Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath. View directions

Contact: Mark Durnford  Email: 01225 394458


No. Item



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The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.




The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out under Note 6.


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The Chairman drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure.




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There were none.



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.

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Councillor Paul May declared an other interest with regard to agenda item 11 (Virgin Care Contract Extension – Options Appraisal) as he is a non-executive Sirona board member.


Councillor Gerry Curran declared an other interest with regard to agenda item 11 (Virgin Care Contract Extension – Options Appraisal) as he is employed by Virgin Care. He stated that he would leave the room for the duration of this item.




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There was none.



At the time of publication no notifications had been received.


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There were none.


MINUTES: 15th October 2021 pdf icon PDF 199 KB

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Kevin Burnett asked if any recent feedback had been gathered from schools on frontline services, if not, when could this take place.


The Director of Children's Services & Education replied that feedback would be sought within the next school survey.


The Director of Education & Safeguarding added that this would form part of the Section 175 survey that was due to be carried out in September 2022.


Kevin Burnett asked if following the last meeting a plan for easing the pressures on GPs had been completed.


Corinne Edwards, Chief Operating Officer, BSW CCG replied that this work was still ongoing, as were national negotiations in terms of the rescue package and the future arrangements for Primary Care.


Councillor Paul May asked the Chairman for an update on the Panel’s request for Council to debate whether their remit could be reallocated to two separate Panels.


The Chairman replied that for the Panel to be separated they would need to identify funding as to how this proposal would be supported.


Councillor Rob Appleyard commented that he would like to know what the funding implications would be if the Panel were to split into two. He added that he felt there was a need to do justice to all the officers involved.


Councillor Paul May stated that he objected to the response that had been received.


Councillor Liz Hardman said that she felt that the majority of the Panel were in agreement with Councillor May.


The Chairman said that he would seek to have further discussions on the matter with the Chief Executive.


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


Regional Schools Commissioner Presentation pdf icon PDF 525 KB

The Panel will receive a presentation regarding this item.

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Giles de Rivaz, Head of Somerset Sub-Region & Tish Bourke, BANES Project Lead, Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) addressed the Panel, a summary of the presentation is set out below.


Giles de Rivazthanked the Panel for the opportunity to share their work with them and said that the RSC and the Local Authority were key partners in supporting the pupils within B&NES.




  • The role of the RSC is to provide oversight and scrutiny of academy trusts with the ESFA (Education & Skills Funding Agency)
  • RSC makes decisions through powers delegated by SoS (Secretary of State)
  • RSCs are accountable to SoS and to the NSC (National Schools Commissioner), Dominic Herrington




  • RSC holds trusts to account through intervention powers in eligible schools & trust reviews, Advisory Board conditions
  • RSC role & powers around the education landscape with advice from Advisory Board e.g

-  deciding on applications for schools to convert

-  approving new sponsors & creation of multi-academy trusts

-  oversee school place sufficiency and advise on new free schools

-  decisions on changes to academies and free schools


Giles de Rivaz informed the Panel that the Advisory Board was a forum to enable decision making, but that the members of the Board were not decision makers, that role remains with the RSC.


Tish Bourke explained how the RSC holds Trusts to account.


Accountability through intervention


·  RSC powers of intervention restricted to schools deemed eligible - Ofsted Inadequate grade


-  Maintained school: RSC has a duty to make an academy order

-  Academy:  RSC is able to take action to transfer the academy to a new trust




  • In academies, where failure occurs RSCs and ESFA may issue formal intervention notices:

-  termination warning notices (RSCs)

-  financial notices to improve (ESFA)


  • In response, the academy trust may be required to submit:

-  trust school improvement plan,

-  financial recovery plan agreed between the trust and ESFA


  • Depending on response RSC may decide to transfer academy to a new trust.


Trust reviews:


  • Opportunity to support improvement


Advisory Board conditions:


  • At time of RSC decision-making (e.g trust growth) RSC may set conditions in line with Trust Academies Handbook, e.g.

-  Governance

-  Trustees recruitment

-  Leadership support

-  Information-sharing


Improving the system & preventing failure


  Build school improvement capacity

  Encouraging and supporting system led trust and school improvement

  Strengthen governance oversight at leadership and board level

  Signpost to core DfE policy and support e.g. NTP (National Tutoring Programme)


Councillor Rob Appleyard asked how it can be ensured that in terms of budgets and a CEO salary there is still value for money and that enough funds are accessible for the classroom.


