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.
The Committee considered a request from the Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee to reconsider its decision of 25 January that GP appointments and access to services should be the next Task Group topic and re-instate Physical Activity as the next topic.
Some Members expressed concern about delaying a review of GP appointments and services and highlighted that the shortage of GP’s was one of the main issues local residents contacted them about. It was pointed out that plans to tackle GP shortages by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), soon to be replaced by the Integrated Care Board (ICB), had recently been reported in the local media. Therefore, if the Council delayed its review until later in the year, it may be too late to secure ICB engagement in the review or influence the outcomes of the CCG/ICB work which might be well advanced by that time.
A Member spoke in favour of re-instating Physical Activity as the next Task Group as an implication of lockdowns during the pandemic had been a decline in the amount of physical activity people were taking. He noted that the ICB would not formally be in place until 1 July 2022 and questioned whether the CCG would engage with a Task Group on GP appointments and access to services before then.
Noting that there was currently a shadow Integrated Care Board, the Chairman questioned whether it would be permitted to engage in a review by the Council before it had any legal status or powers, which would not be before 1 July.
It was suggested that, should the Committee decide to re-instate GP appointments and access to services as the next Task Group, officers should write to officers of the CCG and officers designate of the ICB about the review.
a) agreed the Committee’s work programme at Appendix 1 to the report;
b) noted the work programmes of the other overview and scrutiny committees at Appendix 2 to the report;
c) agreed to have regard to the measures set out in paragraph 3.2 of the report in considering the Committee’s work programme, whilst recognising the need for a flexible approach as reflected in paragraph 3.3 of the report, and to keep this matter under review.
i) to re-instate Physical Activity as the next Task Group followed by GP appointments and access to services, and agree the timetable attached at Appendix 3 to the report to enable both the Physical Activity (first) and GP appointments and access to services (second) Task Groups to be completed before the Cabinet meeting of 7 March 2023; and
ii)to instruct officers to engage in correspondence with officers of the CCG and officers designate of its successor bodies in relation to the Task Group on GP appointments and access to services,
upon being put to the vote was lost.
The Committee further agreed to re-affirm its decision of 25 January 2022 that the schedule for the remaining Task Groups be: 1. GP appointments and access to services: 2. physical activity; 3. town centres; and 4. support for carers (as a themed meeting).