Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider a report by the Interim Head of Service, Business Support Services (copy enclosed) seeking members’ views on the North Wales Regional Population Needs Assessment 2022 and support for its publication.

10.10 am – 10.55 am


The Chair welcomed to the meeting Councillors Bobby Feeley, Lead Member for Wellbeing and Independence and Huw Hilditch-Roberts, Lead Member for Education, Children’s Services and Public Engagement who had joint responsibility for the item.  The Corporate Director Communities, Interim Head of Service, Business Support Service and Principal Manager were also in attendance.


Councillor Bobby Feeley presented the report (previously circulated) seeking members’ views on the North Wales Regional Population Needs Assessment (PNA) and support for its publication.  She provided a general overview, in brief –


·         it was a statutory duty for local authorities and health boards to develop a joint assessment for the care and support needs of regional population across Wales on a 5-yearly basis and the first PNA published in 2017 had been used as the basis for the latest document

·         the PNA had been produced by the North Wales Regional Partnership Board as a joint exercise involving the six local authorities, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) and Public Health Wales with the document split into various thematic chapters

·         Denbighshire’s priorities would be included in the final version of the PNA along with a similar document for each of the local authorities and BCUHB

·         the PNA aimed to improve understanding of the population across North Wales and how their needs would evolve and change over the coming years, and had been an expansive piece of work, taking into account the views of the population

·         a wide range of consultations had taken place with organisations, partners and around 350 individuals had taken part in a regional survey to inform the PNA

·         highlighted next steps with the PNA being taken through the approval processes of the other five local authorities and BCUHB prior to formal sign off by the Regional Partnership Board and submission to Welsh Government in March.


Councillor Feeley thanked all involved in the production of the extensive document.  The Interim Head of Service, Business Support Service added that key local messages for Denbighshire and priorities would be included as part of the PNA.


Responding to questions the Lead Members, Corporate Director Communities, Interim Head of Service, Business Support Service and Principal Manager –


·         reported on the range of community provisions in place for children to achieve personal outcomes with tailored provision for different cohorts of children, including provision for children with more complex needs, and provided illustrated examples of the commissioned services and work with the third sector and partners to deliver a variety of activities for young people in Denbighshire

·         provided assurances that looked after children were placed locally where possible but placements would be made out of county if it was in the child’s best interests to do so, for example with a kinship carer, as directed by the Courts, or to access specialist or niche provision not available within the county

·         a number of factors may have contributed to the increase in adults reported as suspected of being at risk across the region from 2016/17 to 2018/19, with people being actively encouraged to report their suspicions, the legislative changes around that time and re-launch of the Wales safeguarding procedures

·         accepted there was a mixed picture across the region of the number of children on the child protection register but the numbers in Denbighshire had remained consistently between 75 – 90 children on the register in any given year, and further detail on the reasoning behind those fluctuations could be discussed at the Corporate Parenting Forum; assurances were provided that children were only registered where it was absolutely necessary and in their best interests

·         it appeared that BCUHB had provided data from a national survey to inform the percentage of adults participating in physical activity (Tables 41 & 42) but the Interim Head of Service, Business and Support Service agreed to seek confirmation of how that data had been captured and report back thereon

·         gave an update on the Bwthyn y Ddôl  development to provide a residential assessment unit and intensive therapeutic support for children, young people and their families together with staffing resources and associated costs

·         since the onset of the Social Service and Wellbeing (Wales) 2014 Act there had been a focus on determining what provision best met the needs of the individual to combat social isolation and loneliness and social workers and occupational therapists carried out initial assessments which were regularly reviewed; much work involved getting people engaged in local community activities and there was currently sufficient day care provision in the main towns to meet current demand – if demand for day care increased the situation would be reviewed

·         the Council kept a record of children educated at home and had established relationships with a high percentage of those families but there was a need for reform around home education to support wellbeing and educational outcomes, and as a safeguarding action, which had been raised by the Children’s Commissioner for Wales and Directors Social Services and Education in Wales

·         work was underway with heath partners to improve early diagnosis of dementia and a team of dementia social care practitioners worked specifically with individuals going through a dementia diagnosis or who had already been diagnosed with dementia, with much work to raise awareness of the issue.  However, it was acknowledged that there was further work to do in that regard.


Councillor Bobby Feeley highlighted that the Regional Partnership Board was launching a Children’s Sub Group to provide a greater focus on children and young people which had also been reflected in the Committee’s questioning of the report.  The PNA was a live document and additions would be made as more information became available to reflect the changing care and support needs of the population in order to identify how best those needs could be met going forward.


The Committee welcomed the comprehensive report and highlighted the importance of capturing and using that data, both for the purposes of informing future provision and ensuring the needs of the population were met, but also to help inform other local and regional plans and strategies moving forward.


RESOLVED, subject to the above comments and observations, to recommend the publication of the North Wales Regional Population Needs Assessment.


Supporting documents: