To consider a report from Better Care Together (BCT) that describes the activities they have undertaken during 2018/19 to engage with communities in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. The report also outlines the direction of travel and strategic approach to communications and engagement in 2019/20 and discusses the outcome they wish to achieve by adopting a consistent engagement process embedded through all BCT work streams.
A report providing an update on scrutiny work related to the Better Care Together Plan is also attached in Appendix B2.
Members considered a report that described the activities undertaken in relation to Better Care Together engagement and involvement across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Sue Venables, Head of Communications, Engagement and Involvement (NHS) introduced the report and responded to questions from Members.
Comments and queries, along with responses included the following:
· The Chair referred to Appendix 1 of the report which had details of current work streams and Ms Venables explained that sub streams sat underneath those work streams. The Chair asked for a complete list of work streams with their sub work streams to aid transparency.
· Mr Micheal Smith, Manager HealthWatch Leicester and Leicestershire reported that they had been seeking people’s views which would then be fed into Better Care. In a similar vein, HealthWatch had been involved in the Community Redesign Programme and it had been very encouraging to see how people’s views had been fed into that programme.
· A Member who said she had been very critical in the past of Better Care Together’s engagement programme, welcomed the work that was now taking place, commenting that it was a big improvement.
· Members suggested that as there were elections in May, there needed to be briefings in the new municipal year for newly elected councillors.
· A Member asked for engagement information to printed in a large print format for those people with sight impairments and Ms Venables responded that the suggestion would be forwarded onto the appropriate officers.
· Members heard that engagement had taken place with a wide variety of community groups including youth forums and the traveller community. Ms Venables was urged not to forget about the people in Rutland when carrying out engagement exercises and she responded that useful meetings had been held with HealthWatch Rutland.
· Dr Underwood, HealthWatch Rutland said that they were grateful for the time that Ms Venables and her colleagues had spent with them. They also felt that their views had been listened to following the Community Redesign engagement in February and Dr Underwood asked for this level of engagement to continue.
· The Chair said that she welcomed the report and it was clear that improvements had been made regarding the engagement exercise, but the Committee had not yet received confirmation as to what the formal consultation would look like when the anticipated capital funding arrived. The Chair also sought assurances that the creation of Patient and Public Involvement Groups would not weaken the public consultation. The Chair expressed a concern regarding primary care networks and that the Committee needed a better understanding of these and how they would work. There was a real concern that Better Care funding might be sent through the primary care networks rather than via the current route of clinical commissioning groups to the local authority. The Chair said that there was a briefing note from the Kings Fund giving information about primary care networks and she would circulate this to Members after the meeting.
The Chair thanked Ms Venables for the report; welcomed the fact that more engagement was taking place on-line and expressed a view that Better Care Together needed to remain a standing item on the work programme to include updates to the workstreams and sub work streams. The Chair requested that officers remained proactive to putting things on the scrutiny agenda and were responsive to public debate.
1) that the report be welcomed; and
2) for Better Care Together Engagement to remain on the Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Joint Health Scrutiny Committee work programme.