Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes.

Venue: Committee Room 6 - Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW. View directions

Contact: Nassir Ali  Email: tel: 0208 921 6160

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Panel.



Apologies for absence was received for Gary Dillon (Parent Governor Representative)


Urgent Business

The Chair to announce any items of urgent business circulated separately from the main agenda.


Councillor Spencer Drury highlighted that a summary of the of the fostering and adoption annual report was heard at the Corporate Parenting Board however it was agreed the full report should have been scrutinised at the Children & Young People Scrutiny Panel. The Director of Children Services confirmed this should have been the case and the report would be incorporated into the future work programme.




Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 34 KB

Members to declare any personal and financial interests in items on the agenda.  Attention is drawn to the Council’s Constitution; the Council’s Code of Conduct and associated advice.

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Resolved –


That the list of Councillors’ memberships as Council appointed representatives on outside bodies, joint committees and school governing bodies be noted.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the meeting held on 28 September 2017.


No motion or discussion may take place upon the Minutes except as to their accuracy, and any question on this point will be determined by a majority of the Members of the body attending who were present when the matter in question was decided.  Once confirmed, with or without amendment, the person presiding will sign the Minutes.


Resolved -


That the minutes of the meeting of the Children and Young Peoples Scrutiny Panel held on 27 September 2017 be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record subject to the amendment to the following amendment:

·        Apologies was received for Pauline Sheath (Church of England Representative)


Year 1 Performance Report 0-19 Public Health Nursing Provision pdf icon PDF 294 KB

To note the report on the first year of the 0-19 Public Health Nursing Service and scrutinise the performance relating to its activities.



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The report was introduced and summarised by the Head of Joint Commissioning who introduced the Panel to the Public Health Nursing Providers.


The Oxleas NHS Foundation representative presented an update of the Public Health Nursing Service. She thanked colleagues for the delivery of the integrated service highlighting the exciting offers for young people administered by Charlton Athletic Community Trust. She confirmed that the service supported all local authority residents with children under 5 and all children and young people attending an educational setting within the Royal Borough of Greenwich. She stated that the bespoke packages offered aligned with Children Centres who had the same caseloads allowing for a seamless offer to young people. She continued to describe the service achievements in year 1 of the contract; they empowered parents to care for their children, they provided extra support to the most vulnerable families and ensured that health visit targets were met highlighting that 94% of babies received a visit within the first 14 days, which was above the national average. 


The Oxleas NHS Foundation representative confirmed the key areas of focus for year 2 of the contract included looking at different ways to contact families and introducing virtual clinics. She added that it was essential to identify key families that needed the core offer and this would be assisted by increasing the uptake of one and two year reviews. She stated that service delivery models would be reviewed, a Unicef Level 3 accreditation would be introduced and new website and application would be developed and assist with patient satisfaction surveys.


In response to questions from the Panel, The Oxleas NHS Representative confirmed that facilities at Children’s Centres are generally good for the services they deliver however the nurses are sometimes required to use the space creatively. She added the aim was to analyse the health needs of the local area which would identify what facilities would be useful at the Children’s Centres or  lead to an increased use of Leisure Centres.


In relation to staffing, the Oxleas NHS representative confirmed that they had introduced a single point of contact for health visitors which allowed requests of urgent visits for families who need the help. They also worked closely with Children Centre staff and specialist colleagues for direct referrals when resources were slim. She advised the Panel on the number of current vacancies and staff on sick or maternity leave. She highlighted the specialist posts which include; a professional development lead who designs training programmes that meet development needs, a Parental Mental Health Lead who advises on maternal post-natal depression & childcare and a Domestic violence, Drug & Alcohol Lead. She stated that these specialist work closely with families and other health visitors.


The Panel was addressed by a representative from Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust who confirmed the Family Nurse Partnership was aimed at teenage mothers, who were recruited during pregnancy, and lasted for 2 years. She added that Greenwich had a high rate of clients 16 or under compared to the national  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Prevention and Diverting Children from Care - Impact of the Placement Strategy pdf icon PDF 203 KB

To note the report on the impact of the Placement Strategy and consider a Members briefing.



The report was introduced by the Head of Permanence who stated that at the beginning of the Placement Sufficiency Strategy the service was faced with a £2.7 Million overspend. She added this had been reduced in the 3 and half years since by managing resources and improving practice e.g. Growing the in house fostering service and commissioning the right placements for the right child at the right time. She confirmed a projected underspend for the financial year which evidenced the success of the Placement Strategy.


The head of Permanence advised the Panel that the focus for the next 4 years would be to build on the successes of the Placement Strategy by further reducing the demand on the budget without compromising the quality of care. She provided the Panel with individual case studies on placements to show comparisons of weekly costs and outcomes.


In response to a question, the Director of Children Services confirmed that the aim of the Placement Strategy was focused on ensuring the right placement was offered to the right child and at the right cost. She added that the plan was to continue this work whilst also focusing on reducing the number of Looked After Children by being less risk averse and working closer with families.


In response to a question, the Head of Joint Commissioning confirmed that the  Royal Borough of Greenwich worked with 6 other South London Boroughs to bid for innovation funding, from the Department for Education, to work on regional commissioning for Looked After Children. He stated  this allowed for collective purchasing power for getting better value as prices were currently too high as seen with the case studies. He estimated that the new framework would be introduced by January 2019.


In response to a question, the Head of Joint Commissioning confirmed that that accountability for commissioned places would stay with the Royal Borough of Greenwich and that other Boroughs would not be commissioning for the Council.


The Head of Permanence confirmed that Placement Panels work to support social workers by providing  a fresh outlook and scrutiny on a case by case basis  when assessing placements. She added they were used to review high cost placements.

In response to questions, the Head of Permanence confirmed that she had personally reviewed every Looked After Child of the Borough and worked closely with the Fostering Manager and commissioning team. She stated that there were risks involved when staffing numbers were low however good management of cases from the beginning made monitoring easier. She stated that pressures on housing and overcrowding was a factor limiting the number of foster parents however, housing departments would assist in some cases.


In response to a question, the Director of Children's Services reassured the Panel that the new placement strategy  model would learn from what has already worked and lead to  more consistency and incremental development. She added the aim was to move from good to outstanding on the next Ofsted inspection.


The Panel recognised the effectiveness of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


In-depth Scrutiny - Scrutiny of Children's Health Services provided by Commissioned Providers pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To consider the final report of the review of Children’s Health Services provided by Commissioned providers in Royal Borough of Greenwich Children’s Centres and determine whether the report on the review may be referred to the Chief Executive/Cabinet for consideration.


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The Chair introduced and summarised the report.


In response to a question, the Head of Joint Commisioning confirmed that additional funding for CAMHS would be agreed via the Local Transformation Plan which goes through the Greenwich CCG.


Resolved –

That the report be noted and referred to the Chief Executive/Cabinet for consideration.



Commissioning of Future Reports - 17 January 2018 pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To note the work items that are scheduled to be presented to the meeting of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel on 17 January 2018 as outlined in the body of the report.

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The Chair advised Panel members of the work programme for the upcoming meetings.


Resolved –

That the report be noted.