Agenda and minutes

Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday 16th October 2023 10:00am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Buildings, Stafford

Contact: Zach Simister  Email:


No. Item



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Declarations of Interest

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Councillor Ann Edgeller declared an interest as Staffordshire County Councils appointed Partner Governor at the Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust (MPFT).


Councillor David Williams declared an interest as an employee for the UHDB and a Governor for UHDB.


Councillor Jeremy Pert declared an interest as a governor at the further education Newcastle Stafford Colleges Group.



Minutes of the last meeting held on 11 September 2023 pdf icon PDF 159 KB

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The Committee agreed to make the following amendments to the minutes under item 25:


·         A spelling error on the 9th bullet point should read focus.

·         The inclusion of the word “Committee” on the 17th bullet point.

·         The 2nd resolution should read the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People.

Resolved – That, subject to the amendments referred to above, the minutes of the meeting held on 11 September 2023 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman.



SSOT ICS People/ Workforce pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Report of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care Board.

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Mish Irvine, Acting ICB Chief People Officer, Gemma Treanor, Head of ICS People, Alex Brett, MPFT Chief People Officer, Paul Draycott, Chief People Officer NSCHT, Sophie Storr, Senior People Business Partner for Workforce Transformation at UHNM, Kay Myatt, Deputy Chief People Officer UHNM and Lorna Clarson, Deputy Chief Medical Officer from Primary Care presented the ICS People/ and Workforce to the Committee.


The Committee were provided with the context of current operating environment across the ICS relating to Activity, Workforce and Finance. The Committee were updated around the ICS Workforce progress and were advised that since September 2022:


·         Turnover Rate had reduced by 1.7% (10%)

·         Sickness Absence Rate had reduced by 0.8% (5.2%)

·         Mandatory Training had increased by 1.8% (94.2%)

·         AFC Appraisal Rate had increased by 8.1% (84.1%)

·         Medical Appraisal Rate had reduced by 13.8% (74.4%)

The Committee were advised that of the future focus of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Workforce Plan Delivery around Train, Retain and Reform.


It was reported that there was an “Aiming Higher and Higher” Workforce Summit held in October 2023 which had 118 people participate from across the ICS and wider partners to pose and the workforce challenges and solutions.


It was reported that each organisation had their own strategies and priorities which were aligned to the ICS Workforce Plan. A summary of MPFT, NSCHT, Primary Care and UHNM was shared with the Committee. 


The Committee noted the following comments and responses to questions:


·         The Escalation Surge Plan had replaced the Winter Plan due to the difficultly in predicting surges throughout the year. The Committee were assured that the ICS were well prepared for the next three to six months and there was a workforce plan in place.

·         Retaining staff was more cost efficient than recruitment and so a number of retention officers had been recruited and were aligned to each trust across the ICS. These officers would speak to the workforce and seek their views of what the organisation could do differently.

·         Staff surveys and pulse checks were done throughout the year, these surveys were anonymous. The key themes from staff surveys were around flexible working and stress. There was a systemwide programme for emotional wellbeing on offer to all staff.

·         Investigations for why the Medical Appraisal Rate had reduced by 13.8% were ongoing. It was reported that there was a long-term plan to focus on medical and dental training and clinical educational activity.

·         There was a three pillar to work journey programme, targeting young people through schools and colleges then onto virtual work experience and then apprenticeships. There were also apprenticeships available for people of all ages. There was also an outreach approach to recruit from the seldom heard communities.

·         200 Nurses from India had been recruited at the UHNM over the last two years. The Committee requested to receive current figures of international recruitment.

·         Relating to abuse of staff it was reported that across the ICS there was a zero-tolerance approach in place and the system worked with the workforce to identify  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.


Staffordshire’s Social Care Workforce: Adult Social Care Update pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Health and Care.

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Councillor Julia Jessel and Amy Duffy, Senior Commissioning Manager, presented the Staffordshire’s Social Care Workforce Update. The Committee hosted a round table event in August 2023 attended by providers across the adult social care market and the ICB to look at the Workforce strategy. The key themes from the session were:


·         Communication and Engagement

o   Surveys and Returns

o   Peer Support

o   Multi-Disciplinary working

·         Identity and Equity

o   Recognising differences

o   Celebrating social care

·         Recruitment and Retention

o   Aspirational career

o   Pay

o   Values based recruitment.

