Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath. View directions

Contact: Mark Durnford  Email: 01225 394458


No. Item



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The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.




The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out under Note 5.


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The Chair drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure.




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Councillor Michelle O’Doherty had sent her apologies to the Panel.



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 4.4 Appendix 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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The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Paul May declared an other interest as he is a non-executive Sirona board member.



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The Chair informed the Panel that the first meeting of the Knife Crime Task & Finish Group had been held and that their Terms of Reference had been approved. She said that they intended to work through some of the issues that had already been identified as quickly as possible.


She added that a meeting was also due to take place in the coming weeks between herself and the CEO of the B&NES, Swindon & Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, Sue Harriman.


The Chair spoke on behalf of the Panel to say that following a direct question relating to Charlton House at the previous meeting they believe that the response given was not as full as it could have been.


Councillor Liz Hardman questioned why the Panel had not been asked to take part in any pre-consultation work and why only a general answer had been given at the last meeting. She stated that she would like the Panel to be given a full explanation of the process at their December meeting.


Councillor Joanna Wright asked that the Panel formally write to the Cabinet Member for Adult Services to convey their disappointment and that they feel let down.


The Chair said that she would write to Councillor Born and explain that it would have been helpful for the Panel to have received information prior to the consultation commencing. She asked that a report on the process of the Single Member Decision re: Community Resource Centres: Proposals for Consultation be prepared for the December Panel meeting.


Councillor Lesley Mansell requested that the Equality Impact Assessment be included as an appendix to the report.


The Panel agreed with these proposals.



At the time of publication no notifications had been received.


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There were none.


MINUTES: 9th October 2023 pdf icon PDF 149 KB

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The Panel confirmed the minutes of the previous meeting as a true record and they were duly signed by the Chair.


Cabinet Member Update

The Cabinet Member(s) will update the Panel on any relevant issues. Panel members may ask questions on the update provided.


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The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Paul May addressed the Panel. He said that within his update he wanted to highlight some of the problems that were being faced by the service, in particular the increase in demand and complexity of issues being raised. A copy of the update will be attached to these minutes as an online appendix.


Kevin Burnett asked if the pressures were likely to lead to a deterioration in services.


Councillor May replied that currently, good and experienced staff were operating well under the pressures and said that he was meeting with them on a regular basis. He added that the numbers of children requiring Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs) had doubled since just before the pandemic, but that the number of staff working in this area had remained the same. He said that agency staff were being used as and when required to alleviate some of the strain and that this work was being kept under close review.


Kevin Burnett asked what pressure, political or otherwise, could be applied to attempt to gain further funding for the service as a whole.


The Director of Children’s Services & Education offered her assurance to the Panel that they have a well established staff leadership group in place. She said that the number of complex cases that had been presented to the service had risen and that steps were hopefully due to be taken to recruit additional staff where possible.


She said that lobbying for further funding has taken place with the Association of Directors of Childrens Services (ADCS) and the Department for Education (DfE) relating to the increase in demand. She added that discussions have also been held with representatives of the South West Councils.


Councillor May said that pressure on Children’s Services budgets was a national issue, but the DfE were attempting to help with their Safety Valve Scheme. He added that meetings have and will continue to take place with Lead Members from other councils to discuss the matter of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children. He said that between age of 18 – 25 these young people remain the responsibility of the Council, but there is no direct funding available.


The Chair asked whether the Panel should consider having a future report on the subject of EHCPs.


Councillor May replied that he believed the Council was an outlier in terms of its EHCP work and would welcome the Panel receiving such a report.


The Director of Education & Safeguarding added that officers do pride themselves of the delivery of their services and as a team were committed to making improvements to the service.


Councillor Joanna Wright asked if any rewards or incentives could be put in place to add value to the roles of officers within the service to retain their employment or to attract further staff that may currently work for an agency.


Councillor May agreed that the Council needed to do what it could to keep the staff that they have. He added that he  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.

Cllr May - Lead Member Report to CAHW November 2023 pdf icon PDF 116 KB

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The Panel will receive an update from the B&NES, Swindon & Wiltshire Integrated Care Board (BSW ICB) on current issues.

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The Director of Place, B&NES, BSW ICB addressed the Panel and highlighted the following areas from her update. A copy of the update will be attached to these minutes as an online appendix.


Sulis Elective Orthopaedic Centre (SEOC) Update


A planning application has been submitted to BaNES Council by the RUH for a new wing at Sulis Hospital in Peasedown St John. If approved, this will allow for an increased capacity at Sulis for non-emergency orthopaedic surgery.


Surgery would be protected from disruption and cancellations caused by surges in emergency hospital admissions because Sulis is not an acute hospital with an emergency department, and as such the SEOC will enhance the resilience of services into the future.


The SEOC would serve patients from the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) area, and beyond, from the whole of the South West region.


Dyson Cancer Centre


Work is also continuing at the hospital to build the new Dyson Cancer Centre which is now expected to welcome patients in spring 2024 rather than at the end of 2023.


