Agenda and minutes

Policy Overview Committee
Tuesday 8 March 2016 7.00 pm

Venue: B12

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
Note No. Item

36.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor D Page.

 

The Chairman also noted that an apology for absence had also been received from Sharon Phillips, the Manager of the Healthy Living Centre Dartford.

37.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interest from Members including the terms(s) of the Grant of Dispensation (if any) by the Audit Board or Managing Director.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of prejudicial or pecuniary interest.

 

However, Councillor R J Wells, who is employed by the Care Quality Commission, and Councillor M B Kelly, who is employed by Darent Valley Hospital, asked that their association with employers who have an involvement in health service provision be recorded.

38.

Confirmation of the minutes of the Policy Overview meeting held on 15 December 2015 pdf icon PDF 150 KB

Minutes:

            RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview Committee held on 15 December 2015 be confirmed.

39.

Urgent Items

The Chairman will announce his decision as to whether there are any urgent items and their position on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

40.

To consider references from other Committees (if any)

Minutes:

There were no references from other Committees.

41.

Regulation 9 Notice pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To consider any issues arising from the Regulation 9 Notice for the period 15 February 2016 to 30 June 2016.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the contents of the Regulation 9 Notice, for the period 15 February 2016 to 30 June 2016, be noted.

SD (IS)

42.

Action Points Arising from the Policy Overview Committee Meeting held on 15 December 2015 pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To note the list of action points arising from the Policy Overview Committee meeting held on 15 December 2015.

Minutes:

This report asked Members to note the list of action points arising from the Policy Overview Committee meeting held on 15 December 2015.

 

The Chairman, on behalf of the Committee, wished to congratulate Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group on the success of their ‘Healthy New Towns’ bid, which had recently been announced. He noted that it would provide an opportunity to improve the health of local people and build a new healthy community that promotes healthy lifestyle choices in Ebbsfleet and the surrounding area.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the list of action points arising from the Committee meetings held on 15 December 2015 be noted.

SD (IS)

43.

Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To receive an update on the work of the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust.

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Susan Acott, Chief Executive Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust, to the meeting, who was present to update Members on the work of the Trust and its future direction.

 

Mrs Acott began by referring to the strategy that had been described when she last visited and said that their plans were coming to life. She noted the three main elements of the strategy and said they were aiming to deliver services beyond the confines of the hospital, ensure that they continue to provide a high quality and efficient service, and continue to develop their relationship with those providing specialist services in London.

 

Mrs Acott then highlighted the need to increase the capacity of the services currently being provided to cater for natural population growth, caused by a high birth rate, together with the increases associated with new housing developments. She said that the impact of 5,000 new homes in Dartford, together with up to 15,000 new homes in Ebbsfleet Garden City, would require forward planning and that increased maternity, A&E and paediatric service provision would be required. She said that the provision of additional space, strategies to reduce a patient’s length of stay, and use of the Queen Mary’s hospital site would all be considered and noted that although they had an ambitious new building strategy there was currently no capital funding available to progress it further. She also noted how Darent Valley Hospital’s footprint extended into south east London and emphasised the need for thorough planning of the overall system, which would include closer working with those providing social services.

 

Mrs Acott then explained the initiatives that were being used to improve the efficiency of the current building and referred to the Frailty Assessment Unit which assesses elderly people on arrival to decide whether they would be better served by providing home support, or referring them to the Alzheimer’s Society, rather than being admitted to the hospital. She also referred to the recently opened Ambulatory Care Unit and described how it can treat and send patients home, and arrange for continued support to be provided by the Hospital at Home Team if required. She then noted how the expansion of the A&E department had also now been completed and said that it had delivered an additional number of A&E beds and a better experience for visiting patients.

 

Mrs Acott then described Darent Valley Hospital’s involvement with the Vanguard Programme and the tighter links that were being established with Guys and St Thomas’ hospitals. She said that this would improve patient access to those medical staff that are able to provide specialist treatment and added that, by improving IT facilities, they were looking to reduce the need for patients to travel to London whenever specialist consultations are required. She said that they wanted to ensure that best use is made of the Darent Valley Hospital site and said that one aim would be to build a diagnostic hub at Darent Valley containing a range of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.

