Agenda and minutes

Health Policy and Performance Board - Tuesday, 23rd November, 2021 6.30 p.m.

Venue: Council Chamber, Runcorn Town Hall

Contact: Ann Jones on 0151 511 8276 or e-mail 

No. Item

Due to apologies submitted by the Chair and the Vice-Chair, a motion was made for Councillor J. Stockton to take the role for the meeting.  This was seconded and agreed by the Board.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Additional documents:


            The Minutes of the meetings held on 28 September and 12 October having been circulated were signed as a correct record.


Public Question Time pdf icon PDF 67 KB


            It was confirmed that no public questions had been received.


Health and Wellbeing Minutes pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Additional documents:


The minutes from the Health and Wellbeing Board meeting held on 7 July 2021 were attached for the information of the Board.




The Standards for Employers of Social Workers and the Social Work Health Check pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received a report of the Director of Adult Social Services, which provided information on work that had taken place within Adult Social Care (ASC) in relation to the Standards for Employers of Social Workers in England, which was published by the Local Government Association (LGA).


It was reported that a self-assessment exercise had been undertaken locally to establish Halton’s performance in relation to the Standards and staff had also taken part in the Social Work Health Check survey, which was required under one of the employer standards.


The report provided Members with further information on the outcome of the Health Check survey as well as information on the Standards self-assessment exercise.  It was noted that the Health Check survey had been co-ordinated at a national level by the LGA with national, regional and local reports being produced.  Halton’s social workers took part in the survey in December 2020 and the headline local report was received in January 2021 (Appendix A).  A more detailed local report was received in May 2021 (Appendix 2).


It was noted that the Health Check survey was being run on an annual basis with the next one due to start in September 2021.  Halton had registered interest in taking part and was waiting for further information.


The following further information was provided in response to Members questions:


·         There were 22 respondents out of 55 to the survey, which represented 40% of staff;

·         Continuous Professional Development (CPD) was good in Halton and improvements to this were always being looked at to encourage staff to stay; and

·         Training opportunities had been reduced during the pandemic, however all staff had now been given training opportunities.


RESOLVED:  The Board note the contents of the report.






Public Health Response to COVID-19 Coronavirus pdf icon PDF 68 KB


The Director of Public Health and Protection provided the Board with an update on the Public Health response to Covid-19 Coronavirus.  


The update and accompanying presentation included the most recent Covid-19 figures and data for Halton; how the Halton Outbreak Support Team (HOST) were working to successfully identify and manage local outbreaks; and gave details of the most recent information on testing and vaccination for people in Halton.


Responses to Members questions were provided and the following additional information was provided:


·         The Public Health Team recognised the remoteness of the vaccination centre on Manor Park and although they did not organise the centres, work was underway with NHS England to look for a more central location which would be easier for people to get to;

·         Occasionally there were issues with the supplies of the vaccine to pharmacies;

·         Communication of the importance of having the vaccine was still being concentrated on, to encourage those who were still resisting this.  Public Health staff had also made visits to supermarkets and businesses to promote this;

·         Public Health had a dedicated schools based team which held daily meetings where they compiled Covid data from schools;

·         The vaccination data relating to NHS staff was reported to NHS England; and

·         The vaccination site at the Brindley would close from 1 December 2021.


            RESOLVED:  That the update be received.



One Halton Update pdf icon PDF 1 MB


The Board received a paper from the Strategic Director – People (HBC) and the Chief Commissioner – NHS Halton CCG, which provided a position statement for One Halton in relation to the following:


a)    The Cheshire and Merseyside (C&M) Integrated Care Service developments;

b)    The C&M CCG Transition Programme;

c)    The C&M Integrated Care Board (ICB) Constitution consultation; and

d)    The One Halton place self-assessment against the C&M Development Framework.


Members discussed what the proposals meant for the people of Halton and for the staff from the CCG.  It was reported that although some large scale projects would need to be carried out across Cheshire and Merseyside, the public would see some changes to health services locally. 


RESOLVED:  That the report be noted.


Suicide Prevention pdf icon PDF 92 KB


The Board received a report of the Interim Director of Public Health, which provided an update on the suicide prevention agenda.


