Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 7th September, 2023 10.00 am

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

Contact: Nikki Bishop  Tel: 01270 686462 Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To note any apologies for absence from Members.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Margaret Simon. Councillor Patrick Redstone was present as substitute.


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.


In the interests of openness and transparency, Councillor Wardlaw declared that she occasionally worked for the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.


In the interests of openness, Councillor Seddon declared that she worked in an office-based role for AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company based in Cheshire East.


In the interests of openness, in relation to agenda item 9 (Proposed relocation of community services – Poynton), Cllr Adams declared that she was a patient at Schoolhouse Surgery, Disley and that she was also a member of the Patient Participation Group at the surgery.


Councillor Julie Smith, in the interests of openness, declared that was a pharmacy dispenser for Well Pharmacies.




Responses to questions raised by Committee Members pdf icon PDF 381 KB


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 139 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 29 June 2023.





That the minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 29 June 2023 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Public Speaking/Open Session

There is no facility to allow questions by members of the public at meetings of the Scrutiny Committee. However, a period of 10 minutes will be provided at the beginning of such meetings to allow members of the public to make a statement on any matter that falls within the remit of the committee, subject to individual speakers being restricted to 3 minutes.


There were no members of the public registered to speak.


Safer Cheshire East Partnership Overview pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To provide Committee Members with an overview of the Safer Cheshire East Partnership (SCEP) including the revised SCEP terms of reference.


Richard Christopherson, Locality Manager – Community Safety, attended the Committee meeting and delivered a presentation which provided an overview of the Safer Cheshire East Partnership (SCEP). It was noted that the SCEP included a number of statutory partners including the Council, Police, Fire and Probation who co-produced a three-year plan to deliver against the identified Community Safety priorities.

The Committee was pleased that the priorities for SCEP included domestic abuse, exploitation, cybercrime, knife crime, fly tipping, gypsy and travellers, prevent and channel and substance misuse. The Committee queried knife crime statistics for Cheshire East and if this had improved over the last year. It was highlighted that whilst knife crime was not considered to be a significant problem in Cheshire East, there were six knife crime incidents in Crewe last year. Members noted that this led to the Knife Angel project undertaken earlier this year, the assessment of the impact that this has had on the community would be shared at the October SCEP meeting.

The Committee were pleased to note that all new and existing holders of Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Licences required completion of mandatory safeguarding training. Members queried the total number of non-Cheshire East licenced taxi drivers in the Borough, if the same sanctions applied to non-Cheshire East registered drivers and if all licences given out by Cheshire East for taxi services were to a Cheshire East registered supplier. Richard Christopherson committed to providing a written response.

The Committee highlighted that fly-tipping across the Borough was a problem and queried how many reports of fly-tipping in Cheshire East had resulted in a successful prosecution. Richard Christopherson committed to providing a written response. 

The Committee discussed the partnership arrangements between Cheshire East and the Police. It was agreed that a training session for members on County Lines, delivered by senior Cheshire East officers alongside Police colleagues, would be beneficial. Richard Christopherson agreed to pursue this and ensure the Committee were kept informed of progress.

An update was provided on the SCEP membership and the previous suggestion for a member of Scrutiny be invited to join the SCEP. The Committee agreed not to pursue this in light of the conflict this would have on the Committee Members ability to scrutinise SCEP matters in future Scrutiny meetings.


1.    That the update provided be noted.

2.    Member training on County Lines to be progressed.



Overview and Scrutiny of the Domestic Abuse Homicide Review pdf icon PDF 399 KB

To scrutinise the Safer Cheshire East Partnership (SCEP) Action Plans and recommendations in respect of the Domestic Homicide Review.

Additional documents:


Sandra Murphy, Head of Adult Safeguarding, attended the Committee meeting and presented the Domestic Abuse Homicide Review report regarding ‘PAM’. The Committee noted that the Domestic Homicide summary report had been written by an independent author and had recently been approved and by the Home Office, and published on the SCEP website following a long-delay as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Committee noted that there were currently five domestic homicide reviews being overseen by Cheshire East and ‘PAM’ was the first review to be approved. Nationally, there had been 108 Domestic Homicide Reviews published in England in 2020/2021 with 14 of these taking place in the Northwest.

Members queried the involvement of the Police and communication between partner agencies when a case of domestic abuse was reported. Members were concerned that domestic abuse incidents were often repeat offences in the same property, by the same individuals and asked at what point Cheshire East and other key agencies took action. It was confirmed that the Police completed a vulnerable person’s accident form which would be shared with the Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Hub (a 24-hour service) where the level of risk would be assessed and appropriate action taken. It was highlighted that the responsibility of raising awareness of domestic abuse was shared and not one single organisation/persons responsibility. Sandra Murphy agreed to share the link to the Domestic Abuse Hub with Committee members.


  1. That the report be received and noted.



Quality Account 2022-23 - East Cheshire NHS Trust pdf icon PDF 6 MB

For the Committee to provide commentary on the East Cheshire NHS Trust Quality Account 2022-23.

Additional documents:


Paul Devlin, Deputy Director of Nursing and Quality, attended the Committee meeting and delivered a presentation which provided an overview of the key challenges and achievements outlined within the East Cheshire Trust Quality Account 2022-23.

The Committee was disappointed to learn that the Trust had not met its cancer diagnosis and treatment targets (31 and 62 days) and queried what steps the Trust would take to improve this. It was reported that a detailed improvement plan had been developed to oversee improvements in practice and performance including additional capacity being delivered in breast services to support a reduction in the 2 week wait times and the maintenance of this standard. It was noted that the Trust Cancer Improvement Plan would be overseen by the Trust Cancer Board.

