Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Priory House, Monks Walk, Shefford

Contact: Paula Everitt  0300 300 4196

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 88 KB


To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meetings of the Social Care Health and Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 15 May and 05 June 2017 and to note actions taken since those meetings.


Additional documents:



RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meetings of the Social Care Health and Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 15 May 2017 and 05 June 2017 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.



Members' Interests

To receive from Members any declarations of interest and of any political whip in relation to any agenda item.



Cllr Barker declared an interest as a past Ambulance Service employee.



Chairman's Announcements and Communications

To receive any announcements from the Chairman and any matters of communication.



The Chairman advised the Committee on recent news and events that included:-

·         That funding had been allocated to Bedford Hospital for a Primary Care unit. 

·         Corporate Resources OSC would consider all budget and performance information for the Council at their meeting on 27 July 2017.

·         That Executive would respond to the Enquiry into the Integration of Health and Social Care report and recommendations at their meeting on 1 August 2017.

·         The BCCG had come out of legal direction under NHS England.

·         That the new Accountable Officer for the BCCG, Sarah Thompson, would attend September’s meeting to meet Committee Members.




To receive petitions from members of the public in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure as set out in Annex 2 of Part A4 of the Constitution.






Questions, Statements or Deputations

To receive any questions, statements or deputations from members of the public in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure as set out in Annex 1 of part A4 of the Constitution.







To consider any decision of the Executive referred to this Committee for review  in accordance with Procedure Rule 10.10 of Part D2. 






Requested Items

To consider any items referred to the Committee at the request of a Member under Procedure Rule 3.1 of Part D2 of the Constitution.



The Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee had considered the Budget pressures that related to Homelessness and requested the SCHH OSC look into this matter.  The Chairman advised this Committee had received a report and presentation at their June meeting and were supportive of proposals to meet demand and challenges of the new Homelessness Reduction Act due to come into force in April 2018.




Executive Member Update


To receive brief verbal updates from the Executive Members for:

·         Social Care and Housing and

·         Health




The Executive Member for Social Care and Housing updated the Committee on the latest news and developments that included:-

·         A Member Briefing on modern methods of construction had been well attended and had showed a joint Council approach and understanding to bring housing projects forward.

·         The conclusion of the Children Services Ofsted Inspection, the outcome of which was expected at the end of August 2017.

·         Congratulations were extended to the staff at Abbotsbury Residential Home that had received a ‘good’ CQC inspection.

·         Colleagues at Silsoe Horticultural Centre had been presented with a photograph album depicting the floral displays provided for the Queen’s visit to Priory View.


The Executive Member for Health reported that work undertaken by Bedford Borough Council on the current levels of fluoridation would be completed next year.  The Executive Member would bring a report to the SCHHOSC for consideration once this piece of work has been completed.



Empty Homes Strategy pdf icon PDF 74 KB


To consider and comment on the draft 2017 Empty Homes Strategy and associated consultation proposals to Overview and Scrutiny and to enable recommendations to be made to Executive concerning the draft policy.


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The Head of Housing Services introduced the Draft 2017 Empty Homes Strategy report and consultation responses.  To date, the Strategy had been a success with many empty homes brought back into occupation in an environment of huge national housing shortage pressures.  Accommodation above shops and businesses in town centres had also been brought back into use and this could in the future lead to signification regeneration in those areas.


The Committee supported the three objectives outlined in the report and whilst acknowledging the lengthy procedures involved and the limited staff resources available, Members supported an expansion to the service noting the many benefits to be gained.  The Director advised that this was a discretionary service provided by the Council.


RECOMMENDED that the Committee

1.    Supported the three objectives set out in the Empty Homes Strategy.

2.    Applauded the work being done to bring further empty homes into habitable accommodation and whilst recognising the challenges, expects continuing robust enforcement to reduce long term empty homes and to report back on the numbers in a year’s time.

3.    Welcomed the link to town centre regeneration and would like to see evidence of further rooms above shops and businesses being brought into habitable accommodation.

4.    Recommended that during the budget cycle the Portfolio Holder for Social Care and Housing gives consideration to the possibility of seeking additional resources to further this important area of work.



The Future of The Birches Older Persons Home: Outcome of Consultation and Recommendations pdf icon PDF 47 KB


To consider the future of The Birches Older Persons Home in light of the outcome of the public consultation processes.


