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Paper 3 - 31 January 2003 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE & ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Minutes of the Association meeting held at Basingstoke and Deane on 29 November 2002 at 10.00 am.

Present:

Basingstoke and Deane

Councillor B Gurden
Mrs K Sporle (Chief Executive)

East Hampshire

Councillor Mrs E Cartwright (Vice-Chairman)
Councillor S Glasgow (Scrutiny Member)
Ms D Gardner

Eastleigh

Councillor K House
Mr T Calverley (Deputy Chief Executive)

Fareham

Councillor B Bayford
Councillor R Price
Councillor S Woodward
Mr A Davies (Chief Executive)

Gosport

Councillor P Edgar
Mr M Crocker (Chief Executive)

Hampshire

Councillor K Thornber
Councillor A Rice
Mr J Pattison (Head of Corporate and Legal Services)
Ms A Quant (Director of Environment)
Mr I Parker (Head of Estates Practice)
Mr A Brooker (Assistant Director, Social Services)
Ms J Heath (Corporate Performance Manager)

Hart

Ms J Samuels (Chief Executive)

Havant

Councillor T Briggs
Councillor D Gillett
Councillor K Moss
Mr F Campbell (Acting Head of Paid Service)

Isle of Wight

Councillor R Mazillius
Councillor I Parker
Mr M Fisher (Head of Paid Service)

New Forest

Councillor Mrs M Holding
Councillor D Scott
Mr D Yates (Chief Executive)

Portsmouth

Councillor T Blair
Mr B Partridge (Head of Chief Executive’s Department)

Rushmoor

Councillor J Marsh
Councillor P Moyle
Councillor F Williams
Mr P Gardner (Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Resources)

Test Valley

Councillor S Hawke
Councillor A Jackson (Chairman)
Councillor B Palmer
Mr A Jones (Chief Executive and Hon Secretary of the Association)

Winchester

Councillor C Bailey
Councillor S Campbell
Councillor F Allgood
Mr D Cowan (Chief Executive)

Community Action Hampshire

Mr R Tulloch (Chief Executive)

Hampshire Fire and Rescue

Councillor M Cartwright
Mr D Howells

Association of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Authorities

Mr N Goulder (Policy Manager)
Mrs D Allen (PA to Policy Manager)

Also in attendance:

Government Office for the South East

Mr C Byrne

Southampton City Council

Mr B Roynon (Chief Executive)

Local Government Association representative

Councillor Mrs M Robinson

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Strategic Health Authority

Ms M Stratford

33.02 WELCOME

The Chairman welcomed all present to the meeting. He particularly welcomed Councillor M Cartwright, Chairman of the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority.

34.02 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor R Donnelly (Basingstoke and Deane); Councillor S James (East Hampshire); Councillors M Roberts and M Woodhall (Hampshire); Councillor L Fullbrook (Hart); Councillors E Shimbart and P Shaddock (Portsmouth); Mrs S Hudson (HAPTC) and Mr K Dufton (Eastleigh Community Service).

35.02 MINUTES

The minutes of the meeting held on 27 September 2002 were agreed as a correct record.

36.02 REVIEW OF HEALTH PROVISION IN HAMPSHIRE AND THE ISLE OF WIGHT

Nick Goulder introduced the report of the Chief Executives' Group on behalf of Chris Tapp who was one of the Association's Health Leads. The report:

(a) outlined the fact that the four Social Services authorities were discussing the arrangements for health overview and scrutiny between them; and

(b) gave details of the County Council's current consultation with District Councils.

Councillor Brian Bayford (Fareham) introduced his tabled report (annexed to these minutes). He argued that the District Councils were the elected authority closest to the Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) which were responsible for 75%-80% of NHS expenditure locally. This included purchasing from the major NHS Trusts. Therefore scrutiny of PCTs should be delegated to the local level and County Council review work should concentrate on more strategic issues. Councillor Sean Woodward asked the County Council to follow the same principles as it had adopted in creating its local strategic partnership with the more strategic work being carried out at County level, and local partnership work being carried out at District Council level.

