Agenda and minutes

Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 7th March, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: David Hicks 1 - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN. View directions

Contact: Madeleine Shopland  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence


There were no apologies for absence.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 22 January 2018.



The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 22 January 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Councillor Jones commented that with regards to the update on the potential impact of the 21st century council programme on health and social care, he had asked whether staff currently in departments such as Highways would be expected to take phone calls relating to matters such as children’s services.  With regards to the Healthwatch consultation, Councillor Jones felt that the strength of the Committee’s objection to the proposal to work in partnership with Reading Borough Council to explore a single commissioning exercise to secure a Healthwatch service across Reading and Wokingham, could be made clearer.  Councillor Smith commented that the Minutes were a summary and not a verbatim record of the meeting.


Declaration of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest.



Public Question Time

To answer any public questions


A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for members of the public to ask questions submitted under notice.


The Council welcomes questions from members of the public about the work of this committee.


Subject to meeting certain timescales, questions can relate to general issues concerned with the work of the Committee or an item which is on the Agenda for this meeting.  For full details of the procedure for submitting questions please contact the Democratic Services Section on the numbers given below or go to


There were no public questions.


Member Question Time

To answer any member questions


There were no Member questions.


Update on GP Alliance

To receive an update on the GP Alliance. (20 mins)


Dr Debbie Milligan, Wokingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), updated Members on the Wokingham GP Alliance.


During the discussion of this item the following points were made:

·         Many practices within the Borough had signed up to a GP Alliance to work together in order to achieve a sustainable model of General Practice. 

·         Members asked who sat on the Wokingham GP Alliance Board and were informed that Dr James Kennedy and Dr Dan Alton (Wargrave Practice), Dr Amit Sharma (Brookside Practice), Dr Husein Hafizji (Wokingham Medical Centre) and Dr Rupa Joshi (Woodley Surgery) formed the Board.  In response to a Member question regarding decision making Dr Milligan commented that it was a working Board and that decision making was via the practices.

·         The Committee was informed of matters which the GP Alliance were working on including 7 day working, hub working and muscular skeletal services. 

·         With regards to 7 day working, Councillor Miall questioned whether a GP would be available every day a week.  Dr Milligan explained that GPs and other staff would be available at a surgery within each cluster at weekends.  It was anticipated that this would rotate around the cluster.  Councillor Jones stated that it may be difficult for some people to travel by public transport to other parts of a cluster, for example Woodley to Wargrave, on a Sunday.  Dr Milligan commented that in practice it worked well.

·         Councillor Miall asked whether a more restricted service would be provided at weekends.  Dr Milligan indicated that a mixture of routine and emergency appointments would be offered.  Weekend emergency appointments were currently provided via Westcall.  It was important to ensure that there was not an overlap in provision.

·         Members were informed that the northern cluster was trialling paramedics undertaking home visits.  GPs would continue to also undertake home visits, particularly for chronic incidents and where it was important for continuity such as for patients requiring end of life care or who had dementia.  Councillor Soane questioned what impact this would have on paramedics’ emergency work and was notified that there was a complete separation in Wokingham and that the paramedics were employed directly by the practices.




1)         the update on the GP Alliance be noted;


2)         Dr Milligan be thanked for her update.


Update on primary care facilities and estates

To receive an update on primary care facilities and estates (20 mins)


Dr Milligan updated the Committee on primary care facilities and estates.


During the discussion of this item the following points were made:


·         The extension at the Finchampstead Surgery was now completed and patients from the Arborfield area were starting to register with the surgery.  The extension at Swallowfield Surgery was due for completion shortly and the practice was starting to take patients from the Shinfield area.

·         With regards to Barkham the CCG had been advised that approximately 1,000 additional homes would be built in the area.  Finchampstead and Swallowfield practices felt that they would be able to absorb the resulting new patients.  Councillor Kaiser disputed this and emphasised that it would be approximately 3,500 new homes.  Clarification was sought on the provision of information about the anticipated number of additional homes in Barkham.

·         Dr Milligan stated that patients once registered with a surgery tended not to move to another in the same area.

·         In response to Member comments regarding primary care facilities to serve Arborfield, Section 106 funding and the need for communication between the Council and health colleagues, the Interim Director People Services commented that the Wokingham Integrated Strategic Partnership were having discussions around the integration of health and social care.




1)         the update on primary care facilities and estates be noted;


2)         Dr Milligan be thanked for her update.


Local Government Ombudsman - Public Report

To receive a Local Government Ombudsman - Public Report. (15 mins)


It was agreed that this report would be considered in Part 2 session as it contained sufficient narrative for individuals to be identified.