Giles de Rivaz replied that all Trusts publish an annual report and that within that there are value for money statements. He added that the reports are robustly audited by the ESFA.


Councillor Andy Wait asked what happens if a Trust is unable to meet its financial objectives – is the academy returned to the Local Authority.


Giles de  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.


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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Councillor Alison Born, Cabinet Member for Adults addressed the Panel, a summary is set out below and a copy of the update will be attached as an online appendix to these minutes.


System pressures


We continue to experience Covid outbreaks in care homes which also reduces the availability of beds, 4 homes are currently closed to admission due to Covid with 32 people, residents and staff currently testing positive. There has been a significant increase in cases following the false negative PCR tests.


While our adult care team has continued to work closely with the RUH, Virgin care and other local providers, staff shortages are having an increasing impact on the system and there are growing concerns about the RUH’s ability to respond to acute needs and to tackle the backlog of work caused by the pandemic. Commissioners are currently working on actions to improve flow through the system which will have an impact on the adult social care response.


We are commissioning additional home care through the Discharge to Assess programme (D2A) and have set up an Intermediate care team to support people who are being reabled in care home beds. However, this is proving challenging in the current employment market.


One of the many measures we have taken to mitigate the staff shortages is to develop the Proud to Care campaign which included holding a Recruitment Fair at the end of September. While this was welcomed and well supported by local providers, the number of people that attended was low, but has resulted in a small number of appointments.


Learning Disability Services


A joint strategic review between the CCG and the Council has been undertaken which highlights the current gaps and issues in local provision for people with learning disabilities along with a lack of planning and market development. As a result, both the CCG and the Council are strengthening their commissioning of these services, developing the market in a more planned and strategic way.


The first phase of commissioning and procurement will be to continue to grow supported living services and the procurement for this will commence next year.


Care Homes


The Leader of the Council and myself have a planned visit to Cleeve Court in November to thank the staff for the fantastic work they are doing and for what they have done throughout the pandemic.


The Chairman asked if she planned to visit all three local Care Homes.


Councillor Born replied that she did intend to.


Kevin Burnett asked if the Council was working with the CCG to attempt to alleviate the current pressures mentioned.


The Director of Adult Social Care replied that they were looking to support the workforce as much as possible with events such as Proud to Care. She added that one of the main aims now within Social Care was to fund, recruit and retain staff.


Corinne Edwards, Chief Operating Officer, BSW CCG added that staffing was their level 1 priority as Winter approaches.


Councillor Liz Hardman asked how big the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.

Cabinet Member Briefing (Cllr Born) Nov 2021 pdf icon PDF 228 KB

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

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Dr Bryn Bird, B&NES Locality Clinical Chair addressed the Panel. A copy of the

update can be found as an online appendix to these minutes, a summary of the

update is set out below.


Pressure on GP services


Leading GPs from across our region issued an open letter to local people recently explaining the pressures currently affecting primary care services and offering advice about what people can do to help. The letter explained how staff absences, rising coronavirus cases and an increase in demand for urgent and emergency care had generated pressure not usually seen outside of winter.


The GPs have also shared how practices are now working differently, with more consultations happening remotely, either by phone or video call.


Future of Primary Care


He said that having consulted colleagues regarding the national rescue package and the future arrangements for Primary Care there had been a number of negative responses and therefore they were not willing to support a response at the present time. He said that the CCG would continue to work hard to achieve the best quality of patient care.


BSW ICS Partnership Integrated Care System update


In recent weeks the BSW Partnership team has been working with representatives from the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise Sector (VCSE) across BSW to discuss their involvement in developing ICS working arrangements. While there is already good engagement with VCSE organisations in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, ICSs are being encouraged to ensure that their governance and decision-making processes support close working with the sector as key strategic partners at all levels.


Working with 3SG in B&NES, Voluntary Action Swindon and Wessex Community Action the Partnership has co-produced an Expression of Interest to set out how these working arrangements will develop. This will provide some much-needed infrastructure and capacity to help the VSCE sector across BSW further engage in the work of the ICS.