SD (IS)

44.

Healthwatch Kent pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To receive a report on the services provided by Healthwatch Kent.

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Steve Inett, the Chief Executive of Healthwatch Kent, to the meeting, who was present to report on the services that are provided by Healthwatch Kent.

 

Mr Inett began by explaining how Healthwatch were the consumer champion for health and social care and had been created in the Health and Social Care Act of 2012. He said that they had replaced Kent Link and used volunteers to engage with the public in a similar way. He said that their aim was to improve services by ensuring that local people’s voices were heard and said that they also offered a free information and signposting service.

 

Mr Inett said that the service was volunteer led and was one of 150 such groups spread throughout England. He described how they were funded centrally by the Department of Health and said that their funding came via Kent County Council (KCC). He said that they were coming to the end of a 3 year contract with KCC worth £730k a year, but noted that a 2 year extension had been agreed, although it was anticipated that the associated funding would be reduced by 10%. He then explained how volunteers are involved at every level and said that they set priorities, review information, represent Healthwatch Kent on Boards and at meetings, carry out visiting services, and raise community awareness. He said that there were 70 volunteers in Kent 10 of which covered the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley area.

 

Mr Inett then noted how those volunteers that work on behalf of Healthwatch Kent have to undergo an induction/training programme before they can begin. He also referred to the various ways that are used to publicise their work and highlighted their monthly newsletter, the regularly updated website and their use of social media.

 

Mr Inett then referred to the relationship that they had with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and said that they attend regular meetings at various levels. He said that by engaging with CCGs they were able to influence commissioning at an early stage and ensure that the public are consulted when plans are being formed. He also explained how they work with other commissioners of health and social care such as NHS England, who commission GPs and specialist services, and KCC, who commission social care, in order to understand their plans going forward and ensure that the public are involved in that process. He then noted how they also worked with providers and identified hospitals, those that deliver community support services, care homes, ambulance trusts, and children services as examples and said that the list included all adult and children health and social care service providers throughout Kent.

 

Mr Inett then described how they interact with the public and referred to phone calls that they receive from people who are seeking information, or wish to voice concern about a particular service, and explained how they are able to offer support and direct them to those best placed to address those concerns. He then described  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.

SD (IS)

45.

Education Provision in Dartford pdf icon PDF 49 KB

To receive a briefing on the future plans for education provision in Dartford.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Ian Watts, Kent County Council’s Area Education Officer for North Kent, to the meeting, who was present to provide a briefing on the future plans for education provision in Dartford.

 

Mr Watts thanked Members for the invite as it would give him an opportunity to describe the pressures being experienced by those who ensure that there are an adequate number of school places available and explained how he was responsible for the area which included Dartford, Gravesham and Sevenoaks.

 

Mr Watts then described how significant migration into the area from London and EU/non-EU states had meant that pupil numbers had increased well beyond forecast levels over the last year, which, together with the primary intake increases since 2009/10, was now placing increased pressure on the ability to provide a sufficient number of school places. He then noted how migration was impacting all year groups and not just reception class requirements and explained how primary schools had been contacted in order to highlight the issue and that support had been requested by asking that they admit over their Published Admission Number (PAN). He also noted how Key Stage 1 class years are often more difficult to address because legislation limits class sizes to 30. He then described the great support that had been received from those local schools who were prepared to admit over their PAN, and how, from February 2016, Westgate Primary had created an additional reception aged ‘bulge’ class which made an additional 30 school places available.

 

Mr Watts then referred to Kent’s Education Commissioning Plan 2016-2020 (KCP), which is updated annually and considers primary and secondary school education provision for the next 5 years together with Special Educational Needs (SEN), nursery and post 16 educational needs. He said that the latest Plan was due to be considered by Kent County Council’s (KCC) Cabinet on 21st March 2016 and explained how the forecasts for Dartford would be affected by the Ebbsfleet Valley housing developments and would therefore increase in the longer term.

