Agendas, Meetings and Minutes - Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: County Hall, Worcester

Contact: Alyson Grice/Samantha Morris  Overview & Scrutiny Officers

No. Item


Apologies and Welcome


Apologies were received from Ms P Agar and Mr R W Banks.


Declaration of Interest and of any Party Whip




Public Participation

Members of the public wishing to take part should notify the Head of Legal and Democratic Services in writing or by e-mail indicating the nature and content of their proposed participation no later than 9.00am on the working day before the meeting (in this case 3 June).  Enquiries can be made through the telephone number/e-mail address below.





Confirmation of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting


The Minutes of the meeting held on 10 May 2019 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Future Provision of Overnight Unit-Based Short Breaks for Children with Disabilities pdf icon PDF 197 KB

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Children and Families, and the Assistant Director for Early Help and Commissioning had been invited to the meeting to update the Panel on the future provision of overnight unit-based short breaks for children with disabilities ahead of the discussion at Cabinet on 6 June 2019.


The Director of Strategy and Partnerships and the Service Delivery Unit Lead for Children Young People & Families (both representing Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust) also attended.


The Assistant Director for Early Help and Commissioning introduced the report by way of a presentation.  The following main points were made:


·       Members were reminded that there had been a previous consultation in January 2018 which had led to a report to Cabinet in July 2018.  Cabinet had agreed that further work should be done on the design of the short breaks service across the County.

·       In September 2018 two co-design events had been held with parents/ carers, providers and other professionals.

·       The Overnight Short Breaks Units did not operate geographical catchment areas but instead children accessed the units on the basis of assessed need.

·       The service had worked with colleagues in adult services on the new design in order to maintain continuity and aid transition from Children’s Services to Adult Services.

·       Feedback from the co-design work had suggested that, although there was a growing demand for short breaks, this demand was not necessarily for overnight respite.

·       One main theme that had emerged from the co-design events was the importance of providing help at an early stage to avoid families reaching crisis point.  Overnight short breaks should be part of a planned package of support and not accessed in response to a crisis.

·       It was confirmed that, as part of the proposals, the Ludlow Road unit would close.  Members were reminded that the unit was going through the process of Ofsted registration.  It was a requirement of Ofsted that all bedrooms were single occupancy, something that was currently not the case at Ludlow Road.  The Health and Care Trust (WHCT) had committed that by the end of August 2019, there would no longer be shared accommodation at Ludlow Road, meaning bed capacity would reduce from 6 to 4.

·       Provision at Osborne Court included a hydrotherapy pool and separate units for children and adults on a single site.  The unit offered provision to families countywide. The proposals would increase bed capacity for children on the site by 4.  Two of these additional beds would be for children in Worcestershire and two could be used to accommodate children from neighbouring counties.

·       The initial proposal was that the additional provision for children would be for weekdays only.  However, this could be reviewed in the future in the light of responses to the consultation.

·       The improved quality of the offer was emphasised.  Osborne Court had better facilities, refurbished units and significantly more flexibility than Ludlow Road.  A further benefit was the familiarity for young people as they transitioned to adult services, something that parents were often  ...  view the full minutes text for item 379.


Work Programme 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

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The Panel was asked to review its work programme for 2018/19.


The following main points were made:


·       Scrutiny Officers would check with the Assistant Director Education and Skills whether appropriate data would be available for items relating to education currently scheduled for July 2019.

·       An additional meeting would be scheduled in September 2019 to consider the Cabinet report on Future Provision of Overnight Unit-Based Short Breaks for Children with Disabilities.

·       An additional meeting would be scheduled in October 2019 to consider the review of the Medical Education Team.  The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills had informed the Chairman that this would be considered by Cabinet in October.  The Cabinet Member had confirmed that he was happy to share the report in advance.

·       A Scrutiny Task Group would be set up to look at Children who were Educated ‘Otherwise’, including the reasons why parents chose this option and whether children were sufficiently prepared for life post-16.

·       A Panel Member suggested that Edge of Care Services should be looked at soon.  The Chairman suggested that the Corporate Parenting Board could be asked to consider this initially as part of their monitoring function.

·       A Panel Member suggested that it would be useful to look at the difference in educational attainment levels between pupils receiving Pupil Premium and others.  The Chairman suggested that this could be raised as part of the Panel’s consideration of Educational Attainment.

·       A suggestion was made that Early Support for New Parents could be added to the work programme.  This could possibly be a joint exercise with the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  A Panel Member informed Members of a recent report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies on the impact of Sure Start.  Scrutiny Officers agreed to circulate the report to all Panel Members following the meeting.