41.1 Councillor Fleming reported that since her last update to the Ipswich Borough Council Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee the Suffolk Health Scrutiny Committee had met 5 times. Topics scrutinised included:
- Estates Strategies as they related to integrated care, and the national pooling of receipts from asset sales;
- Sexual Health and Reproductive Services, particularly commissioning and access to services;
- Performance of Non-Emergency Patient Transport;
- The results of the Care Quality Commission’s inspection of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust;
- East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust Strategy;
- Local progress on Health and Social Care Integration;
- Delivery of Mental Health Services in Suffolk;
- Home Care Procurement and links between Social Workers and NHS Staff.
41.2 Councillor Pope asked what the Health Scrutiny Committee had found in relation to the cuts to the School Nursing Service when scrutinising access to contraception in schools. Councillor Fleming reported that the committee had found that the reduction to the number of school nurses was now starting to be reversed.
41.3 Councillor Pope questioned how the Health Scrutiny Committee included Service User Groups and Patient Participation Groups in its work. The Business Manager for the Health Scrutiny Committee, Theresa Harden, explained that Healthwatch Suffolk represented the patient voice on the Health Scrutiny Committee.
41.4 Councillor Pope asked how many referrals had been made to the CAHMS and Emotional Wellbeing Hub, where these had come from, and what the average time taken to resolve or refer cases was. Councillor Fleming explained that a report covering this was expected at the Health Scrutiny Committee’s 22 April 2020 meeting and that the information could be circulated to members of Ipswich Borough Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
41.5 Councillor Gage noted that the Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee was soon to consider an item on GP Provision in Ipswich and asked whether the Health Scrutiny Committee had identified parts of the NHS from which funding might be available to improve this. Councillor Fleming explained that Primary Care provision was due to be scrutinised by the Health Scrutiny Committee at its July meeting and commented that she would consider adding a briefing on property accounting to the work programme.
41.6 Councillor Gage invited Councillor Fleming to attend the Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s meeting on GP Hubs on 27 February 2020. Councillor Fleming agreed that it was important for the committees to work together to ensure that Ipswich’s needs were met.
41.7 Councillor Gibbs noted that Dental Practices were increasingly withdrawing from providing NHS Services and suggested that the Health Scrutiny Committee might like to invite dentists or the British Dental Association to consider this. Councillor Fleming agreed to consider this further and report back to the Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
41.8 Councillor T Lockington noted that Physical and Mental Health services were provided increasingly separately despite physical health often affecting mental health and vice versa. Councillor Fleming agreed that more joined up provision was important and that the Health Scrutiny Committee often asked questions on this issue.
41.9 Councillor Grant noted that some Sexual Health Tests which were available via post had been subject to delays and asked if this had been scrutinised by the Health Scrutiny Committee. The Business Manager for the Health Scrutiny Committee explained that this had been considered again at the committee’s January 2020 meeting and that the number of tests available had been increased to help meet demand.
41.10 Councillor Shaw noted that there had been reports of whistleblowing being discouraged at West Suffolk Hospital which had provoked media interest and asked if the issue would be scrutinised. Councillor Fleming explained that Whistleblowing was being considered for an additional item at the April 2020 Health Scrutiny Committee meeting but that she understood that the issue was being investigated thoroughly.
41.11 The Chair thanked Councillor Fleming and Ms Harden for their attendance and participation.