Agenda and minutes

Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 21st September, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Virtually

Contact: Madeleine Shopland  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist


No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.


There were no apologies for absence received.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 260 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 13 July 2020.


The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 13 July 2020 were confirmed as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman at a future date.


Councillor Jones noted that in the supplementary answer provided by Councillor Margetts to the public question asked, Councillor Margetts indicated that official recognition would be given to care home staff for their hard work during the Covid 19 pandemic.  He questioned whether this had happened.  It was agreed that this would be followed up. 


Councillor Jones commented that he had proposed that the Committee formally recognise the fantastic job that the Wokingham Borough Council staff had done in dealing with the pandemic.  He suggested that a letter be produced from the Chairman on behalf of the Committee.


Declaration of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


Councillor Jones declared a Personal Interest in item 20 Building Berkshire Together - hospital building programme, 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.  He also declared a Personal Interest in this item on the grounds that a family member worked at the hospital.


Councillor Frewin declared a Personal Interest in item 20 Building Berkshire Together - hospital building programme, on the grounds that a family member worked at the hospital and also as he was a First Responder.


Councillor Bishop Firth declared a Personal Interest in Item 18 Pharmacy Service, Item 19 Dental Services and item 21 Update on the work of Healthwatch Wokingham Borough, on the ground that her father in law was in a care home within the Borough.



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.


Pharmacy services pdf icon PDF 223 KB

To receive an update on pharmacy services.


Kevin Barnes, Contractor Support Officer, Thames Valley LPC, and David Dean, Chief Executive Officer, Thames Valley LPC provided a presentation on pharmacy services during the pandemic.


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


·         The Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) was a statutory body and was the local organisation for community pharmacy, covering Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.  It was an independent, representative group and not for profit.  The local LPC was a very small team.

·         A very small amount from prescriptions went towards to the LPC’s upkeep and some of the money from those funds went towards the national negotiating committee that worked with the Department of Health and the NHS to help negotiate national services such as the flu jab service.

·         The LPC worked with NHS England Area Teams, the CCGs, local authorities and other healthcare services to help plan local healthcare services.

·         The LPC negotiated and discussed pharmacy services with commissioners and was available to give advice to local pharmacy contractors and others.  It liaised closely with their medical equivalents the Local Medical Committee so that GPs and pharmacists could work together to deliver the best services to patients.

·         It was confirmed that pharmacy funding was received from the Department of Health.

·         David Dean advised Members that during the pandemic 95% of pharmacies had been open consistently.  There had initially been some issues around staffing and ensuring staff safety and that customers queued safely.

·         Community and ensuring a good service for local residents was a massive part of what pharmacy did.  Many pharmacists knew and understood their patient base. 

·         Pharmacists could offer advice to the public and training for pharmacists was rigorous.

·         There were 264 pharmacies in Thames Valley, 72 of which were in Berkshire West.

·         Councillor Frewin asked about what impact the pandemic had had on pharmacy.  David Dean stated that lockdown had been somewhat of a surprise to pharmacy, as with many other services and initially the service had been quite overwhelmed.  Patients had wanted to make sure that they had sufficient medication and some pharmacies had received scripts for much larger amounts than usual, which had created issues with supply chains.  Some pharmacies had struggled with regards to manpower if staff became ill or had had to care for children who were out of school.  Many initial issues had been resolved by April and May.

·         Members were advised that pharmacy had been given £300 per pharmacy to cover Covid measures such as putting up plastic screens in the stores.  The Pharmacy Funding model was complex; the pharmacy had to pay in advance for stock and only received payment 3 months after a prescription for the relevant medication was presented.  Many pharmacies were in debt.  Whilst the Government had advanced funds for 2 months, these funds would need to be repaid.  In Oxfordshire 5% of all pharmacies had been lost in the last 4 months due to financial pressures. 

·         Councillor Frewin went on to ask about pharmacy involvement in Track and Trace and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.


Dental Services pdf icon PDF 179 KB

To receive and consider a report detailing the provision of dental services in the Borough during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Additional documents:


Members were asked to submit questions on the report which could be sent to the relevant officers.


It was agreed that this item would be deferred.


Building Berkshire Together - hospital building programme pdf icon PDF 842 KB

To receive a presentation on Building Berkshire Together - hospital building programme.


Nicky Lloyd, Acting Chief Executive, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and Victoria Parker, Director of Communications, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust provided a presentation on Building Berkshire Together – hospital building programme.


