Venue: Meeting to be held virtually
Contact: Yusuf Olow, Senior Governance Officer
Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies.
Declaration of Members' Interests
In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Members of the Board are asked to declare any interest they may have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting.
There were no declarations of interest.
Minutes (13 January 2021) PDF 94 KB
The minutes of the meeting held on 13 January 2021 were confirmed as correct.
Covid-19 update including vaccines PDF 22 KB
The Director of Public Health (DPH) updated the Board who noted that many primary school pupils returned to school on 8 March and secondary school pupils would return by 15th March. The DPH expressed his thanks to parents who, following a letter sent by the DPH asking that they arrange for their children to be tested, volunteered their children resulting in a large number of asymptomatic cases being detected.
The Senior Intelligence and Analysis Officer (SIAO) then gave a presentation to the Board and highlighted the following:
· Most London boroughs had been given an amber RAG Rating;
· Most London boroughs had seen a fall in cases;
· Barking and Dagenham continued to maintain a relatively high test rate compared to other boroughs and this was due to more testing of secondary school age young people as referenced by the DPH above.
In addition, the GP Confederation released figures showing that the percentage of persons registered with their GP within Barking and Dagenham who still required the first dose of the vaccine was:
· 80+ years 6.62%
· 75-79 years 11.29%
· 70-74 years 12.14%
· Shielding 36.84%
· 65-69 years 28.28%
· Underlying health conditions (under 65 years) 47.91%
On the 4 March 2021, the infection rate in the Borough was 60.6 per 100,000 people which meant that Barking and Dagenham continued to have a red RAG rating. However, this represented an 85% reduction since 4th January 2021. Eastbury and Thames wards recorded the highest cases rates in the 14 days prior to 4March.
There were seven Covid-19 related deaths in the week ending 26th February which continued the downward trend. Unfortunately, there had been 531 Covid-19 related deaths in Barking and Dagenham since the pandemic began.
The DPH cautioned that, whilst the overall trend was one of decline, it was likely that cases would fluctuate as the lockdown was eased. The DPH stressed the importance of the public adhering to lockdown procedures and taking all precautions. The DPH also warned that one of the legacies of the pandemic would be the worsening of health inequalities.
The Chair acknowledged that Covid-19 would continue to be a major challenge for the Council going forward and would be a major theme for the Board in the forthcoming 2021-2022 municipal year.
The Board noted the update.
Safeguarding Children Partnership Annual Report PDF 100 KB
The Interim Head of Commissioning at Children’s Commissioning (IHC) presented the report to the Board.
The priorities for 2019-2020 were focused on reducing knife crime, gang culture, exploitation, domestic violence and minimising neglect at the pre-birth stage. The report also discussed the partnership arrangements and comments by each of the working group chairs was included in the report.
The IHC focused on the work undertaken to build strong foundations by moving responsibilities from the Safeguarding Children’s Board to a partnership model and how this would work within the wider children’s protection system.
The Director of People and Resilience (DPR) added that the report set out the start of a new journey with the purpose of reinvigorating how the Council would deal with the protection of vulnerable children. The DPR then highlighted the plan to recruit an independent scrutineer. The aim would be to recruit someone who had a connection to lived experience in order to enhance the inclusion of the voices and experiences of vulnerable children into the Council’s protocols and approaches.
The DPR noted that Covid-19 had resulted in challenges owing to restrictions on socialising as well as a rise in domestic violence and neglect nationally. However, the Council was making more use of virtual meetings and the restoration of school classes would also help in dealing with these challenges.
The Committee noted the annual report.
IAPT and Community Solutions PDF 53 KB
The Head of Special Programmes at Community Solutions (HSP) updated the Board. Work to undertake joint working between staff in Talking Therapies and Community Solutions began at the end of 2020. Owing to Covid-19 there had been increased use of the Community Solutions Hubs and residents were presenting with issues related to issues such as housing, money and mental health. It was felt that close working between these two services would enable the development of a holistic response and social prescribing.
The HSP added that Covid-19, whilst illustrating the need for cooperation, also posed challenges since it limited the opportunity to work from office locations. The HSP added that plans had been made post pandemic and that Barking Learning Centre and Dagenham Heathway would be used as locations for the provision of joint services.
The HSP also highlighted the following:
· Joint training would be arranged with staff from the two services in relation to information sharing, awareness of presenting issues among clients and to identify low level mental health needs and issues;
· Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) staff, by working with Community Solutions, would develop connections to, and greater understanding of, wider preventative support services; and
· Joint working would present further opportunities to strengthen the referral pathways so that it covered both services.
The Integrated Care Director at the North East London Foundation Trust (ICD) added the joint working plan was part of a wider programme of integration of front facing services.
In response to questioning, the HSP clarified that the overall aim was to provide key support and training across the relevant parts of the service, however it was stressed that it would not be at the expense of individual safeguarding requirements. Following further questioning, HSP said there were already good connections in place and the proposals were a further development of these.
Community Hubs: Concepts and Offer PDF 103 KB
The Chair introduced the item stating that the Council aimed to have a Hub in every ward and emphasised that she was personally committed to the plan. The Hubs would differ from ward to ward, based on the specific needs of that ward. The Chair urged the Council’s health partners to take part; in terms of creating ideas for the Hubs and for the set-up of the Hubs themselves.
All Hubs would contain the following four concepts;
· A core information and advice service;
· A differentiated service and/or activity offer;
· A differentiated community offer; and
· A differentiated workforce space offer.
The HSP provided an outline of the Council’s plans disclosing that the Council had set itself a deadline of April 2022 for the completion of the rollout of the Hubs. The aim was for the Hubs to be a place where residents could go to raise issues and seek assistance enabling them to access more targeted advice and services.
Though the Hubs would differ depending on local needs that would be evidence based, they would contain a core information and advice service in addition to other council services, as well services provided by health partners.
The HSP explained that the Hubs would enable the Council to better understand local aspirations and needs and they would be adapted to changes in their particular ward. The Hubs would also be linked with the GP Primary Care Networks in the Borough.
The Board expressed their support for the proposal and asked that regular updates on its implementation be provided to the Board.
The Board noted the forward plan.