To consider reports from the NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group on the results on the public consultation on the redesign of adult and older people’s specialist mental health services in east Cheshire.
Jacki Wilkes and Stephen Williams delivered a presentation to the committee that summarised how the consultation process and engagement with the public had been carried out, and how the widely accepted Gunning principles – a set of principles confirmed in 2001 that are applicable to all public consultations that are undertaken in the UK – were adhered to throughout the process.
The committee was advised that, upon conclusion of the consultation period, a two month period of ‘conscientious consideration’ had begun, to allow for the views, comments and concerns of the public and other stakeholders to be taken into account or addressed prior to the development of the formal business cases.
It was reported that the Governing Body for NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG would meet at the end of November to consider the business cases for the three consulted proposals, and make a decision as to which proposal would be selected and taken forward. It was planned for the final business case for the chosen option to be presented to the committee in January 2019.single, more detailed business case on the chosen proposal
(The meeting adjourned for a short break.)
Members put questions and comments in relation to the consultation and engagement process that had been undertaken, which included;
· concern regarding the increased travel times that would be imposed upon people having to travel to Bowmere, Chester;
· a lack of clarity with regard to how the proposed community care services would operate and benefit the public;
· that the finances and cost analyses presented during the consultation were not clear enough to properly inform the public of the financial impacts of each proposed option, nor to allow for informed scrutiny;
· apprehension that the growing and potentially lasting impacts of reduced government funding would lead to further reductions in spending on mental health services, regardless of which proposal was taken forward, and despite Cheshire East having had the lowest reported per capita spend on mental health services in the country;
· what the potential knock-on impacts would be to Cheshire East Council services, and disquiet that this had not been considered in enough detail throughout the consultation process;
· that there was a relatively low rate of return on the consultation, having been informed that the proposed changes to service provision would impact on approximately half a million members of the public;
· concern that some members of the public may not receive adequate support or services during a period of transition and change to mental health service provision;
· that there had been a lack of information on, or feedback from, the emergency services and how the proposed options would impact on their ability to deliver their services effectively and sustainably; and
· whether the engagement work undertaken to engage with different groups and communities within the local public had been considerable or effective enough, given that there had been considerably lower response rates to the consultation from certain community groups.
The Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Integration reiterated the position of the Cheshire East Health and Wellbeing Board (Minute No. 15, Health and Wellbeing Board, 2018/19) that the clinical senate assessment should be carried out by an impartial body further afield to Merseyside.
The committee considered whether the consultation process had been out in an effective manner, and that all possible efforts had been made to engage with as many members of the public as possible and encourage them to take part in the consultation.
1 That the committee’s view be placed on record that the consultation in respect of the redesign of adult’s and older peoples specialist mental health services in eastern Cheshire, as presented to the committee, had been carried out effectively; but that NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG and CWP be informed that the final, full business case should clearly state the intention for the future use of the Millbrook Mental Health Unit, offer greater clarity on the transportation impacts to the public, and provide assurances with regard to the impacts on emergency services and Cheshire East Council services.
2 That NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG and CWP endeavour to attend the meeting of the Health and Adult Social Care and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 8 November 2018, to address members’ concerns raised at this meeting, and provide assurances that these had been, or would be addressed within the final business cases.
3 That the NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG and CWP attend the meeting of the Health and Adult Social Care and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 6 December 2018, to report the final decision made by the NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG Governing Body and present the adopted business case.