It was noted that the number of nursing vacancies had reduced during 2022-23 with 78 Registered Nurses being welcomed to the Trust however, safer staffing levels had remained difficult. The Committee were pleased that the Trust had employed a Head of Nursing for Safer Staffing and Workforce to work with clinical teams to ensure safe staffing levels were achieved.

The Committee queried how many patients were discharged into care homes (community beds) rather than being sent home from hospital. It was highlighted that this was often the result of a patient needing further rehabilitation and/or further social care assessment to identify an appropriate care package prior to being allowed home and that such support was best conducted within the community rather than in hospital. Paul Devlin committed to providing a written response on the number of hospital discharges to care homes.


  1. That the update provided be noted.


  1. Paul Devlin to share a list of acronyms with the Committee.




Suicide Prevention Update pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To receive an update from Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust on suicide prevention.

Additional documents:


Mike Caulfield, Nurse Consultant for Acute Care and Non-Medical Approved Clinician, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust attended the Committee meeting and provided an update on suicide prevention including the Cheshire and Merseyside 2022-27 Suicide Prevention Strategy which was overseen by CHAMPS. The Committee noted the aspirations of the C&M 2022-27 Suicide [SK1] Prevention Strategy for the region to be a place where all suicides were prevented, where people did not consider suicide as a solution to the difficulties they faced and where people had hope for the future.

The Committee noted the work being undertaken to build suicide safer communities across Cheshire East and that postvention support was a key priority of the strategy, offering effective support services across Cheshire and Merseyside to those individuals affected by suicide.

Committee Members queried the role of various agencies in regulating information on social platforms. The Committee was pleased to learn that the Online Safety Bill would ensure platforms had systems and processes in place to deal with illegal and harmful content and their associated risk.

The Committee suggested that suicide prevention training would be helpful for all Cheshire East Members to support Members in raising awareness within local communities and with Town and Parish Councils. A number of free online training/resources were highlighted to the Committee, including the Hub of Hope, which Mike Caulfield agreed to circulate weblinks to following the Committee meeting.


  1. That the update provided be noted.


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Proposed Relocation of Community Services - Poynton pdf icon PDF 358 KB

To receive an update from NHS Cheshire and Merseyside on the proposed relocation of community services in Poynton.



Cllr Hannah Moss left the meeting at 12.05pm.


Councillor M Beanland attended the Committee meeting and made a statement as a visiting member. Cllr Beanland highlighted to the Committee the impact that the loss of service in Poynton would have on the local community. Cllr Beanland stated that the local community and Poynton Town Council had not been consulted on the proposals. Provision available to ensure residents could travel to appointments was queried and the difficulties the proposals would have on the elderly population who were unable to drive to appointments was raised.

Simon Goff, Chief Operating Officer and Dean Grice, Thriving and Prevention Programme Lead – NHS Cheshire and Merseyside attended the Committee meeting to provide an update on the East Cheshire Trust proposals to relocate services from the Priorslegh Medical Centre to outside of Poynton from November 2023. It was highlighted that this was a temporary measure however consideration would be given for a long-term option.

The Committee raised a number of concerns in response to the proposal to relocate services and highlighted the impact this would have on the local community. The Committee questioned engagement with local Town and Parish Councils and highlighted that no engagement had taken place with Disley Parish Council. Simon Goff committed to engaging with all affected Town and Parish Councils going forward.

The Committee requested that Stepping Hill Hospital be considered as an alternative premise to Macclesfield District General Hospital as it was felt that this had better accessibility for patients.

It was reported that this the Trust would continue to work with the ICB and the local authority to understand any future risks to clinical accommodation as a result of a growing demand to expand the community estate. The Committee queried if the proposals and relocation of further services across the Borough should be considered as a substantial development or variation (SDV) of service as set out within the Local Authority (Public Health, Health and Wellbeing Boards and Health Scrutiny) Regulations 2013, made under S244 NHS Act 2006. The Committee requested that a further update, following further assessments and investigations, be provided at the next Committee meeting in December.  [SK1] 


  1. That a further update on the proposal and any further risks to clinical accommodation across the borough be added to the Committee Work Programme for consideration in December 2023, at which point the Committee would consider whether this constituted as an SDV. 


Cllr J Bratherton left the meeting at 12.25pm




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Delivery of the new Integrated Care System pdf icon PDF 728 KB

To receive an update on the establishment of the Cheshire and Merseyside Integrated Care system.


Mark Wilkinson, Cheshire East Place Director, attended the Committee meeting to present a report which provided an update on the establishment of a Cheshire and Merseyside wide Integrated Care System with particular focus on work and implications in Cheshire East.

The Committee was pleased to learn that following a survey of patients who used primary care, general practice across Cheshire East was comparatively well rated by residents. The Committee requested a breakdown of the figures for the survey including the total number of respondents. Mark Wilkinson committed to providing a written response.

The Committee asked what had gone well since the implementation of the ICS and what needed further improvement. It was stated that the overall implementation of the new ICS had gone well, particularly as services continued to be provided through a difficult and challenging winter period and that further improvement was needed around addressing the backlog of planned care treatment which continued to rise as a result of increased industrial action.



  1. That the update provided be noted.



Evaluation of 2022/23 Winter Plan pdf icon PDF 527 KB

To receive an update on the delivery of the 2022/23 Winter Plan.

Additional documents:




That this item be deferred for a future Committee meeting.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 204 KB

To consider the Work Programme and determine any required amendments.



Consideration was given to the Committee Work Programme.




1.    That an update on the proposed relocation of NHS community services across the borough be added to the Work Programme for December 2023.

2.    That the Work Programme be noted.