The report discussed:


a)    Public Health England Prevention and Promotion Mental health funding (£270,000) for mitigation against Covid impacts and outcomes achieved;

b)    Champs and the NO MORE Suicide Strategy and outcomes achieved so far;

c)    Core Local Activity – tackling mental health stigma in men with Halton’s Time to Change Hub and the outcomes achieved to date; and

d)    Mental health teams in schools their outcomes achieved to date.


Members discussed the following:


·         Champs funding from the NHS to help with the prevention of suicide amongst children;

·         Staff working closely with schools to give psychological support but this had proved difficult due to lack of funding;

·         Mental health first aid – what to look for.  This was being taught in community venues and to front line staff to educate people to identify the signs of someone suffering with mental health problems; this was supported by social media campaigns; and

·         The Multi Partner Implementation Group in relation to schools – this consisted of educational psychologists and staff from the education and the health implementation teams.


RESOLVED:  That the Board notes the report.


Update on the implementation of Mandatory Vaccination Regulations in Adult Care Homes pdf icon PDF 86 KB


The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director – People, which gave an update in relation to the risks associated with the recent Government legislation published on the need to vaccinate people working or deployed in care homes.


The implications of implementing the regulations identified in the original report (submitted to the Board on 28.09.21), were that staff who worked within care homes or were required to visit care homes as part of their role who were not fully vaccinated or refused to be vaccinated by 11 November 2021, could not continue to be employed in that role.


Members were provided with an update on the actions taken so far to implement the regulations and monitor and mitigate, where appropriate, the consequential risks associated with possible workforce reductions after 11 November 2021.


It was noted that an updated risk assessment had been carried out against the five risk areas outlined in the report – Employment, Workforce, Commissioning, Continuity of Care and Viability.  Members were advised that the Council would continue to review the business contingency plans for Council run care homes and the numbers vaccinated were now being monitored daily.   Further, the Council would continue to use all means available to encourage uptake and to ensure that providers continued to accurately and regularly report the vaccination status of their staff.


In response to a query regarding additional precautions being taken by staff who were medically exempt from vaccination but continuing to work in the care homes, it was noted that they were required to take two lateral flow tests per week; one PCR test per week; and wear the required PPE items prior to entering their place of work.


RESOLVED:  That the Board notes the report.


Update on Mental Health Issues pdf icon PDF 84 KB


The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director – People, which provided an update on two developments within local mental health services – the current impact of the take-over by Merseycare NHS Mental Health Trust of the former North West Boroughs (NWB) Mental Health Trust; and the implementation of the national Mental Health Breathing Space Scheme.


It was reported that so far the take-over by Merseycare NHS Mental Health Trust of the former NWB had made very little impact locally on front line service delivery.  A local multi-agency health partnership board was being re-established imminently, which would include Merseycare, and would make the transmission of information and service developments easier to maintain through consistent conversation.


Members were advised that the Mental Health Breathing Space (MHBS) scheme was introduced by central Government and implemented in May 2021.  It aimed to provide people who were in debt and who qualified for the scheme, with a period of respite during which they could not be pursued by their creditors until their debts had been addressed by a specialist debt adviser.  The elements and reasons for the scheme being set up were outlined in the report.


In response to members’ questions it was noted that the measure of service delivery impact came from people on the ground, so feedback from front line teams.  The Board recognised that financial problems did affect some people’s mental health and they required specialist support to get them through this.  The numbers of referrals made to date would be provided at a future meeting of the Board.


RESOLVED:  That the Board notes the contents of the report and comments made.




Performance Management Reports, Quarter 2 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received the Performance Management Reports for quarter two of 2021/22.


Members were advised that the report introduced, through the submission of a structured thematic performance report, the progress of key performance indicators, milestones and targets relating to Health in quarter two of 2020-21.  This included a description of factors, which were affecting the service. 


The Board was requested to consider the progress and performance information and raise any questions or points for clarification and highlight any areas of interest or concern for reporting at future meetings of the Board. 


It was noted that some areas within Adult Social Care, Public Health and NHS Services were still being effected by the pandemic so some data was limited.


ASC 13 – the numbers of households living in temporary accommodation was down due to some resources still being used from the start of the pandemic.


ASC 16 – the percentage of existing HBC ASC staff that had received Adult Safeguarding Training in the past 3 years was down – since this data was compiled these numbers had improved, as discussed earlier in item 5 (a).


RESOLVED: That the quarter two Performance Management reports be received.