Agenda item

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 partners working together, including in areas such as peri natal mental health services and speech and language services for young children.


Question 6 - Given that provision of health and care locally is changing, for example with the upcoming merger of the South West London CCGs and the ambition to move to an Integrated Care System (ICS), how do you see the future role and function of the Health and Wellbeing Board?


The six South West London CCGs are coming together in this area, there is strategic work which can be carried out together, but allowing the boroughs to work on local plans so differences and similarities between the boroughs are recognised. There are four primary care networks planned in Sutton, each with a population of c50k.   


Question 7 - Could Councillor Dombey explain how a joined-up approach to health care in Sutton is effective in helping to improve life for Sutton residents?


An example of partners working together is work with the Planning team to support a dementia friendly outcome in the Town Centre and the moving of the CCG to the Civic offices in December which will support joint working.


Question 8 - How is Sutton working to improve waiting times for transfers of patients from hospital who are ready to be discharged, but need care once they have done so?


There are various initiatives to support changes in ways of working which will promote partnership working and improve outcomes. These include the START team’s staff location information, the red bag scheme and Directors Adult social care visiting hospitals to improve understanding blockages to discharges.    


Question 9 - As part of improved inter agency work, how far do we manage to train nurses in home care so hospital visits are reduced?


In the London Borough of Sutton the majority of care homes are privately owned. Partnership working includes working with care homes, and developing good relations examples of this include GPs making routine visits to care homes, rather than being called only for emergency visits only. There is an openness about whistleblowing policy.