Agenda and minutes

Health Overview & Scrutiny Panel - Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019 2.00 pm

Venue: The Council Chamber, Moorlands House, Leek

Contact: Sally Hampton - Member & Community Support Officer  Tel: 01538 395429 Email:

No. Item


Notification of Substitute Members, if any.


Councillor Malyon confirmed that she would need to leave the meeting part way through. Councillor Plant would substitute for her after that time.


To Approve the Minutes of the Previous Meeting. pdf icon PDF 103 KB


Councillor Cawley commented that Presentations at the previous meeting continued for too long, limiting the time available for queries afterwards. He requested that future Presentations be time-limited to a maximum 30 minutes.


Councillor Atkins referred to Minute No. 25 (Decision – That a request be made to the CCG for a local ME clinic to be set up in the Moorlands) and asked whether any response had been received? Mark Trillo agreed to find out if a response had been received.


DECIDED – That the Minutes of the meeting of the Health Overview & Scrutiny Panel held on 13 February 2019 be APPROVED as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Minutes of the Last Meeting of the Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee. pdf icon PDF 240 KB


Councillor Cawley referred to the attendance record, with Councillor Hughes attending 7 out of 13 meetings held during 2018/19 and questioned whether a policy was required on substitution. Councillor Hughes confirmed that SCC had just introduced a substitution policy where the Vice-Chair of a Scrutiny Panel should attend in the absence of the Chair.


DECIDED – That the Minutes of the meeting of the Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee held on 4 February 2019 be NOTED.


Urgent Items of Business, if any. (24 hours notice to be provided to the Chairman).


There were no urgent items.


Declaration of Interests:

·         Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

·         Other Interests


Agenda No.

Member Declaring Interest

Nature of Interest


Non specific

Cllr P. Wood

Other – Daughter works for Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust

Non specific

Cllr. J. Redfern

Other – Works at University Hospital of the North Midlands

Non specific

Cllr. T. Riley

Other – Relative works at University Hospital of the North Midlands



Questions to Portfolio Holders, if any.


(At least two clear days notice required, in writing, to the Proper Officer in accordance with Procedure Rule 15).




Questions to Cllr. Ralphs from Cllr. Malyon:


Q1.      Could we have an update on Moorlands Hospital?


Q2.      The CCG have no care homes in the Staffordshire Moorlands, no nursing homes to look after people, what talks are taking place to ensure the people of the Moorlands are going to be looked after properly, in the Moorlands until the Moorlands hospital and Cheadle are safe from closure?


Response: Cllr. Ralphs gave a verbal response to both questions, stating that a consultation period had ended some weeks ago. A press release confirmed that members of the public were welcome to attend – and listen to – an Extraordinary General Meeting of the CCG at the Best Western Hotel, Etruria on 25 June at 9.30am where Board members were to consider feedback received and the options open to them with NHS England. The process was nearing its end, with Cllr. Ralphs having another meeting scheduled in 2 weeks time and whilst Cllr. Ralphs had reservations about ongoing re-habilitative care, she was reassured by the new services proposed for the Moorlands Hospital. There were still concerns regarding short-term care.


By way of supplementary questions, Cllr. Malyon said that details regarding public meetings needed to be forwarded to all Councillors as a matter of course. The fact that there was insufficient care within the care home system was clear, and that there was a ‘post code lottery’ regarding the level of care available. What else could be done to retain the 2 local hospitals (Moorlands and Cheadle)? The subject of local hospitals should be a standing item on this scrutiny panel agenda.


Cllr. Ralphs confirmed that when she had further information, a special meeting of the Panel could be convened. She had received exceptional support since the vote of ‘no confidence’ in the CCG was passed.


Q3.      Is there anything this Council can do to help schools and the pupils that go to them to help fund children who may or may not have dyslexia?


Response: Cllr. Ralphs confirmed that this was a condition that had previously not been recognised. Children with the condition needed help and support. A SCC conference last year found a link to Autism and the matter was being worked on. A new service at Moorlands Hospital would fully address this matter.


Members referred personal experiences where cuts in education budgets had been at the heart of the problem.. As a point of clarification, Cllr. Wilkinson asked for confirmation that the Moorlands Hospital would be retained on its current site as a Community Hospital, which Cllr. Ralphs confirmed was the case.


Question to Cllr. Ralphs from Cllr. Cawley:


Q4.      Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. There have been a few well publicised incidents in Leek recently concerning two young men. What data exists on prevalence of suicide among men under 45 in the Staffordshire Moorlands and what exists to support men contemplating this terrible act?