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The Director introduced a report regarding the future of the Birches Older Persons Home that included the outcome of a consultation process.  Residents had received offers of alternative accommodation including an offer at the Oak Manor Care Home in Shefford.  Officers had ensured that lessons learnt from earlier care home re-provisions had been implemented and an enhanced approach to ‘due diligence’ in assessing new care providers entering the local market had been completed.


The Development & Commissioning Manager advised that consultation feedback recognised staff at the Birches were highly valued by residents and relatives and in previous home closures staff had transferred to work in other areas of the Council. Support to staff would continue as required.  Members were also reassured the transition of residents to their new homes would be managed properly and sensitively


A Member raised a concern regarding GP provision for residents moving to Oak Manor in light of which the Development and Commissioning Manager confirmed current GP arrangements would remain in place for residents


RECOMMENDED that the Committee

1.    Is satisfied that the consultation process had been thorough and had followed the established principles set down for effective consultation.

2.    Supported the Executive recommendation for the closure of The Birches and the relocation of residents to Oak Manor as being the best way to provide up to date facilities based on the generally very favourable comments from residents and relatives.

3.    Welcomed the now developed protocol for assessing the suppliers of care places in new homes.

Expected the Council to ensure a smooth move to Oak Manor to safeguard the health and well being of those residents of The Birches moving there.


Work Programme and Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 65 KB


The report provides Members with details of the currently drafted Committee work programme and the latest Executive Forward Plan.


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NOTED the Executive Forward Plan and approved its own Work Programme.



Non-emergency Patient Transport pdf icon PDF 159 KB


To receive a report that sets out the BCCG's response to complaints by residents about the Non-emergency Patient Transport




The Chairman introduced Ben Jay, Chief Finance Officer, Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) who introduced a report regarding the Non-Emergency Public Transport service that had been contracted by a consortium of CCG’s to Private Ambulance Service (PAS) for a period of 12 months.  Significant operational issues from the start of the contract had led to a high level of complaints from patients.  The BCCG had worked with the contractor to resolved the complicated logistical and communications issues and had also set up a bespoke renal service in the interim.


The Committee were reassured that steps taken to improve performance to customers and support to PAS to meet their contract obligations were in place.


 RECOMMENDED that the Committee

1.    Recognised the work being undertaken to address the concerns expressed by patients and that it expected a reliable, high quality service which includes good communication with patients.

2.    Wished to be informed of the new provider when determined.

3.    Would like a report on progress at its meetings on 27 November and July 2018 to take account of the performance of the new provider.



Accountable Care System and STP update pdf icon PDF 67 KB


To receive a report on the proposals for an accelerated Accountable Care System for the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes STP Footprint, with a general update on the STP process and the implications for Central Bedfordshire.


Additional documents:



The Director of Social Care Health and Housing introduced a report and presentation that outlined details of the Accountable Care System and Sustainable and Transformation Plan for the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes footprint.  The information made particular reference to the interests of residents in Central Bedfordshire, the new shape of Governance for Health and Social Care and how decisions would be made.  The presentation included reference o the five work streams of the STP and progress made in these areas.


Members welcomed the direction of travel and raised concerns relating to the following:-

·         Proposals to digitalising care records, moving away from nurses undertaking patient data input.  In response the Executive Member for Social Care and Housing advised an ‘app’ had been developed and those patients well enough could input their own data.

·         Whether proposals for an integrated health and social care hub in the Houghton Regis area where considerable housing growth was planned would be delivered as they had not been mentioned in the report.  In response the Head of Partnerships and Performance advised a fifth hub was probable, although it was not yet known what services might be delivered and this was subject to services provided by the Dunstable hub.


In light of the discussion it was proposed that a workshop be arranged to provide clarity for Members on the new pathways for the Health and Social care service and a timetable for delivery.


RECOMMENDED that the Committee

1.    Reinforces its support for the five priority areas outlined in the report.

2.    Emphasises the need to ensure what is best for Central Bedfordshire residents.

3.    Emphasises the constructive use of technology in keeping records and sharing data including the ability for patients to access their own records with support where required.

4.    Recognises the Case for Change referred to in priority 3 and seeks information about the options that will form the basis of proposals for hospital services in the future.

5.    Would like to see a more definite time table on what is wished to be achieved and by when.


NOTED that an Accountable Care System rewards those who are involved in keeping people healthy and looks for continuing evidence as to how this is to be achieve and the collective responsibility to deliver joined up, better, coordinated care.