Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 14th October, 2015 7.00 pm

Venue: Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton SM1 1EA

Contact: Angela Guest, Senior Business Support Officer (Democratic Services)  Tel: 020 8770 5122 Email:

No. Item


Apologies for absence and notifications of substitutes


Apologies were received from Councillors Nick Emmerson, Ali Mirhashem and Callum Morton.  Councillor Nali Patel attended as a substitute.

An apology for lateness was received from Councillor Pathumal Ali who arrived at 7.30pm so was not in attendance for item 1 to 5 of the agenda.



declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest.



Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 8 July 2015 to be approved.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 8 July 2015 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.



Updates from the Chairs

Verbal updates on the following item will be for noting:

a)    CQC Inspections on local GP Surgeries

b)      SWL Joint Health Scrutiny Committee


a)    CQC Inspections on local GP Surgeries


The Senior Policy Officer summarised the contents of a letter from the Sutton CCG to the Committee which outlined the work undertaken and improvement made as both The Beeches Surgery and Sutton Medical Centre, since both practices were put in Special Measures after a CQC inspection in January 2015.  Members requested the letter be circulated to them by email.


Both surgeries have received significant support from the CCG.  Good improvement had been made with both practices, particularly with Sutton Medical who had embraced the changes required and were showing evidence of real leadership and good practice.  They were re-inspected on the 12th October and the Committee were due to receive an update.


The Beeches Surgery has also made significant changes but has had to deal with their practice manager leaving at the end of July. The biggest challenges were around infection control standards and the surgery has been stopped from performing minor surgery, cervical screening and IUD fittings until these were resolved. A joint Infection Control Audit was due to be carried out by NHSE and the CCG shortly to assess whether the above services could be re-instated.  They were due to be re-inspected by the CQC in the middle of November.


Sutton CCG has responded positively to these CQC inspections and has been sited by both NHSE and the CQC as offering exemplary support. 


b)  SWL Joint Health Scrutiny Committee


The Chair informed the Committee that the SWL Joint Health Scrutiny Committee and mental health sub-committee were to meet next on 1 December 2015. The meeting will be held at Wandsworth Town Hall at 19:00. 



Governance Review - Proposals for Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To receive a report on changes to governance procedures for Scrutiny Committee for initial discussion on how the new changes will work.


Indicative time 20 minutes

Additional documents:


The Executive Head of Customer Services, Commissioning and Governance introduced a report that set out proposed changes to the scrutiny function and ways of working.  This would strengthen the position of the Scrutiny Committee to hold others to account and by making the provision for a Scrutiny Committee annual report to council, would hold itself to account. 


Health promotion was to be removed as a function as this was a cross-over with the Health and Wellbeing Board.  A call-in system was being looked at and legal advice being sought.  This would be brought to a future meeting of this Committee for information.  All changes were to go to full Council in November 2015 for approval, with the system going live in January 2016.


Some concern was expressed by Councillor Burstow regarding expectations on Scrutiny Committee members by other committee chairs.  She highlighted that many members worked full time and may not have the time to give in between meetings for task and finish groups and visits etc.


The monitoring officer and senior policy officer explained how members could do virtual working and emphasised the importance of prioritising what topics Scrutiny Committee would look at, by giving regard to the level of impact the Committee would have.


Resolved: To note the report.



Draft Scope for Scrutiny Investigation - Support for Victims pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To discuss and confirm the details of the scope for this investigation.


Indicative time 40 minutes


The Committee considered a draft scoping paper for the topic on support for victims. 




1.    That the scope of the investigation would be to look at services available locally to support victims of crime.


2.    That the two themes for the investigation would include access to information and levels of support which would highlight any gaps and signposting issues.


3.    That the investigation would not include domestic violence support.




Flood Risk Management Review

This will be a question and answer session looking at preparations for this winter and a brief update on Local Flood Risk Management Strategy.


Indicative time 15 minutes


The Head of Highways and Transport reported that the Flood Risk Management Strategy was approved at the 18 June 2015 Environment and Neighbourhood Committee and was here to discuss any issues that members may want to be considered.  He reported on the Sutton Gateway and London Road flooding issues where the Council were working with Thames Water to sort out the issues.


In response to a query from Councillor Burstow about Northey Avenue the Head of Highways and Transport reported that he was in conversation with Thames Water about this to get the issue resolved and would be writing to local residents to let them know what was happening.


It was reported that the flood plans would form part of the Strategy and would be published when complete and could be taken to Local Committees for information.  Local committees could provide a useful source of information for the scrutiny committee when it undertakes is monitoring responsibility of the flood Risk Management Strategy’s Action Plan.


The Chair thanked the Head of Highways and Transport for attending.



Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust

Daniel Elkeles, Chief Executive Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust and David Williams, Sutton Healthwatch have been invited to discuss the Estates Strategy/Review and update on financial status.


Indicative time 40 minutes


Daniel Elkeles, Chief Executive, Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust (ESH) and Dr James Marsh, Medical Director, Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust attended the meeting to give a verbal update and to respond to questions from the Committee.  David Williams, Chair, Healthwatch Sutton also attended.


Daniel Elkeles reported that ESH was currently in a nominal break-even position which had been achieved by non-recurrent one-off funding such as income from the sale of land at Sutton hospital site.  However, every month the outgoings were more than income and the Trust were expected to have up to £10m deficit at year end.  There were two drivers for this; 1) uncertainty which made it difficult to recruit and 2) the Trust were unable to make efficiency savings allocated within its tariffs.  Saying that, there had been 400 posts recruited to since April 2015 which would lead to reduced spending on agency staff and an increase in the quality of care.  Also, many other trusts were in the same position of being unable to make the required efficiency savings but ESH’s deficit was less that Croydon’s and less than St George’s however, it was not sustainable.


The Chair asked for comment on the conflicting messages from Government ministers regarding the £217m.  Daniel Elkeles stated that whilst the £217m capital allocation to fund rebuilding was no longer available George Osborne and Jeremy Hunt had said that they were willing to look at another business case for funding and this was what Daniel was determined to get into place by the spring of 2016.  In response to a further question he stated that if the business case went in ESH favour a new hospital would take about ten years to be realised.  However, if the business case failed there was no plan B to get to financial stability and were months away from knowing what the options were going to be but it was recognised that ESH could not continue as is.


In response to a question regarding the cost of fees/plans for the original plans coming out of ESH funding Daniel Elkeles reported that the design work had cost £10m which now had to be declared and therefore the deficit would show as £10m more than it should do.


In response to queries regarding the rumour of a super-hospital or ‘plan b’ being to close St Helier Hospital, Daniel Elkeles reiterated that it was far too early to know what the option s were or what would be viable.  He also said that if all 1000 beds of ESH were in one location then it would be classed as a ‘super-hospital’.  People valued local care and wouldn’t support one super-hospital so he couldn’t see it emerging as one of the preferred options. 


It was also reported that decanting was very expensive and could double the cost of building a new hospital; therefore it would make more sense and be more affordable to build it on a site where there was no existing building  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Draft Annual Workplan pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To consider any additions/amendments to the workplan.


Indicative time 5 minutes


The Commitee noted the workplan.


Resolved: That Steve O’Connell, GLA Member, be invited to the next meeting to discuss the future of Safer Neighbourhood Teams following the Mayor’s expected decision in December 2015.