Cheltenham Borough Council
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Agenda item

Feedback from other scrutiny meetings attended

Gloucestershire Health and Care O&S Committee (14/07) – update from Councillor Horwood

 

Gloucestershire Economic Growth O&S Committee (17/07) – update from Councillor Paul McCloskey

 

Police and Crime Panel (02/07)   - update from Councillor Jonny Brownsteen

Minutes:

The Chair referred members to the updates which had been circulated in advance of the meeting and asked that they contact the relevant member representatives with any questions in relation to the Police and Crime Panel and Gloucestershire Economic Growth O&S Committee.

 

She welcomed Councillor Horwood and invited him to add to the written update on the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) that was circulated to members.  Councillor Horwood highlighted that Councillor Willingham had asked a question at this meeting, as a member of the public, relating to the high death rate from Covid-19 in Alstone and St. Mark’s, which was 32 in three months.  He asked that the HOSC investigate what had contributed to this, including the possibility that it was related to the large number of care homes in the area.  It was highlighted that Public Health England did not share data with local Public Health teams which limited their ability to respond effectively to local outbreaks, which had obvious implications on the effectiveness of any track and trace process. He suggested that he and Councillor Willingham could write, formally, to Public Health England on this subject and the committee agreed, but also felt that the HOSC should be looking at this issue.  

 

The Trust had also presented the emergency service changes that were introduced in April and June in response to the epidemic and whilst HOSC accepted the need for these changes, concerns were raised by some that these temporary changes would then morph into permanent ones, given the Trust had re-launched their ‘Fit for the Future’ public consultation on urgent and emergency care.  Members were reassured that Cheltenham A&E would be restored to a Type 1 A&E but he felt that this was slightly undermined by several references to the benefits of centralisation unrelated to Covid.  He highlighted the differential between the performance of Cheltenham and Gloucester A&E, in terms of the four hour wait target for patients to be seen and either admitted or discharged, with Gloucester consistently falling below Cheltenham and it remained to be seen how Gloucester would cope as a single A&E under the temporary emergency changes.  What was clear however, was that Cheltenham residents were being negatively impacted by increased travel times and he stressed that they would be further disadvantaged if general surgery was permanently centralised in Gloucester. 

 

In response to member questions he gave the following responses:

 

·      The HOSC were promised a further report on attempts to resolve the issue of national PHE data on individual patients not being shared with local public health teams and he would update this committee accordingly. 

·      The discharge of patients back to care homes was part of national policy, which was currently subject to a public inquiry and again, HOSC would hear more on this at their September meeting.

 

Councillor Dobie volunteered to write to xxx, as the spokesperson for his group at Gloucestershire County Council for Adult Social Care and Public Health, and highlight the failures in the policy to discharge patients into care homes; as deaths in care homes accounted for almost half of Covid related deaths in Gloucestershire. The Chair requested that he also include a question about where patients had tested negative and were then placed in care homes where residents had tested positive. 

 

The committee put on record their thanks to all frontline NHS and care staff for their hard work and dedication curing this pandemic.  

 

The Chair reminded members that the Trust had previously committed to bring forward, to this council, proposals as part of their ‘Fit for the Future’ consultation and given the re-launch of this process, the Trust would be reminded of that commitment and asked to provide suitable dates. 

 

A councillor raised the issue of Cheltenham’s magistrates’ court.  The Police and Crime Commissioner had written to the Minister to ask for his support but the Minister had not yet replied.  He asked whether the Chair of this committee could write to the Minister and urge him to respond without delay, as he felt it raised fundamental issues about how the administration of justice was dealt with in this country.  It was agreed that this would be discussed with the Chair as part of the next lead member briefing. 

 

 

 

 

 

Supporting documents: