Agenda and minutes

Gateshead Health and Wellbeing Board - Friday, 23rd October, 2020 9.00 am

Venue: Microsoft Teams. View directions

Contact: Melvyn Mallam-Churchill, Tel: 0191 433 2149, Email: 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Alison Dunn, Councillor Beadle, Lewis Atkinson, Mark Adams, Mark Dornan, Michael Laing, Richie Rickaby and Yvonne Ormston.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 203 KB


The minutes of the last meeting held on 11 September 2020 were agreed as a correct record.


The Board also received an update on items contained within the Action List; it was highlighted that the report on ICP Suicide Prevention Developments will be presented to the Board later than the originally agreed 6 months.


Declarations of Interest

Members of the Board to declare an interest in any particular agenda item.


Siobhan O’Neil declared an interest in Item 7 as a board member of the North East Child Poverty Trust.



Covid-19 Presentation Update - Alice Wiseman


The Board received a presentation providing an update on the Covid-19 pandemic.


From the presentation, the Board were provided with a summary of data covering tests and infection rates from March to October 2020; case rate comparable data for neighbouring local authority areas was also shown.


It was reported that the QE hospital bed capacity had seen an increase in those who were Covid-positive since September, the Board also made note of the Covid related deaths data shown.


The Board were advised that there had been intensive work done to ensure that service demand could be met as infection rates increased, this included a revision of information flows into the Council from PHE, the public, organisations and businesses as well as internal requests. It was highlighted that a dedicated virtual call centre had been established to deal with case investigation and contact tracing. It was also noted that an information and advice cell had been set up specifically for schools and childcare.


The Board received further updates on contact tracing, testing capacity, compliance and enforcement as well as areas of focus. From the presentation, the Board also received information relating to care homes and the challenges/actions of the CCG. It was highlighted within the presentation that the number of Covid-positive patients in hospital was gradually increasing; it was noted that those in the age group of 65-84 were at a higher risk of infection and hospitalisation. From the data presented, the Board acknowledged that the second wave of the virus has had a more prominent impact across all age groups.


The Board then received a CNTW update, it was reported that the number of positive patients in CNTW beds had also increased since September 2020. The Board were also provided with an overview of staff who had tested positive for the virus, these figures also showed an increase since September 2020. Additional information was also provided on the management of the pandemic surge which included the establishment of a ‘Gold Command’ process as well as permission being given to drop activities and focus more resource on Covid-19.


A discussion took place on the challenges faced by CNTW, these challenges included PPE distribution which highlighted that mutual aid had not been coordinated at a regional level.


The Board received information on communications and engagement work being done across the borough. It was noted that the public had felt message fatigue over the last six months and that this presented a challenge in terms of changing behaviours and attitudes towards the pandemic.


It was noted that a joined-up approach was being used across the LA7 to ensure that there is consistent messaging, it was also reported that using shared communication channels was allowing for the maximum audience reach across the region. The Board were advised that there have been 34 national and 18 regional radio interviews in recent days in addition to social media targeted advertising.


A comment was made that the local collaboration to tackling the challenges of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item HW206


Healthwatch Gateshead: Covid-19 health and social care experience in Newcastle and Gateshead Survey Report (July 2020) and national Healthwatch Covid-19 Intelligence Report - Cynthia Nixon


The Board received the report of Healthwatch Gateshead providing details on the Covid-19 health and social care experiences in Newcastle and Gateshead.


From the report the Board were advised that 218 people had participated in a survey conducted from May to July 2020; it was highlighted that 58 of respondents were from Gateshead. A summary of results was then provided to the Board for information.


It was reported that services had proven very capable to change and adapted to the needs of the population and the pandemic quickly and effectively which was a testament to the staff working within health and social care.


Most people found it ‘very easy’ or ‘easy’ to access information about how to keep themselves and others safe.


Most people, or the people they care for, had not experienced any changes to their health or social care services due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Evidence suggested that people are happy with remote consultations, either online or via the telephone.


Difficulties in maintaining mental and physical health were detailed within the report e.g. due to reduced access to healthcare from their GP, consultant, or

community services.


The Chair advised the Board that Healthwatch were to become part of the Covid Assurance Board, it was also noted that a seminar on digital services and inclusion was scheduled to take place on 12 November 2020, the presenting officer from Healthwatch was invited.



(i)               The Board noted the contents of the report.



Gateshead Health & Care System Update - Mark Dornan/All


The Board were provided with a brief verbal update on partner governance structures.



(i)               The Board noted the update.



North East Child Poverty Commission Briefing: Child Poverty Data - Caroline O'Neill/Cllr Haley


The Board received a report providing information from the North East Child Poverty Commission on local child poverty data.


It was noted that the North East has the second highest rate of child poverty in the UK at 35% and that there had been a rise of 8.8% in the Gateshead area from 2014/15 to 2018/19. It was reported that this rise will be exacerbated by the current pandemic and that the pressures on families facing job insecurity will be huge.


A discussion took place on the provision of free school meals for claimants of Universal Credit and the importance of the local authority’s work on providing the ‘best start in life’. The Board also agreed that local efforts were just a ‘sticking plaster’ due to national policies; it was noted that lobbying for Government assistance needed to continue.



(i)               The Board noted the contents of the report.



SEND Interim Visit - Caroline O'Neill


The Board were advised that there is to be an interim visit of SEND services in Gateshead. It was noted that there will be a focus on the experiences of service users, particularly their experiences in dealing with officers and the support packages they have received.


It was agreed that a more substantive update on the visit would be provided at a future Board meeting.



(i)               The Board noted the update.



Pharmacy Opening Hours - John Costello


The Board were asked to note the report included in the agenda pack for information.



(i)               The Board noted the report.



Updates from Board Members


A comment was made noting that there is evidence of children not attending school due to anxiety across the borough. The Board were advised that support is to be offered via the local shielding hubs.



(i)               The Board noted the update.





There was no other business.