Agenda item - Formal Member Involvement

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Agenda item

Formal Member Involvement

To consider any of the following:


(a) Petitions;


(b) Written Questions (Question received from Co-optee, Chief Officer Healthwatch (copy attached);


(c) Letters;


(d) Notices of Motion


30a     Petitions


30.1    There were none.


30b    Written Questions


(1)      Tier 2 – Covid Recovery Arrangements


30.2    It was noted that four questions had been received in total. One question set out in the agenda and below had been received from Mr Liley of Healthwatch. Mr Liley acknowledged that his question was now largely redundant having been overtaken by the current situation. He considered however that it would be beneficial for public response to be given.


30.3    Mr Liley’s question as follows:


          “Government advice is that if we move to Tier 2 COVID response Care Home visiting will be restricted to "...only in exceptional circumstances" see:


Irrespective of any move to Tier 2 can the HWB ensure that care home residents in Brighton and Hove can be visited by one nominated family member by arranging weekly testing provided on the same basis as for care home staff?”


30.4    The Chair responded in the following terms:


“As HWB Members will be aware since this question was received from David Liley events have overtaken and rather than any consideration of moving into Tier 2 we are now. since last Thursday in a second national lockdown. Additional government guidance was issued at the end of last week which, in relation to the specific question, can be summarised as follows:


The new national guidance recognises the importance of maintaining opportunities for visiting to take place which is critical for supporting the health and wellbeing of residents and their relationships with friends and family. It sets out measures that can be put in place to provide COVID-secure opportunities for families to meet and expects care home providers, families and local professionals to work together to find the right balance between the benefits of visiting, and the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to care staff and vulnerable residents. The guidance identifies that the individual resident, their views, their needs and wellbeing are an important focus of decisions around visiting and all decisions around visiting should be taken in light of general legal obligations, such as those under the Equality Act 2010 and Human Rights Act 1998, as applicable. Providers must also have regard to the DHSC ethical framework for adult social care


The updated guidance states that care home providers ‘need to assess and balance the risk of local prevalence and the ability of the care home to manage the visit safely. This dynamic risk assessment must formally take into account the advice of the local DPH’ The current local advice for care homes is to follow this latest national guidance. If there is any need to introduce additional and/or different measures locally, these would be communicated.


Therefore, subject to appropriate risk assessments being in place, assuming there is no active outbreak within the care home, following correct procedures up to no more than 2 consistent visitors can continue to meet their loved ones in a care home. However, if an outbreak is confirmed the provider should move to stop visiting apart from in exceptional circumstances such as end of life.


The government are exploring the options for testing visitors and will review the overall approach to care home visiting as the current national restrictions come to an end.


30.5    It was noted that three questions had been also been received from Councillor Childs and these and the Chair’s responses to them are also set out below:


(2)      Councillor Childs – Regular Check-Ups for Children Registered with NHS Dentists


30.6    Councillor Childs put the following question:


What provision will be made to ensure children registered with NHS dentists can receive regular check-ups which have ceased since March?”


30.7    The Chair responded in the following terms:


“NHS Dentistry is commissioned by NHS England and is currently guided by the Office of the Chief Dental Officer (OCDO) Standard Operating Procedure ‘Transition to Recovery’.  For routine and urgent dental care there remains a need to minimise footfall and non-essential face-to-face contact within the dental environment, the main reason for which is the aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) that cover most dental treatments. In identifying and prioritising patients, within the available capacity, recommencing deferred courses of treatment, recall and re-assessments will be prioritised to those patient groups with the greatest need. Practices are guided to consider prioritising patients, including those with frequent recall according to NICE recall guidelines e.g., children. Prioritisation of patients to be seen face-to-face will depend upon the clinical judgement and expertise of the practitioner to weigh up the benefits of dental treatment against exposure risk and to always plan for care in the patient’s best interests.”


(3)      Councillor Childs – Payment for Care Staff working for Providers Commissioned by the Council if Forced to Self-Isolate


30.8    Councillor Childs put the following question:


“At the last Committee I asked about care staff working for providers commissioned by the council and if they would receive full pay if forced to self-isolate. Please can an update be provided?”


30.9    The Chair responded in the following terms:


“I can confirm that under the Infection Prevention and Control funding the Council has distributed funding to care homes and is monitoring the use of this funding against the stated criteria. This criteria includes one expectation of continuing to pay staff fully where they are required to isolate. There are many cases where this is happening, and I confirm this is the case also with the Council run homes. However, our monitoring has identified a number of providers where these payments are not automatically being made directly to all staff. The Council is following this up directly with each individual provider identified.


(4)      Councillor Childs – Update on Situation With Non-urgent Blood Tests


30.10  Councillor Childs put the following question:


“Can the CCG update us on the situation with non-urgent blood tests?”


30.11  The Chair responded in the following terms:


“The temporary issue with the Roche supply chain has been resolved, and the CCG is pleased to confirm that all pathology services in Sussex (and beyond Sussex within Trusts that our GP practices use) now have regular deliveries to ensure that they can perform all necessary tests.  An update has been sent to all GP practices to inform them that all urgent and non-urgent blood testing can resume for all of our hospital trusts.  The CCG is working with GP practices to rebook appointments for any patients whose appointment was affected by this national issue and ensure they can take place in a timely way.”


30.12  RESOLVED – That the questions and responses given to them be received and noted.


30c     Letters


30.13  There were none.


30d    Notices of Motion


30.14  There were none.

Supporting documents:


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