Agenda item

Verbal updates by Cabinet Members and Director

To receive a verbal update from the Leader and Cabinet Member for Health Reform, the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health and the Director of Public Health.



1.            On behalf of the Leader and Cabinet Member for Health Reform. Mr P B Carter, CBE, The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, Mr G K Gibbens, gave a verbal update on the following health reform issues:-


Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) – Mr Carter, Mr Gibbens and Mr Scott-Clark were all members of the STP partnership board, which held monthly meetings and was moving ahead on local care implementation.  The board was looking at the model of health care used in Canterbury, New Zealand, and he suggested that Cabinet Committee Members might find it helpful to look at this model. The board was also continuing to pursue work to reduce attendance at Accident and Emergency departments by establishing alternative methods of accessing services.  The Whitstable practice model offered a good example of these alternative methods.

Delayed Transfers of Care (DTOCs) continued to be a concern.  A report on this subject would be considered by the Cabinet on 25 March 2019, and all Cabinet Committee Members were welcome to attend that meeting. 

Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDTs) – Mr Carter had been involved in much work to establish these teams across Kent, and these currently numbered between 34 and 37. Mr Gibbens had visited and seen their work at first hand.

Visit to Manchester – with Mr Carter and Mrs Tidmarsh, Director of Adult Social Care and Health Partnerships, he had recently visited Greater Manchester, a combined authority with the broadest range of devolved services among such authorities, to look at the model of health and social care used there.  He said  there was much information available online about Manchester’s work in this field. 


2.            Mr Gibbens then gave an update on the following public health issues:-


5 February – attended Public Health Champions celebration event. Public Health Champions worked in partner organisations and sought to raise the profile and awareness of public health issues within those organisations. 

7 February – Kent Health and Wellbeing Board meeting. This new board was just completing its first year and had tackled a number of important issues.  Its work was being observed nationally.  The Board had recently discussed the health profiles which were available for each district and for the whole of Kent.  Mr Gibbens suggested that these be sent to all Members of the Health Reform and Public Health and Adult Social Care Cabinet Committees.  He advised that Kent had retained its own Health and Wellbeing Board which was statutorily required to meet once a year to consider organisational matters.

27 February – attended the Local Government Association annual summit for political leaders in health and clinical care.  This summit had focused on making Health and Wellbeing Boards s as effective as possible by encouraging clinicians and politicians to work together. 


3.            Mr Gibbens responded to comments and questions from the committee, including the following:-


a)    it was emphasised that good signposting was important in helping the public to understand where to go, apart from Accident & Emergency, to seek urgent medical help.  The locations and opening hours of sites would need to be more widely advertised than at present, and the ‘Waitless’ app which gave waiting time and real-time traffic information for East Kent sites was a good first step towards this. Opening hours could be shown on hospital signage and at highways information points; and


b)    asked to which Cabinet Committees Delayed Transfers of Care would be reported, Mr Gibbens explained that the issue had been discussed by the Adult Social Care Cabinet Committee and that the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee might also consider it. Cabinet had requested a report for its 25 March meeting as it had shown an interest in the issue and wanted to look at the originators of, and reasons for, delayed transfers. 


4.            The Deputy Director of Public Health, Dr A Duggal, then gave an update on the following public health issues:-


Illicit tobacco – a new joint committee, led by Trading Standards colleagues, had recently been established to look into tackling the supply chain of illicit tobacco.  Directors of Public Health across the south east were also working on tackling this issue.

Air quality – the County Council’s Energy and Low Emissions Strategy, to which the public health team had contributed, would be considered by the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee on 24 May 2019.  A quality standard for air quality had recently been published by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence. 

STP prevention – prevention work streams were starting to be woven into the NHS’s long-term plan, starting with maternity work and microbial control.

Health in Europe – to build on the success of past initiatives which had looked at diabetes and mental health, new funding had now been secured for work on sexual health services. It was hoped that additional funding could be secured to support work on obesity.


5.            Dr Duggal responded to comments and questions from the committee, including the following:-


a)    asked if the use of illicit tobacco was linked in any way to the use of cannabis, Dr Duggal undertook to look into the data available and advise the questioner outside the meeting; and


b)    it was hoped that work currently going on to ‘look into’ various issues would soon start to lead to action to ‘deal with’ the problems. Dr Duggal agreed that the language used in reporting progress was important and offered to share with the committee the detailed Prevention work plan to reassure Members that progress was indeed being achieved.


6.            It was RESOLVED that the verbal updates be noted, with thanks.

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