Venue: Meeting Room 4, County Hall, Ruthin
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Joan Butterfield, Jeanette Chamberlain-Jones, Pat Jones and Peter Scott.
The committee extended condolences to the Scrutiny Coordinator and the translator on recent bereavements. Alongside the condolences the committee also wished Councillor Jeanette Chamberlain-Jones a quick recovery.
Members to declare any personal or prejudicial interests in any business identified to be considered at this meeting.
Councillor Gareth Lloyd Davies raised a personal interest in agenda items 5, 6, 7 and 8 as he was employed by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.
URGENT MATTERS AS AGREED BY THE CHAIR
Notice of items which, in the opinion of the Chair, should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency pursuant to Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.
No urgent matters had been raised.
To receive the minutes of the Partnerships Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 7 November 2019 (copy attached).
10.05am – 10.10am
The minutes of the Partnerships Scrutiny Committee held on 7 November 2019 were submitted.
Matters arising –
· Page 8 – North Wales fire and rescue authority and the employment of a Moorland Officer was raised, there was no additional information on the matter.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Partnerships Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 7 November 2019, be received and confirmed as a correct record.
To receive a presentation from representatives of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board outlining:
(i) progress to date in relation to the re-provision of services at Denbigh Infirmary and the Board’s plans for the future enhancement of services at the facility;
(ii) the Health Board and partners’ future vision for health and social care services in the Denbigh area
10.10am – 10.45am
The Area Director for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), Bethan Jones, introduced the presentation - Denbigh Infirmary. Also in attendance from BCUHB was Alison Kemp, Assistant Area Director, Community services.
The presentation highlighted several areas of Denbigh infirmary, the committee was informed that 17 inpatient beds had been suspended in the Lleweni ward, this reduction meant that 23 beds remained open. The reduction in the beds was alleviated by accommodating other patients in both Ruthin and Holywell. The Lleweni ward would cost approximately £10-£12 million to re-open, the empty ward was temporarily being used to house the Community Resource Team (CRT) in the locality. The next steps for the infirmary were a joint health, social care and third sector project which had been established and funded by Integrated Care Fund capital. The team had drafted specifications for a partner to enable a feasibility study on Health and Social Care facilities in Denbigh, the review would include –
· Strategic direction confirmed in coproduction with stakeholders
· Analysis of current models of care, and to forecast future need
· Development of high level models
· Engagement on the models with core stakeholders, groups with protected characteristics and hard to reach groups
· Wider engagement on shortlisted options with the general public
· Feasibility study and weighted options
During discussion, the following Points were raised:
· The overall loss of beds was queried, and whether there was additional beds available at other infirmaries. Members were informed that there were 5 additional beds available in Ruthin, members were assured that the beds were monitored daily. It was also stated that the intention and target was to ensure that patients’ health would improve and they could be moved back into nursing care or their homes.
· The financial special measures that the BCUHB were in were raised, and concerns about cooperation were highlighted due to the financial troubles within BCUHB. Members were informed that the BCUHB were still in special measures. However with the aging population and the continued pressures that cooperation would be beneficial to ensure that patients’ needs were being met.
· The committee queried the timescales which were shown in the presentation and others which have been shown in regards to the Denbigh Infirmary, the timescales all differed. It was also outlined that the matters noted in the timescales did not seem to be implemented. Officers responded that it would seem that the work was progressing slowly, this was due to the special measures that the BCUHB were currently in, the work could appear to progress slowly however the work would be completed.
· The committee questioned officers from the BCUHB, whether additional services such as minor injuries could be increased at Denbigh Infirmary which would alleviate pressures on Glan Clwyd. The committee were told that there had already been increases in Denbigh infirmary, x-ray support had been increased, and plans to open on weekends were being discussed.
· carbon impact of the BCUHB was highlighted and whether there were plans to make their buildings more carbon efficient. The committee were informed that there were plans for the BCUHB to decrease the carbon impact from many services.
RESOLVED that the Partnership Scrutiny Committee note the presentation on Denbigh infirmary.
NORTH DENBIGHSHIRE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL PROJECT
To receive a presentation from representatives of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board on the progress made to date with the delivery of this project
10.45am – 11.15am
The Area Director for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), Bethan Jones, introduced the presentation on North Denbighshire Community Hospital Project. Also in attendance from BCUHB was Alison Kemp, Assistant Area Director, Community services.
The committee were reminded of the background of the project which aimed to modernise the Royal Alexandra Hospital and include new services to the area. The project aimed to build a new clinical unit at the site, alongside refurbishments to the existing grade II listed building. The new services which would be delivered were:
· An inpatient ward,
· Same day services for minor injuries and ailments.
· A wellbeing hub alongside a community café.
The progress with the project was also outlined, which were as followed:
· Welsh Government (WG) gave approval to proceed to Full Business case stage in 2019.
