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The Minutes of the meeting held on 4th November 2015 having been circulated were signed as a correct record.
The Board considered a report from the Director of Halton of Housing Trust, which identified the impact of the Welfare Reforms since 2010. The report identified the changes already introduced and further reforms to reduce the welfare budget. The following welfare changes were highlighted with details on how each had impacted on Trust customers:
· Employment and Support Allowance;
· Personal Independence Payments;
· Universal Credit;
· Spare Room Subsidy (Bedroom Tax).
Members were also advised that as part of a consortium, Halton Housing Trust tracked the impact of Welfare Reform on up to 100 households for 18 months up to February 2015. The research highlighted the impact that these changes had, especially on health and wellbeing and detailed how the changes had impacted on claimants within Halton and specifically Halton Housing Trust customers.
Arising from the discussion the Board raised the following:
· Impact of the proposed welfare reforms which will bar 18-21 year olds from claiming housing benefit;
· Fee’s linked to the Employment Support Allowance; and
· Halton’s Child Poverty Action Group would be tasked to adopt a multi- agency approach to identify priorities to address the impact of the welfare reforms on the health and wellbeing of Halton residents.
1. the contents of the report be noted; and
2. further reports be submitted to track the on-going impact of the reforms as they are rolled out further.
The Board considered a report of the Director of Adult Social Services which provided information on the Quarter 2 report for July to September 2015/16 for the Better Care Fund (BCF) that had been submitted to NHS England and progress with the implementation of the BCF, following approval at the Better Care Board on 26th November 2015. A summary of the Quarter 2 report was outlined in the report.
Members were advised that NHS England and the LGA were developing the year end reporting guidance and an Annual Report template which would build on the quarterly report. There were currently some outstanding queries around accounting and audit being worked through before these could be finalised and issued. Once finalised, they would be available on the Better Care Fund webpage.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
The Board considered a report of the Director of Adult Social services which provided an update on the main issue that the Better Care Board had focused on progressing and monitoring over the past few months. The Better Care Board met on a quarterly basis and its recent work included:-
· One to One Care: St. Lukes;
· Continuing Health Care;
· Minor Adaptations;
· Lillycross Care Home – Widnes; and
· Better Care Fund Review.
In addition, it was report that the Better Care Board also monitored the activity of the Halton System Resilience Group (SRG). The Halton SRG provided multi-disciplinary strategic direction and guidance across health and social care in relation to non-elective and elective care. It was responsible for ensuring that, locally, there were quality processes in place which were safe and efficient for patients and cost effective. It was reported that over the past few months the SRG had considered issues around:-
· NHS 111 Mobilisation;
· Improving and Sustaining Cancer Performance;
· NHS England – SRG Assurance; and
· Winter Preparation 2015/16.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
The Board considered a copy of the 2014/15 Halton Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report. The report provided a summary of the key actions and priorities the Safeguarding Adults Board had been working towards in the last year. The report also set out the national and local developments on safeguarding adults at risk. During 2014/15, the Safeguarding Adults Board focused on four key priorities:-
1) Promote the awareness of abuse and the right to a safe and dignified life – particularly among the vulnerable and at risk, but also among staff, volunteers and the wider community.
2) Increase the contribution from service users and carers, ensuring their views and experience inform the Board’s work and service development. Provide individualised services that keep people safe but permit informed decisions about risk.
3) Ensure there was a strong multi-agency approach to the safety, wellbeing and dignity of all adults at risk;
4) Equip employees with the necessary tools and training to safeguard adults at risk and ensure their dignity was respected.
The future priorities for Halton’s Safeguarding Adults Board were summarised as follows:-
· Partnership; and
It was anticipated that these priorities would be achieved by ensuring there was a full range of policies, strategies and action plan in place, that provided a framework within which partner organisations could work together effectively to respond to abuse and neglect.
1) the report be noted; and
2) the Halton Safeguarding Board Annual Report 2014-15, be approved.
The Board considered a report of the Director of Public Health, which presented a new Infant Feeding Strategy, which outlined Halton’s approach to infant feeding over the next four years. The strategy aimed to create a culture and services that supported families and carers within the Borough to make informed healthy choices when feeding their baby and young child, to ensure the best possible health and wellbeing outcomes were achieved.
Further, the strategy would contribute to Halton’s Readiness for School indicator. Encouraging parents and service providers to enable infants and young children to breastfeed, be weaned and commence solids at the appropriate ages led to well-developed facial muscles and speech and language skills which in turn resulted in young children being ready for school.
In order to optimise the health of Halton residents the infant feeding strategy also aimed to achieve the following three overarching outcomes:-
1) Create a culture of breastfeeding in Halton so that the number of infants who were breastfed and the duration of breastfeeding increased;
2) Increase the number of infants who were introduced to solid foods at or around six months of age; and
3) Increase the awareness of parents and the general public of healthy feeding practices for infants and change behaviour accordingly.
A detailed action plan which underpinned a strategy and measured the achievement of the aims and outcomes had been previously circulated to Members of the Board.
RESOLVED: That the Infant Feeding Strategy and recommendations be approved.