Agenda and minutes

Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 16 June 2020 6.30pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Jon Pitt, Democratic Services Officer 

Note: Please note that any member of the press and public may follow proceedings at this ‘virtual’ meeting via a weblink which will be set out below ahead of the meeting. 

Media

Items
No. Item

43.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Adeoye, Aldous, Barrett, Paterson and Thompson. 

44.

Election of Chairman

To elect a Chairman of the Committee for the 2020/21 municipal year.

 

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Committee was invited to appoint a Chairman for the 2020/21 municipal year.

 

Decision:

 

Councillor Wildey was appointed as Chairman for the 2020/21 municipal year.

 

45.

Election of Vice-Chairman

To elect a Vice-Chairman of the Committee for the 2020/21 municipal year.

 

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Committee was invited to appoint a Vice-Chairman for the 2020/21 municipal year.

 

Decision:

 

Councillor Purdy was appointed as Vice-Chairman for the 2020/21 municipal year.

 

46.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 12 March 2020.

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 12 March 2020 was agreed and signed by the Chairman as correct.

 

47.

Urgent matters by reason of special circumstances

The Chairman will announce any late items which do not appear on the main agenda but which he/she has agreed should be considered by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the report. 

Minutes:

 There were none.

48.

Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Significant Interests and Whipping pdf icon PDF 471 KB

Members are invited to disclose any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Significant Interests in accordance with the Member Code of Conduct.  Guidance on this is set out in agenda item 6.

 

 

Minutes:

Disclosable pecuniary interests

 

There were none.

 

Other significant interests (OSIs)

 

There were none.

 

Other interests

 

There were none.

49.

Medway NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) Progress Report and Improvement Priorities pdf icon PDF 142 KB

The report at Appendix 1 provides an update on progress since the Trust last attended the Committee in August 2019, with there being a particular focus on the impact of Covid-19 and the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) inspection report that was published on 30 April 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion

 

The Chief Executive of MFT introduced the report, highlighting the Trust response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Half of the hospital’s 525 beds had been made available to care for Covid-19 patients and critical care capacity had increased from 18 to 53 beds. The maximum capacity that had been needed was 28. Half of the wards had only been available for Covid patients during the peak and emergency admissions during April were under half of their usual number.

 

Most non-urgent operations, outpatient appointments, diagnostics and elective care had been cancelled in line with national guidance although the hospital had decided to continue some elective care, trauma work and cancer treatment. While levels of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) had been a national issue, the hospital had seen good levels of PPE throughout the pandemic with a system having been put in place to notify management if stocks fell below a certain level. In accordance with national guidance, with limited exceptions, hospital visits had not been permitted during the pandemic. Alternative solutions, such as using video conferencing had been put in place to help patients stay in touch with friends and family, particularly for end of life patients.

 

There were currently 13 patients with Covid-19 being treated in the hospital, a further two cases being treated in the intensive care unit. During a 12 week period there had been 370 discharges of patients who had been treated for the illness and 172 deaths of patients with it. Consideration was being given as to how to remember the patients who had died.

 

Members raised a number of questions and comments, which included:

 

Staff Welfare – in response to a question about how staff were being supported, the Chief Executive said that levels of staff sickness had been higher than usual with many staff having lived away from their families. Much work had been done to support staff with good feedback having been received. Mental and occupational health provision for staff had been increased in the last few weeks.

 

Staff accommodation – It was asked whether accommodation had been available for staff who wanted to stay on site. The Committee was advised that less than five staff had stayed on site with most of those staying away from home having made alternative arrangements.

 

Digital Provision, BAME Staff and PPE Provision – It was questioned whether the digital provision put in place would be retained post pandemic. It was also asked what precautions were being taken to keep Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff safe in light of evidence suggesting they could be more at risk from Covid-19 and whether there was confidence that enough PPE would be available in future. The Chief Executive said that the enhanced digital provision would be retained with the Trust looking to expedite work on a digital strategy. A national risk assessment had been undertaken in relation to BAME staff and the Chief Executive had highlighted the issue to ensure that BAME staff were well represented. There had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.

50.

Covid-19 Support to Care Homes pdf icon PDF 248 KB

This report providers a summary of relevant data and intelligence and the support provided to care homes to date as well as a copy of a letter and care home support plan submitted to the Minister of Care on 29 May 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion

 

The report was introduced by the Assistant Manager, Adult Social Care. Covid-19 had been an unprecedented event and particularly challenging for Adult Social Care. Work had been undertaken to understand the impact of the crisis on providers and residents and to ensure that appropriate support was provided where possible. All local authorities had been required to submit a Care Home Support Plan to the Government to set out the support provided by the Council, CCG and partners. Medway’s Plan had just received positive feedback through a regional assurance process. This confirmed that all required areas had been covered sufficiently and that there were no areas of concern. There was a need to continue to provide sufficient support to care homes, particularly as it was not known whether there would be a second wave of Covid-19. Lessons from the previous three months would be identified to ensure that sufficient support was available during the coming months.

 

Members raised a number of questions and comments, which included:

 

Other Providers – It was asked whether there was confidence whether other types of providers besides care homes were receiving appropriate support. The Assistant Director said that support was available to domiciliary providers, extra care and supported living providers. There had been a national focus on supporting care homes so it was particularly important to ensure that sufficient support was available for other types of provider. The national request for support had been specific to care homes but Medway had chosen to make all support detailed in the Plan available to other providers. Funding had been made available to all local authorities for infection control. In-line with national guidance, Medway had agreed to directly passport 75% of funding to care homes. Medway would be using most of the remainder to support other providers. The advice, guidance and training available to care homes was being provided to others and the providers had been asked to provide feedback on the support provided to date.

 

Domiciliary Care and Personal Assistants – These had been highlighted to Healthwatch as areas of concern and Healtwatch would be happy to work with Adult Social Care to address any issues.

 

The Assistant Director acknowledged the importance of personal assistants feeling that they had appropriate support in place. At the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak, stocks of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) had been secured and made available to personal assistants. Contact had been made with employers to ensure that they had appropriate infection control measures in place. It was considered that support calls made to care homes should be undertaken to Personal Assistants and domiciliary care providers. Adult Social Care had worked with organisation Think Local Act Personal, who had been impressed with Medway’s response to Covid-19 and had highlighted this work in a meeting with the Care Minister.

 

Hospital testing, PPE provision, carers and care providers – Clarification was sought regarding testing of patients discharged from hospital to care homes. It was stated that PPE provision had been relatively poor for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

Work programme pdf icon PDF 149 KB

This item advises Members of the current work programme and allows the Committee to adjust it in the light of latest priorities, issues and circumstances. It gives Members the opportunity to shape and direct the Committee’s activities over the year. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion

 

Concern was expressed that there were too many reports on the Work Programme for the August 2020 meeting and it was requested that further consideration be given to this. The possibility of an additional meeting of the Committee meeting was also discussed.

 

Decision

 

The Committee agreed changes to the Work Programme as discussed and set out in paragraph 3 of the report, subject to the Work Programme being reviewed as necessary.