Venue: Remote Meeting - This meeting is being held remotely via Microsoft Teams. View directions
Contact: Jackie Graham 03000 269704
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor J Allen, R Chillery, J Gillon, S Helps and S White.
S Lamb was present as substitute for R Chillery, Dr P Acheson for J Gillon, K Carruthers for S Helps and S Caddell for S White.
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
The minutes of the meeting held on 11 September 2020 were agreed as a correct record and would be signed by the Chair.
Health and Social Care Integration
The Board received a verbal update from the Corporate Director of Adult and Health Services supported by the Director of Integrated Community Services on Health and Social Care Integration progress.
The Board were advised of two practical items in terms of integration, the first was that they were in the process of appointing first contact physiotherapists who would be employed by the Trust and work through the community services team into primary care. The second was a joint piece of work with Primary Care, Community Services, The Acute Trust and Mental Health that was a pilot to care for people with long COVID, including NHS employees.
Resolved: That the update be noted.
The Board considered the report of the Director of Public Health that provided an update on the development and implementation of the ‘Framework for good workforce mental health in County Durham businesses’ and its associated services (for copy of report, see file of minutes).
The Director of Public Health introduced the item before handing over to the Public Health Advanced Practitioner who was in attendance to present the report.
The Board had been provided with a copy of the framework document as part of the agenda.
The Board were informed that small and medium sized businesses and voluntary and community organisations were less likely to provide access to good quality mental health training and support for owners and employees.
The framework had been developed in conjunction with local business specialists and contained a set of key actions that aimed to tackle workplace mental health stigma and discrimination to improve mental health awareness and promote the importance of good workforce mental health.
An Employee Assistance Programme and Mental Heath Training Hub had been commissioned that could be accessed without charge and had been funded for two years and were both fully operational.
The framework had been reviewed and updated to include matters relating to COVID-19.
The framework was based on solid evidence and would be circulated to businesses across the area.
As Mental Health Champion the Chair fully supported the work that had been undertaken. The Board recognised that COVID-19 had presented many challenges for local businesses and would like to commend the work that had been undertaken to prioritise mental health of the workforce.
Councillor Gunn supported the Chair and commented that the impacts and effects upon people who were in employment had been outlined and described very well in the framework. One of the effects was the impact of mental health upon families and upon children and these knock-on effects was not just one person or one company or business, it was to do with a whole range of things that occurred. If affecting families, it was affecting children and the way children go to school and learn. Councillor Gunn was aware of small business impact and how businesses had struggled, and some were still struggling to keep afloat and welcomed the framework.
The Public Health Advanced Practitioner commented that the framework was clear on isolation and that no one operates in isolation in their personal or professional lives or in education, how people were feeling would affect everything surrounding them.
The Director of Public Health echoed Councillor Gunn’s points and commented that it was fantastic seeing the framework come to fruition and a lot of work had been done in the background and thanked colleagues for a fantastic piece of work that they should be proud of for the County.
S Caddell commented that this was an excellent initiative and very well supported by the evidence and asked for details of the monitoring that would take place.
The Public Health Advanced Practitioner responded that the feedback will be ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
The Board considered the report of the Chief Executive, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust that provided Members with an update on the Health and Care System Winter Plan 2020/21 (for copy of report, see file of minutes).
The Chief Executive was in attendance to present the report and advised the Board that the plan was based on the individual plans of the constituent organisations with a view to restoring services that were paused in the first wave of COVID-19, managing winter pressures and managing second and any subsequent waves of COVID-19 and ensure they had consistent arrangements for escalation across all agencies that would deal with any local outbreaks.
The plan was consistent and formed a major plan of the work undertaken by the Local Resilience Forum across County Durham and Darlington. The plan was dynamic and incorporated new advice and guidance as and when it was received nationally.
The COVID vaccine was not included in the plan but was incorporated into the live document.
The Board were provided with details of the ‘Talk Before You Walk’ initiative that had recently launched and the key objectives of the plan.
There were four main initiatives as part of the plan that were optimising capacity; optimising uptake of flu vaccination, a task and finish group and a myriad of support packages and services in place.
This year was very different due to COVID-19 and a lot of the risks would be amplified and the Board were provided with details of the key risks.
