Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Oculus, Buckinghamshire Council, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury HP19 8FF. View directions

Contact: Liz Wheaton 


Webcast: View the webcast

No. Item


Apologies for absence/changes in membership

Additional documents:


Apologies were received from Cllr George Sandy and Cllr Tony Green.


Cllr Susan Morgan had replaced Cllr Mohammad Fayyaz on the Committee.


Declarations of interest

Additional documents:


Cllr C Poll declared an interest in item 6 as his wife was employed by Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust.  He also declared an interest in item 8 as the Healthwatch Bucks report refers to a number of care homes which he provides a service to.


Cllr A Turner declared that he was a trustee of an independent carer organisation.  The Scrutiny officer advised that as long as this was included on his register of interest, he would only need to declare an interest if there were an item relating to carers on the agenda.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 461 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 29th July 2021 as a correct record.

Additional documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 29th July 2021 were confirmed as a correct record.


Public Questions

Public questions is an opportunity for people who live, work or study in Buckinghamshire to put a question to a Select Committee.


The Committee will hear from members of the public who have submitted questions in advance relating to items on the agenda. The Cabinet Member, relevant key partners and responsible officers will be invited to respond.


Further information on how to register can be found here:


Additional documents:


There were no public questions.


The Chairman asked Committee Members to encourage members of the public to submit questions for the Committee and referred Members to the work programme which detailed the items for future Committee meetings.


Chairman's update

For the Chairman to update Members on health and social care scrutiny related activities since the last meeting.


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The Chairman updated Members on the following.


·       Lace Hill proposals – the public consultation closes on 16th November.  The Chairman explained that the Equality Impact Assessment had still not been circulated and an email had been sent to the relevant people for a response.  The HASC Select Committee would be preparing a response to the consultation and the Chairman advised Members to send their comments through so they could be included in the response.


Action: Committee Members


·       A stakeholder workshop on developing a whole system approach to tackling obesity had taken place on 29th September with a second workshop due to take place in early November.  Public Health were facilitating these workshops and a number of HASC Members had attended.


System Winter and Surge Plan pdf icon PDF 892 KB

The Committee will hear from representatives from across the health and social care system in relation to the Winter Plan.



Ms Caroline Capell, Director of Urgent and Emergency Care, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Cllr Carl Jackson, Deputy Cabinet Member for Public Health (standing in for Cllr Angela Macpherson, Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing)

Ms Gill Quinton, Corporate Director, Adults and Health

Ms Tracey Ironmonger, Service Director, Adult Social Care



·       System Winter and Surge Plan.

Additional documents:


The Chairman welcomed Ms C Capell, Director of Urgent and Emergency Care, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Cllr C Jackson, Deputy Cabinet Member for Public Health and Ms T Ironmonger, Service Director, Adult Social Care.


During the presentation and subsequent discussion, the following main points were made and questions asked by the Committee.


·       The Winter Plan had been developed by all system partners and it feeds into the wider Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care System Plan.

·       The Plan adopts an action focussed approach and there was a weekly system meeting to monitor the actions.

·       The Surge Plan focussed on reporting the system plan regionally, paediatrics and Hospital discharge.

·       A Member asked for clarification around who was part of the tactical cell. Ms Capell explained that each provider across the Buckinghamshire Integrated Care Partnership was represented, including primary care, ambulance service, adult social care, public health and mental health.  She went on to explain that the system cell was set-up at the start of the Covid pandemic and met every day – it now meets weekly and would continue to do so throughout the Winter.  There was a separate escalation cell across the system.

·       In response to a question about what was meant by “stranded patients”, Ms Capell explained that these were patients who were medically fit to be discharged but were not in the right medical place.

·       A Member asked whether the Trust were experiencing any hospital supply issues as reported in the national media.  Ms Capell explained that, in terms of the issues with fuel, this was being monitored across the system on a daily basis which included the ambulance service and the patient transport service.  During Covid, the Mutual Aid process had strengthened and if the fuel crisis continued, then mutual aid would be considered.  Blood tubes for testing had been another area of reported shortage but Ms Capell said that the Trust had not run out and if necessary, areas would be prioritised if stocks were limited.

·       A Member expressed surprise that the Winter Plan did not include more information on Covid vaccinations, particularly the roll-out of the booster programme.  Ms Capell explained that the deadline for submitting reports to the Committee meant that the details around the booster programme had not be finalised but she updated the Committee to say that the programme had started three days ago and she confirmed that the Trust staff were receiving their booster vaccinations.

·       In response to questions around access to GPs, Ms Capell explained that the national average for face-to-face GP appointments was 57% and Buckinghamshire was currently operating at 50%.  The Trust was working with primary care but it remained a challenge.  It was acknowledged that the 111 service was an integral part of ensuring people were seen by the most appropriate health service.

·       A respiratory “hot hub” had been set-up for children and there were plans to employ more GPs within the Hospital Trust so that more children could be seen at the front  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Tackling Obesity/Promoting Healthy Lifestyles pdf icon PDF 829 KB

In 2018, the HASC Select Committee undertook an inquiry into Child Obesity to see how well Buckinghamshire was doing to tackle this issue, in line with the Government’s 10 year plan to reduce child obesity.  A small group of HASC Members have reviewed the initial inquiry report and prepared a follow-up report to include additional questions and observations.


This is an opportunity to hear more about the current plans to develop the whole system approach to obesity.



