Agenda and minutes

Care, Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 10th September, 2019 5.30 pm

Venue: Bridges Room - Civic Centre

Contact: Helen Conway email 

No. Item


Minutes of last meeting pdf icon PDF 96 KB

The Committee are asked to approve as a correct record, the minutes of the last meeting,  held on 25 June 2019.


The Committee agreed the minutes of the last meeting, held on 25 June 2019 as a correct record.


OSC Review - Suicide: Every Life Matters - Evidence Gathering pdf icon PDF 162 KB

Report of the Director of Public Health


The Committee received the evidence gathering report as part of its review in

2019-20; Suicide: Every Life Matters.


The Committee were reminded that the scoping report agreed by OSC on 25 June 2019 identified issues in Gateshead and proposed that the first evidence gathering session would provide a detailed overview of suicide from a Legal/Coroners perspective, especially the change in the standard of proof required for a jury to return a conclusion of suicide from a legal perspective, “beyond reasonable doubt”, to the civil standard, “the balance of probabilities”.


Recent Audits of Suicide and unintentional deaths in Gateshead have identified the impact this could have with around a third of the files reviewed by Council officers showing a verdict of Suicide, the others include: Open Verdicts, Accidental/Misadventure and Narrative verdicts.


The paper also proposed that the first evidence giving session would look at the impact of suicide from someone with lived experience, enabling information to be presented to provide members with insight into the key factors involved and the impact of suicide on a community. This first evidence gathering session heard a presentation from:


·         HM Senior Coroner for Gateshead and South Tyneside, Mr Terence Carney

·         Paul Sams, Service User & Project Co-ordinator with Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.


The Committee were reminded to also consider:

·         Gateshead has lower than regional rates of Suicide and similar rates to England

·         Suicide rates in Gateshead had increased from 2010-2012 up until the last reporting period of 2015-2017 when there was a plateau for all persons and a decrease for women.

·         Suicide is the leading cause of death among young people aged 20-34 years in the UK and it is considerably higher in men, with around three times as many men dying as a result of suicide compared to women. It is the leading cause of death for men under 50 in the UK. Those at highest risk are men aged between 40 and 44 years who have a rate of 24.1 deaths per 100,000 population.

·         The change in the method of recording suicides is likely to see an increase in the suicide rates in Gateshead.

·         Suicide Prevention work impacting on Gateshead is being taken forward at regional, Northumberland Tyne & Wear and Gateshead level.


The Committee were advised that subsequent evidence gathering sessions will include presentations from:


Members of the Public Health Team describing the current process and findings of local Audits of Gateshead data on Suicide and undetermined injury with an outline of a real-time surveillance system being introduced in the coming months.

Regional leaders and our partners from Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group and on the work at Integrated Care System (ICS) level and sub regional sub groups

Representatives from the Criminal Justice system and Voluntary Community Sector (VCS) identifying high risk groups and what can be done to minimise risk.




That the information be noted



The Committee agreed the scope, process and timescale as set out in the report.



Adult Social Care & Public Health - Annual Report on Services, Complaints, Compliments and Representations - April 2018 to March 2019 pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Care, Wellbeing and Learning

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report to ensure the Council has an effective complaints procedure that follows the legislation set out in The Local Authorities Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009 and the NHS Bodies and Local Authorities (Partnership Arrangements, Care Trusts, Public Health and Local Healthwatch) Regulations 2012.


The Committee were reminded that the Adults Care Complaints Process procedure has two stages:


·         Local Resolution by a Team or Service Manager

·         External Consideration by the Local Government Ombudsman


In 2018/19 the number of complaints and representations dealt with was as follows:


·         105 statutory complaints were received during 2018/19. This is a 62% increase on the number of complaints received during 2017/18, (65);

·         Amber complaints, which are medium risk to the Council or the service user, accounted for almost 90% (94) of all complaints received.

·         There were no Red complaints received during 2018/19. Red complaints are assessed as high risk to either the Council or the service users and are often extremely complex and generally contain cross service/agency issues.

·         The number of complaint related queries (Crqs) have also risen. 2018/19 saw a 106% increase on the number received during 2017/18, (35 from 17).

·         Complaint related queries are low-level representations that must be resolved within one working day after receipt.

·         11 complaints received were in respect of attitude or behaviour of staff, of which 10 of the complaints received were about Assessment & Personalisation.

·         73% of representations made during 2018/19 were compliments and only 27% were concerns or formal complaints.

·         23 working days was the average time to investigate complaints during 2018/19.

·         This is a 36% improvement on the response times during 2017/18, (36 working days)


The following points of interest were also outlined to Committee:


·         38%, (40), of complaints were around the quality of services received and remains the greatest cause for complaint;

·         Quality of service involves alleged failure of service delivery, for example;

o   Non-return of telephone calls;

o   Lack of poor communication from services or individual workers;

o   Late or missed social work visits;

o   Lack of timely response after a request for service.

·         During 2018/19, delays accounted for 34% (36) of complaints received.

·         From this, 58% (21) were regarding delays in social work/assessing officer allocation to an individual’s case.

·         After investigation, 60% (12) of complaints about allocation delays were found to be justified.


·         Almost 34%, (34), of all complaints were not upheld after investigation;

·         32% (32) of complaints were found to be partially justified;

·         33% (33) of complaints were found to be fully justified;

·         All improvements identified as a result of complaints that were either partially or fully justified were included within the report.


·         During 2018/19, Adult Social Care received 560 compliments, which accounted for 73% of all representations received.


·         47% (261), of compliments were regarding Assessment & Personalisation;

·         48%, (269) of compliments were about Provider Services;

·         2.5% (14) of compliments were about the Care Call Service;

·         2.8% (16) of compliments were about the Health & Social Care Commissioning & Quality Assurance. Four of which were about  ...  view the full minutes text for item CHW149


Annual Work Programme pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Joint Report of the Chief Executive and the Strategic Director, Corporate Services and Governance

Additional documents:


The Committee received the provisional work programme for the municipal year 2019/20.


The work programme was endorsed at the meeting held on 23 April 2019 and Councillors have agreed that further reports will be brought to future meetings to highlight current issues/identify any changes/additions to this programme.


Appendix 1 (appended to the main report) sets out the work programme as it currently stands and highlights proposed changes to the work programme in bold and italics for ease of identification.




That the information be noted



That further reports on the work programme will be brought to Committee to identify any additional policy issues, which the Committee may be asked to consider.