Councillor Gunn indicated that frontline services and NHS Trusts were under enormous stress and strain in dealing with the pressures and that their work was appreciated. She was delighted to see that workforce mental health was included in the plan, and she asked if ‘Talk Before You Walk’ was impacting on emergency departments and if people were using the appropriate service and taking the advice.
The Chief Executive responded that the initiative was running right across the North East and North Cumbria but had just recently been rolled out in County Durham and Darlington. There were a number of communication campaigns asking the public to think and to consider the alternatives before they presented at A&E or Urgent Care. Currently there was no tangible difference in numbers, but they hoped by working with the public, providing the alternatives available to make clearer the options they had that this would relieve some of the pressure from hospitals. She would update the Board at the next meeting when the initiative had had chance to take hold in our area.
Dr Stewart Findlay commented that it was early days for the ‘Talk Before You Walk’ initiative but they did know that a number of people use the A&E that could be better dealt with by a GP or local Pharmacists. If people go to A&E and there were better places for them they would advise them of the alternatives. A number of people were not aware ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
The Board considered the report of the Independent Chair, Local Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) that presented the Health and Wellbeing Board the Annual Report of the County Durham Local Safeguarding Adults Board 2019/20 that provided assurance on safeguarding adults across County Durham (for copy of report, see file of minutes).
The SAB Business Manager was in attendance to present the fifth annual report on behalf of the Independent Chair, Local Safeguarding Adults Board. The Board were advised that in addition to the report this year they had produced an ‘annual report on a page’ and an easy read version.
The SAB Annual Report outlines progress against the SAB strategic priorities, the peer review recommendations about the voices of adults and practitioners, and the early SAB response to the Covid-19 emergency.
Some review activity had been stood down due to the pandemic but had since restarted.
Resolved: (i) That the future work of the County Durham Safeguarding Adults Board be noted.
(ii) That the progress made by the Local Safeguarding Adults Board during 2019/20 be noted.
(iii) That the Local Safeguarding Adults Board Annual report 2019/20 and the accompanying SAB Annual Report on a page and the SAB Annual Report Easy Read be noted.
The Board considered the report of the Independent Chair and Scrutineer, Durham Safeguarding Children Partnership that presented the Board with the Durham Safeguarding Children Partnership (DSCP) Annual Report 2019/20 (for copy of report, see file of minutes).
S Winship, Policy and Strategy Officer for the Durham Safeguarding Children Partnership was in attendance to present the first 2019/20 Annual Report since the DSCP arrangements came into force. He advised the Board that the report was available on the DSCP website together with the Young People’s version of the Annual Report.
The Annual Report provided an overview of performance monitoring as well as providing a summary of the use of restraint in secure centres, looked at serious case reviews and child death reviews and details of the multi-agency training provision.
Their primary responsibility was to provide a way for the local agencies that had a responsibility in respect of child welfare to agree how they would work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and to ensure that they do so effectively. The Report also described the local governance arrangements and structure of the Durham Safeguarding Children Partnership and set out the work with multi-agency partners and the progress on key pieces of work in the last year.
The Board were advised that Amy Waites had been appointed as the Young People’s Commissioner Apprentice whose role was to engage with children and young people across the county to ensure their voices were heard and act as a scrutineer for young people.
Councillor Gunn commented that the safeguarding of children was critical in her role as Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People’s Services. She thanked the Officer for the comprehensive report given that Durham Safeguarding Children Partnership and acknowledged the achievements since the new partnership came into existence. Working to fulfil all the objectives had been a priority and she had met the newly appointed Independent Chair/Scrutineer and was looking forward to continuing to work with him. She supported the Chair in welcoming Amy Waites as it was important that they had the voice of children and young people in terms of the safeguarding work of the Council and partners, she had met with Amy and was looking forward to working with her.
Resolved: That the report be noted.
The Board noted a presentation from the Director of Public Health, on the following public health key campaigns for Autumn 2020 (for copy of presentation, see file of minutes):
o Proactive/Prevention Work
o Reactive Work
o Wrap Around Work
o Widespread Comms
o Key Messages
The Director of Public Health advised the Board that there would be an increased focus on those people who had a respiratory condition to encourage them to get a flu vaccination. They hoped that the flu season would mirror the Australian flu season that flatlined during their winter season last year.
