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The Minutes of the meeting held on 19 January 2022 having been circulated were signed as a correct record.
The Board received a presentation from Tom Knight NHS England, which provided an update on dental services in the Borough. Tom outlined the difficulties and challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic which have resulted in long waiting times for the public in accessing dental services.
At the start of the pandemic, dentists closed down in line with National guidance. In June 2021, they were asked to open back up. However, due to infection prevention control guidelines, dentists were only allowed to see 10 patients a day, instead of the usual 40 patients a day and this was why there are long waiting lists for appointments.
Tom also gave some examples of the good work that was ongoing in Halton. There was a commissioning team that had worked with looked after children, the care homes and vulnerable people. Also additional resources had been added to a triage helpline.
A number of Councillors expressed their concerns about the issues their constituents were facing in accessing NHS dentists. Tom noted these concerns and provided reassurance that every efforts were being made to find a resolution.
Councillor Lowe expressed her thanks for the work undertaken in the care homes.
RESOLVED: That the Board note the presentation.
The Board received an update on the current situation regarding the COVID pandemic and the future managing recovery from and life beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report outlined the next steps and how we learn to live with COVID safely. There had been guidance related to the management of COVID-19 and from 1st April 2022, the Government would update guidance setting out the ongoing steps that people with COVID-19 should take to minimise contact with other people. This would align with the changes to testing.
Halton’s Public Health Team would continue to protect the public using a variety of tools including, expert help and advice, outbreak management, commissioning of appropriate services, provision of infection, prevention and control services and providing community outreach and support at a variety of levels.
It was noted that vaccinations remained a high priority and were still available to:
· anyone eligible for any of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or booster dose;
· 12-15 year olds; and
· 4th/5th boosters for people over 75 years (or those significantly immunocompromised), and the 1st dose for 5-11 year olds, both from April.
There were significant pockets of vaccine hesitancy within Halton and those that had not yet received a vaccine would be contacted shortly and support would be provided.
The Chair, Councillor Marie Wright, thanked the Public Health Team for their continued work and support.
RESOLVED: The Board noted the report.
The Board received an update on the One Place Based Partnership development with Cheshire Merseyside Integrated Care Board and Integrated Care Partnership Board. The report also set out some recommendations to the Board following the work with the Local Government Association.
The Board agreed:
i) the Terms of Reference and Membership of the Board;
ii) the frequency and format of meetings;
iii) that a thematic area would be agreed at the next meeting.
iv) the proposal for an induction process for all new members of the Board;
v) the suggestion of periodic Borough tours or visits to ensure the Board is familiar with the locality;
vi) the establishment of an action plan;
vii) that the HBC Partnership Officer would support to facilitate and co-ordinate the re-focussing of an agreed action plan and would provide continuous co-ordination support.
In addition, the Board was advised that a White Paper was published on 9th February 2022 called “Joining up Care for People, Places and Communities”. The paper built on the integrated approaches set out in the integrated care systems and place based partnerships.
RESOLVED: That the Board note the report and agreed the recommendations outlined above.
The Board received a report from the Director of Public Health, regarding the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) which outlined the priority areas for 2022/23.
The JSNA is a statutory responsibility of the Health and Wellbeing Board and its main purpose is to support local efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of the local population and reduce inequalities for all ages. The core aim was to develop local evidence based priorities for commission which would improve the public health and reduce inequalities.
RESOLVED: The Board noted the report and subsequently agreed the following recommendations:
1. the Board to oversee the Annual Joint Strategic Needs Assessment work plan and support the development of a work plan for 2022/23;
2. contribute to the production of a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment to ensure all partners are working collectively in Halton using the same intelligence to support joint decision making; and
3. that their preferred approach to the development of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and governance arrangements for its delivery was via a Steering Group.
The Board received the Adult Social Care Annual Report (Local Account) for 2020-21. The report included information on the successes and achievements across Adult Social Care, details of progress against performance metrics, some of the challenges faced, how the Council responded to community needs and details of future activities to be further developed.
It was also noted that the Annual Report, also known as the ‘Local Account’, served as a review mechanism for Adult Social Care to consider as part of ongoing continuous service improvement measures.
The Board acknowledged, praised and thanked the work and achievements of Adult Social Care staff during the pandemic. Thanks were also extended to everyone who worked during the pandemic including across the Council, NHS, pharmacies, care homes, vaccination centres and other services.
RESOLVED: The Board noted the report.
The Board considered a report of the Director of Adult Social Services, which summarised how the Council had developed the Discharge to Assess/Home First Model in Halton and the issues associated with sustaining that model/approach.
One of the key pieces of guidance issued during the pandemic was the National Introduction of the COVID-19 Hospital Discharge Service Requirements. This guidance provided a renewed focus on the Discharge to Assess Model.
This new approach demonstrably improved the outcome for vulnerable adults, significantly older people whilst reducing the need for long-term services and hospital utilisation.
It was noted that the changes made across the Intermediate Care and Discharge to Assess/Home First Model, alongside the impact of hospital pressures resulted in a shift in financial spend. Due to the flexibility of the joint working arrangements, budgets against services were appropriate and were able to be realigned. However, it was noted that whilst this was a temporary solution to an increasingly pressured budget, it was expected that these pressures would continue throughout the coming financial year and beyond and would need to be addressed.
The Board extended their thanks and best wishes to David Parr - Chief Executive, who was due to retire from Halton Borough Council on 31st March 2022
RESOLVED: The Board noted the report.
Future Meeting Dates
6 July 2022
12 October 2022
18 January 2023
22 March 2023
6th July 2022
12th October 2022
18th January 2023
22nd March 2023