Our Integrated Care Alliance in B&NES also continues to evolve as part of the ICS transition. An awayday meeting in October brought together leaders from the local health and care system, local authority and third sector organisations to consider the future place-based arrangements including joint ways of working and governance arrangements.


Councillor Paul May asked what the impact will be on staff if the CCG dissolves as a result of the ICS.


Dr Bird replied that there is an uncertainty within staff even though some functions will be transferred.


Corinne Edwards, Chief Operating Officer, BSW CCG added that staff were likely to transfer into the ICS in April and that mandatory roles would be announced within the next few weeks.


Councillor Liz Hardman commented that demand for vaccination of 12-15 year olds has outstripped the capacity to deliver vaccinations and asked in view of the importance of getting secondary school-aged children vaccinated in order to reduce transmission, and the desire of these young people to be vaccinated, what plans are there for vaccination teams to return to schools to complete vaccinations.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.

BSW CCG Update Nov 2021 pdf icon PDF 348 KB

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Virgin Care Contract Extension - Options Appraisal pdf icon PDF 150 KB

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The Director of Adult Social Care introduced this report to the Panel. She explained that a decision regarding the contract extension was due to be taken by the Council’s Cabinet at their meetings across 10th & 11th November 2021.


She stated that we are in year 5 (2021/22) of the contract and that the annual value of it is £54m, with the contributions as follows:


·  CCG £28,147m

·  Council £21, 930m

·  Better Care Fund £4, 471m


She informed the Panel that the Council funding is fixed with cost increases managed through Virgin Care’s savings plans and that the CCG and Better Care funding is subject to NHS annual uplifts applicable to provider contracts.


She explained the three options included within the appraisal:


·  Option 1: Extend the contract term for the 3 year period (until 2026/27)


·  Option 2: Do not extend the contract for the 3 year extension period and

recommission both community health care, social care and public health services


·  Option 3: Extend the contract term for the 3 year period (until 2026/27) but with identified services removed from block contract (i.e. CHC return to CCG and ASC safeguarding return to Council) and/or improvement trajectory for identified services.


She stated that the officer recommendation will ask the Cabinet to;


·  Approve Option 3 - Extend the contract term for the 3 year period (until 31st March 2027) but with identified services removed from block contract and/or improvement trajectories for identified services and delegate to Suzanne Westhead, Director Adult Social Care (DASS) in consultation with Cllr Born, Member for Adult Services authority to serve notice to extend the contract once assured that the total price for the contract as varied is agreed and affordable.


·  Note that an extra-ordinary B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical

Commissioning Group (BSWCCG) Governing Body meeting has been convened for a decision to be taken on 11th November 2021, to ensure a joint decision is taken in public on the same day, for the recommendation of Option 3 – Extend the contract term for the 3 year period (until 31st March 2027) but with identified services removed from block contract and/or improvement trajectories for identified services.


Kevin Burnett asked why the two services, Strategic Adult Safeguarding and Continuing Health Care were proposed to be removed from the contract.


The Director of Adult Social Care replied that the Council and Virgin Care had agreed that it would be better to have one overall team rather than the current two, one for each organisation. She added that this proposal would incur no further costs and that cases would continue with their current Social Workers.


Corinne Edwards, Chief Operating Officer, BSW CCG added that the proposal to bring Continuing Health Care back into the CCG was to align with Swindon and Wiltshire whereby the CHC service is delivered by the CCG.  This will enable the CCG to have consistent operational and strategic oversight and build a resilient team to serve the whole population of BSW. She said that if approved  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.


B&NES Community Safety and Safeguarding Partnership Annual Report pdf icon PDF 80 KB

The report sets out the work of the B&NES Community Safety & Safeguarding Partnership for 2020-2021 along with the new priorities to be actioned in the Strategic Plan 2021-2024.

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Sian Walker, Independent Chair of the Bath & North East Somerset Community Safety & Safeguarding Partnership (BCSSP) introduced the report to the Panel.


Councillor Liz Hardman asked in respect of the data on domestic abuse, are we doing enough to safeguard the victims of domestic abuse, and how do we know.


Sian Walker replied that she was assured that we do. She added that Sub-Group Chairs are asked to hone down the activities that take place within this work area.


Councillor Hardman asked what were the outcomes of the strategy meetings held as a result of the eight individuals displaying behaviour which resulted in there being a need for a managing allegation strategy meeting to be convened.


