Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes.

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Panel.


Apologies for lateness were received from Councillors Fahy and Lolovar.

Apologies for leaving early were received from Councillors Perks, Babatola and Cousins.


Urgent Business

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


There was no urgent business.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 61 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.

Additional documents:


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 75 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the meeting held on 14th March 2019.


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 Healthier Communities & Older People Scrutiny Panel held on 14 March 2019 be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record.


Cabinet Member Report pdf icon PDF 355 KB

This report updates the Scrutiny Panel with the national policy environment in Health and Adult Social Care and also of recent work in the Health and Social Care Department.


Councillor Averil Lekau, the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Health and Anti-Poverty, addressed the Panel and asked that if Members were happy, they go straight to questions.  Members agreed this way forward and in response to their questions the Cabinet Member responded as follows.


The way she had approached the delivery of the Health and Social Care portfolio that encompasses the anti-poverty aspect is through the work that is carried out by teams in Public Health.  Public Health looks at all determinants of poor health, and the work in reducing food poverty is done through initiatives such as holiday meal provision for school children and the work commissioned from the Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency to encourage communities to learn food about preparation and limit food waste.


She reported that the Fairness Commission recommendations have now been taken forward through the Social Mobility Strategy that was approved by Cabinet on 20 March 2019 and that the Housing and Anti-Poverty Scrutiny Panel receives regular reports on activity to support vulnerable people that require services.


In respect of the work supporting vulnerable people that require Mental Health Services, the Cabinet Member reported that the bringing together of multi-disciplinary teams who hear about issues from service users.  The key themes arising from consultation with service users have been the timescale for issuing a referral and issues arising from the medication that is prescribed, which is sometime strong and is life changing.  She reported that the work by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust with young people, who were often placed outside of the borough for services is improving, with many of them now being seen in Borough.  She also reported that additional work was being done to include sensory options in the treatment of mental health conditions.


Members questioned the processes for rehabilitation of people who needed long term stays in hospital, as they fear people that do stay in hospital for long time often are more unwell when they are discharged, then when they were admitted.  The Cabinet Member replied that the transformation and integration work that is currently taking place is about the ablement team being one team and therefore streamlining processes for efficiency. She said that this was an on-going challenge but she and the directorate are working hard to meet this and that no patient would be discharged without an assessment to ensure they are safe when returning to the community.


The Chair asked that as the Panel had heard about the use of Duncan House in supporting vulnerable people on their path to recovery, that the Cabinet Member facilitates a study tour for Members. The Cabinet Member agreed to this.


ACTION: CM and Director of Health and Adult Services


In response to a question about Blue Badges, the Cabinet Member said that one of her first tasks when taking on this portfolio was to understand the issues and that she was happy to report that the team is now at full strength and has reduced the backlog significantly.  Assessments for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group (GCCG) Report pdf icon PDF 41 KB

Panel is asked to receive and consider an update from Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group.

Additional documents:


The Managing Director of Greenwich CCG presented this item that covered the NHS Long Term Plan and fit with GCCG Strategy, investment in Primary Care – Primary Care Networks and the Sustainability Transformation Partnerships and SEL Work.


In response to a Members question about GP Practices and the indication of them wanting to be part of the Primary Care Networks, the Managing Director replied that GP’s do not have to join networks, but CCG’s have a duty to make sure patients can access the services that are available.  If Practices choose not to join, mediation services are available via the Medical Committee to resolve any disputes that may have led to that decision.  He said the whole emphasis of PCN’s is to strengthen the offer and ensure greater resilience.  He outlined an example of GP Practices, were many of the GP’s are salaried, merging to occupy facilities that are purposeful and also achieve efficiency savings by sharing back office functions.


He also responded to a query about access to local surgeries in instances of mergers in that access should remain the same and where appropriate patients can access services by use of technology, i.e. phone or on-line.


In response to a query about the workforce and the numbers of GP’s in Greenwich, the MD, GCCG replied that at this point there are vacancies and that a recruitment process was underway.  As explained earlier, many GP’s now wish to be on a salary and do not want to run their own businesses and therefore retention of these needs to be addressed.  The MD, GCCG would circulate vacancy data to Members.




In response to questions about the budget and growth that will be realised by the long term plan, the MD, GCCG reported that the additional funding from pensions and government uplifts is coming via national route and will increase the budget by 7% for the delivery of mental health services for example.


Although budgets have grown, the demand for services is also growing as people are living longer but with more complex needs.  There is a net figure of £13m that needs to be covered with providers.


The MD, GCCG was requested that information on budgets be circulated.




In response to a question about initiatives to change the time people have to wait for appointments, the MD, GCCG said that patients can access the 111 service, go on-line for support and seek support from Live Well Coaches and engage in activity to minimise the requirement to see GP’s.  He reported that crisis intervention services were available for those with mental health needs and substance misuse services are also provided in the community.


Members said that there is a need to hear more about these positive initiatives and asked that more is done to ensure misconceptions of these do not spread.  It was felt that effective communication of these initiatives would result in less being spent on people that use the digital route, meaning that more  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.