Agenda and minutes
Venue: Herefordshire Council Offices, Plough Lane, Hereford, HR4 0LE
Contact: Ben Baugh, Democratic Services Officer
Apologies for absence
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Peter Jinman (committee member). Apologies had also been received from Councillor Diana Toynbee (Cabinet Member – Children and Families).
To receive details of councillors nominated to attend the meeting in place of a member of the committee.
There were no substitutes.
Declarations of interest
To receive declarations of interests in respect of items on the agenda.
No declarations of interest were made.
To receive the minutes of the meeting held on Friday 25 November 2022.
The committee received and agreed the minutes of the previous meeting.
The Chairperson thanked contributors for the briefing notes that had been circulated to committee members recently on dementia provision and on Herefordshire Minor Injury Units. The Chairperson also thanked Councillor Felicity Norman for presenting the Task and Finish Group report on ‘The Impact of the Intensive Poultry Industry on Human Health and Wellbeing’ at Cabinet on 12 January 2023 on behalf of the scrutiny committee.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 25 November 2022 be confirmed as a correct record and be signed by the chairman.
Questions from members of the public
To receive any written questions from members of the public.
No questions had been received from members of the public.
Questions from members of the council
To receive any written questions from members of the council.
No questions had been received from councillors.
To present to the committee firstly, a review of the consultation process and responses received. Secondly, present some conclusions and high level proposals on priorities for consideration in the strategy and thirdly, update the committee in regard to the timeline for the development of the draft strategy and its final version.
Further to consideration of the ‘Health and Wellbeing Strategy’ item at the 25 November 2022 meeting (minute 28 of 2022/23 refers), the purpose of this item was to present to the committee: a review of the consultation process and responses received; some conclusions and high level proposals on priorities for consideration in the strategy; and the timeline for the development of the draft strategy and its final version.
The Cabinet Member - Health and Adult Wellbeing (and Chairperson of the Health and Wellbeing Board) made opening comments about the substantial work being undertaken by the Public Health team on the strategy.
The Director of Public Health and the Public Health Programme Manager provided a brief presentation, with attention drawn to:
i. The papers provided a high level summary of the findings of the public engagement exercise; the findings were also to be discussed at a Health and Wellbeing Board workshop following this committee meeting.
ii. The public engagement exercise, involving an online survey in relation to twelve proposed priorities, was undertaken between the end of October and mid-December 2022. This had produced 960 responses.
iii. The top three priorities were identified as ‘Every child has the best start’, ‘Support good mental wellbeing’, and ‘Protect the natural environment’.
iv. The common themes from qualitative data from the online survey responses (agenda page 23) and from face-to-face engagement sessions with community groups and partners (agenda page 24) were outlined.
The main points of the debate included:
1. The similarities in the common themes that had emerged from the online survey and from the engagement sessions.
2. The Community Partnership workshop had placed ‘Every child has the best start in life’ as second in the ranking of priorities but ‘Improve education outcomes for disadvantaged children and young people’ was at the end. Noting the explanation provided that the workshop considered that one would feed into the other, the Chairperson commented on the need to avoid umbrella topics which could squeeze out consideration of specific priorities.
3. The Chairperson suggested that, in addition to percentages, it would be helpful to include actual numbers of people and benchmark figures with comparable authorities in tables such Appendix 1 -‘Summary of areas of concern informed by the Public Health Outcomes Framework’.
4. It was noted that 41% of respondents were aged 45 to 64 but only 4% were aged 16 to 24.
5. With reference to Appendix 1, a committee member commented on the importance of screening for prostate and bowel cancer, in addition to screening for breast cancer. The Director of Public Health said that prioritisation for the purposes of the strategy and partnership effort would not limit activity on other population health matters. It was reported that screening would be delegated by NHS England to the Integrated Care Board from April 2024 and that conversations had commenced about increasing screening uptake.
Later in the meeting, it was suggested that the topic of screening services could be considered by the scrutiny committee at a ... view the full minutes text for item 36.
To present to the committee an overview of the signposting offer to the variety of wellbeing services that are available through the council to improve accessibility within Adult Social Care and Talk Community.
The purpose of this item was to present to the committee an overview of the signposting offer to the variety of wellbeing services that are available through the council to improve accessibility within Adult Social Care and Talk Community.
Opening comments were made by the Cabinet Member - Health and Adult Wellbeing about the expansion of services in the last twelve months and by the Cabinet Member – Housing, Regulatory Services and Community about the work of Talk Community with local partners and community groups.
The principal points of the debate included:
1. Further to minute 36, paragraph 12, above and with a comment made about damp and mould in social housing, the Chairperson suggested that living conditions and associated health impacts in both public and private sectors could be considered as part of future work programming.
2. It was noted that the report made reference to 67 Talk Community hubs (there were now 69) and 300 people a week were visiting across the hubs, averaging just over 4 people visiting each hub per week. Acknowledging that some had higher footfall than other others, a committee member expressed concerns about the level of activity of some hubs.
The Service Director - Communities advised that: as the hubs were volunteer-led rather than commissioned, it was difficult to obtain accurate data (approximately 70% of the hubs had responded to a recent request for information); there was an intention to consolidate, identify gaps and develop the offer in view of the needs of the hubs and local communities; in terms of value for money, the maximum grant was £2,500 for infrastructure to support the delivery of a hub; and raising awareness was a priority, and there had been substantial increases in hits to the Talk Community website and in reach across social media platforms.
The Service Director – Social Care Delivery commented on the potential of the hubs model to inform the work of social care teams and enhance collaboration with Primary Care Networks and other partners.
The Chairperson commented that a strengths based approach necessitated creative solutions that work in a rural setting.
3. The Chairperson commented on potential barriers for individuals to access services, including psychological distress and loneliness.
The Service Director – Communities said that Talk Community was about working with communities to build resilience and acknowledged some of the difficulties in identifying and engaging with hard to reach groups. The Service Director added that there was the potential for some hubs to specialise in matters such as dementia, domestic abuse or poverty.
4. With attention drawn to Appendix 3 of the previous report (agenda page 31 refers), it was noted that the summary of issues and challenges identified by the Community Partnership included ‘Access to Services’, with feedback referencing ‘Waiting lists, access to mental health services, GPs, pharmacies and dentists’.
The Corporate Director Community Wellbeing commented on: the relationship between waiting lists and capacity; issues in terms of recruitment, particularly given national shortages in some skills; and the need ... view the full minutes text for item 37.
To consider the work programme for the committee.
The work programme for the committee was considered and the following matters were noted: potential items for forthcoming meetings included ‘Domiciliary and Residential Care in Herefordshire’ and ‘Perinatal Care’; items to be rescheduled included ‘Health Care Services Update’ and ‘Project Brave - Homelessness’; and topics for potential future scrutiny activity included ‘Access to acute hospital services’ and ‘Technology enabled living’.
That the work programme for the committee be noted.
Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting is Monday 6 March 2023, 10.00 am
It was noted that the next scheduled meeting was due to be held on Monday 6 March 2023.
[Note: Due to the commencement of the pre-election period, this meeting was postponed]