Agenda and minutes

Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday 8th June 2020 10:00am

Venue: Virtual/on-line at

Contact: Jonathan Lindop  Email:


No. Item


Quorum (6 required)

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The Chairman verified that the meeting was quorate.


Declarations of Interest

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The Chairman and Mrs. Janet Johnson declared interests in the matters included on the Agenda as they related to West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust owing to members of their families being employed by the Trust.


Minutes of meeting held on 3 February 2020 pdf icon PDF 133 KB

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RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 3 February 2020 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman.


West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust - Reconfiguration of Staffordshire First Responders Service pdf icon PDF 4 MB

Presentation/report by Trust Chief Executive


NB. Mark Docherty, Executive Director of Nursing & Clinical Commissioning to be in attendance  

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Note by Clerk: The Chairman made a call for evidence to all Members of the County Council in respect of this item, in advance of the meeting.


The Committee considered a PowerPoint presentation/report (slides attached at Appendix A to the signed minutes) by West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust’s (WMAS) Chief Executive regarding their recent reconfiguration of the Community First Responders Service (CFRs) in the County.


Mark Docherty, Executive Director of Nursing and Clinical Commissioning, Nick Henry, General Manager and Murray McGregor, Communications Director at the Trust were present at the meeting.


During their presentation the representatives of WMAS highlighted (i) background information regarding the Trust and its operations; (ii) their vision, strategic objectives and priorities; (iii) activity during 2019/20; (iv) performance by category during 2019/20; (v) 999 call answering performance during 2019/20; (vi) percentage of patients conveyed to healthcare settings compared to other UK Ambulance Services; (vii) Care Quality Commission’s ‘Outstanding’ rating awarded to the Trust during 2019; (viii) the Trusts University accreditation; (ix) recent investments made by the Trust in staff and vehicles; (x) Trust Make Ready Hubs located in Staffordshire; (xi) The Trust’s current Operating Model; (xii) assistance given to neighbouring Trusts by WMAS; (xiii) the Trust’s recent endeavours to improve patient outcomes.


With regard to CFRs in particular Members learned that the service had been operating in mainly rural areas throughout Staffordshire since the 1990s and played a vital role in responding to the highest priority 999 calls whilst paramedics were en-route. This model had also been widely adopted throughout the UK where CFRs were commonly trained in Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), defibrillation and basic first aid techniques. In addition, enhanced training had been given to some CFRs in Staffordshire enabling them to administer a range of drugs and use vehicles similar in appearance to ambulances. However, enhanced CRFs were unable to claim the same exemptions as ambulance crews when responding to calls meaning that they were unable to exceed speed limits and pass through traffic lights whilst on red etc.


The representatives of WMAS outlined the recent changes which had been made to the service in the County (some of which had been as a result of legislative changes made by Central Government) including:- (i) withdrawal of blue lights from CFR vehicles; (ii) withdrawal of green and yellow ‘Battenberg’ livery from CFR vehicles; (iii) withdrawal of six drugs for administration by CFRs; (iv) introduction of a new training scheme across the West Midlands incorporating a regulated qualification.


Members then scrutinised WMAS closely and held them to account over the changes set out above, seeking clarification and asking questions where necessary, as follows:- (i) details of the rapid response vehicles used by CFRs; (ii) the role of CFRs in treating rather than transporting patients to hospitals; (iii) access by patients to CFRs particularly in remote areas; (iv) location and proximity of emergency vehicles under the new arrangements; (v) coverage of the County by doubled crewed ambulances now and in the future; (vi) speed of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Work Programme 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 320 KB

To consider the rolling work programme for the Municipal Year (draft attached)

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The Committee considered a draft rolling work Programme for 2020/21 (Appendix B to the signed minutes).


They noted the various items which had been identified and carried forward from 2019/20’s programme. However, the current Covid-19 pandemic and the easing of lockdown restrictions had raised new issues/priorities eg (i) access to testing; (iii) availability of personal protective equipment; (iii) mortality rates in care homes; (iv) the impact on the mental health of the general population etc. Therefore, the Chairman, having regard to the rapidly changing circumstances, proposed that he liaised with the Vice-Chairman and Shadow Vice-Chairman during the ensuing week, regarding matters for scrutiny at future meetings.


RESOLVED – (a) That the draft Work Programme be received and noted.


(b) That the Chairman, in consultation with the Vice-Chairman and Shadow Vice-Chairman, give further consideration to their draft Work Programme for 2020/21 (in particular their next meeting on 6 July 2020), as soon as possible, so that the necessary arrangements may be made.



Date of next Meeting - Monday 6 July 2020 at 10.00 am, virtual/on-line

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RESOLVED – That the date, time and venue of the next meeting be noted.