Venue: Online only
Contact: Emma James / Jo Weston Overview and Scrutiny Officers
Apologies and Welcome
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.
It was explained that this meeting was being held online to comply with regulations issued for the coronavirus pandemic and enabled County Council meetings to take place, visible to the public, whilst they could not take place at County Hall.
Declarations of Interest and of any Party Whip
Members of the public wishing to take part should notify the Democratic Governance and Scrutiny Manager (Interim monitoring Officer) in writing or by email indicating the nature and content of their proposed participation no later than 9.00am on the working day before the meeting (in this case Wednesday 17 June 2020). Enquiries can be made through the telephone number/email address below.
Confirmation of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting
The Minutes from the meeting held on 2 March 2020 were agreed as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman.
In attendance for this Item were:
NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups
Simon Trickett, Chief Executive
Mari Gay, Managing Director
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
Matthew Hopkins, Chief Executive
Paul Brennan, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive
Jo Newton, Director of Strategy and Planning
Richard Haynes, Director of Communications and Engagement
Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust
Matthew Hall, Chief Operating Officer
Sue Harris, Director of Strategy and Partnerships
Worcestershire County Council
Elaine Carolan, Assistant Director of Adult Services
Kathryn Cobain, Director of Public Health
The Chairman referred Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) Members to the presentation included in the Agenda papers. Simon Trickett, Chief Executive (CE) of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) explained that he would lead. The organisations represented believed a collective view of the response to COVID-19 was needed, which it was hoped would prove helpful to the HOSC and would pave the way for further discussions of the evolving situation.
Whilst the pandemic had needed an enormous response, this had also created a very different environment and different ways of working. The CCG CE paid tribute to staff as well as service users for their adaptability – and this was echoed by the HOSC Chairman. The presentation provided an overview of the journey to date, how some parts of health and care systems had changed, engagement work, learning and modelling for the future.
The pandemic was declared nationally as a level four major incident, and at that time Worcestershire was only just emerging from another major incident of flooding, which was an unprecedented combination.
Locally, the national incident manifested itself as the Local Resilience Forum across West Mercia, with all major health and care organisations involved. Ways of working were quickly established, including daily gold command calls with organisations across the health and care system, with the aim of protecting and developing hospital capacity and to respond and co-ordinate efforts.
The integrated care journey in Worcestershire had been a long one, but enormous strides had been made through recent collective working.
A graph demonstrated the total number of confirmed cases up to 4 June, which showed the peak period was from the last week of March through to mid April. Since then there had been a steady decline in cases, although the last few days had seen a slight upturn. The pattern of cases followed the anticipated trend in pandemics.
A further graph showed the total number of care home cases. It was pointed out that the care home sector involved many different organisations and that unfortunately many people living in homes required acute hospital care. Therefore, a collective response had been important to do everything possible to protect residents, prevent the need for hospital and to work with homes with positive cases of COVID-19.
The cumulative number of cases graph showed a significant increase across March and early April, which then slowed down, demonstrating these mitigating efforts. In Worcestershire so far, there had been 386 confirmed ... view the full minutes text for item 972.
This Chairman suggested the remainder of the meeting should be dedicated to considering the work programme and the Committee moved to Agenda Item 7.
The Committee was asked to consider the current work programme and consider any changes or additions.
From the existing programme, the Chairman was keen to look at End of Life Planning (RESPECT) in the near future.
The Vice-Chairman was keen to look at GP Services and highlighted the importance of monitoring the temporary service changes which had been made in response to COVID-19.
Cllr Taylor stressed the importance of the Committee following up its scrutiny of Mental Health Services for Children and Adults and receiving regular updates on temporary service changes and COVID-19 in view of the discussion which had taken place.
In discussing the wider Work Programme, the following areas were identified and would be scheduled in liaison with the organisations involved:
· Access to GP Services (July or September)
· End of Life Planning (July or September)
· Mental Health Services for children and adults, as well as provision being developed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (later in the year)
· Equalities in relation to COVID-19 (later in the year)
· Onward Care Team (update later in the year)
· Developments in admission avoidance measures (update later in the year)
Cllr Gallagher enquired about the Scrutiny Task Group (of which he was a Member), on Children and Adolescents’ Mental Health Services, and was advised that this work had been paused due to COVID-19 but would be picked up when possible. This Task Group was listed on the work programme of the Overview and Scrutiny Performance Board, the body which oversaw task groups.