 

Mr Watts then focused on the pressures associated with the provision of primary school places and referred specifically to The Bridge and Temple Hill areas and the associated impact that Northern Gateway developments would have. He also noted how Dartford West faced pressures caused by housing development in Bexley and the fact that cross-border working may be required to address this. He then described how indigenous population growth in Dartford East and major developments in Swanscombe and Greenhithe (which also included the Ebbsfleet Garden City) were impacting these areas as well.

 

Mr Watts then noted how the KCP showed that Dartford Borough required up to 4.6 Forms of Entry (FE) by September 2016 across a range of planning areas and explained that this figure included a 5% surplus of places to address parental preference and in-year admissions. He then explained how the minimum requirement had been calculated as 2FE and that they were currently proceeding with 2.6FE. He also noted that they were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.

SD (IS)

46.

Healthy Living Centre Dartford pdf icon PDF 44 KB

To receive a briefing on the work that is carried out at the Healthy Living Centre Dartford.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman noted that Sharon Phillips, the Manager of the Healthy Living Centre Dartford (HLC), had been unable to attend but welcomed the thorough update that had been included as an Appendix to the report. He asked that the Committee’s thanks for the good work being carried out by the HLC be passed back to Mrs Phillips and her team.

 

In response to a question relating to the costs associated with wages and salaries Members were advised that the HLC only has a single managerial member of staff.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the information provided in the report be noted.

SD (IS)

47.

Universal Credit Update pdf icon PDF 60 KB

To provide Members with a brief update on Universal Credit.

Minutes:

This report provided Members with a brief update on the progress being made with the implementation of Universal Credit.

 

The Chairman referred to the report and noted that Dartford had only received one referral to date and therefore proposed that the subject be scheduled for further consideration at the Committee’s meeting in December 2016.

 

Members noted that Universal Credit was currently only being rolled out to single unemployed claimants with no housing cost liabilities and felt that the need to provide support would increase once more complex cases are included.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.         That the information provided in the report be noted.

 

2.         That a further Universal Credit update be scheduled for the Committee’s meeting in December 2016.

SD (IS)

48.

Corporate Plan - Performance Indicators pdf icon PDF 44 KB

This report provides the latest set of Corporate Plan performance indicators for quarter 3 of 2015-16.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report provided the latest set of Corporate Plan performance indicators for quarter 3 of 2015-16.

 

Members noted that the performance indicators had already been considered by the Cabinet Advisory Panel and Cabinet.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the contents of the Performance Indicators Monitoring Report, attached at Appendix A to the report, be noted.

SD (IS)

49.

Policy Overview Committee Protocol & Lead Member Participation pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To consider the revised Policy Overview Committee Protocol which details the process for Lead Member participation in the Committee’s proceedings.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report asked Members to consider the revised Policy Overview Committee Protocol which detailed the process for Lead Member participation in the Committee’s proceedings.

 

Members agreed the changes that had been made in relation to the role of Lead Members.

 

Reference was then made to sections D.2 and D.7 (d) of the Protocol where the phrases ‘may be required’ and ‘strongly request’ respectively had been used in relation to the attendance of Members and officers at meetings and one Member sought clarification as he felt that these two expressions placed a differing emphasis on the requirement for a Member/officer to attend. The Chairman asked that the officer responsible for the report be asked to consider the Member’s concern and report back.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.         That the contents of the report be noted and the revised Policy Overview Committee Protocol, attached at Appendix A to the report, be adopted.

 

2.         That the Head of Legal Services report back on the distinction between the phrases ‘may be required’ and ‘strongly request’ referred to in the Protocol.

SD (IS)

50.

Policy Overview Committee Work Plan pdf icon PDF 49 KB

This report sets out the Policy Overview Committee’s Work Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report set out the Policy Overview Committee’s Work Plan.

 

The Chairman confirmed the following additions, which had been agreed during discussion of previous agenda items:

 

  • Universal Credit Update – December 2016
  • Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust - March 2017

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Work Plan, together with the minuted additions above, be noted.