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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual Meetings - This meeting will be held virtually. Details of how to access the meeting on YouTube are contained in the meeting page, along with the agenda and papers.. View directions

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence


The Chairman welcomed his guest Mr David Meikle, Interim Integrated Director for Commissioning and Director for the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley, Integrated Care Partnership (ICP), and noted the presence of the Council’s Strategic Director (External Services), Policy and Corporate Support Manager, Democratic Services Manager, Health Team Leader and the Committee Clerk.


Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors J Burrell and Mrs J Ozog.


Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interest from Members including the terms(s) of any Grants of Dispensation by the Strategic Director (Internal Services).


There were no declarations of interest made, including from Cllr. Sandhu, when he subsequently joined the virtual proceedings.


Confirmation of the minutes of the Policy Overview meeting held on 15 December 2020 pdf icon PDF 257 KB




That the Minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview Committee held on 15 December 2020 be confirmed as an accurate record of those virtual proceedings.


Urgent Items

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


The Chairman confirmed that there were no urgent items for the Committee to consider.


To consider references from other Committees (if any)




Regulation 9 Notice (Forward Plan) pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To consider any issues arising from the Regulation 9 Notice (Forward Plan) for the period 24 February 2021 to 30 June 2021.




1.     That Members note the Regulation 9 Notice [Forward Plan] for the period 24 February 2021 to 30 June 2021.


Update on the impact of the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic on the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Health System


 The Chairman renewed his welcome to Mr David Meikle, Interim Integrated Director of Commissioning and Director, Dartford Gravesham and Swanley, Integrated Care Partnership (ICP), and invited him to update the Committee on the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the provision of health care services to the Dartford community.


Mr Meikle advised Members that the DGS ICP was in a much better place than it had been 6 weeks previously. Daily COVID-19 numbers continued to fall from a peak of 400 down to 40 per day, easing the burden on the intensive care unit (ICU) at Darent Valley Hospital (DVH). Staffing levels had returned to normal and there was good inter-service co-operation across the ICP network at hospital, GP and primary care levels, and with the Kent & Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).


The COVID vaccination programme had made a significant and positive impact in the past 6-8 week period, with NHS staff and patients clinically assessed as vulnerable being given their second dose. The Kent-variant of COVID-19 had hit Dartford and the county earlier than the rest of England, and as a result, Dartford and Kent were now further on the road to recovery from COVID-19 than the rest of the country. The ICP would be using the summer months to re-evaluate resources and plan for the traditional winter peak in patient service demand.


The Chairman thanked Mr Meikle for his update, and asked that the thanks of the Committee to all NHS Health Care providers for their outstanding efforts to combat COVID-19 in the Dartford community over the previous 12 month period be recorded in the Minutes. Members echoed the Chairman’s sentiments and thanks to the NHS.


In response to a variety of subsequent questions from individual Members, Mr Meikle confirmed the following points:


·       The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic had demanded a two-pronged response from the DGS ICP to address both elective and planned care for patients going forward. The response to the Pandemic had demanded a new approach aimed at better integrated working practices across all areas of health care, changing from the traditional NHS ‘silo’ mode of operation and health care delivery, to an integrated model to effectively combat COVID-19. The new collaborative approach included increased use of ‘Care at Home’ teams integrated with GP services and hospital treatment, all driven by the experiences of the pandemic over the previous 12 month period;

·       It was planned to treat Dartford residents suffering from ‘Long-COVID’ symptoms at a facility in Maidstone, with a local Community Respiratory Service for Dartford on the ‘Hub & Spoke’ model under a twin track DGS ICP and Kent & Medway CCG approach [specific details to follow];

·       Full-time staffing levels had returned to normal, and had been maintained throughout the peak periods of the pandemic by short-term and agency recruitment. Long-term staff retention remained good [details of staffing levels to be confirmed];

·       The NHS was now able to target non-COVID treatment e.g. cancer screening, diagnosis and care, but continued to encounter a reluctance by patients to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 86.


