Agenda and minutes

Social Care, Housing and Public Health Policy Overview Committee
Wednesday, 25th September, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 6 - Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1UW. View directions

Contact: Anisha Teji  01895 277655

Link: Watch the LIVE or archived broadcast of this meeting here

No. Item


Apologies for Absence and to report the presence of any substitute Members


There were no apologies for absence.


Declarations of Interest in matters coming before this meeting




To receive the minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 119 KB


Further information was requested regarding the follow up Ofsted inspection of a children’s home in the Borough. It was confirmed that this information would be requested from officers and circulated to Members.


RESOVLED: That the minutes of the meeting on 31 July 2019 be agreed as an accurate record.


To confirm that the items of business marked as Part I will be considered in Public and that the items marked as Part II will be considered in Private


It was confirmed that there were no Part II items and that all business would therefore be conducted in public.


Annual Complaint Report For Housing And Social Care Services For 1 April 2018 To 31 March 2019 pdf icon PDF 287 KB


The Business Manager, Complaints and Enquiries introduced the report on Annual Complaints Report for Housing and Social Care Services for 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 and provided an oral summary of the key highlights.


It was reported that across the Council the number of informal complaints remained similar when comparing the 2017/18 figure of 3,077 with the 2018/19 figure of 2,756. The number of Stage 1 complaints registered also remained broadly similar when comparing the 2017/18 figure of 860 with the 2018/19 figure of 837. For the purposes of this Committee, the complaints were broken down as follows:


Housing Service


It was noted that of the 157 Stage 1 complaints, 22 had been upheld, 44 had been partially upheld, 84 had not been upheld and 7 had been withdrawn. 


The number of Stage 2 complaints had risen from 10 for 2017/18 to 24 for 2018/19. It was reported that of the 24 Stage 2 complaints, 2 had been upheld, 1 had been partially upheld and 21 had not been upheld. There had been no Stage 3 complaints. 16 complaints had been considered by the Ombudsman - 3 were upheld, 1 partially upheld, 21 not upheld and in the other 10 the Ombudsman decided not to investigate.  


It was noted that 67 compliments had been recorded for 2018/19 which was a 179% (43) rise from the 2017/18 figure of 24.


Children and Young Peoples Service


It was noted that of the 55 Stage 1 complaints, 5 had been upheld, 18 had been partially upheld, 28 had not been upheld and 4 had been withdrawn. 


There were two Stage 2 investigations during 2018/19. Both complaints were partially upheld. There had been no Stage 3 complaints. 5 complaints had been considered by the Ombudsman - 1 was partially upheld and in the remaining 4 they decided not to investigate. 52 compliments were received for 2018/19 which was slightly lower than the 2017/18 figure of 60.


Adult Social Care


It was noted that of the 40 Stage 1 complaints, 5 had been upheld, 7 had been partially upheld, 25 had not been upheld and 3 had been withdrawn. 


9 complaints had been considered by the Ombudsman - 1 was upheld, 1 partially upheld, 6 not upheld and in the remaining 1 they decided not to investigate. 68 compliments were received for 2018/19 which was more than the 2017/18 figure of 56.


Members' Enquiries


11,308 Members' Enquiries had been received for the period 2018/19 which was a 37% increase from 2017/18 of 8,110. Waste Services, Planning and Building Control and Housing Services accounted for 5813, 1891 and 1240 enquiries respectively.  


The duplication errors on page 36 of the agenda was corrected.


It was confirmed that the restricted persons register was accessible by officers and Members via the Intranet, the Council’s internal website. Further information on how to access the restricted persons register would be provided to Members. In response to Ombudsman feedback, the Council’s autism policy was being developed including specifying a named  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.


Children's Services Performance Data pdf icon PDF 269 KB


The Corporate Director of Adult, Children, Young People Services and Assistant Director of Corporate Parenting presented the Children’s Services Performance Date report.


It was noted that the report specifically referred to Looked After Children (LAC). As of 5 August 2019, the London Borough of Hillingdon was Corporate Parents to 348  LAC and 425 Care Leavers.  Out of 348, 216 were statuary school age LAC of whom 69% had made progress against national standards. It was reported that performance was generally in line with national statistics


In order to reduce the number of children and young people who were not in education, employment and training, a partnership had been created with Drive Forward Foundation to support care leavers accessing further training and employment. Data demonstrated that 84% of LAC had had a dental checking within the last 12 months and bi monthly health liaison meetings were held regularly.


It was reported that Hillingdon had a lower than national average Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire score which was a positive result. This was exceptionally good and due to the Multi-agency Psychology Service (MAPS) (a service commissioned by the CCG) as the service helped young people to address needs very early on.


