Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Zoom - Public Access via YouTube View directions

Contact: Mark Durnford  Email:, 01225 394458

No. Item




The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.





Councillor Paul May, Councillor Bharat Pankhania and David Williams (Co-opted Member) had sent their apologies to the Panel.


Councillor Lucy Hodge was present for the duration of the meeting as a substitute for Councillor Pankhania.



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 Officer or a member of his staff before the meeting to expedite dealing with the item during the meeting.


There were none.




The Chairman asked for nominations from the Panel to become a non-executive member of the Adoption West Joint Scrutiny Panel. He said that he sits on the Panel through his role as Chairman of this Panel.


Councillor Michelle O’Doherty said that she was willing to take up this position on behalf of the Panel.


Councillor Liz Hardman seconded her nomination.


The Panel RESOLVED that Councillor Michelle O’Doherty should become a non-executive member of the Adoption West Joint Scrutiny Panel.



At the time of publication no notifications had been received.



There were none.


MINUTES - 14th July 2020 pdf icon PDF 281 KB


The Panel confirmed the minutes of the previous meeting as a true record.


Kevin Burnett referred to a previous question and asked if any further information was yet available from the Secretary of State on the issue of funding pressures in the education system and with regard to additional cleaning / protection measures that have been brought in because of Covid-19. He asked the Cabinet Member or officers for an updated response.


Kevin Burnett asked if confirmation of the list of Commissioned Services that the St John's Foundation could support was available.


The Chairman asked for the Panel to be updated with regard to pupils from Radstock that attend Kilmersdon School in Mendip following the comments made by Councillor Jackson at the July meeting relating to receiving adequate education whilst lockdown was in place.


Councillor Andrew Wait said that he had still not received Annex A of the Children's Service Improvement Plan that he had requested at the July meeting.


Cabinet Member Update

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



Councillor Kevin Guy, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services addressed the Panel, a summary of the update is set out below.


All schools have opened for all pupils in B&NES. Schools have completed necessary risk assessments and are working through new ways of delivering education to minimise COVID 19 infections.


Attendance rates are looking very positive, with schools seeing pupils return as expected. Maintained schools are seeing attendance rates between 94-98%. The LA will be analysing data for all schools across the authority later this week.


He wished to thank all parties involved for their work on the re-opening of schools. 


The LA has been producing a newsletter for all schools with relevant information on government guidance and how to access services to support vulnerable children. Additionally, the LA has provided schools with a Transition document designed to support children’s wellbeing and mental health.


Children’s Social Care has set up a dedicated helpline for schools to enable them to access advice & support from a social worker during the period of 12.30-1.30 every day. They have provided a “Business Card” detailing contact information together with a poster. This has been in place since 07/09.


The LA believes it has resolved most issues for the transportation of children to school. This also includes replacing public bus routes for some schools to deliver dedicated transport. Schools are being encouraged to ask parents to encourage walking and cycling to school where possible.


Public Health England SW have delivered a rolling programme of webinars for schools on managing an outbreak based on PHE’s notification pathway for education and childcare settings which have been widely promoted to all schools. This will include a large exercise later this month with local schools to go through scenarios on how to manage an outbreak


Children’s Social Care have considered the revised Ofsted Guidance and have increased preparation for a possible Ofsted visit in the period September to December 2020


The Youth Offending Service have also increased their preparation for YOS Inspection as 2 local neighbouring LA’s - North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are being inspected in September 2020.


Councillor Liz Hardman asked if there were protocols in place for schools should they have confirmed Covid-19 cases.


The Director of Education, Inclusion and Children’s Safeguarding replied that all schools have received advice and a flow chart has been devised should cases occur. He said that actions may be dependant on which school year the cases are within. He added that in general terms the school should inform the Health Protection Team, Children’s Services and all relevant parents.


He informed the Panel that a meeting of Operation Buzzard was planned for 25th September where schools across the area were due to meet to discuss the current measures / guidance in place.


Kevin Burnett asked if any schools were having to share transport facilities at the present time.


Councillor Guy replied that the Local Authority is only responsible for a small number pupils in this regard and that a number of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.


BSW CCG Update

The Panel will receive an update from the B&NES, Swindon & Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BSW CCG) on current issues.


Dr Bryn Bird, B&NES Locality Clinical Chair addressed the Panel. A copy of the update can be found on their Minute Book and as an online appendix to these minutes, a summary of the update is set out below.


Restarting cancer services as part of the third phase of the NHS response to COVID-19


On 31 July, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens and Chief Operating Officer Amanda Pritchard wrote to NHS organisations to outline the third phase of the response to COVID-19 and the NHS’s priorities. The focus for this phase is on restoring and recovering services and preparing for winter pressure demands.


