City of York Council

Committee Minutes


Health and Adult Social Care Policy and Scrutiny Committee


11 May 2021


Councillors Doughty (Chair), Cullwick (Vice-Chair), Hook, Heaton, Waudby and K Taylor


Councillor Perrett



19.        Declarations of Interest


Members were asked to declare, at this point in the meeting, any personal interests not included on the Register of Interests or any prejudicial or discloseable pecuniary interests that they might have in respect of the business of the agenda. None were declared.




20.        Minutes


Resolved:  That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 13 April 2021 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair at a later date, subject to noting that it was Cllr Cullwick (Vice-Chair) who Chaired the meeting in minute number 17 not Cllr Orrell.


The Chair raised ongoing concerns regarding the style of the minutes and following discussion, he agreed to raise this at the next Scrutiny Chair’s meeting.




21.        Public Participation


It was reported that there had been no registrations to speak under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.




22.        Public Health Update on Covid-19


The Director of Public Health attended the meeting to provide a presentation on the latest Covid-19 data for York.


Some key points raised:

·        The provisional rate of new Covid cases was 15.2 per 100,000 of the population, which represented 32 cases.

·        The validated rate of new Covid cases per 100,000 was 15.7, which represented 33 cases.

·        The rate of new Covid cases for people aged 60+ was 6.1 per 100,000, which represented 3 cases.

·        The latest 7 day positivity rate showed York was significantly below the regional averages.

·        There had been 100 Covid triages in the last 7 days.

·        There were no patients with Covid in general or acute beds at York hospital and there was one patient in intensive care.

·        There were no care homes with confirmed Covid-19 infections.

·        There were 4 children of primary or secondary school age who had tested positive.

·        In the last 7 days, the rate of new cases had been highest in the 20-29 and 30-39 age bands.

·        Over 61% of adults had been vaccinated with their first dose and over 31% with their second.

·        Stage three of the governments roadmap was forecasted for 17 May 2021 and reviews continued regarding all restrictions ending on 21 June.

·        All residents of secondary school aged children and above were encouraged to take asymptomatic tests twice a week.


The next steps were discussed, including a recovery plan and the Director stated that officers would be particularly focused on the impacts relating to NHS waiting lists, mental health and children and young people.


Following questions raised, the Director confirmed:

·        The vaccination was voluntary, frontline staff were strongly encouraged to have the vaccine but ultimately it was their decision.

·        The Outbreak Management Board were monitoring the uptake of vaccinations by ward and a vaccine inequalities group had also been established to ensure the right information was reaching residents.

·        Work with GP practices and community pharmacies, particularly in parts of the city where vaccine uptake was low, was ongoing to enable vaccines to be offered closer to home.

·        Members could contact her direct regarding their individual wards.

·        Employers would be encouraged to allow their staff paid time off work in order to be vaccinated, the Director added that anyone experiencing difficulties with their employers could confidentially whistleblow to her and she would follow it up without revealing the source.

·        It was quite normal to see fluctuations in vaccine supply and she was not aware of any delays with any particular vaccine but would consult with the Clinical Commissioning Group and if necessary, would update Members further. 

·        The vaccination sites had been focussed on delivering the second doses on time, meaning that some people booking their first vaccine in York may have experienced delays.

·     Ongoing conversations were taking place regarding student take up of the vaccine and how this would be facilitated. This information would be relayed to all students.

·        York had 4 asymptomatic community testing sites and home test kits could also be ordered and posted. Further information on symptom free Covid tests could be found on the Council’s website: and test kits could be obtained by clicking on either link:  Find where to get rapid lateral flow tests - NHS (, or, Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests - GOV.UK ( .  Alternatively, 119 could be called between the hours of 7am and 11pm to order testing kits over the telephone.

·        The community testing sites were currently only funded until 30 June 2021 but the Outbreak Management Advisory Board would be considering the continuation of at least one community offer in York.

·        All partners were collaboratively working to ensure restrictions would be lifted safely in the city and if absolutely necessary, legal action would be taken if there was sufficient evidence that the rules were being broken.

·        Officers were working with GP’s to contact individuals who had not yet taken up their vaccination offer.

·        Anybody who would like a vaccine would be offered one and vaccines should be offered to the under 40 age group very soon.


The Committee thanked the Director for all her continuing efforts and those of her team.


Resolved:  That the presentation be noted.


Reason: To ensure that the Committee were aware of the current situation in York relating to Covid-19.




23.        Update on the Peer Challenge Commissioned in Adult Services


Members received a presentation on the recent peer challenge commissioned in adult services and how this would inform future planning in the service.


The Corporate Director of People was in attendance to provide the update and answer any questions.


The Corporate Director explained the background and methodology to the peer challenge noting that experienced members and officers from other councils had been invited to visit to assess how the council were working in adult services and to provide feedback on how to improve. These peer challenges were not inspections but a tool for improvement as part of a commitment to improve performance. 