Once open, the Dyson Cancer Centre will bring together the majority of the RUH's cancer services, including research, under one roof. It will provide oncology, chemotherapy and radiotherapy services and a 22-bed inpatient ward as well as a Macmillan Wellbeing Hub.


The centre will provide a nurturing and therapeutic environment, with a 'land, water, sky' theme, making extensive use of natural light and external spaces as well as the work of local artists and designers.


The £50m Dyson Cancer Centre is backed by over £40m in Government New Hospitals Programme funding and supported in part by a £4m donation from The James Dyson Foundation to create a cancer services hub for half a million people in the South West of England.


A further £1m was donated by the Medlock Charitable Trust, £1.5m by Macmillan Cancer Support and £5m was also raised by RUHX (formerly known as The Forever Friends Appeal), the official charity of the Trust, thanks to the kindness and compassion of thousands of supporters.


RUH - CQC inspection


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) report published in October on the RUH followed its focused inspection of aspects of Medical Care in July 2023.


The inspectors had many positive things to say about their visit, including particular praise for the ‘outstanding programme’ for international nurses and how managers and ward leaders were supported to make the wards a welcoming place to work.


The report however also reflected some areas requiring more attention resulting in a reduction of the rating of Medical Care Services at the RUH from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’.


An action plan to address these is already well underway including improving storage space on wards, ensuring consistent completion of fluid chart documentation and a continuing focus on Healthcare Support Worker recruitment.


Integrated Community-Based Care Programme


The BSW Primary and Community Care Delivery Plan is seeking to redesign the way community-based health and care services operate. It supports the delivery  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

BSW ICB Report for Children Adults Health and Wellbeing Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel - November 2023 pdf icon PDF 315 KB

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Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) Annual Report pdf icon PDF 95 KB

This report is produced to provide the Director for Children's Services, the Lead Member for Children and the Corporate Parenting Board with information pertaining to the work of the Independent Reviewing Service (IRS), which is responsible for monitoring and reviewing the care provided to children and young people for whom the Local Authority are Corporate Parents.


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The Director of Education & Safeguarding stated that it had been a challenging year for the service and that improvements had been seen despite resources remaining an issue. He added that additional IRO’s were being sought.


He explained that some placements for children and young people are still required to be out of area.


He stated that a positive relationship exists between the IRO’s, Social Workers and their managers.


The Chair commented that the number of placements outside of the Local Authority had increased which results in young people not being near their relatives or the Council as their Corporate Parents.


The Director of Education & Safeguarding replied that these decisions are not made by the IRO, it was their role to make sure the placements are suitable. He added that they were seeking to develop some in house provision.


The Director of Children’s Services & Education added that a sufficiency statement is carried out annually and that it can be difficult to locally home young people with complex needs, but that they do try to keep a connection in place where possible.


Councillor Paul Crossley asked if the Council knew the whereabouts of all the young people that had left its care.


The Director of Children’s Services & Education replied that the Council now had a responsibility for them until the age of 25 and stated that they were currently in contact with all of those young people.


Councillor Crossley asked if Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children should be placed nearer to relatives or families that they know.


The Director of Children’s Services & Education replied that the Council is part of the Voluntary Dispersal Scheme and do challenge where appropriate to home young people near to relatives that are already in the country.


Councillor Paul May said that this was a known national issue and that funding becomes more of a pressure once the young person turns 18.


Councillor Crossley referred to section 14.1 of the report and asked why some ‘Areas for development’ were still marked as outstanding from 2019.


The Director of Education & Safeguarding replied that this relates mainly to ‘life story’ work where feedback is gathered from children and the need for this to be more in depth where possible.


Councillor Crossley stated that he would like to see more realistic targets within future reports.


Councillor Paul May commented that the report could be given further scrutiny at the next Corporate Parent meeting.


Kevin Burnett asked if the IROs have a role with regard to Children in Care that offend / re-offend.


The Director of Children’s Services & Education replied that the IROs will review all Children in Care.


The Director of Education & Safeguarding added that their individual plans would be scrutinised by the IROs and that input would also be received from the Youth Offending Team.


Councillor Lesley Mansell commented that the last Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) was completed in October 2020 and asked what actions had been taken as part of this and when would it be reviewed / updated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.


Bath & North East Somerset Community Safety & Safeguarding Partnership (BCSSP) Annual Report pdf icon PDF 97 KB

The B&NES Community Safety & Safeguarding Partnership (BCSSP) is introducing its Annual Report for 2022-2023, alongside its priorities to be actioned in its Strategic Plan for 2023-2024.

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The Chair commented that there were recommendations referred to in the report but she could not actually locate them.


Councillor Paul Crossley said that he endorsed the work of all staff involved in this area. He asked if the ‘missing children’ data in this report was recorded differently to the last report (IRO Annual Report).


The Director of Children’s Services & Education replied that this data was collected differently by Avon & Somerset Constabulary and concentrated on those under the age of 18.


Councillor Crossley stated that there was no place for any type of race hatred within our community.


The Director of Children’s Services & Education replied that the Council does work very closely with SARI (Stand Against Racism & Equality) on these issues and takes any such notification seriously.


Kevin Burnett asked if Operation Encompass was now fully in place across the Council.


