Agenda item - Chair's Communications

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Agenda item

Chair's Communications

The Chair of the Board will start the meeting with a short update on recent developments on health and wellbeing.


17.1    The Chair delivered the following communications:


“Strike Action by registered Social Workers in the Health and Adult Social Care Directorate


17.2    You may be aware that the Councils registered Social Workers in the Health and Adult Social Care directorate who are members of Unison have balloted for strike action over the coming weeks. The Council has been notified that the 3 strike days are:


17.3    Today 7 November (you will have seen the demonstration as you walked into Hove Town Hall this afternoon) AND 14 and 15 December. The strike action is over a dispute in paying them a 12.5% Market Supplement in addition to their basic pay, in line with what is paid to Social Workers in our Families, Children and Learning Directorate, as an incentive to recruitment and retention. We absolutely value the challenging and complex work our social workers undertake each day, and are taking this action very seriously. We also know some of our staff across the Directorate are struggling to make ends meet during the cost-of-living crisis, and we’re offering as much support as we can.

Unfortunately, this cannot include awarding social workers in our adult social care service a 12.5% market supplement and we have made this clear in our negotiations with the union. We have put contingency measures in place to ensure there is cover for our essential services on strike days, and are in further negotiations with Unison regarding potential resolutions to the industrial action.


17.4    Councillor West referred to a public question which had been submitted in respect of this matter stating that the matter was worthy of discussion and requesting that the Chair agree that the question be put. The Chair, stated that the question had been rejected as it had been submitted late, did not relate to the work of the Board which was a partnership including health and third sector partners and related to confidential discussions which were currently on-going between the council as an employer and its employees and could not be discussed or debated in public. In response to further questions, the Legal Adviser to the Board confirmed that this could not be considered in the public domain.


Referral from HOSC


17.5    The Council’s Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) recently received a report on mental health, outlining measures being taken across the health and care system to deal with the problem of people waiting for long periods in A&E after being detained by the police under a section 136, or because an acute mental health bed is not available for them. HOSC members were not satisfied that the measures being taken are sufficient to deal with these problems and referred the matter to the Health & Wellbeing Board. There wasn’t time to prepare a report for this meeting, but I have asked officers to bring something to the next Board.


Government Consultation on Measures to Reduce Smoking


17.6    The Government is currently running a consultation on measures to reduce smoking. I wanted to explore whether we could submit a Board response to this consultation and I asked officers to email round members with a draft submission compiled by the council’s Public Health Team. Hopefully you’ve all seen the emails that were sent round and have had a chance to comment on the proposed submission. I’d like to ask members whether they are happy that this goes as a submission from Brighton & Hove Health & Wellbeing Board?”


17.7    In answer to questions regarding why it had not been possible to bring a report forward to the Board to enable it a approve a single response to be provided, the Director of Public Health explained that the timeframe for responses had been too short, all of the comments/observations received would be incorporated into the response which was sent.


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