 10% appointments cancelled.

·       4-hour standard was 67.3%

·       Continued improvement in cancer care, improving diagnostics.

·       Achievements have been made with regards to CTC

·       An update was given on the phlebotomy service.

·       Changes to configuration to care beds, consultation is ongoing and changes to beds.

Members raised the following points and asked the following questions:

·       The Chair asked how we can maintain 75% and above.

o   Not in receipt of guidance but working to go further.

·       The Chair asked from referral to treatment what is the standard for 62 days.

o   92%, not monitored live.

·       Councillor Polley asked why rooms can’t be used in South Ockendon

o   Working to see what can be done.

·       Councillor Speight found it incomprehensible how there isn’t a room at South Ockenden and asked is a pop-up service could be available.

o   A solution can be found.

·       Councillor Speight asked if statistics could be broken down to show Thurrock statistics as trust area is large.

o   We will when we can some services are linked.

·       Councillor Thandi asked if Orsett was 50% walk in 50% online.

o   Adjusted after last meeting and increase of capacity.

·       Councillor Thandi asked if there will be more planned industrial action.

o   Possibly in Easter break

·       Ian Wake noted there were no delayed discharges, Thurrock has 5th lowest rate.

·       The Chair thanked Councillor Coxshall for letter asking for funding to Basildon and Orsett hospitals.

·       The Chair expressed concern with early discharge and informed the committee he will share the report when it is received.

·       Councillor Polley asked if beds would be ringfenced for stroke victims and asked if there is their loss of 25 beds to Brentwood.

o   Capacity will increase slightly, maintaining the number of beds needed.

·       Kim James asked why a decision was originally made not to have beds in Thurrock.

o   Small units are not as efficient, aim is only to have one service in the trust area, creation of 8 room unit at Pitsea, enough capacity for 10-year service.

·       The Chair was surprised and asked if it can be reviewed.

o   Detailed modelling was undertaken.

·       Councillor Speight asked if it was 8 rooms.

o   8 units decision made by national team 4 months ago.

Fiona Ryan left at 20:24pm



Report of the Cabinet Member for Health, Adult Social Care, Community pdf icon PDF 237 KB

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Councillor Coxshall, the portfolio holder presented their report to the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee:


·       Low turnover rate of Social Workers improves relations with clients.

·       CQC inspection, Thurrock is preparing for any possible inspection, good ratings under self-assessment.

·       Procurement processes are ongoing,

·       Community develop team are working well and developing new operating model.

Members raised the following points and asked the following questions:


·       Councillor Speight notes the report is full of good stuff and wishes all those well. He thanked the portfolio holder for work and shared his worried changes could affect the great work.

o   Thurrock has good outcomes at good value.

·       Councillor Polley welcomed the report and praised adult & children services and the good work the services do.

·       Councillor Fish recalls the set-up of the social care department in the 90s and the continued innovation at Thurrock and commends portfolio holder’s work.

·       The Chair thanked the portfolio holder for his report.

·       Neil Woodbridge thanked portfolio holder, and for the information on the arts and LGBTQ+ march.



Review and development of co-production and co-design pdf icon PDF 248 KB

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Les Billingham presented their report to the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee:


·       Service was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. But is bouncing back.

·       New approach to meetings

·       Create something more localised.

Members raised the following points and asked the following questions:


·       The Chair asked if there is value of combining approaches.

o   Since Covid has created a hiatus, a new approach wants to build something more localised with different meeting locations and times to catch all.

·       Georgina Bonsu – A lot more relationship building has been undertaken.

·       Councillor Speight expressed concerns that finance teams may affect team performance.

o   Bravery is important, budgets are managed well, hopefully it will continue.

·       Neil Woodbridge gave a list of statements regarding co-production. Equal value partnerships, transparency is important, a restart is needed due to Covid.

o   Statements are right, maybe a charter could be created.

·       Cllr Fish found it moving and founded co-production.




1.1  That Committee members note and comment on the contents of the report.




Advocacy to include Healthwatch - Verbal Update

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Kim James / Neil Woodbridge / Georgina Bonsu presented their report to the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee:


·       Advocacy is important and is hard for people to get through.

·       Voice-ability

·       Need for clear guidelines.

·       Thurrock & Brentwood mind, definition is formal is there a miscommunication. 243 people unable to get appointment

Members raised the following points and asked the following questions:


·       The Chair asked if data from mind could be provided.

o   Yes

·       Councillor Polley agreed with Healthwatch to drill down on numbers.

·       Councillor Speight noted it is now harder for people coming in to get help, advocacy services need to be more prominent and it’s important to show the public we can help.

Standing orders were suspended.




Update on Annual Health Checks - Verbal Update

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·       The Chair gave an update on Annual Health Checks. He wrote to CAMHS, and he shared the response.

·       Councillor Fish noted there has been an issue for many years.

·       Neil Woodbridge noted it was not just for NHS to solve.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 76 KB

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Members discussed the work programme.


The Chair round up the municipal year and asked for a follow up report of GP service.


The full recording of this meeting can be viewed from the following link: