Agenda and minutes

Social Care, Housing and Public Health Policy Overview Committee
Wednesday, 21st October, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: VIRTUAL - Live on the Council's YouTube channel: Hillingdon London. View directions

Contact: Liz Penny  0185 250185

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 dated 23 September 2020 pdf icon PDF 149 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting dated 23 September 2020 be approved 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 all items were in Part I and would be considered in public.


Committee Review: Making the Council more autism friendly: WITNESS SESSION 2 pdf icon PDF 78 KB

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Poppy Reddy, Head of Service – Court and Children with Disabilities, presented the report. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Vikram Hansrani, Assistant Director of SEND & Inclusion, was not in attendance. It was agreed that any questions from the Committee which Poppy was not in a position to answer would be forwarded to Vikram for his response after the meeting.


The report highlighted the services available to residents and local authority support available to adults and children with autism. Members were informed that the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Service and Inclusion Service in Hillingdon consisted of three strands – SEND, SEND Advisory Service and the Educational Psychology (EP) Service. The Committee was advised that the latter was a very popular service. There were two primary referral pathways into the EP Service – statutory and traded.


In terms of Statutory Services, the first point of contact for families was the Early Help Team within the Multi Agency Support Hub (MASH). All staff were appropriately trained to have an understanding of autism and how to help families. Where a child had a disability which met the eligibility criteria for specialist or statutory intervention, the cases were referred to the Children with Disabilities Team (CWD) which consisted of 8 qualified social workers and two family support workers. Following a holistic assessment and identification of need, families were supported via a bespoke Child in Need Plan that was reviewed 6-monthly. A package of support was considered within the Plan which could include:


·         Social Worker support, advice, advocacy and guidance – different communication methods were employed to include play, visual aids, sensory items and electronic devices. During the lockdown period, tablets had been provided to children and families for their use;

·         Direct payments and agency packages to enable families to purchase services directly. A personal budgets policy would soon be launched – this would give families more choice and independence in choosing services;

·         Short breaks to give carers a break and to enable the young person to develop different relationships and learn new skills;

·         From October 2020, Harrow Mencap had been granted the contract to deliver short breaks in Hillingdon – this included holiday and weekend programmes. During lockdown, Harrow Mencap had assisted the local authority by providing virtual activities, art activities, singing etc – these had been popular initially but did not give families the break they really needed;

·         Hillingdon had one excellent in house respite resource - Merriefield House Resource Centre which offered overnight stays to give families a much-needed break;

·         Referrals to targeted services.


A number of other community resources were tapped into to offer support to families, short breaks or activities including HACS, and CASS. A Home from Home option was being explored whereby foster carers would provide respite care in their own homes.


The CWD team worked with young people until the age of 18 at which time they would transition into adult services if they met the criteria. A transition panel met on a monthly basis and young  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.


Covid-19 Local Outbreak Control Plan pdf icon PDF 55 KB

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Dan Kennedy, Director – Housing, Environment, Education, Performance, Health & Wellbeing, introduced the Covid-19: Hillingdon Local Outbreak Control Plan report providing some background and context.


Members were informed that, following the national lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, local authorities had been requested to prepare a Local Outbreak Control Plan to prevent and contain the spread of the virus. The report had been published on 30 June 2020. Since then infection rates had been rising again and London boroughs had recently been placed into Tier 2 (High) level restrictions. Key points within the report were highlighted:


·         Staff had been mobilised across the Council to assist with food deliveries etc during wave one;

·         In terms of testing, there were 3 testing sites across the Borough – a third one had recently been opened at Brunel University which would be in operation 7 days a week until at least the end of March 2021. This site had been chosen to enable students to access a test quickly;

·         In care settings, staff and residents were tested regularly;

·         The testing rate across the Borough was good – approximately 350 tests were being conducted per day per 100,000 population – this was thought to be the 3rd highest rate in London;

·         In terms of PPE, Central Government had provided local authorities with PPE for distribution to care providers and other key providers – Hillingdon had a good supply of PPE;

·         Re. the enforcement of licensed premises, the Council’s licensing and ASB teams were making unannounced visits across the Borough, particularly at weekends, to ensure QR codes and table service were in use. In cases of non-compliance, a verbal warning would be issued initially, followed by a written warning on a second visit and, finally a fixed penalty notice would be issued. Compliance had generally been good thus far;

·         In terms of track and trace, Hillingdon was setting up its own local track and trace system working with Public Health England. Staff were being trained and it was anticipated that this system would go live in November.