Cllr Carl Jackson, Deputy Cabinet Member for Public Health

Ms Sarah Preston, Head of Public Health Strategy

Ms Sally Hone, Public Health Principal



·       Whole System Approach to Obesity Briefing Paper;

·       Report from HASC Working Group – review of the Child Obesity Inquiry, 2018.


Additional documents:


The Chairman welcomed Cllr C Jackson, Deputy Cabinet Member for Public Health, Ms S Hone, Public Health Principal and Ms L Smith, Public Health Principal.


During the presentation and the discussions, the following main points were made and questions asked.


·       The aim of developing a whole system approach to obesity was to ensure clearer accountability with a clear set of actions.

·       The first stakeholder workshop had taken place with a second workshop planned for 10th November.  The draft plan would be ready towards the end of the year/beginning of 2022.

·       In response to a question about whether all providers were committed to tackling obesity, the Deputy Cabinet Member explained that there was good representation from across the whole system at the first workshop (around 50 attendees).

·       The whole system plan would cut across a number of different areas, including planning and leisure.

·       Members acknowledged that there were consequences of obesity, including diabetes and heart disease.

·       Local plans would be influenced by Government guidance and timelines which were due to be published soon.

·       It was acknowledged that the whole system approach would be ever evolving and constantly under review.

·       A Member commented that a recent report showed that around 40% of people gained over half a stone during the Covid lockdown.

·       High levels of obesity could be linked to areas of deprivation.  Community Boards would be issued with updated public health profiles to highlight the areas of obesity by Board area.

·       A Member asked public health colleagues for their initial thoughts on how the community boards could be involved in this issue.  Ms Hone responded by saying that it was early days and the purpose of the workshops was to explore how different groups could play their part.

·       There was a general comment made that Members need more assistance and guidance in relation to the community board funding applications.  There was also acknowledgement that whilst community boards could identify projects/initiatives, there was difficulty in finding partners to deliver them.

·       A Member expressed concern about the mental health issues and financial worries associated with obesity.  Levels of income needed to be addressed as a part of the whole system plan.

·       A Member asked about the robustness of the data used to report both adult and child obesity rates.  Ms Hone explained that the National Child Measuring Programme provides the child dataset as school children were measured in Reception and Year 6.  Only 10% of children in these cohorts were measured last year due to the pandemic so 2019 was the last full set of data.  The Active Lives survey was the main source of the adult data.

·       A Member asked whether there were plans to gather more quantitative and qualitative data.  Ms Hone explained that a few focus groups had taken place and more community engagement was planned.

·       PSHE was a mandatory requirement and Public Health colleagues work with schools to support them to put various initiatives in place.

·       A Member stressed the importance of listening to the needs of children  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Healthwatch Bucks update pdf icon PDF 359 KB

The Committee will receive an update on the recent key projects for Healthwatch Bucks.



Ms Z McIntosh, Chief Executive, Healthwatch Bucks



Update attached


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Ms Z McIntosh, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Bucks, took Members through the latest update and made the following main points.


  • A report, with recommendations, on remote mental health had been published and could be accessed on their website.
  • Buckinghamshire Council had commissioned Healthwatch to undertake a project about people’s experience of Direct Payments.  A report, with recommendations, was made to the Council.
  • Part of the role of Healthwatch was to collect feedback on local Health and Social Care services.  One of the top negative themes across primary care was access to services.  Feedback about dentistry had featured more often since April 2021.
  • A report on the Covid second vaccination patient experience was due to be published.
  • The “enter and view” visits had restarted with a focus on day opportunity centres.  These visits were currently being planned until December.
  • A Member expressed concern about continuity within primary care.  Ms McIntosh asked Members to encourage members of the public to provide feedback to Healthwatch Bucks on these issues.
  • In response to a question about funding, Ms McIntosh explained that Healthwatch Bucks was primarily funded by Buckinghamshire Council. Healthwatch Bucks receives funding for specific projects from other health providers, such as the Clinical Commissioning Group to help support the work around the Patient Participation Groups.
  • A Member suggested piloting mental health through the GP service in a similar way to the physiotherapists.  The Chairman felt this point would be picked up through the forthcoming HASC inquiry into the development of primary care networks.  Ms McIntosh mentioned the Community Mental Health Framework.
  • Ms McIntosh explained that Healthwatch Bucks sets its priorities for the year ahead alongside four core projects.  One of these projects was focussing on patient experience of cancer services during the pandemic with a particular focus on areas of deprivation.
  • In response to a question around waiting times and access to services for children requiring mental health services, the Chairman suggested referring these concerns to the Children’s Select Committee.


Action: Chairman/Cllr P Birchley


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 672 KB

The Committee will consider the draft work programme for the municipal year 2021-2022.



Committee Members



·       Report on Select Committee work programme and options for in-depth scrutiny work;

·       HASC draft work programme.

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The Committee agreed the work programme for the municipal year 2021-2022.


Scoping document for Inquiry into Primary Care Networks

The Committee will discuss the draft scoping document on a proposed inquiry into the development of Primary Care Networks in Buckinghamshire.



Committee Members



Draft scoping document (to follow)

Additional documents:


The Committee discussed the scoping document for the Inquiry into the development of Primary Care Networks in Buckinghamshire.  The evidence gathering for this inquiry would commence in October and the Chairman asked Members to notify her if they were interested in being part of this piece of work.


Action: Committee Members


Date of next meeting

The next meeting is due to take place on Thursday 25th November 2021.

Additional documents:


The next meeting is due to take place on Thursday 25th November at 10am.