Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Marie Todd  01225 394414


No. Item


Welcome and introductions

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The Chair, Cllr Kevin Guy, welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Emergency Evacuation Procedure

The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out in the notes.

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The Chair drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out in the agenda.


Apologies for Absence

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Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Sarah Warren.


Declarations of Interest

At this point in the meeting declarations of interest are received from Members in any of the agenda items under consideration at the meeting. Members are asked to indicate:


(a) The agenda item number in which they have an interest to declare.

(b) The nature of their interest.

(c) Whether their interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an other interest,  (as defined in Part 2, A and B of the Code of Conduct and Rules for Registration of Interests)


Any Member who needs to clarify any matters relating to the declaration of interests is recommended to seek advice from the Council’s Monitoring Officeror a member of his staff before the meeting to expedite dealing with the item during the meeting.

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Cllr Tim Ball declared an interest regarding item 8 as his grandson uses the paediatric services provided by HCRG.


To Announce any Urgent Business Agreed by the Chair

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The Chair stated that there was no urgent business, but that he wished to thank the dedicated HCRG teams for the excellent services they have continued to provide under the extreme pressure of the last two years.  He praised the close working relationship between the Council and the CCG which would soon move to an Integrated Care System.  He stated that, whilst the CCG decision relating to the HCRG contract had been made earlier in the evening, the Cabinet decision would be made entirely independently.  He wished to reassure the public and service users that the collaborative relationship between the two organisations would continue.


Questions from Public and Councillors

Questions submitted before the deadline will receive a reply from an appropriate Cabinet member or a promise to respond within 5 days of the meeting.  Councillors may ask one supplementary question for each question they submitted, up to a maximum of two per Councillor.

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There were eight questions from Councillors and no questions from members of the public.


Cllr Joanna Wright asked two supplementary questions relating to M1 and M5.  Cllr Alison Born confirmed that responses would be provided within five working days of the meeting.


[Copies of the questions and responses, including supplementary questions and responses if any, have been placed on the Minute book as Appendix 1 and are available on the Council's website.]

CabinetQA20220526 - Appendix 1 pdf icon PDF 367 KB

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Statements, Deputations or Petitions from Public or Councillors

Councillors and members of the public may register their intention to make a statement.  Statements are limited to 3 minutes each.  The speaker may then be asked by Cabinet members to answer factual questions arising out of their statement.

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The following members of the public and Councillors made statements regarding the HCRG contract extension:


·  Pam Richards (Protect our NHS BANES) [a copy of which is attached to the minutes as Appendix 2 and on the Council's website]


·  Councillor Paul May [a copy of which is attached to the minutes as Appendix 3 and on the Council's website]


·  Councillor Robin Moss [a copy of which is attached to the minutes as Appendix 4 and on the Council's website]


·  Councillor Eleanor Jackson (this statement was read out by Cllr Robin Moss as Cllr Jackson was unable to attend the meeting) [a copy of which is attached to the minutes as Appendix 5 and on the Council's website]

Statement from Protect our NHS BANES - Pam Richards - Appendix 2 pdf icon PDF 145 KB

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HCRG Care Group Options Appraisal pdf icon PDF 712 KB

The Cabinet is asked to consider all the benefits and disbenefits along with the associated risks highlighted in the report to inform the contract extension decision.

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Cllr Vic Pritchard made a statement in his capacity as Chair of the Adults, Children, Health and Wellbeing PDS Panel.  The statement covered the following issues:


·  The role of scrutiny is very important in this process.  Having discussed this matter at the Adult, Children, Health and Wellbeing PDS Panel no firm conclusion had been reached.  There was a balance of views from Panel members between Options 1 and 3.

·  Cllr Pritchard gave a brief outline of the background to the Virgin Care contract and highlighted the importance of this decision.

·  He praised the excellent service that had been provided by Virgin Care and HCRG throughout the pandemic.


The Chair clarified that the Cabinet had decided to ask the PDS Panel to consider the HCRG contract options appraisal.  He also noted that the statement presented by Cllr Pritchard appeared to be made in his capacity as Leader of the Conservative Group rather than as the Chair of the PDS Panel.


Cllr Alison Born, Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Council House Building, introduced the report and made the following statement:


“This Special Cabinet meeting has been called to determine the future of the community health and care services contract. These services were provided by Sirona, a local Community Interest Company until 2017 when a seven plus three-year contract was jointly awarded to Virgin Care by B&NES CCG and Council. The first seven-year period of the contract comes to an end in March 2024 and Commissioners were required to decide whether or not to exercise the three-year extension by March 2022.


An options appraisal process took place during 2021 and in November, both the CCG and the Council took the decision to exercise the three-year extension. This decision was based on the fact that services provided by Virgin Care were generally good, they were seen as a trusted partner, and it was felt that the extension would offer certainty and continuity at a time of great stress and upheaval across the health and care system.


However, within three weeks of this decision being made, Commissioners were informed that Virgin Care had been sold to a private equity group Twenty:20 capital and was being re-branded as HCRG. This was totally unexpected as the Commissioners had been given no prior indication that Virgin Care was for sale. It brought the decision regarding the contract extension into question. HCRG were informed that the extension would be placed on hold whilst commissioners initiated a due diligence process and obtained legal advice. In February 2022, HCRG agreed to an extension of the deadline for exercising the option until the end of June 2022.


A further Option Appraisal has been undertaken, taking into account the change of ownership and the circumstances for that change. Four options were considered and two have been discounted, the two that remain are:


Option 1 – To extend for a further three years


Option 3 – To allow the contract to end with no extension beyond 31 March 2024


There are advantages  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.