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


·         Nicky Lloyd thanked those who had supported the RBH during the pandemic.  She referred to people bringing in hot food so that staff could have hot food breaks, volunteers sewing scrubs, the use of a bus service provided by a local school, and the delivery of prescriptions when RBH had moved to virtual clinics, amongst other initiatives.

·         The Building Berkshire Together development programme was a once in a generation opportunity. 

·         Victoria Parker stated that the Foundation Trust hoped to receive funding to develop a Strategic Outline Case (SOC) to develop its estate, and if that went successfully through the Treasury and Department of Health and Social Care, an outline business case would be developed and further engagement would take place with key stakeholders and communities.  A further business case would then be developed.  This process, if successful, would take a number of years.

·         Under the Government Health Infrastructure Plan, (HIP), funding would be provided for 40 new hospital projects over the next ten years.  The Trust was one of 21 NHS Trusts to receive seed funding of £2million to develop ideas.  All possibilities would be considered.  It was a major opportunity for the Trust and for the local communities and staff to improve services, patient experience and the environment.

·         Victoria Parker set out the case for change:

Ø  Condition – much of the buildings and building fabric was in poor condition, the estate having been built over a long period.  The CQC, after a recent visit, whilst it had applauded the level of care provided, had had some concerns regarding the condition of some of the buildings.

Ø  Capacity – the demographic was growing and the population ageing.  It was important that the buildings were fit to meet future needs.

Ø  Capability – the Trust was a good place to work but could be better.  Redevelopment would create an opportunity for first class training and development and attract more staff.  The existing buildings were designed to support an 18th and 19th century model of clinical care and limited the capability of staff to provide high quality modern healthcare for the local communities.

Ø  Climate – the Trust was committed to the green agenda but the current estate was not environmentally friendly and was expensive to run.  Buildings needed to have green spaces to improve the quality of environment and to reduce the Trust’s carbon emissions.

Ø  Catalyst – the Trust as an anchor institution had a desire to develop its strategic partnerships and to play its part in the economic development of communities.

·         Supporting the care closer to home agenda and ensuring that patients had to travel less, was important.

·         The Trust was currently at the development of the SOC stage.  Input had been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.


Update on work of Healthwatch Wokingham Borough

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


Members received an update on the work of Healthwatch Wokingham Borough from Nick Durman, Healthwatch Wokingham Borough.


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


·         The way Healthwatch worked had had to change during the pandemic, as face-to-face engagement had not been possible.  It had engaged with its voluntary and community sector partners throughout the pandemic.  Nick Durman referred to the twice-weekly meetings held with CLASP which were held via Zoom.

·         A number of residents had indicated that they had difficulties accessing timely and accurate information about health services, particularly dental services.

·         Members were informed that some people who had hearing difficulties and needed to lip read had had trouble with accessing services, with the need for people to wear face coverings.

·         It was agreed that an additional Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting would be arranged to hear a further update from Healthwatch.

·         Councillor Bishop Firth indicated that the British Medical Council had recently passed two Motions relating to health inequalities in the BME and transgender communities.  She questioned if the Committee could review how these groups were served.  Councillor Miall questioned whether the Wokingham Borough Wellbeing Board would review this area.


RESOLVED:  That the update be noted and that an additional meeting of the Committee be scheduled to receive a further update.


Forward Programme pdf icon PDF 116 KB

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

Additional documents:


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


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


·         An additional meeting of the Committee would be scheduled for October.

·         Whilst it was appreciated that a written report had been provided on dental services Members requested that officers be invited to the next meeting to provide the presentation if possible.

·         The Overview and Scrutiny Committees were reviewing the Council’s response to Covid.  The Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee had received information on the Council’s response to Covid in relation to care homes and would review how the Council had worked with its health partners.  Councillor Swaddle indicated that the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee would be pulling together the findings of all the scrutiny committees.

·         Councillor Swaddle indicated that the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee would be receiving an update on CAMHS and that the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee members would be invited to this.

·         Nick Durman suggested that the Committee might wish to look at population health management in future.

·         Councillor Bishop Firth commented that there had recently been an article in the Wokingham Paper regarding a case dating back to 2015 where an elderly man had had a maggot infested wound.  She wanted assurance that the action plan was being followed up.  It was confirmed that whilst the Committee did not follow up individual cases, assurance could be sought regarding the processes in place.

·         Jim Frewin requested a briefing paper on ambulance response times to enable Members to assess whether this was something which should be further reviewed by the Committee.

·         Councillor Swaddle commented that in future briefing sessions for the Committee should be opened up to all Members.


RESOLVED:  That the forward programme be noted.