Ceri Armstrong, Senior Health and Social Care Development Officer, introduced the report and stated that the Thurrock Health and Social Care Transformation Prospectus had provided the opportunity to set out the approach to transforming the Health and Social Care landscape. The Prospectus summarised the steps taken since 2011, when the Adult Social Care-led inaugural approach known as ‘Building Positive Futures’ had been established, followed in 2015 by the NHS-led approach ‘For Thurrock in Thurrock’ and culminating in the current integrated system redesign programme - Better Care Together Thurrock. The Prospectus highlighted what had been achieved over the years, what was seen as the key reasons for success and the barriers that had been overcome to ensure progression.
The Chair thanked the Officer for a fantastic report.
Councillor Ralph questioned the need for the voluntary sector. Ceri Armstrong stated there was a very strong partnership with CVS, Healthwatch and Thurrock Coalition focusing on assets and strengths in the community and broader than the voluntary sector. Voluntary Sector organisations did receive funding from the Council but it was important to recognise the role of the community itself.
Roger Harris, stated that the Voluntary Sector valued its independence and he noted the Sector’s connectivity with the community. Both the community and the Voluntary Sector were essential for the delivery of health and care transformation.
Councillor Muldowney commented the report was a fantastic achievement and expressed her views on how well the vision and out of the box working had been undertaken on these transformations. Councillor Muldowney stated that specific examples would be a benefit to Councillors to clarify certain points. Councillor Muldowney also questioned whether issues connected to changes made in Chadwell were being under-reported. Kim James also stated that Healthwatch had received a lot of calls expressing concerns but when residents were being directed to make formal complaints they were often very reluctant to do so.
Ceri Armstrong stated that the next step that would be to incorporate an appendix to the report that would help illustrate the journey with case studies and identify the impact that health and care transformation was having.
Councillor Redsell thanked Officers for the report and commented that the word “Care” covered a large area with elderly residents still not wanting to report issues as some still felt if they do they would lose their services. She also stated that Members should be used more to help Officers understand some of the case work that they deal with.
The Chair stated that the power imbalance was a key reason for some people not feeling comfortable with reporting issues and speaking about them. Councillor Holloway stated that to address that issue in her ward, she would post a leaflet through doors, say in three to four roads, telling residents when she would be in their area and if residents had an issue but did not want to come into the surgery they could put the leaflet in their window so that she could see it and then knock on their door. Roger Harris agreed that it was basically how people want to be treated and really importantly that residents were dealt with respect and dignity. Healthwatch added that they were currently working on a “Dignity Campaign”.
Ian Wake agreed with comments made and having spoken to residents in Chadwell that had switched services to the new Wellbeing Team, he stated that they were so much happier and for some, just making that simple change had changed their lives.
Councillor Ralph noted the success of the Local Area Coordinators and how these had turned the lives around for some residents and had been a positive impact to the community. Ceri Armstrong thanked Councillor Ralph for the feedback and added that there were a number of examples of where residents were benefitting as a result of transformation work undertaken.
Councillor Redsell questioned whether services and help for dementia suffers and carers could be more joined up and be made known to residents.
The Chair thanked Officers for the report and stated that it would be very helpful especially for when new Members join the committee.
That the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee endorsed the Prospectus and the significant change to the health and care system in Thurrock delivered since 2011.