Health and Wellbeing Update

The next meeting of Warwickshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board takes place on 8th July. This will be an important meeting, with the Board considering the outcome of its governance review and proposals for its future operation. The Board will be asked to determine the form of governance, principles of working, its sub-structure and an action plan to address the remaining recommendations from the earlier LGA Peer Challenge.

The Director of Public Health’s Annual Report will be presented. The theme of this year’s annual report is children and young people.  It includes a focus on early years, education, mental health, healthy weight, risky behaviours and vulnerable groups.

Capture

The Board will consider the Joint Adult Health & Social Care Self-Assessment Framework and the implementation of the associated Improvement Plan. This self-assessment has helped to improve services for people with a learning disability and the joint assessment has three overarching themes – Stay Healthy, Be Safe and Live Well.

Warwickshire’s three Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will report on their 2015/16 Quality Premiums. The Quality Premium is intended to reward CCGs for improvements in the quality of the services they commission and for associated improvements in health outcomes and reducing inequalities. The premium is based on measures that cover a combination of national and local priorities.

Further details about the meeting and reports for each item are available via this Link

Scrutiny – Get involved

Time to get involved…..

Scrutiny is one of the building blocks of local democracy. It holds local leaders to account for the decisions they make, challenges performance, and makes suggestions to improve services.

In July Councillors are going to be considering what they want to scrutinise over the next 12 months. If you want to get involved and send us your ideas, either leave us a comment below or email us at democraticservices@warwickshire.gov.uk

These are the issues we would like to hear your views on:

  • Our communities and individuals are safe and protected from harm and are able to remain independent for longer
  • The health and wellbeing of all in Warwickshire is protected.
  • Our economy is vibrant, residents have access to jobs, training and skills development.
  • Warwickshire’s communities are supported by excellent communications and transport infrastructure.
  • Resources and services are targeted effectively and efficiently whether delivered by the local authority, commissioned or in partnership.
  • The Joint Strategic Needs Assessment – are my needs covered?

It’s not necessary to respond to all of these. Feel free to concentrate on the issues you think are most important, or those you have most to say on.  If you are not sure which issues your suggestion fits within, send it along anyway and we will make sure that suggestions are put forward for consideration.

Deadline

It will help us to receive your suggestions on where you think improvements to services need to be made by our deadline of 30 June 2014.  We look forward to hearing what you have to say!

Making Sure – An Introduction to Overview and Scrutiny in Warwickshire

We made the following two videos to highlight how Councillors in scrutiny have made a real difference across Warwickshire. The first video illustrates the work that Councillors have done with the Health service and how an investigation into the Rugby Western Relief Project has improved project management and saved taxpayers money.

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The second video shows how the Children & Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee helped to improve the education of children who had been excluded from mainstream schools.

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We hope you enjoy them both.

Scrutiny Annual Report for 2012/13

We’ve just published our Scrutiny Annual Report for 2012-13.

The report brings together all the major pieces of scrutiny we’ve done over the past year, including in-depth reviews of Council and local health services, the performance of individual departments, and the ongoing improvement of services.

Read the report here: Scrutiny Annual Report 2012-13

Scrutiny Annual Report

Scrutiny primer

I’m a little conscious of banging on about what scrutiny is all the time on this blog so here’s a quick run-down for those who don’t know:

  • In summary, scrutiny is one of the building blocks of local democracy. It holds local leaders to account for the decisions they make, challenges performance, and makes suggestions to improve services.
  • The Centre for Public Scrutiny have a nice introduction here: www.cfps.org.uk/introduction-to-scrutiny
  • And we’ve done an introduction to our own work here: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/osexplained

Get Involved

Councillors are currently considering what they want to scrutinise over the next 12 months. If you want to get involved and send us your ideas, either leave us a comment below or email us at democraticservices@warwickshire.gov.uk

Patient Power

Adult Social Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny

The Committee will be meeting again on 5 September and once again have a full and varied agenda.  Members will be scrutinising the Mental Health Services for young people to make sure waiting lists continue to be driven down, as well as a number of other health and social care issues.

As usual, members of the public are welcome to attend.  If you have a question you want to put to members email it through to annmawdsley@warwickshire.gov.uk.

NHS Reforms – How will they work in Warwickshire?

A really good turnout!

Yesterday was pretty busy around here – we held a partnership event for all of the major health organisations in Warwickshire, to try and work out how everyone will work together as a result of the NHS reforms. The event was co-hosted by Councillor Les Caborn (our Chair of the Adult Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee) and Andrew Lawrence from the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS).

At the event we had reps from (watch out for acronyms here) CCGsPCTs, HWBBCQC, LINk, NHSCfPSHealthwatch, and local Councils.

Locally, most of the unanswered questions are about how these agencies will work together, as people have new responsibilities, or find themselves working with different organisations. The idea behind the event was to get everyone in the same room, to try to provide answers to these questions, and build what will be important working relationships for the future.

Here are some of the things we learned:

Health is about patients and the public

I’m not saying that we didn’t all already know this, but it was kind of encouraging to affirm this as a lot of the debate on the reforms has been about structures and organisations, rather than improving care. It was really useful to try and map out all of the people and organisations involved – each table put patients and the public right at the centre of their ‘solar system’.

Note the Spaceship…

A lot of our work should focus on stopping people becoming patients, or sending them to the right people to get better.

I suppose this expands on the adage of “prevention is better than cure”, though is a bit more complicated than that. We heard from health professionals that in a lot of cases, people who have minor complaints either put off seeing their GP until their condition gets more serious (which is clearly bad for the patient, and more expensive for the NHS) – or even worse, wait until their condition is really advanced, when they present to A&E on a Saturday night, with a problem that should have been sorted long before then.

A focus on early intervention and preventative campaigns doesn’t just make sense from a health point of view; with budgets as constrained as they are, can we afford not to nip these problems in the bud?

GPs are getting on with the job they’ve been given

We had reps from 2 out of the 3 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) operating in Warwickshire at our event – the message from them was that, despite concerns expressed by the British Medical Association and others, they’ve been given the responsibility to commission healthcare services in their area, so they’re getting on with it.

The CCGs are going through the process of being authorised at the moment, with them taking over responsibility from the Arden Cluster (Primary Care Trust) in April 2013. As with any membership organisation, there is the problem of engagement, and they admit that not all GPs will want to be involved with commissioning. They say they are working to combat this though.

Health Scrutiny is like a spaceship (yes, really)

Continuing the solar system theme here – County and Unitary Councils have had the responsibility since 2001 for scrutinising local health services (i.e. Health Scrutiny) and have powers to require information from local health trusts, and to call in their Chief Executives if there are problems. Out of all of health bodies, Health Scrutiny hasn’t been really affected by the health reforms, and still has the powers to look at anything that Councillors and public want it to. This can range from the closure of a ward in Rugby, to a specific group to look at Mental Health services for young people, or even parking at University Hospital in Coventry. Scrutiny can go anywhere, and look at anything. Like a spaceship.

The next steps in Warwickshire

The event went really well – you can see some more of the debate and photos on Twitter (@WarksDemocracy). Quick feedback from most people was that it was useful to get around a table with everyone – even if we didn’t all agree all the time.

County Councillors will be working with District Councillors over the coming months to work out how local democracy and accountability can be promoted in the new health world. We’ll be looking to avoid duplication between councils and hopefully, by working together, get better results for local residents. This should then help how the councils work with the CCGs, Health and Wellbeing Board, and Health Scrutiny.

We’ll be holding another event in October – hopefully we can update you all further after that – things are moving pretty quickly, so who knows where we’ll be by then!

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