The Chair thanked the officer for her presentation and asked Members around the partnership to encourage partners to share the information to ensure that accurate information was being circulated across social media platforms.
Covid 19 Community Champions Programme launch
The Chair stated that this programme was an exciting initiative and people had been recruited from communities which was an excellent way of working with local people. It was important that the community champions had some support and had training in place around this initiative and a sense of ownership for communities.
The Chair was delighted to launch the COVID-19 Community Champions programme at the Health and Wellbeing Board meeting today.
Throughout the crisis, the Council had supported communities in a number of different ways including keeping up to date with the latest information and guidance and this programme builds on that, empowering our communities to take action in local areas.
The Community Champions programme would train, support and upskill people with relevant information and messages for them to share within their own areas. It was important that these messages would come from local people in communities and that they gave reliable, clear, concise and consistent messages in a timely way. The Community Champions would become the trusted voice within their communities.
At the last Health and Wellbeing Board meeting the Board had a presentation on the Approach to Wellbeing, and the Community Champions programme builds on these wellbeing principles to help empower communities to build local assets and resilience. Working with our residents, would help to ensure services and interventions were centred around the people who needed them.
There was a dedicated webpage to host the Programme and a specific email address. Details could be found on the Council’s website.
Anyone who was interested in the programme was encouraged to visit the webpage and sign-up and there was also a toolkit available online.
She strongly encouraged Health & Wellbeing Board members to share details of the programme using all available channels as well as helping to recruit champions.
A press release had been developed to share this positive news far and wide.
The Director of Public Health would share further information on the programme within her presentation.
The Chair formally launched the COVID-19 Community Champions Programme.
The Director of Public Health commented that they were delighted to see the COVID-19 Community Champions Development programme launch and some of the champions had been recruited through the Area Action Partnership events.
The Board considered the report of the Director of Public Health, that provided an updated COVID-19 Local Outbreak Control Plan.
The Director of Public Health was in attendance to present the report and deliver a detailed presentation that highlighted the following:
· Local Data – County Durham Case Summary
· Update on the work of the Health Protection Assurance Board
· County Durham Together Community Hub
· Key Communication Activity
· Mental Health Update
· COVID-19 Champions Programme
The Director of Public Health advised Members that of the County Durham COVID rate position as of 9 November 2020.
Durham University had also now moved from managing outbreaks to planning for the students returning home at Christmas.
The mass rapid community testing that was announced yesterday by government across the North East was being looked at in relation to the vulnerable population but also potential of rapid community testing and the use of the lateral flow tests to support people and Durham University were utilising this with their students.
The key focus of work going forward from the Health Protection Assurance Board was the piece of work around taking communities with us, test and trace remained a priority, the implementation of the rapid community testing was important locally, the ongoing protection of the vulnerable and the implementation of the vaccine programme.
The Chair indicated that information did change quickly so some of the information was correct at the time of writing but may now be out of date.
A number of questions had been submitted by members of the public and answered as follow:
How had our local schools responded to any Covid-19 outbreaks and what additional support was being given to our vulnerable young people to give them the best possible chances for their future?
The Corporate Director of Children and Young People’s Services indicated that schools were one of the key groups in terms of targets for outbreak management.
The County’s schools have had a whole range of challenges since the COVID outbreak, through the initial lockdown period and since reopening in September.
He wanted to thank everyone who had been involved across schools, staff, leadership in schools who had done an amazing job over that period of time to ensure that children and young people have had some of those risks mitigated for them and they had really stepped up and had been well supported through Public Health and Local Authority Education Officers and the support services that the council had in place.
Schools had continued to do an excellent job and had showed a massive amount of resilience through some really challenging times to ensure they were able to provide schooling in a secure environment for children. They also had remained open during the spring and summer for the most vulnerable children and those of key workers.
There was a whole range of work done to provide secure environments that involved risk assessments and taking a lot of the national guidance often at extremely short notice and translating that into ... view the full minutes text for item 12.
Any Other Business
The Chair thanked all partners and organisations around the table and those that were delivering the frontline services on the ground. She wished to show her appreciation to everyone in doing a very good job in extremely difficult circumstances, which the Panel were very much aware of.
She also thanked members of the public and the media who had watched the meeting.