Agenda and minutes

Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 3 June 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Sparkenhoe Committee Room, County Hall, Glenfield. View directions

Contact: Mr. E. Walters (0116 3052583)  Email:

No. Item


Please note: The Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on Wednesday 3 June 2020 at 2:00pm will not be open to the public in line with Government advice on public gatherings.


This meeting will be filmed for live or subsequent broadcast via YouTube:


To see up to date briefing documents on coronavirus in Leicestershire please see the following link:$LO$=1



Minutes of the previous meeting. pdf icon PDF 146 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 4 March 2020 were taken as read, confirmed and signed.



Question Time.


The Chief Executive reported that no questions had been received under Standing Order 35.



Questions asked by members under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5). pdf icon PDF 218 KB


The Chief Executive reported that three questions had been received under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5).


1.          Mrs Rosita Page CC asked the following question of the Chairman:


What communication protocols are in place for the NHS to keep residents, ward members and all stakeholders informed and engaged before major service changes are made?


The Chairman replied as follows:


In terms of service changes the NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) follows the requirements as set out in the NHS Duty to Involve service users in discussions about changes to services.  On a service by service basis the NHS will involve current users and potential users of services and of course local people. The approach will often be tailored and designed for the service change rather than a single approach.  As part of Better Care Together, the System Transformation Partnership for LLR, there was an extensive round of face-to-face public engagement sessions with local communities as part of the Community Services Redesign just over a year ago, with the first phase of the redesign being implemented in December. One of those was in Lutterworth.


There are good, constructive relationships between the NHS and the Democratic Services team at Leicestershire County Council and meetings are held to forward plan agendas and ensure service changes and developments are flagged in advance. This communication takes place as proposals are being developed and before any formal consultation on changes take place. The Democratic Services team makes sure the appropriate local members are informed.


Any service changes will also be highlighted through the usual channels used by the NHS. All LLR NHS organisations have their own channels and processes in place to keep local people informed. Up to date information is provided in the news sections of websites and all organisations regularly use social media to highlight news about services and direct people to more information. These are routine communications channels which are pro-actively used to provide information to the public.


As part of ongoing engagement work with local people there are forums through which each organisation can inform local people about service developments and receive feedback about services. Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust also produces a stakeholder bulletin please see


The Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) also have groups through which they regularly communicate and involve, such as Patient Participation Groups attached to GP practices.  More recently an Online Citizen’s Panel has been established.  The CCGs have been promoting the panel and encouraging as many people as possible to sign-up.  Anyone can sign up and members will receive a regular newsletter with information about health and social care and be asked for their views on health topics. To find out more about the Citizens’ Panel and join visit


The NHS has also been issuing a regular stakeholder bulletin currently focussed on Covid-19 which has highlighted temporary service changes in relation to the outbreak and the bulletin will be publicising any further changes and restoration of services over the coming weeks.


The NHS also hold regular updates with Healthwatch Leicester and Leicestershire and Healthwatch Rutland including attendance at meetings.  Healthwatch representatives are also on CCG Governing Bodies.


2.          Mrs Rosita Page CC asked the following question of the Chairman:


With regards to the recent temporary closure of Feilding Palmer hospital a briefing note was issued after the hospital had been closed but was any consideration given to communicating with the public and ward members before the decision to close the hospital had been taken?


The Chairman replied as follows:


I have sought information from Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) on the question and received  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.


Urgent items.


There were no urgent items for consideration.



Declarations of interest.


The Chairman invited members who wished to do so to declare any interest in respect of items on the agenda for the meeting.


No declarations were made.



Declarations of the Party Whip.


There were no declarations of the party whip in accordance with Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rule 16.



Presentation of Petitions.


The Chief Executive reported that no petitions had been received under Standing Order 36.


Leicestershire Sexual Health Strategy 2020-2023. pdf icon PDF 412 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Public Health which asked for feedback on the County Council’s draft Sexual Health Strategy for 2020- 2023. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 8’, is filed with these minutes.


