Agenda and minutes

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No. Item

County Councillor B Dawson replaced County Councillor K Snape for this meeting only.




Apologies were received from District Councillors Julie Robinson (Wyre) and Tracy Kennedy (Burnley).



Disclosure of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

Members are asked to consider any Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests they may have to disclose to the meeting in relation to matters under consideration on the Agenda.




Minutes of the Meeting Held on 4 February 2020 pdf icon PDF 210 KB


Resolved: That the minutes from the meetings held on be confirmed as an accurate record.



Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS COVID-19 Response pdf icon PDF 20 KB

Additional documents:


The Chair welcomed Dr Amanda Doyle, GP and Integrated Care Strategy lead for Lancashire and South Cumbria and Kevin McGee, Chief Executive for East Lancashire Hospitals Trust and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. A report was presented regarding the local NHS response to the Covid 19 pandemic.


The following points were highlighted:


·  There had been a national and local change of governance arrangements, following the declaration of a level four healthcare incident by NHS England. This resulted in NHS England taking control of all healthcare resource. A local governance structure was put in place to oversee local implementation.


·  Phase one was the initial emergency response, involving planning for and managing the impact and subsequent increased demand. The actions at this stage included stepping down non-essential work. The governance arrangements were divided into two cells - hospital and out of hospital, both of which included a range of leaders who worked closely with the Local Resilience Forum (LRF) to effectively manage decision making. Some programme work regarding system development, transformation and commissioning reform had been adjourned in order to focus on the incident.


·  The hospital cell co-ordinated the work of the main hospital sites across Lancashire to support the initial surge of Covid patients, concentrating on increasing capacity for critical care and beds. The considerable numbers that had been initially forecasted for critical care were not realised. The additional requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) had been met through mutual support across the cells and working collectively as a system.


·  The initial phase required moving staff to support the most urgent areas and this necessitated some temporary service changes to ensure service quality and the deployment of staff to the most urgent areas such as respiratory care and A&E. This included the temporary closure of Chorley A&E, the birth unit at Blackburn and the minor injuries unit at Blackpool. These clinical decisions had to be made quickly and the decisions were communicated widely with stakeholders and the public, emphasising that they were temporary measures required to respond to the crisis. Any permanent change would follow the statutory guidance and fulfil the required engagement process. Other changes included significant visiting restrictions, following national guidance to support infection control. The cell continued to work closely with LRF and other bodies to ensure changes to public services were publicised. This way of working enabled new best practice to be established in terms of sharing data between organisations in a controlled way, which facilitated improved communication and action.


·  The work was now moving toward restoration of services and taking learning points from good practice joint working to develop future practice. There had been a significant reduction in Covid 19 patients across Lancashire, however the hospitals were prepared in terms of capacity for any future surges in cases. Planning for winter was in progress alongside focusing on cancer and diagnostic activity. It was noted that restoration work would be implemented in a planned and considered way to take into account the need for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 203 KB

Additional documents:


A draft copy of a combined work programme for all of the Lancashire County Council scrutiny committees was presented to the committee, alongside the committee work programme for 2019/20. Members were asked to discuss potential topics for addition on to the programme, including those that had been deferred from 2019/20. 


Members made the following comments:


·  The item for Health Scrutiny Committee: 'supporting the social care sector including domiciliary care workers' would benefit from more precise wording and detail to ensure robust scrutiny and positive critical challenge. Members wanted more clarity regarding whether the item was referencing how health services were working together with the social care sector to boost the quality of support.


It was confirmed that the development of the items was a member led process and it was a committee decision as to how the review be conducted.


·  In these uncertain times it would be beneficial if the combined work programme be flexible for the inclusion of any urgent items that may arise. In addition it was requested that there be an opportunity for members of the Health Scrutiny Committee to provide input to Scrutiny Officers alongside Scrutiny Chairs when developing the programme and identifying appropriate methods of scrutiny.


·  Concern was expressed that there were outstanding items from the last meeting and that the topic of NHS estate adequately supporting neighbourhood working was not on the combined plan


·  Additional questions and suggested topics for potential inclusion in the work programme regarding social care and test and trace would be shared with the Scrutiny Officer outside of the meeting.


Resolved: That


  1. The development and delivery of the combined Scrutiny Committee Work Programme and identification of appropriate methods of scrutiny, be delegated to the Scrutiny Officers in consultation with the Scrutiny Chairs and input from any member.
  2. The current Health Scrutiny Committee work programme (2019/20) be temporarily suspended and for this to be kept under review.


Urgent Business

An item of urgent business may only be considered under this heading where, by reason of special circumstances to be recorded in the Minutes, the Chair of the meeting is of the opinion that the item should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.  Wherever possible, the Chief Executive should be given advance warning of any Member’s intention to raise a matter under this heading.



There were no items of urgent business.



Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Health Scrutiny Committee will be held virtually on Tuesday 15 September 2020 at 10:30am.


The next meeting of the Health Scrutiny Committee will be held on Tuesday 15 September 2020 at 10.30am by means of a virtual meeting.