· A project team was mobilised alongside Gleeds a Global Property and Construction Consultants.
· BCUHB and Gleeds re-tendered and confirmed Supply Chain Partner for the scheme as Kier Construction
· A revised affordability model developed as requested by WG.
· Detailed Design, Planning Permission and compilation of Final Business Case in 2020
The schedule for the project would prove difficult. However the officers believed they were achievable, the committee were notified that there would be several key challenges facing the project. These included the ongoing delivery and access by staff and service users during construction and engagement with the public and their perception of delay. The completion of the site would hopefully be in June 2023.
During discussion, the following Points were raised:
· The committee were reassured that the current Royal Alexandra building would remain and the new project would be erected at the rear of the hospital.
· The delays with the project were queried and why they occurred. Responding members were informed that BCUHB had been through turbulent times which did not assist with the project. The delay was not caused by WG, the project was like any other and required a lot of work to ensure it would be achieved. Officers also thanked the local assembly member who had been very supportive of the project.
· The project would take its carbon footprint into consideration whilst building the new clinic and refurbishing the existing Royal Alexandra Hospital.
RESOLVED that the Partnership Scrutiny Committee note the update on the North Denbighshire Community Hospital Project.
At this juncture (11.30 a.m.) there was a 10 minute break.
The meeting reconvened at 11.40 a.m.
HEALTH BOARD CAPITAL PROJECTS IN DENBIGHSHIRE
To receive a presentation from representatives of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board updating members on the progress made to date:
(i) in delivering a range of Health Board projects in Denbighshire; and
(ii) with the development of the Community Resource Teams
11.30am – 12pm
The Area Director for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), Bethan Jones, introduced the presentation on Health Board Capital Projects in Denbighshire. Also in attendance from BCUHB was Alison Kemp, Assistant Area Director, Community services.
The project which was ongoing was the re-location of services from Mount Street Clinic and the development of Ruthin Community Hospital. There had already been progress carried out with the project, which had been approved by BCUHB on the 5th September 2019. Which was then submitted to the Welsh Government (WG) on 6th September, and was currently going through the WG scrutiny process. Confirmation of the process was anticipated by WG by early 2020, and development was estimated to take 55 weeks from mobilisation, which would hopefully finish the project in 2021.
Members were informed that the ambulance services which were located at Mount Street Clinic would be relocated at the fire station in Ruthin.
The committee commended the project, and the officers for attending the meeting to answer queries from members.
RESOLVED that the Partnership Scrutiny committee note the update on Health Board Capital Projects in Denbighshire
To consider a joint report by the Corporate Director: Communities, Chief Accountant, and the Head of Regional Collaboration (copy attached) which seeks the Committee’s observations on the progress made regionally in relation to establishing a pooled fund for care home accommodation for older people
12pm – 12.30pm
The Lead Member for Well-being and Independence introduced the report on Pooled Budgets Agreement for Care Home Accommodation for Older People 2019-20 report (previously circulated) which provided members with updates on several areas of the pooled budget arrangements.
The committee were reminded that in July 2019 that Cabinet received an update on the establishment of the single regional, non-risk sharing pooled fund for care homes accommodation functions. Cabinet agreed for Denbighshire County Council (DCC) to host the function for a period of three years. The committee were informed that the hosting had no financial risk as the function’s host, as each authority contributed and grant funding was also used.
The committee were notified that there had been a delay relating to the approval process with the Health Board which delayed the transfer of funds. However the process had since been agreed and the transfer would occur in the third quarter of 2020, it was also stated that confirmation was being sought whether a retrospective transfer of funds for quarters 1 and 2 was needed.
The committee commended the report and the information, however raised concerns about the collaborative nature of the pooled budgets especially with the Health Board as they were in special financial measures, and sought reassurances that there would be no risk to the authority as the host authority for the pooled budgets. The committee were assured that there were no risks to DCC as the host authority as there were appropriate measures in place, to protect itself from financial and reputation risks.
The Partnership Scrutiny Committee note the Pooled Budgets Agreement for Care Home Accommodation for Older People 2019-20 report
To consider a report by the Scrutiny Coordinator (copy attached) seeking a review of the committee’s forward work programme and updating members on relevant issues.
12.30 pm – 12.45 pm
The Democratic Services Manager submitted a report (previously circulated) seeking the members’ review of the Committee’s work programme and provided an update on relevant issues.
13 February 2020 – That Councillors Brian Jones and Tony Thomas be invited to attend for The Council and Trunk Road Agency Highways Grass Verge and Hedge Maintenance and Pesticide Application Policies.
RESOLVED that the forward work programme as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report, be approved.
FEEDBACK FROM COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVES
To receive any updates from Committee representatives on various Council Boards and Groups
The meeting concluded at 12:05 p.m.