Jo Broadbent presented the report that provided an update on progress in refreshing the Health & Wellbeing Strategy for 2021-26. That an eight week consultation exercise had commenced on Wednesday 13 October 2021 which was due to close on Friday 3 December. Members were briefed on the domains and specifically domains four to six which were more focused on health. On the variety of ways residents could get involved to provide their views on the proposals. Members were briefed on the materials used to develop a consistent, recognisable approach for raising awareness of the consultation exercise. The live communication activity grid to ensure the opportunities were captured. Examples of branding, text and questionnaires used were referred to in the Annexes to the report.
Councillor Ralph questioned who had written the questions and whether these had been seen by members prior to the consultation exercise commencing to which Jo Broadbent stated this had been a team effort through the steering group, stakeholders and engagement teams looking at topics which could be turned into priorities. That Councillor Halden as chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board had seen and signed off the questions. That due to the September Health and Wellbeing Board being cancelled this was undertaken after the consultation had gone public. That a lot of replies had already been received with several 100s of hits on the web site and over 50 individual responses received. The CVS continued with attending places of engagement and engaging with stakeholders. Kim James stated that CVS would lead on this with the help of HealthWatch. That this was a massive piece of work and would be too much for someone to complete all at once. It had been identified on what group were being engaged would depend on which domain was most appropriate to discuss. That stakeholders needed to be talked through each domain which was very time consuming and confusing for many. Councillor Ralph stated that more information was required against each domain and agreed it would be better verbally delivered rather than residents having to struggle with completing the consultation on-line. Councillor Holloway stated this was a brilliant piece of work but the consultation had not been written for residents, it was too jargonised and would take too long for people to complete and questioned whether the length of the consultation could now be reduced. Councillor Sammons agreed it was too technical for some residents. Councillor Piccolo questioned whether another shortened version could be provided. Councillor Snell stated that lessons were not learnt from previous consultations and that this consultation was too long and would be a chore to complete. Councillor Ralph stated this was a missed opportunity and too late to change and whether the strategy needed to be rethought. Ian Wake stated the strategy was board and that it needed to be, it had to address equality in its entirety and was statutory to have one in place. That member’s criticism was well made and ideally this consultation would have been undertaken over a longer period of time. That the engagement process and continuous conversations could continue to enable the consultation to be completed. Ian Wake suggested that additional wording be added to the consultation for residents to focus on the domain that would be of interest to them.
Councillor Ralph stated this was a good piece of work and that face to face engagement with residents would get the best results.
Councillor Holloway stated this was an opportunity to reach out to residents and engage with them and this should continue through engagement groups and forums. Councillor Holloway suggested that the consultation be made shorter with tick boxes and to tell residents how long each domain would take to complete. This could potentially reach out to more residents.
Kim James stated that the eight week consultation period was very short and following HealthWatch having technical issues in starting the consultation may be requesting an extension.
That members noted the consultation exercise, considered and proposed opportunities to engage the public and interested parties during the consultation period.