The Committee will be asked to receive a report that describes the activities undertaken in October and November 2018 to engage with communities in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland on Better Care Together. The report also describes the ongoing activities which will take place between January and March 2019.
The Committee is asked to note the outcome of the Better Care Together engagement work and the work to be undertaken early in 2019.
The Committee received a report relating to Better Care Together Engagement and Involvement that described the activities undertaken in October and November 2018 to engage with communities in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) and the ongoing activities to take place between January and March 2019.
Mr Richard Morris, the Director of Operations and Corporate Affairs, Leicester City CCG presented the report which was considered by Members.
During the ensuing discussion, Members raised comments and queries which included the following:
· A concern was raised that there appeared to be no reference to the Stamford and Rutland Mercury being used to publicise engagement events. A member commented that not everyone used social media and even if they did, they did not necessarily have the time to ‘surf the net’ looking for interesting information.
The Director of Operations explained that there was a detailed communication plan and their social media work was part of a multi-disciplined approach which included the use of newspapers. He could confirm that the Stamford and Rutland Mercury had been used to publicise the local engagement events.
· In response to a comment that the Better Care Newsletter had not been received by some of the Committee Members, the Director of Operations expressed some surprise and said that he would look into this as the intention was for it to be sent to all the Councillors on the committee.
· A Member cautioned that care was needed to use appropriate venues when carrying out cross border events.
· Concerns were expressed that the engagement that had taken place was weak and that if the CCGs were only attracting the same people, they needed to engage in a different way to get a broader view. Members heard that as part of the engagement exercises, rather than asking people to come to them, the CCGs would now be going out to existing groups and forums and thus make it make it easier for more people to give their views.
· Comments were made that people were generally less interested in participating in engagement sessions as they did not provide the public with information as to what would happen next, whereas consultations were more about the outcome. Mr John Adler, the Chief Executive of the University Hospitals Leicester (UHL) acknowledged the point made but said that the NHS had reiterated that consultations could not be carried out until funding had been approved in principle. He stated that final approval had now been received for work on the Intensive Care Unit but there had not been any announcements on monies over £100m but as soon as any news arose he would inform the Committee.
The Chair drew the discussion to a close and said that the engagement events, were extremely important even though they only attracted about 350 responses. The Chair was also pleased that as part of the engagement, the CCGs had started to use social media and on-line newsletters which showed that they were still there and busy and to help myth bust. The previous hiatus that lasted about 18 months was something that should not be allowed to happen again. The Chair asked Members to note the report and suggested recommendations which were agreed as follows:
1) that the LLR Joint Scrutiny Committee note the report;
2) that the Committee recommend that the CCGs and UHL take advice from the local authority communication teams as to which communities to reach out to and what worked best in respect of outreach;
3) that the UHL and CCGs proactively bring issues to the attention of Scrutiny;
4) that the Committee receive assurances as to what the formal consultation will look like;
5) that the Committee receive a report on capacity planning as members seek assurance that the plans are fit for purpose; and
6) that the Committee would like it to be demonstrated as to how the comments made by members of the public and Scrutiny are taken on board.
The Chair referred Members to the responses to the previous questions relating to Better Care, as previously circulated. She asked Members to contact her if they required any further clarity or further response to those already given, or whether there was anything they would like to see in a future report to the Committee.