Healthier Communities and Older People Scrutiny Panel – 1 September 2008

PRESENT:  Councillor Barker in the chair.

Councillors Sidell (Vice-Chairman), Collinson, Eckhardt, Simpson, Wells and Wilson.

Councillors Redfern and Smith attended the meeting in accordance with Procedure Rule 37 (b).

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

83  DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS – There were no declarations of personal or personal and prejudicial interests.

No whip was declared.

84  PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAK There were no requests received.

85  WHO CARES – Informal discussion with Greg Gough, Local Involvement Network (LINk) Co-ordinator – The panel received a detailed oral presentation from Greg Gough, who explained the function of the LINk, what his role as co-ordinator entailed, and how the LINk might work in partnership with the Healthier Communities and Older People Scrutiny Panel.

The panel was advised that the LINk had three main functions – 

  • To find out what the public wanted
  • To monitor and review health and adult Social Care providers and services
  • To provide feedback to the Commission and also the service providers

Greg Gough explained that the LINk would be monitored by the Local Strategic Partnership, however the work undertaken and reporting would be independent of the council.

Members discussed how the scrutiny panel could become involved in the work of the LINk, the structure and reporting lines of the LINk and how the decision had been made to change the identity of the LINk to ‘Who Cares’.

Notification was given that the official launch date of ‘Who Cares’ would be  4 October 2008, and it aimed to achieve a true representation of the local population.  Dr Andrew Furber, Director of Public Health, who was also in attendance at the meeting voiced his support for the LINk and assured the panel that work undertaken by ‘Who Cares’ would be recognised.

Resolved – (a) That the position be noted and, (b) that Greg Gough be thanked for attending the meeting.


86  BREASTSCREENING UPDATE – Oral update from Rosemary Burridge, North Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) – The Chair invited Rosemary Burridge to provide an update on breastscreening within North Lincolnshire, and specifically report on whether women within North Lincolnshire were being screened within the required three years timescales.

Rosemary Burridge confirmed that improvements had been made.  The panel was advised that a steering group had been formed which incorporated representatives from North and North East Lincolnshire, East Riding and Hull together with the Strategic Health Authority.  An action plan had been developed and implemented, and a project manager had been appointed to ensure that this continued in the future.

The panel was informed that all women in North Lincolnshire were now being screened within the three years time band, and that the backlog had been cleared.

Following further discussion it was confirmed that the PCT would continue to monitor the service provided and gave assurances that intervention would be taken if deemed necessary.

Rosemary Burridge was asked for specific information about the number of women that had been waiting for more than three/four years for screening and also the number of technical recalls that had been made.  It was agreed that this information would be forwarded to the Head of Democratic Services for circulation to members, once available.

Resolved – (a) That compliments be conveyed from the panel to all those involved with the recent progress and improvements, (b) that the information on women who waited for more than three/four years be supplied by the PCT for circulation to members once available, (c) that information about technical recalls be supplied by the PCT for circulation to members once available and, (d) that Rosemary Burridge be thanked for attending the meeting.  

87  FUTURE WORK PROGRAMME – INITIAL SCOPING – The panel had previously agreed to receive further information on the following subjects:

  • ‘Did not attend’ rates for outpatient appointments at North Lincolnshires’ Hospital’s and clinics
  • Alcohol abuse within children and young people
  • Smoking during pregnancy
  • Community equipment and adaptations – sub group review

The Chair advised the panel that a representative from North Lincolnshire PCT had been invited to discuss the ‘Did not attend’ rates for outpatient appointments at North Lincolnshires’ Hospital’s and clinics, but was not in attendance at the meeting.  It was agreed that this would be rescheduled for a future meeting of the Healthier Communities and Older People scrutiny panel.

The Chair invited Dr Andrew Furber, Director of Public Health to provide a brief account of the concerns he had expressed over Alcohol Abuse, including amongst children and young people and also smoking, especially amongst pregnant women.

Dr Furber explained that Alcohol Abuse within North Lincolnshire, especially amongst children and young people, had caused noticeable changes in hospital admissions, which were reportedly higher than other neighbouring areas.  The panel was advised that an alcohol strategy was being developed and the assistance of the scrutiny panel in the development of this and application of resources would be welcomed.

With regards to smoking during pregnancy, Dr Furber explained that recent work had revealed that 25 per cent of women within North Lincolnshire were smoking at the time of delivery.  He added that the number of women who smoke during pregnancy had not declined as much as had been anticipated.

Members engaged in further discussion on all topics.  It was concluded that a review focusing on health issues amongst young people, including ‘Did not attend’ rates would be taken as the first topic.  Further discussion would be necessary to decide on the feasibility of the main review for the Healthier Communities and Older People Scrutiny Panel.

Resolved – (a) That the position be noted, (b) that a sub group be arranged to scope the review, and (c) that Dr Furber be thanked for his valuable input.

88  (5) THE JOINT STRATEGIC NEEDS ASSESSMENT (JSNA) – In accordance with minute 79 of this panel, it had been agreed that a written response would be drafted on behalf of the panel, to be circulated to all involved in the JSNA consultation.  Members were asked to comment on the draft.

Resolved – That the response be approved and sent to all involved with the JSNA consultation and document.

89  (6) WORLD CLASS COMMISSIONING – Feedback from the scrutiny panel – The Chair recommended that each member of the panel responded to one question each and that these be sent to the Service Director Legal and Democratic for submission.

Resolved – That the position be noted.

90  (7 and 8) LEADER OF THE COUNCIL’S FORWARD PLAN – The Service Director Legal and Democratic circulated the Leader of North

Lincolnshire Council’s Forward Plan for August to November and September to December 2008.

The plans contained details of all matters and issues likely to be the subject of  key decisions for a period of the next four months, updated on a monthly basis.

It was agreed that further information would be welcomed on – 

  • Winter Service – Review of salting routes
  • Concessionary Fare Scheme 2009/10

Resolved – That the relevant Officers be invited to attend the next meeting of the panel to provide further insight into the two matters raised.

91  PEER REVIEW OF THE LOCAL AREA AGREEMENT (LAA) – The Service Director Legal and Democratic advised the panel that this would take place on 16 September 2008 at Pittwood House.  All members were invited.

Resolved – That the position be noted.

92  CENTRE FOR PUBLIC SCRUTINY (CfPS)– Free training opportunity – The Service director Legal and Democratic advised members of the panel that information had been received from the CfPS offering the opportunity for free training. 

Following discussion it was agreed that a general overview of public health would be beneficial.

Resolved – That the Service Director Legal and Democratic contact the CfPS to arrange a convenient date and discuss details.