Councillor Ken Thornber (Hampshire) found the ideas coming forward from Fareham acceptable in principle. However he urged caution in introducing this new untried process of health review, using a discretionary power for which regulations had not yet been formulated, and the Government still had no clear idea of how it would work. The County Council would be breaking new ground and he argued for a review to take place in 6 to 12 months when the ideas in Fareham's paper could be considered in the light of initial experience and guidance.

Basingstoke and Deane, Gosport, Rushmoor and other District Councils supported the Fareham report. Rushmoor drew attention to cross-border issues citing Frimley Park Hospital. Gosport referred to Haslar and the pressures on Queen Alexandra Hospital. New Forest drew attention to the desirability of Executive Members participating in the health review process, (on which subject the Association had made representations to the Government). Community Action Hampshire drew attention to the importance of the voluntary and community sector in supporting health provision.

Councillor Thornber suggested that a seminar be organised for Members and staff concerned to bring more light to the complex issues being discussed. It was agreed that the seminar should cover both health and social care.

There was some discussion about adopting a resolution based on the penultimate paragraph of the Fareham report but the Honorary Secretary drew attention to the protocols agreed for management of the Association's business which were designed to ensure that the Association operated via consensus.

District Council Members considered the appointment of three representatives to the County Council's Health Review Committee and following discussion Councillor Thornber offered to ask the County Council to accept four representatives to allow a reasonable political balance across the eleven districts.

The Chairman emphasised the point from New Forest that the nature of this discussion should not be allowed to obscure the very positive work now being undertaken at PCT level with both District and County Councils fully collaborating with the NHS.

RESOLVED

(1) That the Chief Executives’ Group report further on arrangements for health review across the social services authorities and cross-border arrangements with neighbouring county areas;

(2) That the Fareham report be commended to District Councils for consideration;

(3) That District Councils appoint four scrutiny representatives to attend the shadow meeting of the County Council’s proposed Health Review Committee, ensuring some geographical and political balance across the eleven districts;

(4) That district nominations should go forward from the political groups (2 Con, 1 LD, 1 Lab) to the Association, for agreement between the District Councils; and

(5) That a seminar for Members be arranged as discussed in conjunction with the Strategic Health Authority.

37.02 NURSING CARE INVESTMENT STRATEGY FOR HAMPSHIRE

Ian Parker Head of Estates Practice, Hampshire County Council introduced this report.

The report gave details of the work being undertaken by Hampshire County Council and the Strategic Health Authority to create 500 extra nursing care beds across Hampshire and the extent of building planned to achieve this.

The report set out the costs involved and funding which would be available from Central Government and the Strategic Health Authority. The successful delivery of this additional nursing care accommodation was important to Hampshire due to:

Ž the falling number of nursing home beds in the county through home closures;

Ž the growing demand for a more intensive level of care required for an increasingly ageing and dependent population;

Ž the need to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions; and

Ž to enable people to move from hospital earlier into nursing care, thus freeing-up acute care hospital beds and reducing waiting times.

It was noted that 10% of the nursing care beds in Hampshire had been lost in the last three years.

Initial feasibility studies had been carried out on various sites across the County but decisions had yet to be made.

The County Council and Strategic Health Authority would consult with District Councils and other stakeholders to ensure that suitable schemes could be progressed without delay. The report requested District Councils to appoint a suitable senior officer to be a point of contact to help with preparation of detailed proposals and submissions of applications for planning permissions and other approvals.

Significant progress had been made and the County Council asked that District Councils make provision for the proposals within their local plans.

Those present generally welcomed the report and the proposals contained within it. Winchester asked that consultations to District Council planners be submitted early and often. The County Council agreed to implement this. Rushmoor felt that each of the bullet points (listed above) were important.

The County Council drew attention to its considerable commitment to the scheme and highlighted the likely costs involved especially in the recruitment of nursing staff. It was hoping to spread the 500 beds envisaged around the county so as to avoid difficulties for visiting relatives.