Local Healthwatch for Reading and Wokingham pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To receive a report regarding local Healthwatch for Reading and Wokingham. (20 mins)



The Committee received a report regarding Healthwatch services for Reading and Wokingham.


During the discussion of this item the following points were made:


·         Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 local authorities were required to establish a Local Healthwatch (LHW) in their areas as a consumer champion for healthcare and social care services.

·         Reading Borough Council and Wokingham Borough Council had undertaken a public consultation between 19 December 2017 and 6 February 2018 on a proposal to commission a LHW service for both areas at a cost of £173,000.  109 responses had been received as well as a number of letters.  Overall 58% of consultation respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the proposal to bring together the Reading and Wokingham Healthwatch Services as a single service. Consultation feedback highlighted that many people were keen to stress the importance and value of a Local Healthwatch having a very local identity.

·         Hayley Rees, Category Manager Prevention & Early Intervention outlined the two main options proposed post consultation:

Ø  Option 1: To continue to work in partnership with Reading Borough Council on a single commissioning exercise to secure a Local Healthwatch service across Reading and Wokingham;

Ø  Option 2: Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) to undertake a commissioning exercise to secure a Local Healthwatch service across Wokingham – with a local contract and local contract monitoring.

·         The Category Manager Prevention & Early Intervention commented that should Option 2 proceed the Council would need to do more work with the current Healthwatch provider regarding costings of elements of the service.

·         Alternative options which had been considered and which were less supported were highlighted including:

Ø  Recommissioning Local Healthwatch services for Reading and for Wokingham as a completely unified service;

Ø  Working in partnership with Reading Borough Council to commission a Healthwatch function through a single framework for services to be delivered in both areas.  Under this option, two ‘lots’ could be specified and potential providers would be invited to bid to deliver a Local Healthwatch service for Wokingham or a Local Healthwatch service for Reading or both;

Ø  Each Council to re-commission its own Local Healthwatch service, offering contracts for 80% of the current price to secure savings.  This would result in two very small contracts with providers having less resilience to changes such as staff absence or turnover.

·         Members were asked for their views on the two main options.

·         Councillor Smith commented that he felt that Option 1 should not be proceeded with.  He went on to question why the consultation had finished in February when the current contract ceased on 31 March.  The Category Manager Prevention & Early Intervention stated that a wider review of the voluntary sector, including Healthwatch services, had begun in March 2017.  This had covered 35 services and had taken place over two phases.  A report had been taken to Executive and it had been agreed that transitional arrangements could be put in place to secure procurement arrangements if required, on the outcome of the review.  Some of the recommendations  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.


Healthwatch Update pdf icon PDF 698 KB

To receive an update on the work of Healthwatch Wokingham Borough (15 mins).


Nicola Strudley presented a summary of the Healthwatch report regarding the multi Healthwatch visit to Prospect Park, the recommendations and the response from providers.


During the discussion of this item the following points were made:


·         Healthwatch Wokingham Borough had coordinated all six Berkshire Healthwatches to undertake a set of eleven visits to Bluebell, Daisy, Rose and Snowdrop wards at Prospect Park over a week in October 2017.  41 adults in total had been spoken to.

·         Members were informed of a CQC inspection which had taken place previously and recommendations for improvement which had come out of it.

·         Volunteers who had visited Prospect Park had received training prior to the visit and familiarisation visits had also taken place.

·         Patients that spoke to Healthwatch had been highly complementary of staff.  However, resources were stretched.

·         Many patients had said that they felt that Prospect Park was a safe space.  However, Nicola Strudley commented that there was less of a sense of a therapeutic input. 

·         It was felt that continuation of care once patients left the hospital and used community services, could be improved.

·         Councillor Miall questioned whether older and younger patients were placed in the same wards.  Nicola Strudley commented that Rowan Ward was specifically for dementia patients and Campion Ward was specifically for those with learning difficulties.  Otherwise adult patients of all age groups were in the same wards.




1)         the update on the work of Healthwatch Wokingham Borough be noted;


2)         Nicola Strudley be thanked for her presentation.


Health Consultations pdf icon PDF 53 KB

To be updated on live health consultations (5 mins).


Members were informed of a consultation regarding the Care Quality Commission’s next phase of regulation – independent healthcare providers.  Councillor Blumenthal requested a definition of independent healthcare providers.


RESOLVED:  That the health consultation be noted.


Exclusion of the Public


RESOLVED:  That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended) as appropriate.



Local Government Ombudsman's Report


Martin Sloan, Head of WISH, updated the Committee on a report issued by the Local Government Ombudsman.


RESOLVED:  That the Local Government Ombudsman Report be noted.