Sian Walker replied that although she was not able to comment on the individual cases the LADO function within B&NES is carried out effectively and is assured that the relevant work is undertaken and that the children concerned are safe.


Kevin Burnett asked what key performance indicators would appear on the dashboard and how would these be monitored and evaluated.


Sian Walker replied that the dashboard does not relate directly to the KPI’s and that the data will be used to monitor trends and influence the direction of the work of the BCSSP. She added that audit is also very important and that this is carried out throughout the year.


Councillor Michelle O’Doherty asked what work has been done to increase awareness of the role of LADO within Avon & Somerset Police.


The Deputy Safeguarding Lead for CYP & QA replied that training options have been discussed with the Police as to how the role of the LADO can be promoted.


Sian Walker added that this was a national issue that needed to be progressed.


Kevin Burnett asked what school representation there was within the Partnership.


Sian Walker replied they did have primary education reps on the Operational Group up until earlier this year, when the school became a MAT. She said that Bath College, Bath Spa University and Bath University are still represented. She added that the BCSSP are currently working with the Director of Education and Safeguarding to look at the options of further engagement with the education sector.


The Director of Education & Safeguarding added that a report regarding representation on the Partnership is to be discussed at a meeting of the School’s Standards Board on 9th December.


Kevin Burnett asked if any reasons could be given for the rise in enquiries related to physical abuse & neglect or acts of omission.


Sian Walker replied that they had seen more self-neglect referrals to safeguarding rather than being managed through the MARMM (Multi-agency Risk Management Meeting) process. She added that this was due to be reviewed and had also been identified as a national issue.


Kevin Burnett asked if the E-learning safeguarding modules were accessible for schools and if so were all schools involved.


Sian Walker replied that the modules were accessible for all but that she was unable to confirm whether they were accessed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 66.


Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) Annual Report pdf icon PDF 127 KB

The Panel review the annual report so as to ensure members are appraised on the care provided to children for whom the Local Authority are responsible.

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The Deputy Safeguarding Lead for CYP & QA introduced the report to the Panel and highlighted the following areas from within it.


This has been an extraordinary year because of Covid-19. IRO’s have successfully maintained contact with children, young people, their carers, and family throughout this reporting period although this has for the most part been by zoom, text message, WhatsApp, email, and telephone calls.


The manager of the IRO service has been part of a working group looking at the introduction of the NSPCC’s reunification framework in Bath and North East Somerset.


In April 2020, the IRO manager and Head of Service for Care Outcomes introduced a bi-monthly meeting to review and monitor the use of all unregulated placements. The meeting considers the current and long-term plans surrounding the child’s placement and allows greater assurance that policies and procedures are being followed. The meetings allow opportunity to discuss placement provisions for children and identify any areas that may require further review or consideration. Where issues arise for specific children these will be highlighted with the social work team and the appointed IRO.


The IRO service has played a significant role in supporting children to participate in the Bright Spots ‘Your life, Your Care’ survey led by Coram Voice. IRO’s as a trusted adult were fundamental in supporting children aged between 4 – 18 years to complete the survey. The IRO service are keen to understand how children experience being in care, what is going well and what areas they feel need to improve. The IRO manager will work alongside children’s social care colleagues to develop a plan in response to the feedback from children in care.


Whilst the number of children in care who are unaccompanied or trafficked

are significantly small (6), their needs are not, nor are the experiences the children will have had travelling to this country. Each child requires the professionals working with them and offering support to be sensitive to their experiences and carefully consider their current and long-term needs.


The IRO service continue to see an increase in the number of children being

placed in residential settings, which is too often linked to the lack of foster

placements alongside the needs of children in care increasing in complexity. The IRO service recognise that most often, children placed in residential settings are children who have experienced significant adverse childhood experiences which make it difficult for them to adapt to life with foster carers. Whilst this can often be the most suitable arrangement for a child it is important that this remains under review and where there is evidence to suggest a child has begun to overcome some of the trauma they have experienced, the IRO service would wish to see an assessment undertaken to inform whether the child’s needs could once again be met within a foster family.


Areas of focus for IRO Service 2021-22: Children with disabilities, greater focus on how children are supported to participate in their review.


Between the 1st April 2020  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.


Panel Workplan pdf icon PDF 117 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 Panel approved the workplan as printed.