The Committee were also advised of the Staffordshire Social Care Academy which had been created to support current workforce within Social Care and to support potential future workforce. The Adult social care system reform policy paper by the government noted that a significant proportion of the workforce did not hold a relevant qualification or have access to good quality learning opportunities. It was reported that there were a number of apprenticeships available for people of all ages and backgrounds.


The Committee noted the following comments and responses to questions:


·         There was a 16% vacancy rate of nurses working in care homes. This was a result of terms and conditions, and there were variances of hourly rates of pay between providers. It was reported that the Council had increased rates as much as possible but had little control over the providers with their own terms and conditions relating to pay, learning and development opportunities and pensions.

·         The Staffordshire Social Care Academy would not duplicate any training and development courses already on offer but would identify where there were gaps in courses. There would be a local quality assurance which would look to use accredited training providers.

·         In the Homecare market, the average age of a care workers car was seven years old which would increase the likelihood of maintenance and upkeep costs. It was reported that a number of these costs would be reimbursed. The Council had also extended its internal benefits scheme to care workers.

·         The longer-term ambition of the Social Care Academy would be a hybrid model to offer e-learning, virtual learning and in person opportunities.

·         The target metrics were not SMART metrics but were broken down in the business case.

·         There was an opportunity for making the Social Care Academy cost neutral by scaling the academy to offer training outside of Staffordshire. There was an opportunity to streamline training and education funding available.

Resolved – That the report be received, and the Committee comments be noted.



Freedom to Speak Up pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Report of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care Board.

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Tracey Shewan, Director of Corporate Governance presented the briefing note on the freedom to speak up to the Committee. The Committee were advised that the SSOT ICB had received a letter from NHS England which included an ask of NHS organisations, following the outcome of the trial of Lucy Letby, to take stock, reflect and act to ensure processes are in place.


The Committee were reassured that the mechanisms were in place and each organisation with Staffordshire had undertaken the review of processes.


The Committee noted the following comments and responses to questions:


·         There were Freedom to Speak Up Guardians in the ICB who complete a report that would routinely go to the People, Culture and Inclusion Committee of the ICB. This would be done annually.

·         The self-assessment on Freedom to speak up had confirmed that the organisations within the ICS had the arrangements in place however there was a need to ensure what was happening as a result of concerns raised.

·         There was to be an independent enquiry as to what had happened in the Lucy Letby case.

·         Cultural barriers were discussed, and the Committee were informed that this was a current focus, patent care access offers such as interpreters were also available for staff to speak up.

·         The CQC has the overall responsibility in ensuring that NHS organisations have speaking up arrangements in place.

·         The Committee agreed to receive an annual report on Freedom to Speak Up from the ICS.

Resolved – That (a) the report be received, and the Committee comments be noted.


(b) the Committee receive an annual report on Freedom to Speak Up


District and Borough Health Scrutiny Activity pdf icon PDF 187 KB

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The Committee received a verbal update from:


·         Councillor V Chapman from South Staffordshire District Council.

·         Councillor L Leung from Lichfield District Council.

·         Councillor A Edgeller from Stafford Borough Council.

·         Councillor D Williams from Cannock Chase District Council.

The Committee requested that the report have more detail from District and Boroughs


Resolved – That the report be received.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 133 KB

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The Committee noted the two additional Committee meetings:


·         13 November 2023 at 2pm – West Midlands Ambulance Service

·         20 November 2023 at 12:30pm – Health Impacts of Walleys Quarry

The Adult Social Care Assurance Working Group, chaired by Councillor Cox had scoped its work and had scheduled its meetings for the remainder of the year to review the Adult Social Care Assurance.


The Women’s Health Working Group, chaired by Councillor Silvester-Hall had received a report commissioned by Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent which its contents were aligned to the Working Group which highlighted the issues in Staffordshire.


The Integrated Care Hub Working Group had a new lead officer and the business cases for the ICHs were being worked up.


Resolved – That the Work Programme be updated and noted.