The Director of Children’s Services & Education replied that it was.


Kevin Burnett asked how many Domestic Homicide Reviews have been carried out.


The Director of Children’s Services & Education replied that in the period covered by this report, the BCSSP has not completed any Domestic Homicide Reviews.


Kevin Burnett referred to safeguarding and asked if the new managing allegations protocol had had an impact on staff in schools and had any training taken place.


The Director of Education & Safeguarding replied that multi-agency training opportunities have been available from the Police. He added that support and training was in place for schools from the LADO and supporting IROs.


Kevin Burnett asked if a review of how allegations are processed had been carried out and who is involved in that process.


The Director of Education & Safeguarding replied that he would provide further information in writing to the Panel.


Councillor Dave Harding asked if there was a known reason for the increase in missing children or was it a case of better reporting in place.


The Director of Children’s Services & Education replied that the data used by the Police was rolling data and that the Council uses data across the financial year. She added that there were currently three children missing from care and that this was an improvement on the previous year.


She added that the repeated missing children were not in care and would be at home or within their community and would be receiving support from the Police alongside the Council.


She said there could be a combination of reasons as to why they are missing, including having fallen out with their parents, not wanting to live with extended family or being at risk of exploitation.


Councillor Dave Harding referred to page 52 of the agenda and asked if there was any lag in terms of the information relating to the Safeguarding Adult Reviews.


The Director of Children’s Services & Education replied that she would relay that question to the Director of Adult Services for a response. She added that she was aware that the Practice Review Group meet on a monthly basis.


Councillor Joanna Wright commented that she was surprised  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.


Children's Services Annual Complaints Report pdf icon PDF 86 KB

This report provides the Panel with an overview of the operation of the statutory Complaints and Representations Procedure and the Corporate Complaints Procedure within Children’s Services.  It provides an analysis of all complaints received by the Service during 2022 – 2023.


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Kevin Burnett referred to section 4.9 of the report and asked if there were any specific areas of complaints to the Children in Care Team.


The Complaints and Data Protection Team Manager replied that they were varied, but often about the number of placement movements over time or moves that they did not agree with.


Councillor Dave Harding praised the officers concerned for the compliments that had been received within the report.


The Panel RESOLVED to note the content of the report.


School Meals pdf icon PDF 118 KB

This report highlights the current provision in Bath and North East Somerset with regard the numbers of pupils who are in receipt of Free School Meals and the provision they can expect to receive, and also explains the statutory requirements of schools food standards that apply to meals provided in schools.

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The Chair commented that she would find it useful to have the information in the report broken down on a ward by ward basis.


The Education Business Manager replied that allocating the information to specific wards could be difficult and said that it would be more possible to do it school by school.


The Chair said that she felt the Council should do more / use different types of media to make parents aware that they are eligible to apply for Free School Meals.


The Education Business Manager replied that they do currently use a range of resources to raise awareness, such as local libraries, the One Big Database and the Council’s Facebook page, but said they were willing to do more.


Kevin Burnett asked if there was a defined break even point for schools on this matter.


The Education Business Manager replied that this does really depend on the make up of the school and whether the provision is in house or sourced from an outside provider. He explained to the Panel that either cold or hot food constitutes provision and that all but one of the local schools were providing hot meals.


Kevin Burnett asked if there had been an increase in overall pupil numbers within schools.


The Education Business Manager replied that there had not and that the pupil population was currently stagnant. He added that there has been a reduction within the Reception year and an increase in other years.


He informed the Panel that the Schools Organisational Plan could be discussed by them at a future meeting.


Councillor Dave Harding referred to the Holiday Activity Programme that was held at the Chew Valley Rugby Club and asked how many young people had attended it.


The Education Business Manager replied that he would need to follow up with a response after the meeting.


Councillor Paul Crossley referred to subject of the School Meals Voucher Scheme and said that while the funding is guaranteed until Easter holidays 2024 it must continue beyond this date and called for the Cabinet Member to address this within the upcoming budget.


Councillor Liz Hardman asked if many self-assessment audits were carried out within schools regarding food standards and is there any control over quality / provision.


The Education Business Manager replied that the standards are applied to all forms of food provided in school. He added that he was unsure of the numbers of self-assessments that had been carried out.


Councillor Joanna Wright commented that she would like to see the data for how many Free School Meals (FSM) there are per school and the take up of FSM Vouchers for the different areas of the Council in a future report. She also asked if the Holiday Activity Programmes were situated in the right areas.


The Chair replied by saying that the topic of Leisure could be discussed in more detail at a future Panel meeting.


The Panel RESOLVED to note the information within the report.


Panel Workplan pdf icon PDF 135 KB

This report presents the latest workplan for the Panel. Any suggestions for further items or amendments to the current programme will be logged and scheduled in consultation with the Panel’s Chair and supporting officers.


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The Chair introduced this item and noted the following items to be added to their workplan.


·  Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) Overview

·  Community Resource Centres: Proposals for consultation


Kevin Burnett suggested that the Panel receive further information at a future meeting from 3SG on their current work.


The Panel RESOLVED to agree with these additions.