Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 26th June, 2019 7.30 pm

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

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


No. Item


Welcome and introductions


The Chair, Councillor Colin Stears, welcomed those present.



Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Annie Moral.



Declarations of interest


Councillor Colin Stears declared his wife is employed in the renal unit by the Epsom and St Helier Hospital Trust. - item 6.


Cllr Elliott Colburn declared is employed by the NHS South West London Health and Care Partnership - item 5,6 and 7.



Minutes of the previous meeting

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 8 May 2019.

To follow



The minutes of the meeting held on 8 May 2019 will be added to the website, and presented to the next meeting of this committee for approval.



Question and Answer session with the Chair of Health & Wellbeing Board

A question and answer session from members of the Scrutiny Committee to the Chair of Health and Wellbeing Board.


Indicative timing: 40 minutes


Councillor Ruth Dombey attended the Committee to respond to questions in her role as Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board.


Question 1 - Very few councillors know what the Health and Well Being Board does, and who sits on it, as it is different to other council committees. Can you say who sits on the Board, what areas of work it mainly covers and how would you describe its work and policies?


Every Council which has responsibility for Adult Social Services has a Health and Wellbeing Board (HWBB), Sutton’s HWBB is Chaired by the Leader of the Council. The membership includes representatives from the CCG, Healthwatch, Sutton, the voluntary sector, in Sutton it also includes health care providers and Officers of the Council who have voting rights. HWBBs bring local partners together to support local needs, having oversight of budgets, and sign off for the Better Care Fund. The HWBB works to integrate health and social care for residents.


Question 2 - Very few Councillors are aware of the Joint Health and Well Being Strategy. Can you say how this fits in with other council strategies, and what sort of joined up thinking takes place to ensure that the Health and Well Being Strategy is in line with and does not conflict with existing or future council policies from other committees?


The Sutton Health and Care Plan website provides information about the Joint Health and Well Being Strategy. The Sutton Health and Care plan supports joined up working between all partners, reducing duplication.  


Question 3 - Under the Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2016-2021, Action 4 covers active and safe travel. Active travel, meaning walking and cycling, offers huge potential to improve people's health directly through regular light exercise and indirectly through improved air quality. Taking together both the Cycling Strategy of 2015 and the Health and Wellbeing Strategy objective 4, the Council committed itself to a long list of tasks and goals for active travel. How do you feel the progress you've made compares with the ambitions set out?


The Health and Well Being Strategy aims to promote cycling, walking and use of public transport, the Chair of the HWBB acknowledges that progress is not being made as quickly as would be wished, and mentioned ideas are welcomed. Stopping car ownership is not part of the strategy. There is work being completed to support this ambition including the Quietways programme.


Question 4 - How significant are funding challenges in relation to the activities of the Health and Wellbeing Board?


There are challenges of how money should be spent, the HWBB has responsibility for the Better Care Fund. There is a need to support people to understand the alternatives to attending A and E. In Sutton it has been chosen to align budgets rather than merge them.


Question 5 - Could Cllr Dombey outline the key priorities for the Health and Wellbeing Board and how do you agree priorities for your workplan?


The Sutton Plan aims to support  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Oversight of local health services - Epsom and St Helier Trust Finance and Performance Update pdf icon PDF 208 KB

A report prepared by Epsom and St Helier Trust regarding their finance and performance.


Indicative timing: 20 minutes


Additional documents:


Daniel Elkeles, CE Epsom and St Helier Trust presented the report.


Members asked if parking was an issue cited as a cause of problems linked to staff recruitment and retention. The CE explained that there was more parking for staff available at the St Helier hospital site than at all other local hospitals, in addition there are staff cycle facilities and the H1 bus. There is work in progress to add to the route of the H1 bus.


Dr James Marsh explained there had been concerns about vacancy rate and the use of agency staff medical staff, work in this area had now resulted in reduction in the vacancy rate, although acknowledged there remain issues in A and E and Pediatric services. 


The CE explained there had been work which aimed to make the Trust attractive to UK trained nursing staff and to train local people. A bank staff system had been put in place across south west London, hosted by the Trust, this will be extended to include therapy staff in the future, and should reduce the numbers of agency staff. A staff survey recently completed has led to work to develop the ‘Lead with Respect’ ethos, this ethos is included at staff recruitment stage. He also explained that work was underway, with successes, to increase the proportion of BME staff particularly at senior levels. 


In discussion Members asked about the reasons for the high demand for A and E services, although it has been shown that GP appointments are available in the local area. The CE noted studies of this issue are being completed across London. He mentioned that A and E medical staffing remained a concern particularly at night, although reporting that there are no nursing vacancies.


In discussion members considered non emergency transport, noting improved performance and that staffing is being addressed with work underway to ensure all staff are paid the London Living wage.


Members discussed the estate, Dr James Marsh explained difficulties arise due to the age of the building and that is not designed to modern healthcare standards, which created a range of difficulties including maintenance and infection control.


The newly opened renal unit at the front of the hospital is staffed by the existing staff who received additional training. It is reported that the provision of specialist technical back up expertise by an outside provider was cheaper and more resilient by being provided in house.


Councillor Param Nandha left the meeting at 9.01pm




That the report be noted.



Sutton Suicide Prevention Strategy and Action Plan pdf icon PDF 123 KB


This report brings the Suicide Prevention Strategy and Action Plan to Scrutiny Committee for noting and discussion.


Indicative timing: 40 Minutes

Additional documents:


Clare Ridsdill - Smith, Head of Public Health Integration and George Platts, Head of Service Mental Health, Transitions, Community and Clinical Health presented the report.


In discussion members understood that there are difficulties in collating and interpreting data linked to suicide, and that a new data hub is being developed which will support understanding of data.  


Members discussed self harm, The Head of Public Health Integration explained that self harm was included within the strategy.


Members asked about the reason for the work with perinatal and young people. The Head of Public Health Integration explained that perinatal suicide impacts over generations and is also an area of national funding, there have been concerns locally of suicide by young people. 


Members asked about work with males aged 40 -45, reported as a high risk group. The Head of Service explained work in this area was taking place which would include creative thinking, such as working with barbers, in addition to training GPs to recognise risk. 




That the report be noted.



New statutory guidance on overview and scrutiny in local government pdf icon PDF 145 KB

Report discussing the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) new statutory guidance on overview and scrutiny in local government.


Indicative timing 40 minutes


Additional documents:


Sam Barker, Head of Corporate Commissioning presented the report. 


Members noted the statutory role of the scrutiny function as mentioned in the report and that as a Committee system which operates in Sutton allows various options to be considered for the provision of the function.


An amendment to the recommendation 2.2 in the report was motioned by Councillor Colin Stears and seconded by Councillor Neil Garratt that a task and finish group be set up to consider and if required make recommendations of issues for consideration by the Constitutional Working Group and thereafter Strategy and Resources Committee and Full Council.




  1. That the report be noted.


2.   That a task and finish group be set up to consider and if required make recommendations of issues for consideration by the Constitutional Working Group and thereafter Strategy and Resources Committee and Full Council.



Scrutiny Committee Annual Workplan 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Draft annual workplan


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



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.