Cancer services are one priority area for BSW and plans are in place to restart services through


  • Managing down waiting times and continuing to focus on the 62 day pathway and 31 day treatment pathway
  • Restarting cancer screening
  • Launch of communications campaign to encourage patients to see GP if they have worrying symptoms


Outpatient transformation development


Although there is work in progress across BSW to transform outpatient services, in B&NES we have developed groups in common to discuss managing patient care sooner during a patient’s journey out of the hospital setting. To help with this, we have established groups led by the CCG and B&NES Enhanced Medical Service (BEMS) looking to support services outside of the Royal United Hospital with the specialist knowledge and resources required to deliver high quality care.


Early attention is being given to the referral support service, advice and guidance measures to the community, and how the system can support community care in delivering work that was previously managed in hospitals. 


Longer term goals revolve around supporting and upskilling clinicians working out of hospital as well as outreach services where specialities are working more closely in the community.


There has been a focus on six specialities where there are pathways of work that can be supported to help manage the flow into the RUH and ensure earlier care for the patient. The specialities include cardiology, Ear Nose and Throat, gastroenterology, gynaecology, rheumatology and dermatology.


Joint meeting between Council and CCG on integrated working to improve population health and wellbeing


Members of the Council’s Cabinet and senior officers together with senior executives and clinical leaders of the BSW CCG, met recently to discuss a number of issues including current operational and financial challenges.


They also reflected on the recent merger of Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCGs and the national NHS drive to create Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) across larger population areas and Integrated Care Alliances (ICAs) at place level, i.e. co-terminus with local authority boundaries.


The group discussed that whilst there is no ‘right answer’ to how we should work together, there was a strong commitment to continue to work closely together and to ensure that we don’t lose the benefits that our unique style of close partnership working has brought for local people over many years.


The ICA development  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

CCG Update pdf icon PDF 183 KB


RUH Health Infrastructure Programme 2 pdf icon PDF 20 KB

This report and presentation introduces the HIP2 scheme at the Royal United Hospitals NHS FT and sets out the next steps.

Additional documents:


Joss Foster, RUH Director of Strategy and Simon Cook, RUH HIP2 Programme Director gave a presentation to the Panel, a summary is set out below.


Health Infrastructure Plan 2 (HIP2)


Second phase announced in October 2019 (HIP2) – a rolling five-year programme of investment in health infrastructure, encompassing:

  capital to build new hospitals,

  modernise our primary care estate,

  invest in new diagnostics and technology, and

  help eradicate critical safety issues in the NHS estate


RUH is one of 21 schemes selected as part of the HIP2 programme nationally.


This is a once in a generation investment (£450m) and an opportunity we are excited to seize.


Our approach


·  The RUH is part of a wider healthcare system – we will work with our system partners to ensure that the plans we develop are fit for the future of health and care in the community

  • The need for pace – we need to submit a Strategic Outline Case by December 2021 and are keen to go faster if possible to secure the funding
  • We are building an engagement plan with our staff, the local community, our patients, partners and other local and national stakeholders


Next steps


  • Work with system partners to develop the clinical model and vision


  • Developing strategic options for our estates solution


  • Commencing drafting of the Strategic Outline Case


Kevin Burnett asked how autonomous the project to the RUH was given that it is now part of the BSW system.


Joss Foster replied that the investment would enable delivery against what the system wants with a focus on backlog maintenance at the RUH.


Councillor Liz Hardman asked why had the RUH been selected and what were the priorities of the programme.


Joss Foster replied that the majority of the 21 selected locally have a history of backlog maintenance to be addressed. She added that investment was required across the estate and that they working on priorities currently with colleagues and partners.


Councillor Andrew Wait asked if the Circle Bath Hospital, Peasedown could become a partner to the RUH as it was currently on the market to be sold.


Joss Foster replied that she couldn’t comment on that at this stage, but said that she was willing to look at options.


Councillor Mark Roper asked how the £450m was to be divided across the schemes.


Joss Foster replied that the £450m was potentially available solely to the RUH.


The Chairman said that this was a great opportunity and asked for periodic updates to be brought to the Panel.


Joss Foster said that they could report to the Panel again in November on the early engagement work and outline future milestones.


The Panel RESOLVED to note the contents of the report and confirmed that it wishes to be updated regularly on the development of the scheme.


Public Health Update

The Panel will receive an update from the Director of Public Health.


Dr Bruce Laurence, Director of Public Health addressed the Panel, a summary is set out below.




Most services within Public Health working well post lockdown, with adaptions in place.


B&NES has the 6th lowest overall number of cases within the UK. We had one small outbreak within the Somer Valley recently where the right thing to do was to close some of the Care Homes.


The low figures should be seen as a real credit to the work we have carried out locally.


A second wave of increased cases is highly likely due to schools and universities returning as planned and with the seasonal time of the year.


There is a worry with regard to generational spread of the virus.


We don’t necessarily know how cases will translate to severe illnesses and deaths, and whether it will happen as in the first wave, so we must differentiate them and follow all indicators closely.


Prevention is obviously still key – Social distancing, washing of hands regularly and wearing of face masks.


Vaccine not likely until the middle of next year. 