It was noted that despite and encouragement from independent reviewing officers and social workers, a small percentage children did not engage with dental checks. Reasons for refusal and personal circumstances were all considered as part of care planning.


School attendance for LAC had improved but still remained an issue. Personal Education Plans were exceptionally high in Hillingdon and it detailed the objectives, educational goals and attendance levels of LAC. Schools worked very closely with LAC and virtual school officers to resolve any issues at an informal stage. It was highlighted that the longer a child was LAC, this tended to lead to better school results as there was a more structured input.


It was confirmed that the Corporate Parenting Panel had received an update from the Head of Virtual Schools detailing information about the last academic year.


It was explained that every school had a designated teacher that regularly liaised with the virtual school officer to ensure the best interests for LAC. Before any form of exclusions were implemented, a number of alternative arrangements would be considered to avoid this course of action. However, generally, fixed term exclusions only took place for a short period and there would always be learning and further work to ascertain the root cause of the exclusion.


It was agreed that further information would be provided about the one permanent school exclusion that had taken place in the Borough. It was also agreed that further information would be provided about an analysis about how many different children attending the enrichment and participation activities.


Members thanked officers for the good and comprehensive report.


RESOLVED: That the report be noted and



Committee Review - Universal Credit pdf icon PDF 68 KB


The Committee considered the final draft report on its major review on Universal Credit. The report was well received and Members thanked Democratic Services for their hard work.


It was agreed that the report highlighted the key points and challenges the Committee encountered. It was confirmed that the report would be made available for all Members and be sent to the witnesses who attended the meeting to give evidence.


An amendment was made to recommendation 4:   Request that the Committee and relevant Cabinet Members receive a further report on the Council’s efforts in 6 – 12 months, with regard to claimant statistics and their experience.  - this being one year on after it’s roll-out began.




1)    That the amendments be delegated to Democratic Services, to be approved by the Chairman and Labour Lead.

2)    That the Committee endorses the report for submission to Cabinet.


Committee Review pdf icon PDF 84 KB


The Committee discussed possible review topic ideas for the next review. Given the Committee’s in-depth review on Universal Credit, it was considered that a mini review of different topics may be appropriate to consider other key areas within the POC’s remit.


A number of suggestions were made including:


·         A review on the Council's autism policy – A review considering the Council’s autism policy and the steps in place to support residents. 


·         County lines” and “cuckooing” - Concerns were raised about young people being forced to take part in gang related activity or young people being exploited by gangs. A review was suggested to consider the impact on young people, vulnerable adults and the support in place to help them avoid being drawn in to selling or taking drugs.


·         The Council’s housing stock and home energy - A review considering the Council’s housing stock and whether they meet environmental standards. The review would explore whether more could be done to reduce carbon footprints and what was being done in relation to manage poor ventilation and damp in resident homes. The review would also seek to identify the Council’s current position, any investment required to manage issues and what was necessary for the future.


·         Dementia Care - It was reported that dementia was a significant issue in the Borough. A review on dementia care was proposed which would explore what was being done in the Borough to support residents.  The review would identify whether there were any gaps and whether more could be done to support residents.


·         Child Obesity - It was reported that Hillingdon had the highest level of child obesity in the Greater London area. A review was suggested to consider child obesity in the Borough, why it was an issue and what could be done to combat the issue.


·         Homelessness and housing needs - A review was suggested to consider houses with multiple occupancy (HMO) in the Borough and what steps the Council had taken to identify all of the HMOs in the Borough in accordance with the new registration rules.


·         Disabled care and support - A review considering disabled care and support available for families.


·         Life expectancy - It had been reported that the life expectancy in the Borough varies significantly between the North and the South. A suggestion was made for a review to consider this and explore whether there were any gaps and recommendations that could be done to improve this.


·         Encouraging homeownership - A review on what processes the Council currently has in place to support and encourage home ownership in the Borough.


·         Youth Services - A suggestion was put forward to consider a review on youth services within Hillingdon. The review would consider whether youth services meets the current interests, needs and social requirements of young people.


·         Supported Living for adults - Information on what supported living for adults is, how it works, who lives there, the differences between the housing and the care element in supported living and the benefits to residents and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Additional documents:


It was confirmed that the draft Hillingdon Homelessness Prevention and Rough Sleeping Review and Strategy would be presented as a Cabinet Member Report and following consultation it would be presented for approval to the December 2019 Cabinet meeting. The report would also be presented to the POC for comment.


RESOLVED: That the forward plan be noted.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: That the work programme be noted.