Kent & Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) - Update on General Practice Estates Plan for Dartford Gravesham and Swanley ICP


The Interim Integrated Director of Commissioning for the Dartford Gravesham and Swanley (DGS) Integrated Care Partnership (ICP), advised Members that the continuing demands and challenges of combatting the Coronavirus pandemic since March 2020, had caused the ICP to suspend its Estates Plan for General Practices, in favour of developing an entire Estates Strategy for the DGS ICP as a whole, across all health care sectors and organisations, based in part, on combatting COVID-19 during the previous 12 month period, and continuing to do so.


Members received a PowerPoint presentation on the new holistic approach entitled DHS ICP ‘Emerging Estates Strategy Update March 2021’ which set out six key elements:




To review the ICP’s current estate in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley and align them with commissioning service requirements to:


·       Identify estate changes in terms of required investment and rationalisation, to deliver both clinical and financial benefits;

·       Identify key priorities for estate development in primary care;

·       Development of a new clinical model which supports integrated service provision at a sustainable local level;


The new Estates Strategy was intended to support the health economy, to create a fit for purpose estate that provided best value and addressed the:


·       Significant changes in demography and population demand in a planned manner, including the extensive developments at Ebbsfleet Garden City and the London Resort development in the Swanscombe Peninsular, which the current estate does not cater for effectively;

·       Changed the current health care service provision to reflect plans for integrated health and social care, including greater levels of care within communities, and identified new technology and commissioning models;

·       Met challenges in funding, affordability and service provision linked to COVID-19 including so called Long-COVID.




·       Adoption of a system wide view to develop a DGS ICP Estate Strategy that is integrated into the principles of the Kent and Medway ICS, The Digital Strategy and the One Public Estate Programme;

·       Inclusive development with key stakeholders and partners, to shape emerging themes and priorities for inclusion in a lynchpin clinical model, around which the final Estates Strategy would be built;

·       Considered approach, to ensure the impact of the extensive housing developments currently being experienced in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley, was comprehensively assessed, to ensure the best possible delivery of services to the current and future population of the DGS ICP area, in an affordable and sustainable way.



The DGS ICP’s aim was to create a sustainable long-term health care system, whereby primary, community, mental health and acute care services worked seamlessly together, with the three local authorities and the voluntary and independent sectors organisations, to deliver improvements in both health and well-being for local people and their communities, and ensured a sustainable health care economy. The Estate needed to equally support and drive those aims and visions by:


·       Being in the right location and in good condition, with facilities and capacity in care centres which delivered services for the existing and new populations within the DGS ICP;

·       Supporting and driving the increased use of new technology;

·       Influencing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 87.


Dartford Health Inequalities Action Plan Progress Report 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Additional documents:


The report from the Council’s Health Team Leader updated the Committee on progress achieved by the Dartford Preventative Health Projects (DPHPs), against the priorities identified in the Health Inequalities Action Plan for the 2019-20 financial year, attached as Appendix A to the report. Evidence and Case Studies were set out in Appendix B to the report.


The Chairman proposed that Members take the report and appendices as read, and asked the Cabinet Member for Youth, Health & Wellbeing how the health improvement aims set out in the DPHPs were overseen.


The Cabinet Member for Community Development advised Members that she held quarterly assessment meetings with the Council’s Health Team Leader, in addition to regular meetings with Dartford groups and organisations participating in the Council’s DPHP initiatives. Dartford’s Youth Council was particularly pro-active in the health initiative and the Cabinet Portfolio Holder Member in her role as a KCC Member, liaised with the County Authority regarding continued joint financing of the DPHPs. The Health Care Team was actively involved with Dartford’s schools across a variety of initiatives, and community halls were utilised at the Ward level, for adult health initiatives under the DPHPs scheme.


The Health Team Leader advised Members that she was a nutritionist by training, and led her Health Care team of physical training instructors, under the auspices of the Council’s Corporate Policy Manager, and was funded by KCC as part of the ‘One You Kent’ health initiative, to promote healthy lifestyles and tackle unhealthy behaviours in the community.


