Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Shire Hall, St. Peter's Square, Hereford, HR1 2HX

Contact: Sarah Buffrey 

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.


There were no apologies from members of the cabinet.



To receive declarations of interests in respect of Schedule 1, Schedule 2 or Other Interests from members of the committee in respect of items on the agenda.


No Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 interests were declared.


In respect of item 6, Councillors Marsh and Seldon stated that family members had previously used the Integrated Community Equipment Service.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 600 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 27 November 2019.


Resolved:       That the minutes of the meeting held on 27 November 2019 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairperson.




Questions from members of the public pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To receive questions from members of the public.

Additional documents:


Questions received and responses given are attached as appendix 1 to the minutes.


Questions from councillors pdf icon PDF 190 KB

To receive questions from councillors.

Additional documents:


Questions received and responses given are attached as appendix 2 to the minutes.


Recommissioning community equipment service pdf icon PDF 213 KB

To award a five year contract for the Integrated Community Equipment Service (ICES) for Herefordshire for both the council and Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and to approve the proposed model of operation.

Additional documents:


The cabinet member health and adult wellbeing introduced the report. The head of community commissioning and resources and senior commissioning officer attended for this item.


Those in attendance were reminded that the successful bidder would not be named until the procurement process had been completed.


In discussion of the report cabinet members noted that:

·         Herefordshire had an older than average age profile and some growth had been built into the contract specification, the focus of the service would be on older people and trying to keep them independent and at home, although there were some younger people who would access the service;

·         The service provided some equipment such as sensory reminders and medication reminders which could help people with dementia, it was expected that the technology would change in the coming years and that the service would need to respond to this;

·         The budget allowed for some growth but would be robustly managed to ensure that users were re-abled rather than made dependent on equipment and that over-prescribing was avoided;

·         There were a variety of different models in use across the country, Herefordshire was unusual in having a single service for all equipment needs rather than separate streams, this gave more opportunity for recycling of equipment and presented a fuller picture of need and expenditure;

·         Engagement with prescribers would be key to delivery of the service and prescribers with high levels of failed deliveries would be followed up, efforts would also be made to improve return rates when equipment was no longer needed;

·         The equipment was sourced from a range of suppliers and included local suppliers where possible, particularly for specialist items;

·         A self-purchase portal would be available for those people who preferred to buy a new or customised item rather than have a recycled one, it would also be available to self-funders with help and advice to meet their own identified needs but no follow up support;

·         Much of the complexity of the contract was in the way in which equipment was prescribed, there would be clinical input from an occupational therapist and input from a business manager to support prescribers and monitor spending and performance.


Group leaders were invited to express the views of their group. Improvements to the service were welcomed and it was felt that these would enhance the service and help to address delays in transfers of care. It was suggested that the weighting of environmental considerations in the procurement scoring should have been higher and that this might need to be reviewed for future procurement. The head of community commissioning explained that more questions had been included in the procurement this time, including the question on environmental considerations, and that the weighting on that question had not made a significant difference in the outcome.


It was agreed that:


(a)  a five year contract for the delivery of the Integrated Community Equipment Service is awarded to Supplier A outlined in Appendix 1 at a total cost of no more than £9m over the lifetime of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 115.


Homelessness Prevention and Rough Sleeping Strategy

To approve the council's strategy to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping.


The cabinet member housing, regulatory services, and community safety introduced the item. The programme director housing and growth and strategic housing manager attended for this item to respond to questions.


It was acknowledged that tackling homelessness and rough sleeping was a high priority for the council and that the strategy focussed on prevention and developing suitable accommodation.


In discussion of the proposed strategy cabinet members noted that:

·         Services were available to migrants, some of whom were rough sleeping, and there was a need to review and develop the structure for delivery;

·         Many housing associations nationally had taken a more risk adverse approach to rough sleepers as potential tenants and avoided letting to people on benefits, in Herefordshire the strategic housing forum had been relaunched and the council had identified the importance of outreach and navigation workers to help individuals to sustain tenancies;

·         The council was working with Hope Scott House in Hereford to develop their provision for homeless persons and a capital investment would shortly provide an additional 5 self-contained apartments with office space alongside for use by support services, being self-contained the accommodation was available to both males and females;

·         The council’s enforcement teams worked to deal with poor quality rented accommodation, it had been noted that increased regulation and small margins were squeezing out smaller landlords and work was taking place with housing associations to ensure that private rental properties were offered;

·         The council was considering developing its own properties, which might provide an opportunity to fill gaps in the types of accommodation available;

·         The lack of accommodation which would accept pets had been raised by the voluntary and community sectors as a deterrent to some people coming forward for help;

·         Further bids would be submitted for funds to support health improvement projects and work continued with health partners to provide access to services;

·         The housing solutions team had an out of hours service with 24 hour helpline to support people in crisis, the team had contacts with private landlords and with the night shelter in St Peter’s Square in Hereford;

·         Connections had been made between council strategies to co-ordinate work, for example the prevention toolkit for the community hubs model would help to support vulnerable people within and through their local community;

·         There were differing views as to whether members of the public should be discouraged from giving money to people begging on the streets with some organisations believing that it helped to sustain individuals’ drug or alcohol habits or rough sleeping as a lifestyle, however care needed to be taken not to stigmatise all homeless people and the council had given feedback to those responsible for recent posters on street furniture in Hereford that it was not an appropriate message.


Group leaders were invited to express the views of their group. It was suggested that reporting should use figures as up to date as possible, perhaps quarterly, to assess trends and check the effectiveness of the strategy. It was also suggested that the strategy should be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 116.