Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 17th October, 2018 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Cathy Hayward, Committee Services Officer  Tel: 020 8770 4990, Email:

Link: audio

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


Councillor Colin Stears welcomed attendees.


Apologies for absence and notifications of substitutes


Apologies were received from Councillor Jillian Green.


Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 187 KB

Additional documents:


The Minutes as included in the agenda of the meeting held on 25 July 2018 were approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chair subject to the following addition to item 5 of the minutes:


Councillor Colburn asked if the Superintendent agreed with his assessment of the BCU merger insofar as DWOs are ring-fenced, response officers will be briefed and based in Sutton, and there would be an uplift in neighbourhood and safeguarding policing not withstanding the recruitment problems. The Superintendent agreed. Councillor Colburn then asked if the Superintendent recognised reports of police officers from Sutton being sent to Croydon. The Superintendent replied that this was not happening any more than at present, and a policy of the closest unit attending to an emergency response is maintained in the model.


Councillor Shields asked what feedback the Superintendent has had from stakeholders. The Superintendent responded that she believes they understand the necessity of the changes, although this presentation is the first time it has been explained fully and that wider publicity of the model is needed.    



Declarations of interest


5. Question and Answer Session with the Chair of the People Committee.


Councillor Annie Moral, Non Pecuniary, is a member of the People Committee.


Councillor Mo Saqib, Non Pecuniary, is a member of the People Committee.


6. Epsom and St Helier - Focussed Oversight.


Councillor Colin Stears, Non Pecuniary, his wife is employed by the Epsom and St Helier Hospital Trust.


Councillor Elliot Colburn, Non Pecuniary, is employed by the NHS South West London Health and Care Partnership.


7. Healthwatch report of patient experience at A and E with response from Epsom and St Helier Trust.


Councillor Colin Stears, Non Pecuniary, his wife is employed by the Epsom and St Helier Hospital Trust.


Councillor Elliot Colburn, Non Pecuniary, is employed by the NHS South West London Health and Care Partnership.


8. Flood Risk Management - Annual progress report on the Flood Risk Management Strategy action plan.


Councillor Jill Whitehead, Non Pecuniary, is a member of the Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee, and previously Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhood Committee previously.


Councillor Tony Shields, Non Pecuniary, is a member of the Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee.



Question and Answer Session with the Chair of the People Committee

Verbal Session – Question and Answer session from members of the Scrutiny committee to the Chair of the People Committee.


Indicative: time 35 minutes


Councillor Marian James attended the Committee to respond to questions in her role as Chair of the People Committee.


Q1 Councillor Jill Whitehead asked for many years, Social Services was dealt with as one service, rather than split into adults and children's. Is the return to a single service proving to be beneficial and more efficient in these austere times?


Councillor James responded that the remit of the People Committee is wide ranging, but the issues are being covered, she outlined the areas within the remit of the Committee. The remit of the People Committee covering issues of both adult and children’s services provides opportunities to align services.


Q2 Councillor Jill Whitehead asked it is said that there has been an increase in the number of children needing SEND services, especially in the Sutton area. Do we know why this should be, and did the recent SEND inspection take this into account?


Historically there have been a high number of children with SEND living in the Sutton borough, it is reported that parents are aware of the reputation of good services being provided in Sutton which has encouraged people to move to the area. Councillor James is not aware if consideration was given to this by Ofsted during the recent inspection.


Q3 Councillor Elliot Colburn asked about the provision and planning for school places, particularly the development of the Rosehill site, the Sutton hospital site and if there is any plan to locate a third site.


The development of the Rosehill site is being managed, and contractors have been appointed, it is unlikely that the site will ready for use by 2020.  No third site has been identified at present. The Church of England have applied for a Free school within the borough, decisions about Free school development is provided by central government.


An update on school place provision was provided at the School Governors Forum on 16 October 2018.


Q4 Councillor Mo Saqib asked could you outline the scale of the funding challenges you are facing in seeking to provide young people with adequate mental health and access to support?


Some of the transformation funding will be provided for mental health services, including support in schools. The Health Visiting and School Nursing services are being brought in house which will help the council steer the provision of mental health and well being support.


Q5 Councillor Mo Saqib asked Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) have recently come under scrutiny and in some cases described as 'not fit for purpose'. Working with relevant partners, how are you trying to mitigate such concerns for CAMHS in Sutton?


Sutton is working with partners such as the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)  to   review the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). A review of the CAMHS service with be reported to the Health and Well Being Board.


Q6 Councillor Moral asked have you ensured a central role for parents in shaping different elements of the action plan addressing Ofsted’s concerns.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.


Epsom and St Helier - Focussed Oversight pdf icon PDF 84 KB

A verbal question and answer session by members of Scrutiny committee


Indicative timing: 20 minutes

Additional documents:


Daniel Elkeles and Dr Ruth Charlton, Epsom and St Helier Trust presented the report.


In discussion members of the committee asked about the areas reported as ‘require improvement’ such as Surgery and Urgent and Emergency Services are if this is linked to the issues with the quality of the estate. It was reported that capital funding and the Trust’s own money is being used to expand the A&E buildings, the works on these buildings will be completed after Christmas 2018. There are plans are being developed to improve the ICU buildings.


Winter preparations are being made, and ESHT are working with LBS on winter planning.


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection carried out the most recent inspection of EHST in January and February 2018 and reported in May 2018, this inspection did not cover all areas, some areas are rated in the report based on the previous inspection carried out in 2015. If inspectors had no indication of change or had evidence that the service area remained good the area was not inspected in the most recent inspection. Data is continually provided to the CQC by ESHT, this information to CQC was used by the CQC when considering the services for inspection.


