Agenda and minutes

Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday 29th November 2021 10:00am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Buildings

Contact: Deb Breedon  Email:


No. Item


Declarations of Interest

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Minutes of the last meeting held on 25 October 2021 pdf icon PDF 174 KB

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Overview of public health outcomes and services pdf icon PDF 226 KB

Report and presentation of the Director of Health and Care

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The Interim Assistant Director for Public Health and Preventionand Lead Commissioners for Public Health and Supportive Communities provided a detailed report and presentation on public health performance, outcomes and services in Staffordshire relating to the following areas:

  • Health and wellbeing in Staffordshire
  • Covid Response and adaptations
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Sexual health
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • Supportive Communities
  • Outcomes
  • Staffordshire warmer homes

The following comments and responses to members questions were noted:


Sexual Health

·       It was considered that many service users may lead a chaotic lifestyle and an appointment system would not suit all of the user group. From April 2022 the new contract would look to maintaining and increasing walk in clinics.

·        Risks and misinformation: concerns were raised about misinformation about the risk of blood clots relating to the contraceptive pill and Covid vaccine. It was confirmed that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines were followed, and that people should be directed to GP or sexual health clinic for information, members also felt this would be an opportunity to talk to people about long-term contraceptive advice Long acting reversable contraception (LARCs). It was agreed that possible communication options/need to counteract the misinformation would be explored.

·        Termination of pregnancy: sexual health commissioning. Members requested clarification that mental health support and information about terminations was available for individuals.  It was confirmed that CCG commissioned termination service so a query would be posed to the CCG.



Drugs and alcohol:

·        A query was raised re. the extent of joining up between drugs and alcohol and criminal justice systems.  AB confirmed that a robust partnership was well-established with police and other criminal justice agencies. Funding had been provided from the Police and Crime Commissioner to provide drug and alcohol workers in prisons, courts etc. – although the pandemic has impacted on progress.

·        Drugs and HIV: Transmission of HIV through shared needles was potentially a risk, however rates of transmission in Staffordshirewere very low. There was a successful needle exchange programme in operation through specialist services and pharmacies.

·        Cllr C Atkins requested a breakdown of new monies obtained for drug/alcohol services.


Healthy Lifestyles:

·       Diabetes and obesity: Committee considered that there was a need for more support groups and information about early diabetes and obesity to help individuals. It was also identified that the approach varied across Staffordshire. It was acknowledged that treatment was the responsibility of CCGs and NHS, and Public Health role related to   prevention, to reduce obesity and diabetes before it became a problem for individuals.  Officers confirmed that local delivery of the National Diabetes Prevention programme was very successful and held as good practice nationally.

·     The weight management programme was targeted at specific lower super output areas (LSOA) reaching people in communities where issues such as overweight and obesity tend to be more prevalent. There was a pilot scheme in East Staffordshire PCN working with GPs to advise people and it was expected to roll out this work as soon as possible.

·       Members requested more information and an explanation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.


Covid-19 Update pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Presentation of the Director of Health and Care to provide a Covid-19 Update to the meeting  

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The Covid Defence Lead provided an update which detailed the current position in relation to management of Covid-19, case rates, hospitalisations, death rate, infection rates, booster jabs, and information about the new variant Omicron to provide assurance that Covid-19 was being carefully monitored and measures were in place and adapting to need, including targeted work to encourage take up and additional sites to roll out vaccines.

Committee noted the following comments and responses to questions:

·       There was a significant drive to encourage and train people to administer vaccines to meet the demand.

·       Walk in centres were currently coping well, they were well-staffed and equipped to handle spikes in demand. It was confirmed that there was enough resource and venues to accommodate surges if people want to take the vaccines. 

·       Member concerns about individual issues should be raised with the vaccination team or CCG.

·       Concern about access for school aged children getting time off to go to walk in centres was noted and would be fed back to the Vaccination Team to see if there was more could be done to work with schools.

·       Early notification would be given if variants of concern were reported in Staffordshire. There were no known cases at this time.

·       Communications were ongoing to encourage jab, booster, and flu jabs to be taken up, highlighting messages that vaccines were the best way to fight the virus and that it was important to take up the offer.

·       In relation to GP contact with patients re booster jabs, it was confirmed that Cohort 1-9 had 100% coverage and should be contacted.  It was explained that people who book with National booking system could receive an earlier date.

·       Hard to reach groups were being targeted in work with partners to ensure access to testing was physically easier for them to get to.   Work with partners to target communications and activities was ongoing.

·       Social media and messages were being shared by midwives and health colleagues to get messages to pregnant women antenatally, specifically in hard-to-reach groups.  Some pregnant women were given specific clinical reasons for being more cautious or not taking up the vaccine.

·       Testing rate was high in Staffordshire and there were also high case rates, a correlation could be inferred that the case rate is higher because of the testing rate. It was welcomed that high test rates were good to keep check on the infection at the earliest stage.


The Chair thanked Interim Assistant Director Public Health and Prevention for a clear and concise report.




  1. That the update report be received and noted.





District and Borough Health Scrutiny Updates pdf icon PDF 369 KB

Reports of the District and Borough Representatives

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District and Borough representatives presented update reports and highlighted the following matters being considered at District and Borough meetings.

  • Community activities in relation to Public Health Services could be better dealt with by District and Borough scrutiny process in terms of building better relationships, driving forward the Public Health agenda, planning for the future and wider determinants of health. 
  • It was clarified that the County scrutiny role had a statutory bearing in terms of Public Health and there was a need to co-ordinate and identify local matters at a local level to scrutinise and to avoid duplication of effort.
  • Staffordshire Moorlands District Council would pilot work on wider determinants of health at a local level following the Inquiry of the wider determinants of health by this Committee early next year.
  • East Staffs Borough Council had agreed to consider GP access specifically to consider the Burton area and a lack of GP surgeries, with only a 36% take up of vaccine in Burton.
  • Tamworth District Council to share presentations relating to Voluntary Sector work during Covid-19.

The Chairman reminded District and Borough representatives that GP Access was being considered at County Overview and Scrutiny Committee and asked to see a copy of the terms of reference for the GP Access work in Burton area.


  1. That the District and Borough Updates be noted.



Work Programme 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 272 KB

Report of Scrutiny and Support Officer

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The work programme was presented and considered



1.   That the work programme be noted, and the following topics be added to the future work programme:

·        Obesity and Diabetes

·        Social prescribing