Councillor Maureen Robinson, representing the Local Government Association, mentioned that Government Ministers were using the County Council scheme as an example of good practice.

RESOLVED

That the members of HIOW note:

(1) The opportunity to achieve major improvements in the provision of nursing care accommodation in Hampshire;

(2) The progress made by the County Council and Strategic Health Authority in securing funding for immediate investment in new nursing care accommodation; and

(3) The benefits to the people of Hampshire resulting from the early development of the additional care accommodation in view of pressing problems of delayed release (bed blocking) from acute care hospital bed spaces and to identify a senior member of staff in each District or Borough Council to act as the principal point of contact to work with the project team to bring forward detailed proposals and secure the necessary planning consents required to successfully deliver the proposed nursing care accommodation to the agreed programme.

38.02 NEXT MEETING

It was reported that the next meeting of the Association would be held at 10.00 am on 31 January 2003 at the Town Hall, Gosport. The meeting would be attended by Sam Younger, Chair of the Electoral Commission, who had requested a meeting with Leaders of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Authorities.

The Chairman suggested that in future a five minute slot be allotted at the end of each meeting for local authorities to air particular concerns or issues. The Association would experiment with this proposal at the next meeting.

The Chairman reported that this would be Katrine Sporle’s last meeting as she had been appointed Chief Planning Inspector in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. The Association wished her well in her new position and thanked her for her support.

Following the meeting a seminar was held on Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) during which presentations were made by the County and Unitary Authorities on their experience with CPA and by the Chief Executive of Winchester City Council. The Chairman thanked the contributors on behalf of the District Councils who would now be preparing for CPA in 2003.

ANNEX

HEALTH SCRUTINY

It is accepted that Hampshire County Council is the responsible agency for health scrutiny. However the HCC consultation document (closing date for comments 31st December 2002) ignores the Government’s stated aim that health scrutiny should ensure that the views of local communities are received and respected.

The consultation paper suggests co-opting 3 District Councillors to the County Council’s Health Review Committee to represent local views. However HIOWLA is requested to appoint 3 members at the November 29th meeting – before comments are received on the HCC consultation paper.It is difficult to understand how this would ensure that all of the local issues of the 11 Borough and District Councils in Hampshire could be adequately represented. The HCC Panel would concentrate on strategic countywide issues with little scrutiny of health issues in specific areas. Those best able to contribute and represent local perspectives are excluded.

The District Councils have a responsibility to prepare Health Improvement and Modernisation Plans with the local Primary Care Trust.

A PCT is responsible for 75-80% of all NHS expenditure in its locality. Local issues, such as the progress of the new LIFT Projects (East Hants and Fareham & Gosport PCTs) are of particular importance to District Councils. There is a concern that such matters would receive less attention when being monitored alongside many other projects and issues on a countywide basis.

The District Council representatives have much closer contact with the local residents and community groups and are best placed to respond to local concerns.

It is also clear from the consultation paper that the work programme of the Health Review Committee will be limited or extended according to the budget that is available. This will clearly have an impact on the effectiveness of the scrutiny role. It would be more effective, and save costs, by delegating the scrutiny of PCTs to a local level where a partnership network already exists to undertake the task.

The consultation paper refers to the development of 'Review Working Groups'. In some ways this would appear to fulfil the same function as the local Health Liaison Panels set up in many District Councils in cooperation with PCTs.

It is suggested that the HCC’s Health Review Committee should concentrate on strategic matters with the Hampshire and I.O.W. Strategic Health Authority and Hants and IOW Ambulance Service. District councils should then have delegated scrutiny functions on Primary Care Trusts (plus an HCC councillor) on exclusively local issues using existing mechanisms. This would ensure that there is effective and constructive communication between those responsible for services in a defined locality.

HIOWLA is requested to commend this course of action to its constituent authorities.

Last update: 21/01/2003
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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