The Chairman asked what impact COVID-19 had had on DPHP initiatives and programmes.


The Health Team Leader advised Members that the Government’s lock-down measures in response to the Coronavirus pandemic in the previous 12 month period had brought nearly all planned DPHP activity to a halt, given the face-to-face nature of the initiatives. Some activities had been adapted for delivery via digital platforms, but this had proved a significant obstacle to some potential participants. Health referrals had increased in the period under review, given the complex health needs of many Dartford residents, with some needs met through re-alignment with other sectors. Delivery of the ‘Weight Management’ initiative had recently resumed digitally, plus by 1 to 1 email sessions and a postal initiative. A recent workshop had attracted 18 participants and a Zoom event a further 16 participants. Material from the British Heart Foundation was also being distributed by post. It was hoped that the Government’s exit strategy from lockdown would enable Dartford’s Healthy Walks and other group initiatives to resume soon. Distribution of a ‘New Normal’ healthy activities leaflet was planned for distribution in the coming weeks, once the content had been finalised and new volunteer walk leaders appointed. Recent resident referrals were encouraging (7 that day). It was clear people wished to exercise, but found it difficult to do so indoors. Exercise bands were being distributed to residents for use in the home environment on request.


The Cabinet Portfolio Holder advised Members that lockdown had actually encouraged residents to walk  ...  view the full minutes text for item 88.


Food Security Policy pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Additional documents:


The report from the Policy and Corporate Support Manager formally advised the Policy Overview Committee of the motion on food security agreed by the General Assembly of the Council (GAC) on 14 December 2020, and the role the Committee would have in overseeing the development of a food security policy. Attached as Appendix A to the report for Members’ information, was a Food Poverty Action Plan produced by the Norwich Food Alliance, as supported by Norwich City Council.


The Chairman again proposed that Members take the report and Appendix A as read, and asked the Policy & Corporate Support Manager for an overview of progress to date, in terms of the Council’s own food security policy.


The Policy & Corporate Support Manager referred Members to the background to the GAC motion [Min. No. 117 refers] as set out in paragraph 3 of his report. Former Councillor Calvin McLean had been appointed by the Leader of the Council to take matters forward, but had subsequently resigned as a Dartford Councillor. The nomination of an alternative Lead Member by the Leader for confirmation by Cabinet, was awaited. In the interim, Officers were taking forward development of Dartford’s food security policy, initially following elements of the Norwich City Council template [Appendix A refers], including establishing current supply and demand with Dartford’s local food banks and other voluntary food suppliers, to build up a comprehensive food security picture and form an Action Plan to take the policy forward, for the Committee’s consideration and comment.


The Chairman welcomed the proposals and expressed the hope that an initial Council Food Action Plan and timetable, complete with significant milestones and objectives, could be presented to the Committee for formal monitoring at its next meeting in June 2021.


He advised that the Leader of the Council had written to the Food Minister concerning the need for a food security policy, and supported Members’ comments that it would be important to consult widely across all food supply bodies in Dartford, possibly convening a meeting to aid that process, subject to advice from Officers. He also endorsed the comments of the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Community Development that the topic of food security had been addressed prior to the current Coronavirus pandemic which had heightened Members’ previous concern. Specifically, the efforts of the Council’s Healthy Living Centre and the Community Centre on the Tree Estate, to reduce food waste through their contacts with local food suppliers and food banks, and the efforts of the Sikh Temple helping to feed those in need of support on a weekly basis. All of those current activities could be used to assist in the Council’s formulation of a food security policy going forward.


He thanked the Cabinet Portfolio Holder and Members for their input, and the Policy & Corporate Support Manager for his report.




1.     That Members note the motion passed by the General Assembly of the  Council (GAC) on 14 December 2020 [GAC Min. No. 117 refers] relating to food security and the role of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.