Contact: Madeleine Shopland Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist
To receive any apologies for absence
An apology for absence was submitted from Councillor Firmager.
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest
Councillor Jones declared a Personal Interest in item 27 Update on work of Healthwatch Wokingham Borough, on the grounds that he had recently been elected to the Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Trust Board of Governors. He was due to assume this role in November.
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 www.wokingham.gov.uk/publicquestions
There were no public questions.
Member Question Time
To answer any member questions
There were no Member questions.
To receive an update on the work of Healthwatch Wokingham Borough.
Nick Durman provided an update on the work of Healthwatch Wokingham Borough.
During the discussion of this item, the following points were made:
· Members were asked to disregard p14-15 of the agenda which had been issued in error.
· The way Healthwatch worked had changed significantly as a result of the pandemic and online interaction had increased. Healthwatch had focused particularly on the advice and information provision element of its service. Reach via Facebook, Twitter and other types of social media had increased significantly.
· Collaborative working with partners such as the CCG and Royal Berkshire Hospital Trust had strengthened.
· Healthwatch participated in weekly Zoom meetings with CLASP and the Learning Disability Board, to hear about any issues of concern.
· Healthwatch had helped to source easy read information regarding anxiety and worry.
· Members were informed of a case where a resident who had had learning disabilities had had their nomad pack service withdrawn, leading to a loss of some of their independence. The pharmacy who had withdrawn the service had indicated that they had undertaken an assessment with the individual’s GP. However, the individual had indicated that they personally had not received any contact. Kevin Barnes from Thames Valley LPC had helped to source a different pharmacy to undertake the nomad pack service for that individual.
· CLASP had indicated that some people with learning difficulties had found it difficult to find easy read information on dentists’ websites.
· Healthwatch had undertaken a mystery shop of dentist and GP practice websites to ascertain how easy they were to use. The results of the dental service survey were contained within the agenda. A response had been sought from the providers. A number of residents had reported finding it difficult to access information about NHS dentist services and to access the services themselves. Services available varied between dental surgeries.
· Healthwatch had had reports of people finding the website for Royal Berkshire Healthcare Trust, difficult to use, particularly for vulnerable groups. Various issues had been fed back by the Berkshire West Healthwatches. A project to rebuild the website had been brought forward. The engagement phase had been completed and it was hoped that the new look website would be in place by late Autumn. Councillor Frewin asked that the Committee be kept updated on progress.
· The Committee was informed that a number of deaf and hard of hearing residents who lip-read, had reported to Healthwatch that they found telephone or video GP consultations, difficult. Healthwatch had raised the matter of GP practice staff wearing face coverings with transparent windows to communicate better with patients with hearing difficulties, and who relied on lip reading, with the CCG.
· Councillor Bishop-Firth commented that she was pleased to hear about the work undertaken with residents with hearing difficulties and those with learning difficulties. She questioned whether Healthwatch would be undertaking work around other groups such as BAME and the elderly. Nick Durman emphasised that Healthwatch Wokingham was a small team and as such had to prioritise its projects. He ... view the full minutes text for item 27.