Agenda and draft minutes

Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 20th January, 2020 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Madeleine Shopland  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were submitted from Councillors Clive Jones, Bill Soane and Alison Swaddle.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 227 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 4 September 2019.



The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 4 September 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


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.



Health and Planning pdf icon PDF 214 KB

To receive an update on health and planning.


The Committee considered a report regarding health and planning.


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


·         At the Committee’s September meeting, Councillor Frewin had asked a question in relation to health in planning decisions.  The question had come about as a result of a planning application for a quarry and cement works at Bridge Farm.  Councillor Smith outlined the reasons why this application had been refused.

·         Marcia Head clarified that when a planning application was received it was sent to Environmental Health for comment.

·         Councillor Frewin commented that it was important to look at the cumulative effect of development on the local health service.

·         Ian Bellinger commented that in producing the Local Plan there were several steps which could be taken to ensure that health and wellbeing considerations were taken into account and to make sure information was accessible.

·         An Infrastructure Delivery Plan was being produced alongside the Local Plan.  Engagement would be carried out with organisations such as the NHS, Police and Fire Authority.

·         It was noted that the Council would publish a Health Impact Assessment that would be published alongside the Draft Local Plan when it was put out to consultation in February.  This assessments considered how the Draft Local Plan aligned to the Council’s health and wellbeing priorities.

·         Members were advised that the Draft Local Plan proposes that developers of major developments submit their own health impact plans.  If this policy were accepted, supplementary guidance would need to be produced to assist its implementation.

·         Councillor Frewin suggested that there was a gap in the planning process between the production of the Local Plan and the provision of GP surgeries.

·         Councillor Miall commented that large developments in particular often had engagement meetings with the local community.  He went on to ask if this was a requirement.  Marcia Head stated that the Government guidance on planning and also the Council’s Statement of Community Involvement encouraged early engagement. 

·         Councillor Bishop-Firth asked whether the Council engaged with neighbouring authorities regarding health and wellbeing matters and planning.  Marcia Head indicated that neighbouring authorities would be consulted in the case of major applications.  Ian Bellinger emphasised that the Local Plan would also take cross border movement into account and officers had regular meetings.

·         In response to a Member question, Ian Bellinger indicated that the Council tried to have conversations with partners such as the NHS as early as possible regarding the potential allocations to inform and influence service provision.  However, the Council had no direct control over this.  If the NHS indicated that, they required land within a major development to be reserved for a health service building this could be discussed and planned for.  However, engagement with the CCG had indicated that their main constraint in how to deliver services related not to land but to the availability of health professionals, such as GPs, and revenue costs.

·         The Committee discussed hospital provision in some detail.  Councillor Mather questioned where residents in any potential new large-scale developments in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.


Update from Healthwatch Wokingham Borough pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To receive an update on the work of Healthwatch Wokingham Borough.


The Committee received an update on the work of Healthwatch Wokingham Borough.


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


·         Jim Stockley presented a report regarding helping patients take their medication and medication compliance aids (MCAs).  Medication compliance aids were a way of dispensing medication for people who have difficulty remembering to take it due to cognitive impairment or who have physical conditions that prevented them from opening the packaging.  The number of pharmacies willing to dispense medication in this way was decreasing.  It was recognised that this was both a local and national issue.

·         There were various reasons why some pharmacies were choosing no longer to use medication compliance aids, including; the time involved in putting together the pack, staff availability, lack of storage space and consequence of potential error.

·         Healthwatch’s final report had been sent to the CCG who had shared it with their Medicines Optimisation Group.  Further feedback was anticipated.

·         In response to a question from Councillor Grandison, it was noted that many people with long-term conditions were prescribed medication for a number of months.

·         Councillor Richards questioned whether companies such as Pharmacy2U could take on the production of MCAs.

·         Councillor Mather questioned what recommendations Healthwatch would make and was informed that it would recommend that it be made more financially viable for pharmacies to undertake the making up of the MCAs.

·         Jim Stockley agreed to establish how many requests there were for MCAs to be made up, in the Borough.

·         Members were advised that Healthwatch Wokingham would be sharing a regional manager with Healthwatch Hampshire.

·         Healthwatch Wokingham’s quarterly report would be presented to the March Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting.

·         It was noted that Healthwatch would be undertaking a number of shared pop up events with the Citizen Advice Bureau in future.

·         Jim Stockley advised Members that Healthwatch had been involved in the successful World Mental Health Day on 11 October 2019.  He also informed the Committee of a number of mental health self-help groups such It’s About Time, Mental Health Mates and Depression Expression.

·         Members discussed the forthcoming Recovery College.

·         Healthwatch were participating in a consultation process with Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.  Jim Stockley would report on the outcome.

·         With regards to volunteer drivers, Members were informed that there would be a national review of non-emergency transport and that one of the Healthwatch volunteers had been invited to discuss the local situation with a national team.


RESOLVED:  That the update from Healthwatch Wokingham Borough be noted.


Forward Programme 2019-2020 pdf icon PDF 37 KB

To consider the forward programme for the remainder of the municipal year.


The Committee considered the forward programme for the remainder of the municipal year.


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


·         Members were reminded that health scrutiny training was being held on Thursday 27 February 7pm.

·         The Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee had considered the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and had expressed concern over the rate of self-harm related hospital admissions in 15-19 year olds and had suggested that the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee should consider investigating this issue.  It was agreed to seek at an update at the Committee’s next meeting.

·         It was agreed that an update on suicide prevention would be requested for the Committee’s next meeting.

·         The Committee agreed to postpone consideration of ambulance response times to a future meeting in the new municipal year.


RESOLVED:  That the forward programme be noted.