Response: The week prior to this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.


Overview & Scrutiny Briefing for Members - Mark Trillo - Executive Director (People). (Presentation)


Mark Trillo, Executive Director (People), introduced a presentation on the terms of reference for this Panel which had recently been changed at Annual Council to solely scrutinise health related matters. The following topics were included:-


  • Council’s Decision Making Process and the Forward Plan;
  • Role of Scrutiny;
  • Role of Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel and its remit;
  • Code of Joint Working with Staffordshire County Council;
  • Developing a Work Programme;
  • Task and Finish Groups;
  • Role of Officers;
  • Conclusion.


Members queried whether there were any historical instances where scrutiny panel input had changed Cabinet Decisions? Mark Trillo confirmed that this had happened.


The 4 questions to Portfolio Holders had all been answered orally, which was confirmed as in line with the Council’s Constitution but some members felt that written responses were preferable, containing the facts and data requested.


The Chair was asked whether she felt that her attendance at the Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee was worthwhile, as the general level of attendance was not good, leading to a limited involvement and difficulty in probing specific areas? The Chair confirmed that, whilst the meetings were interesting, the subject matter was often centred around other areas of the County. Members felt that changes were needed in order to secure specific outcomes.


A request was made for Powerpoint Presentations to be issued to members in advance of the Panel.


DECIDED: That the presentation be noted.



Healthwatch Staffordshire Annual Update - Jackie Owen - Healthwatch Manager. (Presentation) pdf icon PDF 872 KB


Jackie Owen (Healthwatch (HW) Staffordshire Manager) and Maggie Matthews (Chair of HW Advisory Board) attended and gave an overview of their work via screen presentation. HW was set up as a direct result of the problems experienced at Stafford Hospital and there were now 152 ‘Healthwatchers’ across the country.


Jackie and Maggie went on to respond to member questions, advising that:-


·         There had been a significant cut in their budget from £500,000 to £195,000, resulting in 9 redundancies, leaving only 4 remaining staff. Members of the Board, who worked on a voluntary basis, were paid just travel expenses;

·         Working with the CCG, they attended many consultation meetings and were involved in processing feedback from those consultations and challenging the outcomes;

·         Work was ongoing regarding Discharge to Assess (D2A), where 36 interviews of patients and staff had taken place, picking many issues up around lack of control, delays implementing Care Packages etc. This work was ongoing;

·         1 member of staff was spending half her working week in the Moorlands in connection with the ‘Monkey Dust’ problem;

·         HW powers were limited in comparison with the old Community Health Councils, with blurring of the lines regarding independence;

·         HW Board members were all white and aged 50+, despite open invitations to all to secure a diverse cross-section, with no preconceptions;

·         Work had been done regarding neurological conditions such as Motor Neurone Disease with the Royal Stoke Hospital and the Neuro Alliance;

·         Significant feedback regarding D2A had been obtained from representative groups regarding Mental Health, Homelessness, Gingerbread, Autism etc. The ‘Homefirst’ scheme was looking at all aspects of discharge, but acknowledged that there was more work to do.

·         The HW Annual Report was published on their website and was sent to the Care Quality Commission and HW England. Members felt that this would not necessarily reach members of the public and asked if the report(s) could be sent to SMDC for distribution to Panel members? This was agreed.

·         In the event of something going wrong resulting in a suicide, HW would assist a family member or friend in making a complaint in an attempt to avoid a similar recurrence.


The Chair thanked Jackie and Maggie for their attendance.   




Dementia Care Working Group Update pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Pam Wood gave an overview of the 2 meetings held so far, which had stopped due to the elections. More meetings were required, where invitations were to be issued for external contributors to attend.



·         That the working group continue with its programme of work;

·         That the Council became Dementia Friendly;

·         That Councillors receive Dementia Friendly training;

·         That Council Officers consider ways in which the Council may

 be able to assist organisations to offer a drop in facility.


Work Programme. pdf icon PDF 46 KB


Any additional items to be added to the Work Programme:-


i)          Chairman’s items;

ii)         Members items;



The Panel considered its Work Programme and agreed the items listed.


The following items were also added:-


·         The merger of the 6 CCG’s, ensuring that we do not lose out;

·         Public Health initiatives in North Staffordshire;

·         Regular item “Reports from Healthwatch”;

·         Mental Health.


DECIDED: That the Panel’s Work Programme for 2019/20 be agreed.