Proposed decision –
The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills is asked to agree the Commissioning Plan for Education Provision 2021-25.
The Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent (KCP) is a five-year rolling plan which is updated annually. It sets out how Kent discharges its statutory responsibility, as the Strategic Commissioner of Education Provision, to provide sufficient Early Years, SEND, Primary and Secondary places and to ensure that there are appropriate learning pathways for pupils at Post 16. It is also our responsibility to ensure that we have enough places in the right locations, to meet the demands of increased pupil numbers and parental preferences. It reflects the fact that the Local Authority’s role has changed to being the commissioner, as well as continuing to be a provider, of education provision.
The Education Commissioning Plan sets out the principles by which we determine proposals, and it forecasts the need for future provision. It also sets out in more detail plans to meet the commissioning needs which arise in each District in Kent, during the next two to three years.
How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’:
Outcome 1 states that children and young people in Kent get the best start in life. The Commission Plan will ensure that there are sufficient, high quality early years, primary and secondary school places in all Districts.
Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision published: 11/01/2021
Effective from: 19/01/2021
Cabinet approved the Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2021-25 at its meeting on 11 January 2021
Division affected: (All Division);
Lead officer: David Adams
Decision Maker: Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Made at meeting: 24/11/2020 - Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Decision published: 06/01/2021
Effective from: 24/11/2020
Ray Savage, Strategy and Partnership Manager at SECAmb and Bethan Eaton-Haskins, Executive Director of Nursing and Quality at SECAmb were in attendance for this item at the invitation of the committee.
1. South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust had provided a report which updated the Committee on service developments since their March 2020 update.
2. Bethan Eaton-Haskins provided a verbal overview of the report and highlighted the launch of 111 First as the foremost service development between March and November 2020.
3. Mrs Eaton-Haskins addressed Covid-19 planning, response and governance. She informed the committee that investments had been made by the Service in reusable PPE, members of staff had been tested twice a week, control room staff capacity had doubled, whilst social distancing had been upheld. She noted that former airline industry employees had been employed as part of the control room expansion and that their customer service expertise had been of great benefit to the service.
4. Mrs Eaton-Haskins reassured the Committee that due to the flexibility and consistency of mobile staff testing, rates of staff illness and total staff hours lost had not been as high as originally anticipated.
5. Mrs Eaton-Haskins and Mr Savage responded to comments and questions from the Committee, including the following:-
a) Mrs Eaton-Haskins confirmed that newly hired temporary control room staff were employed under the NHS’s national pay system “Agenda for Change”;
b) Mrs Eaton-Haskins was asked what measures had been put in place to manage and reduce patient waiting times. She confirmed that three task and finish groups met each week to improve processes and act on recent developments; joint reviews in collaboration with Trusts had operated to reduce risk; and harm reviews had been undertaken to analyse the impact of extended waiting times;
c) a Member asked where ambulances had been directed in instances where the patient had been Covid positive. Mrs Eaton-Haskins explained that the Trust of destination was dependent on the patient’s condition and their needs. It was also noted that patient preferences were taken into account where possible;
d) asked what had caused the patient diversion at the Medway Maritime Hospital on 23 November 2020 and the impact of this on patients, Mrs Eaton-Haskins confirmed that the pressure had arisen from high patient admission numbers, which had been resolved with the support of all Trusts across Kent who took additional patients without breaching their own capacity. No negative patient impact as a result of the diversion was noted; and
e) regarding the Clinical Assessment Service, the Chair asked for confirmation on the timing of the full roll-out across Kent. Mr Savage confirmed that ‘111 First’ would be active across Kent from Friday 27 November 2020. He outlined the progress of the go-live programme which began with Medway on 16 September, West Kent on 17 November, Darent Valley on 23 November and would conclude with East Kent on 27 November. Mr Savage detailed the operating procedures undertaken to govern the project and noted that positive results had been received from Medway regarding the impact of ‘111 First’ in the area: 20-23% of patients had been re-directed from the Emergency Department to other appropriate services as a result.
6. The Chair thanked SECAmb for their continued work protecting the people of Kent during the pandemic.
7. It was RESOLVED that the report be noted.