Arising from discussions the following points were noted:


(i)          The Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing Mr. L. Breckon CC was fully in support of the Strategy.


(ii)         The Public Health Department ensured that the Sexual Health Strategy linked in with other relevant strategies for example substance misuse, domestic violence etc and this work was co-ordinated at Departmental Management Team meetings. The Director of Public Health agreed to provide members with a document which demonstrated how the different strategies interlinked.


(iii)       The way sexual relationships were conducted was regularly evolving for example as a result of dating apps, and now people’s behaviour was changing as a result of Covid19, therefore the Sexual Health Strategy needed to be dynamic and able to respond to the different trends. It was expected that there would be a greater demand for online sexual health services as a result of Covid19. In order to measure the success of the Strategy monitoring would take place of how services were being used and the level of uptake. In particular the demographics of service users would be monitored.


(iv)       Consideration was being given to what sexual health messages could be disseminated once the Covic19 lockdown had ended and in particular how to get messages to hard to reach groups. Conversations were being had with the Communications Team at the County Council regarding how to use social media for Public Health messaging. A member suggested that dating apps themselves could be used to share sexual health messages.




(a)        That the Leicestershire Sexual Health Strategy 2020-23 be supported;


(b)        That the comments now made be submitted to the Cabinet for consideration at its meeting on 23 June 2020.



Health Performance Update 2019/20. pdf icon PDF 730 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a joint report of the Chief Executive of the County Council and NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit, which provided an update on performance based on the available data at May 2020. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 9’, is filed with these minutes.


The Committee welcomed Kate Allardyce, Senior Performance Manager and Alison Buteux, Performance Manager, both of NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit, to the meeting for this item.


Arising from discussions the following points were noted:


(i)          Some data collection had been paused due to the Covid19 crisis and the national data in the report only covered the period up to February 2020, therefore the impact from Covid19 on the performance of the health service was not shown in the figures. The true impact of Covid19 would be seen in the next performance report considered by the committee later in the year. Guidance was awaited from NHS England regarding the performance framework to be used in future and some of the metrics were likely to change.


(ii)         Members raised concerns regarding the impact Covid19 was having on the accuracy of some performance data, for example it was noted that some families of deceased persons had complained that Covid19 was recorded as the cause of death on the death certificate when they believed it was not the true cause. There were concerns that during lockdown people had not been using the NHS even when they had serious medical problems such as heart attacks and they would need to be encouraged to start using services again. The Chairman reported that the Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing shared the concerns regarding the data and had stated that financial recovery was forecast to be between 18 months to 3 years so it would be some time before the system returned to ‘normal’.


(iii)       The data indicated that many adults had been exercising more than usual under lockdown though children were spending more time indoors which needed to be monitored. Whilst it was a positive that there had been an increase in cycling and walking during the Covid19 lockdown improvements needed to be made to the highways infrastructure to ensure the safety of both cyclists and pedestrians. The Director of Public Health was working with colleagues in the Environment and Transport Department to address these issues and it was intended that maximum use would be made of Government grants for improving highways for example creating more cycle paths.


(iv)       The numbers of new Covid19 cases and the numbers of deaths from Covid19 had peaked and then plateaued at a lower level, however there was still a risk of infection and coming out of lockdown had to be managed carefully.


(v)        Although HIV testing coverage in Leicestershire was significantly worse than England overall, the reason why no figures for late HIV diagnosis were provided in the report was not that the data was not available, it was due to the small numbers involved which raised confidentiality issues meaning the data could not be published at a public level. 


(vi)       Concerns were raised that the state pension age was being raised at a time when healthy life expectancy was reducing and the Director of Public Health would need to give consideration to how to raise this issue nationally.




(a)        That the performance summary and issues identified be noted;


(b)        That the Director of Public Health be thanked for the work of his department in tackling the spread of Covid19 in Leicestershire whilst continuing to carry out the more routine duties of the Public Health department.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.


Date of next meeting.

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on 9 September 2020 at 2:00pm.





That the next meeting of the Committee be held on 9 September 2020 at 2:00pm.