Demand for testing is great. If you do not have recognised symptoms you really shouldn’t go for a test. If you do have symptoms and can’t get a test you should self-isolate.


The NHS is busy again with normal activity.


Important to vaccinate against flu – there will be an assumption that people have Covid-19 over the flu and showing signs of a fever.


Councillor Liz Hardman asked if there were sufficient resources and testing sites locally and were timely results being given for those that have been tested.


Dr Laurence replied that not all sites were being used to capacity due to the problems with securing an appointment. He said that a walk-in site may be available in the near future. He added that there should now be a cap of 75 miles in place for being sent for a test. With regard to results he said that he was aware that labs locally are short staffed.


Kevin Burnett asked what scope he has in his role to take additional actions, if required locally.


Dr Laurence replied that he has a small amount of extra capacity available that can provide Care Homes with additional testing and send Environmental Health Officers to inspect local businesses if necessary.


Councillor Andrew Wait asked if it was possible that the virus could be mutating as the increase in cases recently was not resulting in the equivalent number of deaths.


Dr Laurence replied that the increase in cases was mainly in the age groups of 20-30 years old, 30-40 years old and teens and that they were in most cases more able to combat the virus. He said that there was a slight possibility that the virus was becoming less dangerous per case.


Councillor Ruth Malloy asked what measures are in place to make sure that restaurants, pubs and cafes are taking the contact details of customers to make sure that effective  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Virgin Care - Independent Commissioners Performance Report - 6 month update pdf icon PDF 78 KB

This report provides an update on Virgin Care’s performance against national and local standards and indicators (year end 2019/20 and Quarter 1 2020/2021) and financial position at year end 2019/20.

Additional documents:


The Director of Adult Social Care, Complex and Specialist Commissioning and the Head of Contracting & Performance introduced this report to the Panel, a summary is set out below.


The report seeks to address the issues raised at the previous Panel meeting and provides additional information on Delayed Transfers of Care, Recruitment and Retention and Virgin Care’s staff appraisal system.


Contract Update


We are in year four of the seven year term with the option to extend for a further three years (2024/2025, 2025/2026 and 2026/2027).  If a decision were taken to exercise the option to extend the contract term the Co-ordinating Commissioner must give written notice to Virgin Care no later than 24 months prior to the original expiry date (end of year 5 2021/2022 – March 2022 being the latest date).


COVID-19 has resulted in year four contracting being approached differently, by BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning (BSWCCG) Group and the Council as joint commissioner.  In the first instance the finance and reporting schedules have been prioritised for inclusion in 2020/21 contract with remaining schedules to be agreed and incorporated into the contract by end October 2020 through a local variation. 


Governance of the Contract – changes relating to COVID-19


Due to the impact of COVID-19 the decision was taken to suspend some contract governance meetings in April and May 2020 to enable Virgin Care as the prime provider for health care and social care in Bath and North East Somerset to concentrate resources to respond to the public health emergency. 


The contract governance meetings continued after April 2020 for Council statutory functions adult social care.  In June 2020 the Contract, Quality and Performance Meeting (CQPM), Finance Information Group (FIG) and Quality Sub-Group (QSG) meetings resumed.  It was also agreed with Virgin Care to recommence service level performance meetings (SLPM) from this time, recognising that some services were being delivered differently or had ceased in line with national guidance. During the initial part of the outbreak lockdown commissioners and service providers including Virgin Care held daily virtual meetings to ensure safe delivery of services. 


Virgin Care Role and Response During COVID-19


Virgin Care have provided a prompt and responsive approach to the COVID-19 pandemic and have fully contributed to both Bath and North East Somerset locality and B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire system activity. Some key activity has included:


  • Implemented at speed the new Discharge to Assess Model in response to the DHSC Discharge Guidance published on 19th March 2020 (updated 21st August 2020). Service users and patients have benefited from an integrated health and social care response as the service was able to respond quickly to the challenge. The new guidance was implemented from 1st September 2020


  • All Business Continuity Plans updated in line with available COVID-19 information


  • Critical services list and service priorities identified linked to business continuity were put in place and routinely updated and shared



Children's Services Annual Complaints & Feedback Report pdf icon PDF 107 KB

This report informs the Panel about the number and type of complaints and representations, including compliments, received between April 2019 and March 2020 by Children’s Services. 

Additional documents:


Music Hub pdf icon PDF 104 KB

The Music Education Hub (MEH) in B&NES is a group of interested representatives from schools and musical organisation in B&NES. They are responsible for ensuring that the National Plan for Music Education (NPME) is delivered across the BANES area.


B&NES Community Safety & Safeguarding Partnership Annual Report pdf icon PDF 95 KB

The B&NES Community Safety & Safeguarding Partnership (BCSSP) would like to set out the Annual Safeguarding Report for 2019-2020.

Additional documents:


Director's Briefing

The Panel will receive a verbal update on this item.


Panel Workplan pdf icon PDF 125 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.