The peer challenge team were asked to:

·        Examine how York was progressing as a Peoples Directorate, taking advantages of the opportunities this offered to improve support to adults and use resources more effectively.  

·        Consider management of demand at the adult social care front door and how strength based approaches were used to reduce the need for council support.

·        Examine how strength and place based approaches were embedded and the impact of these upon York’s approach to supporting people who had existing complex and high cost support - considering examples of good practice from elsewhere.

·        Consider how the Council were using opportunities afforded by the new Peoples Directorate for better commissioning and market management; with particular focus on the strength of collaboration and potential joint brokerage with the Clinical Commissioning Group.


Members were made aware of the following headline findings:

·        The self-assessment was accurate.

·        There was a clear vision of how the people directorate would deliver.

·        Learning culture was in place.

·        Staff were motivated and supported.

·        There were strong partnerships and new structures developing to build on.

·        Committed leadership at all levels, which included elected Members.

·        Good work during the pandemic especially with care homes.

·        Staff were tired.

·        Lot of change – especially senior leadership.

·        Vision to be translated into a plan and recognise cannot do it all at once.

·        Strengthen performance culture and information.

·        Review opportunities to commission and manage the market differently.


The next steps were discussed, including a recovery and development plan that built on strong foundations and good practice, with clear priorities and milestones. This would include:

·        Time and support for social workers – embedding reflective practice.

·        Incentivize preventative work across the system – and really understand what works and do more of it.

·        Stronger link to corporate systems.

·        Agreeing how to use technology to complement services.

·        Intermediate strategy with support from health colleagues to ensure it’s home first and not care homes first.

·        Establishing an Improvement Board.


In answer to questions raised, the Corporate Director of People and the Director of Public Health confirmed:

·        Frontline staff felt supported and a collection of systems were in place to support Social Workers.

·        Staff were encouraged to take annual leave.

·        Modelling work was ongoing with partners to consider various recovery options that would develop a single vision for York.

·        Staff sickness rates were variable but had been better during the pandemic.

·        Partnership working had allowed for creative and innovative solutions to work effectively during the pandemic and this would continue to support recovery.

·        The Improvement Board would develop a plan with clear milestones that would be understood by staff.


The Council’s Chaplin was thanked for his support to staff during the pandemic and the Corporate Director was commended for undertaking the peer review during this unprecedented time.


Resolved: That the update be noted.


Reason: To ensure that the Committee were aware of the current position.


[An adjournment took place from 19:21 to 19:28]




24.        Update on the All Age Learning Disability Strategy


Members considered a report that provided an update on the All Age Learning Disability Strategy.


The Assistant Director of Joint Commissioning was in attendance to provide an update and answer any questions. She noted that the Strategy had been ratified by the Health and Wellbeing Board and would run from 2019 to 2024.


During discussion of the item, as noted within the report, officers highlighted:

·        The four key priority areas within the Strategy:

i.   Education, life-long learning and employment

ii.  Being as healthy as possible

iii. Independent living

iv. Participating in society

·        The work that had been achieved during the pandemic in relation to learning disabilities.

·        That the Learning Disability Partnership had met remotely in March 2021 and the leads from each group were now reconvening their groups to review the priorities within the strategy.

·        The Learning Disability Partnership had also highlighted four key areas that they considered a priority:

a.  Social isolation

b.  Communication

c.  Participating in society

d.  All voices were heard and engaging with families together, make sure consultation happened in a timely way.


In answer to questions raised, it was noted that:

·        A small network of people with learning disabilities were very actively engaged in attending or running events in the city.  Officers would use these engagements to connect, engage and hear from people and different organisations.

·        The Partnership would raise awareness across the city regarding annual health checks for people with learning disabilities and would involve GP practices in this.


The Assistant Director was thanked for her update.


Resolved: That the update be noted.


Reason:  To ensure the Committee were kept updated on progress.




25.        Work Plan


The Committee considered its draft work plan for the municipal year 2021/22 and the following was suggested:


·        22 June 2021 (Informal Forum)

                                                                                             i.        Covid-19 update




·        29 July 2021 (Public meeting)

                                                                                             i.        Receive the full report from the peer challenge commissioned in Adult Services

                                                                                            ii.        Receive an update from the Clinical Commissioning Group/Hospital Trust regarding recovery, particularly how the backlog/waiting lists across hospital/mental health services would be managed referencing data relating to cancer patients and elective and non-elective surgery.


·     2 November 2021 (Public meeting)

                                                                                            i.      Receive an update from Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TWEV) on the recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) Inspections and Fossbank.


The Director of Public Health and the Corporate Director of People were asked to consider agenda items that could be brought forward to future meetings.


The Committee passed on their best wishes to the incoming Lord Mayor who was standing down from this Committee for the municipal year 21/22.


Resolved:  That the work plan be approved, subject to the above amendments/additions.


Reason:     To keep the Committee’s work plan updated.







Cllr Doughty, Chair

[The meeting started at 5:30pm and finished at 8:08pm].




























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