A summary of the action plan developed following the inspection is available on the ESHT website.


Cases of MRSA are reported to be reduced, there has been no change in approach to dealing with MRSA and the approach is being enforced rigorously. Cdiff is reported as having fluctuations in levels of cases. There has been no change to approach to managing Cdiff, although there have been some changes in the processes for cleaning equipment.


The recruitment and vacancy rates are being monitored, and range of innovative recruitment procedures have been developed and are in use. The range of recruitment and retention policies being used is bringing the vacancy rate down across the organisation. It was noted that medical vacancies are now at zero, and members of the committee would like to pass congratulations to the ESHT on this achievement.


Members of the committee asked about the work life balance of staff, support for newly qualified staff and the long hours many of the staff work. ESHT are considering policies including flexible retirement, and other flexible work options to provide support to staff.


More data is be collected relating to mortality rates than has been collected in the past, as a more open process is developed, is being used to provide learning. It was acknowledged that the data shows that care relating to dementia is not acceptable at present and that more confidence is needed that dementia care is being identified in the correct part of the healthcare system.






Health watch report of patient experience at A and E with response from Epsom and St Helier Trust pdf icon PDF 90 KB

A verbal question and answer session by members of Scrutiny committee


Indicative timing: 20 minutes

Additional documents:



David Williams and Pete Flavell, Healthwatch Sutton, presented the report


In discussion member of the committee asked about waiting times at A&E. It was explained that the outcome of a recent court case has required changes to the availability of information provided to people about waiting times at A&E departments.  A process to provide this information is being developed at ESHT, initially whiteboards will be used to show expected waiting times.


It is predicted that the completion of the works to the A&E department will reduce waiting times as there will be more space available in which to treat patients.


No question was asked by Healthwatch (Sutton) in the survey about service provided during the week compared to at weekends. The survey was handed to patients attending A&E at various times of day and days of the week. There has been no indication within the responses of variations caused by time of attendance. A change in the pattern of attendance times to A&E at ESHT has been noted, more recently there has been a higher attendance late at night than has previously been recorded, this creates issues for staffing.


The Healthwatch (Sutton) survey aimed to reach a broad demographic, measures used to achieve this included using volunteers who spoke a range of languages. Attendance at A&E is more frequent by older sections of the population, resulting in a higher response rate from this group. Online options for response were offered as an aim to reach younger people.  


Comments about nursing staff were mixed, showing strong feeling in both positive and negative response, although the overall rating was high. Work being carried out by ESHT aiming to improve staff interaction with patients.


The survey results show that the numbers who reported to have consulted a pharmacist before attending A&E is very low, members of the committee and ESHT representatives felt providing a message that pharmacist can provide good health advice is important.




Flood Risk Management - Annual progress report on the Flood Risk Management Strategy action plan pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Sutton Council is designated as a Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) under the Flood and Water Management Act, and is required to develop, maintain, apply and monitor a strategy for local flood risk management within the borough. Sutton Council’s Local Flood Risk Management Strategy (LFRMS) and associated Action Plan was published in June 2015.


A verbal question and answer session by members of Scrutiny committee.


Indicative timing: 30 minutes

Additional documents:


DarraghCreegan, Flood Risk Officer presented the report.


The Flood risk Officer and and Pradeep Rao, Thames Water explained that flooding in Wallington is caused by a mix of factors, including heavy rainfall making the sewers too full and rubbish being put in the sewers. Thames Water are working to educate their customers in use of the sewers and monitoring equipment has been installed to increase awareness of flood issues developing in locations. Thames Water have a planned maintenance programme for cleaning and repairing the sewers in place. Thames Water have enforcement rights if customers are found to be misusing the sewers by for example putting quantities of fat into the sewer.


The Flood Risk officer reported that he would be able to provide a detailed information to members about plans for specific locations within the East Sutton Plan. [response is provided as an appendix to these minutes]


It has been noted in the past that the ways of reporting flood issues for residents are complicated. Thames Water report that they are working to make reporting easier, but at present there are two ways of reporting either by phone or using the online form which has to be printed and sent back to Thames Water. This reporting method allows Thames Water to monitor issues and respond. Pradeep Rao, Thames Water is not aware of the exact waiting times if customers ring Thames Water but is aware there can be delays during peak periods.


Members of the committee asked if there had been issues caused by cuts in government funding, the Flood Risk Officer explained that the council will have to identify and apply for a range of possible funding options in the future and that he is able to provide more detail. [response is provided as an appendix to these minutes]


Thames Water complete catchment area studies to understand the effects of new housing developments. Thames Water and LBS work together to review surface area flooding each monitoring their own assets.


The watercourse assets in Sutton are being reviewed, (these are not main rivers) to allow fuller picture of the asset to be developed.


It was noted that there was no attendee from the Environment Agency able to be at the meeting.






Annual Workplan pdf icon PDF 61 KB

At the beginning of each new cycle the Scrutiny Committee prepares an annual workplan setting out those items of business which it plans to look at for each of its meetings.  This is then used to help setting the agenda for the next meeting as the timetable proceeds.  


Indicative timing: 20 minutes



Members of the committee reviewed the workplan and will inform the Chair of any additional items they wish to be included, or if they wish to amend the order of the items on the workplan. The Chair invited members to suggest thematic areas for the next meeting’s Chairs Q&A session in time for agenda planning on 28 November.



Any urgent business

To consider any items which, in the view of the Chair, should be dealt with as a matter of urgency because of special circumstances in accordance with S100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.


There was no urgent business.