Agenda and minutes

Health and Adult Social Care and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 5th March, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Suite 1,2 & 3, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach CW11 1HZ. View directions

Contact: Joel Hammond-Gant  Tel: 01270 686468 Email:

Link: Audiorecording

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors A Critchley, M Goldsmith (substituted for by Councillor B Evans), J Weatherill and R Vernon.


Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 6 February 2020.





That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 6 February be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.


There were no declarations of interest.


Declaration of Party Whip

To provide an opportunity for Members to declare the existence of a party whip in relation to any item on the Agenda


There were no declarations of a party whip.


Public Speaking Time/Open Session

A total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to make a statement(s) on any matter that falls within the remit of the Committee.


Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes, but the Chairman will decide how the period of time allocated for public speaking will be apportioned, where there are a number of speakers.


Note: in order for officers to undertake and background research, it would be helpful if members of the public notified the Scrutiny Officer listed at the foot of the Agenda at least one working day before the meeting with brief details of the matter to be covered.




The Chairman invited those in attendance that wished to speak to the committee to come forward and make a statement.


Mr Richard Walton, a Congleton resident, spoke to the committee about the working arrangements at the Congleton War Memorial Hospital, and concern that no further updates, or robust solutions had been provided since he last spoke to the Committee on 10 October 2019 (Minute No. 31, Health and Adult Social Care and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee, 2019/20).


In his statement, Mr Walton said that he, and other concerned Congleton residents, had wanted to see a more robust recovery plan be put in place to resolve the issues at the Congleton War Memorial Hospital and ensure a consistent service at its Minor Injuries Unit.


Congleton Town Councillor Suzy Firkin also spoke to the committee in relation to the Congleton War Memorial Hospital, stating that providing care closer to the home is key to supporting sustainable, robust local healthcare. Ms Firkin also stated that Congleton Town Council and Congleton residents wanted to work with East Cheshire NHS Trust and support its long-term plan for the Congleton War Memorial Hospital.




That Mr Richard Walton and Ms Suzy Firkin be thanked for attending the meeting and making statements to the committee.




NHS Service Fragility and Sustainability in Cheshire East / Cheshire CCG Commissioning Intentions pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To consider an update on the recent changes/issues associated with changes to, and fragility of, health services in Cheshire East, as well as the longer-term plans of commissioners and providers to ensure a sustainable provision of good quality services.


Report to follow.


The Chairman moved that Items 6 and 7 (Minute No. 86 and 87) be taken as one due to their interlinked nature, and that it would benefit members to discuss and scrutinise the entire range of information at the same time.


Consideration was given to presentations and reports submitted by East Cheshire NHS Trust and Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) (soon-to-be part of the pan-Cheshire CCG), on the current issues impacting the sustainability and fragility of health services in Cheshire East. The presentations linked in to the various strategies and partnership working approaches in place across the borough and how this joined-up approach aimed to ensure a sustainable, robust provision of healthcare services in Cheshire East for the future.


Members asked questions and put comments in relation to;


·         the need for healthcare professionals, partner organisations and the public to be more honest and realistic about what health services can be provided and where, during the current challenging financial climate and ever-increasing pressure and demand on resources;

·         whether the concerns previously noted regarding the reduced and intermittent service provided at the Congleton Minor Injuries Unit had been made worse by the national recruitment issues faced by the NHS;

·         why the CCG’s commissioning intentions did not explicitly discuss the role of district general hospitals as part of the future plans for healthcare services in Cheshire East; and

·         how the three major NHS hospital trusts in Cheshire East could work collaboratively and pragmatically to ensure services are provided in a sustainable way; and




1          That the updates and presentations be received.


2          That the committee be informed and made aware of the outcomes of the meeting to be held between Mr John Wilbraham and other health service colleagues, and members of Congleton Town Council.


3          That further updates on the CCG’s commissioning intentions be shared with the committee in the future.


Recommissioned Respite Care Services pdf icon PDF 165 KB

To consider an update on the recommissioned respite care services.


Consideration was given to a report on the council’s re-commissioned respite care services.


Members asked questions and put comments in relation to;


·         the need for the council, elected members and others to encourage carers to take up respite care services, in whatever form may be most appropriate and supportive;

·         the supporting Equality Impact Assessment to the report being circulated to the committee for information;

·         how the council was proactively working to promote the respite care services that had not had as much take-up comparatively; and

·         what emergency plans were in place, and whether these were joined-up with those of local health partners.




1          That the update be received and noted


2          That the Equality Impact Assessment be circulated to the committee for information.


Review of Performance of Substance Misuse Contract pdf icon PDF 411 KB

To consider the performance of the council’s contract for substance misuse services.


The committee considered an update on activity and performance of the Integrated Substance Misuse Service contract.


Members asked questions and put comments in relation to;


·         the well-documented reports of substance misuse by certain equality groups, and concern that the report had not noted its Equality Impact Assessment, or highlighted any of these higher-risk groups;

·         whether the statistics relating to deaths from drug overdoses were accurate or had been reported incorrectly;

·         whether people accessing the service had received enough contact (roughly 10 contacts per person and 7.5 contacts per young person) to successfully see them through their recovery;

·         whether the council had stiffened its enforcement activity in relation to substance misuse, e.g. the sale of alcohol to underage persons; and

·         concern that people had to be registered to a GP to access the service, and the impacts that this would have on certain cohorts of the borough’s population, notably rough sleepers and those presenting as homeless.


Officers present advised that where it was not possible to provide full answers to members’ questions, the information would be collated and circulated to the committee after the meeting.


The Chairman noted that it would have been helpful for a representative from Change Grow Live (CGL) – the provider commissioned by the council to provide the Integrated Substance Misuse Contract – to attend alongside council officers, to discuss performance and provide a different perspective in their answers to members’ questions.




1          That the update be received and noted.


2          That the officers present collate and circulate the required information to members of the committee.



Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 195 KB


The committee reviewed the council’s most recently published forward plan of key decisions.




That the forward plan be noted.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To review the work programme.

Additional documents:


The committee reviewed its work programme and the Chairman invited members to discuss whether any items should be added or deleted.


Members discussed whether, in light of the concerns raised during Minute No. 86, the committee should request more regular updates from health partners by adding a standing or regular item to its work programme.




That the work programme be approved, subject to the addition of an item requesting that health partners attend on a quarterly basis (as a minimum) regarding NHS service fragility and sustainability in Cheshire East, but more frequently if required.