Agenda and draft minutes

Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 6th November, 2023 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


An apology for absence was submitted from Councillor Beth Rowland.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 19 September 2023.



The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 19 September 2023 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


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.



Social Care Futures

To receive a presentation on Social Care Futures.

Additional documents:


The Committee received a presentation about the future of social care in Wokingham Borough.  Members were advised that a presentation would be made to Council in January.


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


·      Matt Pope, Executive Director Children’s, Adults and Health, indicated that Social Care Futures was a vision of how the provision of social care could be different in the future.

·      The Committee watched a video which gave an introduction to the Social Care vision.

·      Officers had been working with a small group of residents who drew on social care support, to develop a Social Care Future Vision.

·      Social Care Futures was a national movement and was led by people with lived experience of social care.

·      Gregg Burgess provided an update on his experience.  Gregg explained that he had a progressive neurological disorder.  Once very active he still enjoyed watching sport.  His diagnosis had meant that he had had to draw on support from the Council over the last 9 years.  He thought that improvements could be made to the system.  Consideration needed to be given as to how things were done and those experiencing the care needed to be listed to more.  Gregg explained that when he had been visited by health care professionals in 2014, they had suggested considerable adaptions to his home at a cost of £27,000 in the form of a grant from the Council.  He had refused all but £7,000 worth, as he did not want his house to look like a hospital.  He was still in the same home and managing without the additional adaptations, even though his support needs had increased.  In addition, Gregg had been offered day services, but these had not aligned with his interests.  Standard agency support was not for him, and his care needs were outside of the core hours.  He had a small care team who he had selected.  Service users should not be pigeonholed into a fixed support offering.  There was a need to think more creatively and use resources better.  Gregg was of the opinion that the Social Care Futures vision was aligned with a better direction of travel for care and support.

·      Jodie Reichelt, Optalis, commented that showing respect for the Gregg’s opinion and enabling his involvement in the shaping of the care and support around them, had led to better outcomes for him.  Social Care Futures was about the pooling of collective skills, insights and experiences and recognising that collaborative working would lead to better outcomes.  Jodie emphasised that involving service users in the rethinking and redesign of services, and doing things in a more innovative way would help to achieve the best outcomes.

·      The Council had signed up to a national community of support which enabled the sharing of challenges and best practice, and for the group to work on solutions together.  A local group had been formed which included people with lived experience, providers across health and social care and voluntary and community support services.  This  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.


Adult Social Care Workforce Strategy Update pdf icon PDF 382 KB

To receive the Adult Social Care Workforce Strategy Update.



Russell Gabbini, Strategic Transformation HR Partner (Adults) and Vicky Scotford, Principal Social Worker (Adults) presented an update on the Adult Social Care Workforce Strategy, which covered the Adult Social Care workforce directly employed by the Council.


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

·       Workforce was an issue nationally.  With regards to the Council there were not enough Occupational Therapists and Social Workers to cope with the increasing demand.

·       The Adult Social Care Workforce Strategy had been launched in 2022 and set out a 4 year framework for the adult social care workforce for Wokingham.  It had been developed following engagement with staff and one of its aims was to increase stability in the sector.

·       The three main themes were recruitment and retention; workforce development; and wellbeing.

·       Action taken with regards to recruitment and retention were outlined. 

Ø  Review and revamping of the induction process for WBC ASC staff. 

Ø  A pilot programme of ‘stay interviews’ had been introduced to identify any issues at any early stage.  Feedback had been largely positive.

Ø  The non-financial reward package had been reviewed and incorporated into the recruitment packs for all WBC applicants. 

Ø  In addition, corporately, the Council had invested in ‘AdWarrior’ Jobs board.  Adult Social Care and Children’s Services had negotiated a joint package for unlimited advertising on the ‘Community Care’ jobs board.  This had greatly increased the number of applications and increased the number of successful appointments for ASC roles.

Ø  The HR resourcing team had undertaken a salary review of Registered Social Work and Occupational Therapy roles to remain competitive in the local job market.

Ø  Implemented a pay progression route/criteria for non-registered staff in ASC to improve retention and career progression opportunities.

·      With regards to workforce development, Vicky Scotford highlighted that since the Strategy had been introduced Social Work Apprenticeships had been used successfully. 5 had completed and qualified and of these 4 had been retained.  6 were currently undertaking the apprenticeship.  3 were currently undertaking the Occupational Therapy Apprenticeships. 

·       With regards to the Assessed Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) for newly qualified Social Workers, since 2021, 10 had completed, 9 of whom had been retained. 7 were currently undertaking.

·       Skills for Care had undertaken a skills audit for the ASYE programme.  Feedback had been positive.

·       Values and behaviours training had been commissioned via CLASP and promoted across teams.

·      With regards to wellbeing the Council had hosted and facilitated an event for national Mental Health Awareness Day with external speakers and various workshops.

·      Wellbeing resources available to staff were promoted in conjunction with Public Health.

·      A regular analysis of sickness and absence reasons was carried out to identify trends and identify potential solutions.

·       Members were informed of the Local Government Association Health Check Survey.  Vicky Scotford advised that the survey sought views with regards to the 8 Employee Standards.  80 responses had been received this year from staff in frontline teams, the highest ever received.  The overall mean score for all employer standards  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.


Seasonal vaccine update pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To receive the seasonal vaccine update.


Helen Clark, BOB ICB, presented an update on seasonal vaccines.


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


·       The current Covid vaccination programme was focused on over 65s, those in care homes, younger patients in clinical risk groups, carers and those living with people who had a weakened immune system.  There were approximately 61,000 patients in these cohorts in the Borough.