Sharon Daye, Consultant in Public Health, addressed the Committee. Members were informed that the local authority had been working closely with Brunel University, Bucks University and Uxbridge College. Fortnightly four-way meetings were held to look at aspects of work in relation to Covid-19. All three had local outbreak plans in place. Contract tracing was only possible within the confines of the university / college; once students left the university or college, NHS contract tracing was expected to take over. One University had found that only 41% of students had been contacted by NHS contact tracing re. their movements; this was a matter of concern. Robust systems were in place to ensure the places of study were Covid secure. Currently numbers of positive cases were very low. 


Members sought reassurance that the voice of Hillingdon was being represented at a London level and enquired whether it would be possible to obtain more detailed information about the prevalence of Covid  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.


Update on Adult Community and Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services in Hillingdon


Kate Kelly-Talbot, Assistant Director – Adult Social Care, addressed the Committee. Members were informed that the majority of mental health services in Hillingdon were provided by CNWL Mental Health Trust. These included the community mental health teams, primary care mental health teams that supported GPs, talking therapies, crisis and treatment teams, a psychiatric liaison team in A&E and early intervention services.


Members were advised that the Council’s role was to recognise the existence of these services and refer / direct residents to them. The Council was not involved in the commissioning or direct service delivery of these services. However, it had some responsibility through its overarching safeguarding responsibilities for core services in the Borough. In terms of statutory social work, the Committee was advised that, since the disaggregation of the integrated community mental health teams, people with mental health issues would be subject to the same legislation as any other resident in terms of statutory social work services (the Care Act and Mental Capacity Act).


In terms of statutory services, one distinctive area was around AMP – the Approved Mental Health Practitioner Service. Members were advised that this was a Council statutory function provided by a specialist social worker team who undertook Mental Health Act assessments. In terms of social care services delivered by the Council, some specialist supported living services were available to those with severe mental illness. A floating support service was also offered to help maintain people in tenancies. A range of voluntary sector support was provided through the Council including social inclusion, peer support, welfare benefit advice, advocacy services and dementia services.


Kevin Byrne, Head of Health Integration & Voluntary Sector Partnerships, provided the Committee with an update in relation to Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services in Hillingdon (CAMHS). Members were informed that mental health services related largely to services commissioned by external partners; CAMHS was commissioned by the CCG at present through CNWL NHS Trust.


It had previously been a matter of considerable concern that young people in the Borough had been waiting too long to receive the support they needed from CAMHS; the target of 85% of young people to receive support within 18 weeks had not been met by CNWL for a long time. However, the Committee was informed that, for the last year or so, targets had been met. The local authority had worked alongside the CCG and other partners to look closely at supporting structures to prevent people from needing the services offered by CNWL. A Local Transformation Plan, agreed by the Health & Wellbeing Board, had been introduced and early intervention services had been focussed on. The local authority had commissioned three services through public health funding: KISS (sexual health services), the Link Service (early counselling) and Sorted (addiction management). These services were embedded within youth services based at Fountains Mill.  In collaboration with the CCG, a service called Kooth had been launched some two years ago to provide young people with online support and access to Counselling. This had been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.


Corporate Parenting Panel Minutes - 17 September 2020 pdf icon PDF 127 KB


It was noted that future Corporate Parenting Panel meetings would be themed.


Members observed that Cllr Nick Denys co-chaired the Corporate Parenting Panel meetings with one of the young people. It was requested that the minutes be amended to reflect this.


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Corporate Parenting Panel meeting dated 17 September 2020 be agreed as an accurate record, subject to an amendment to indicate that Cllr Nick Denys co-chaired the meetings with one of the young people.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 52 KB

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RESOLVED: That the Social Care, Housing and Public Health Policy Overview Committee noted items going to Cabinet.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 56 KB

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It was confirmed that a representative of HACs would be attending the next meeting of the Social Care, Housing and Public Health POC.


RESOLVED: That the Social Care, Housing and Public Health Overview Committee considered the report and agreed any amendments.