Agenda and minutes

Health Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 8 December 2020 6:00 pm

Venue: Meeting to be held virtually

Contact: Yusuf Olow, Senior Governance Officer 


No. Item


Declaration of Members' Interests

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Members 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 ( 21 October 2020) pdf icon PDF 80 KB


The minutes of the meeting of 21 October 2020 were confirmed as correct.


Winter Planning and Support to Care Homes pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Additional documents:


The Council’s Head of Adult Commissioning (HAC) presented a report on the Winter Planning and Support to Care Homes. The Council was working closely with Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Groups (BHR CCGs) to ensure consistency in quality and availability of services.


The HAC noted that Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham had undertaken independent research that consisted of interviewing 35 residents and relatives, and 57 care home staff asking them about their experience of the pandemic so far, the care and support received, and hospital discharge.


Relatives and residents praised care home staff citing their compassion and assistance. However, concerns were raised in relation to hospital discharges as Covid-19 positive patients were discharged to care homes and there were issues with PPE in the early stages.


The Committee noted that the Healthwatch report was used in the design of the plan.


The North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) had established an Infection Prevention Control team (IPC). The Council had invested in the IPC to provide support to the Council’s providers; undertaking audits to ensure that providers were following hygiene procedures and to provide support. There had been issues with recruitment, however these were being resolved and HAC disclosed that three agency nurses had been recruited.


A ‘hot homes’ pathway was established which consisted of two designated care homes in Havering and Redbridge which accepted Covid-19 positive discharges. The homes had been inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which concluded that they were Covid-19 secure. The HAC disclosed that patients stay at the home for 14 days before being transferred back to the care home they were previously resident in or they are moved to a care home of their choice in a borough of their choice. This process had reduced the risk of transmission within care homes.


Staff were tested on a weekly basis and care home residents were tested monthly, with the frequency increasing in the event of a positive test result by a staff member or resident.


Regular testing was also being undertaken in supported living and extra care schemes, alongside home care agencies. Public Health England (PHE) had put an incident management team process in place that brought together health and social care partners to work through actions to support care homes and to ensure a joined-up approach.


Care Homes were isolating residents, who had been discharged from A&E, for 14 days and Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge University NHS Trust (BHRUT) had put communication in place between A&E and care homes to ensure that there was no ambiguity in procedures.


A process had been put in place ensuring that no discharges would be made without a confirmed Covid-19 test result. The HAC had indicated that there were still issues with this but was confident that it would be resolved.


Lateral flow testing, a quick test which enabled families to be tested just before they visit relatives was being rolled out in December 2020. Five care homes had already received testing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 76 KB


The Committee noted the work programme.