·       The vaccination programme was being delivered through a combination of 5 sites run by the Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and supported by 3 pharmacy sites.  Wokingham Hospital was acting as a hub providing vaccinations for staff working in health and social care.

·       Just under 56% of eligible people had been vaccinated.  Across the PCNs uptake varied between 50-63%.  Across BOB the uptake was just over 51%, currently the highest in the South East region.  The official uptake target was 72%. 

·       There were still differences in uptake amongst different groups of people although less data was available in the current tranche of the programme.  One of the areas with the greatest level of variation was ethnicity.  At a BOB level, uptake ranged between 56.53% in the White British Group and 11.58% in the Pakistani group.  A lot of work was focused on outreach, targeted work, to understand some of the barriers to taking up the vaccination.

·       With regards to flu vaccinations, these were primarily focused on over 65’s, younger people in clinical risk groups and health and social care workers.  All of the GP practices had signed up to provide flu clinics and many had run these in conjunction with Covid clinics.

·       There was no published data available on the flu vaccination uptake yet, but it was believed that uptake was similar to that of previous years and no major issues had been identified with the programme.  There was a particular push around the vaccination of 2-3 year olds and pregnant women.

·       Communication and engagement work included work on social media and standard media.  For example, information had been placed on bus stops on the Reading and Wokingham bus routes.  Work had also been undertaken to liaise with community groups such as CLASP.

·       A Member commented that a graph regarding Covid vaccine uptake to date was unhelpful.  He questioned the uptake against availability of vaccinations.  Helen Clark indicated that feedback from the PCNs suggested that the response from patients had been good where clinics had been offered.  People should ideally be able to access a vaccine within a radius of 20 minutes.

·       A Member indicated that the Wokingham Borough had a large population of residents from Hong Kong and asked if a breakdown of uptake by ethnicity at a Wokingham Borough level could be provided.  Helen Clark responded the data was currently only available at BOB level regarding ethnicity but some differences in the granularity of the data produced by the national system in this phase of the programme compared to earlier phases, was being seen.  She would ascertain whether an ethnicity breakdown at the Borough level  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.


Healthwatch Wokingham Borough update pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To receive an update on the work of Healthwatch Wokingham Borough and the Wokingham Medical Centre Enter and View Report.

Additional documents:


The Committee received an update on the work of Healthwatch Wokingham Borough and their Enter and View report for Wokingham Medical Centre.


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


·       The Chairman read out a statement provided by Wokingham Medical Centre.

·       Alice Kunjappy-Clifton advised the Committee that the Enter and View inspection had been carried out because feedback had been received regarding Wokingham Medical Centre for some time.  She reminded Members that Healthwatch staff had to be trained to undertake an Enter and View.

·       Residents had expressed concerns regarding GP access, booking appointments, medication, and specific issues around quality of care.  Positive feedback had also been received.

·       Healthwatch Wokingham Borough had used its statutory powers to undertake an Enter and View in February.  It had observed on the nature and quality of care provided.  Healthwatch had talked to service users.  Alice provided further information regarding the methodology used.

·       Face to face surveys were undertaken and hard copies provided if required.  An online survey was also provided, and observations carried out.  207 responses had been received, which was one of the largest responses to an Enter and View.

·       Alice Kunjappy-Clifton stated that findings had suggested that there were possibly issues with GP access, patient self-care, patient knowledge, and the environment.  Recommendations had been given to the providers.  A wider piece of work around GP access across the Borough was being undertaken.  

·       The Chair thanked Healthwatch for their work as residents had been raising concerns around Wokingham Medical Centre with local Members.

·       Whilst the Committee had been informed that improvements were being made, a Member commented that they continued to hear concerns from residents.  He queried whether greater access could be provided to the Healthwatch survey and commented that some patients had indicated that they had felt that they had, had to seek alternatives such as attending A&E if they had been unable to access an appointment.  Alice Kunjappy-Clifton encouraged people to respond to the work around GP access.  She went on to state that feedback continued to be received.  A focus group had been conducted and some participants had shared their experiences of the surgery.  The Committee was informed that Healthwatch would be going back in February to ascertain how the recommendations were progressing.

·       Alice Kunjappy-Clifton indicated that the minutes of the Patient Participation Group were not currently available on the Centre’s website, which was a contract requirement.  Also, it was not known how often the PPG met.  Woosehill surgery had indicated that they had offered to assist the PPG but had not received a response.

·       In response to a Member question, Helen Clark indicated that PPGs were a contract requirement.  The Chair questioned whether the view of the Wokingham Medical Centre’s PPG regarding the surgery could be sought.  Helen Clark indicated that the ICB was in dialogue with the surgery and would seek an update.

·       A Member raised concerns around the suitability of the Centre’s building.

·       Members questioned how it was decided whether the level of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.


Forward Programme and Action Tracker pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To consider the forward programme for the remainder of the municipal year and the action tracker.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the forward programme and the action tracker.


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


·       It was confirmed that maternal mental health would be considered at the first meeting of the next municipal year.

·       A Member asked that vaping amongst primary school children be looked at.

·       The draft Autism Strategy was due to be considered at the Committee’s next meeting.  However, Members would be informed should this no longer be possible.

·       Healthwatch would present their report regarding new ways of working in GP surgeries at the March Committee.

·       Quarterly updates would be requested from primary care.

·       The ICB would be requested to provide an update on the criteria used to determine whether there was or was not sufficient GP surgery provision in a particular area.

·       An update would be requested from the Chair of the Berkshire West Primary Care Alliance, Dr Amit Sharma around its role, and how the Council could relate to it and work effectively with it.


RESOLVED:  That the forward programme and action tracker be noted.