(a) Service Delivery for Public Health Devon (Pages 1 – 4)
Report of the Chief Officer for Communities, Public Health, Environment and Prosperity (PH/20/02), attached
(b) Health and Adult Care (Pages 5 – 9)
Report of the Associate Director (Care and Health) Devon County Council and NHS Devon CCG (ACH/20/129), attached
(a) Service Delivery for Public Health Devon: In-Year Briefing
The Committee considered the Report of the Chief Officer for Communities, Public Health, Environment and Prosperity (PH/20/02) on the delivery of the Public Health service during 2020-21, and in particular the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the local authority public health function at the centre of the response, especially since the publication of the national Contain Framework which required upper-tier and unitary local authorities, from 1st July 2020, to establish COVID-19 Health Protection Boards, Local Outbreak Engagement Boards and a Local Outbreak Management Plan. The Report outlined the Public Health’s commissioned services as part of the Council’s strategic objectives and delivery in line with the agreed budget.
The Chief Officer responded to Members’ comments and questions relating to:
· the valuable and ongoing support provided by the Council’s Public Health’s Nursing and Health Visitors during the pandemic;
· the increased resources dedicated for Domestic Violence during the pandemic with priority for prevention and early intervention;
· the impact of the pandemic on the National Health Checks programme but generally providers had adapted well with use of digital services;
· the level of ‘excess’ deaths during the pandemic mainly relating to respiratory/heart and stroke conditions which was ameliorated by the current mild winter conditions and which more analysis was being made by Public Health and on which further information could be presented to a future meeting (to include reference to previous years for example over a 5-year period).
The Chair and Members on the occasion of Dr Virginia Pearson’s impending retirement thanked her for her frank and clear advice to Members during her dedicated service as Director of Public Health. Dr Pearson thanked the Committee for its support.
(b) Health and Adult Care: Finance Performance and Mid-Year Update
(Councillor A Leadbetter attended in accordance with Standing Order 25 (1) and spoke to this item at the invitation of the Committee and referred to the resource pressures as a result of the pandemic)
The Committee considered the Report of the Associate Director (Care and Health), Devon County Council and NHS Devon CCG (ACH/20/129) on the mid-year update on the finance and performance of Adult Health and Care and in particular the impact of COVID-19 across the health and care system. The Report outlined the effective partnership working across the system which had maintained continuity of care, supporting and responding to the needs of the most vulnerable people across Devon; and the role of the voluntary and community sector which played a significant and vital part. The Report also outlined how services had been reprioritised in the short term and aligned to national guidance and restrictions.
The Chief Officer for Adult Care and Health and the Head of Service, Adult Care Operations and Health responded to Members’ comments and questions relating to:
· the excellent performance of adult care staff during the pandemic and the relatively low number of fatalities in the County’s residential and nursing homes;
· current numbers of adults receiving care were as follows: Older People: 5695; Physical Disability: 1462; Learning Disability: 3151; Autism: 376; and Mental Health: 1006 (as of October 2020);
· unit and demand led cost pressures across health and care services and the impact of the pandemic;
· the actual costs to local authorities and adult social care providers of the pandemic which would far outstrip the Emergency Funding made available by the Government to-date; and
· the risk of already fragile care markets failing which had significantly heightened as a result of the impacts of Covid-19.
Members expressed their concern about the impact of the funding shortfall relating to Covid-19, which was experienced widely among local authorities in the Country.
It was MOVED by Councillor C Wright and SECONDED by Councillor M Shaw and
RESOLVED that this Committee urges and supports the Cabinet to make representations to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, requesting adequate funding (the level of which to be advised by Officers) to manage the remainder of the Covid-19 pandemic; and to address the need for a long-term funding settlement for adult social care.