Agenda and minutes

Care, Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 5th April, 2022 1.30 pm

Venue: Bridges Room - Civic Centre

Contact: Helen Conway email 

No. Item


Minutes of last meeting pdf icon PDF 285 KB

The minutes of the last meeting held on 1 February 2022 are attached for approval.



The minutes of the last meeting held on 1 February 2022 were approved as a correct record.


Work to Attract and Retain GP's in Gateshead - Progress Update

Dr Dominic Slowie, Medical Director, NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG will provide the Committee with a presentation on this matter.


Dr Dominic Slowie, Medical Director, NHS NewcastleGateshead CCG and Lynne Paterson, Portfolio Lead Gateshead System, NewcastleGateshead CCG provided the Committee with a presentation on this matter.


Dr Slowie advised the OSC that it was important to be aware that over the last twenty years there had been relative disinvestment in general practice and primary care. The Health Foundation had carried out a piece of work examining the expansion of the medical workforce across the NHS and found that there had been a doubling of the hospital workforce whilst the GP workforce had stood still. The explanation for this position was that this focus on increasing the hospital workforce had been to drive forward specific initiatives put in place to tackle waiting lists which had been successful.


Dr Slowie stated that post pandemic the priority was again about recovering performance in relation to waiting lists and incentives were being put in place to drive this forward but these were potentially at the expense of GP practices and mental health and community services.


Dr Slowie also advised that it was important to understand Gateshead’s position compared with that of the rest of the country. Dr Slowie indicated that the optimal doctor to patient ratio was 1 GP to 1800 patients who would be able to offer approx. 25 appointments per day. Dr Slowie confirmed that GP practices in Gateshead were able to offer this doctor to patient ratio whereas the national picture was 1 GP to 2000 patients which suggests that Gateshead is in a relatively good place.


However, Dr Slowie advised that over the last 20 years GP’s were being faced with much more complex care as a result of an increase in individuals long term conditions and more complex mental health needs. As a result, demand has increased. Therefore whilst the number of GP appointments in Gateshead has gone up this has been counterbalanced by the rise in demand.


Alongside this Dr Slowie advised that it was increasingly difficult to recruit into GP practice due to a range of complex reasons. Becoming a GP is currently not seen as an attractive career and he advised that there was increased burn out amongst GP’s many of whom were working late into the evenings. Other challenges were levels of sickness absence and levels of early retirement as a result of financial disincentives related to GP pensions.


Dr Slowie advised the Committee that it was important to remember that GPs have never been formally part of the NHS but are independent contractors. The positives of this position mean that GPs have the autonomy to make the necessary changes to respond to patient needs and go the extra mile when delivering care. Dr Slowie informed the Committee that a recent consultation paper “ At your Service…….? has argued to bring GP’s into the NHS and have a salaried service. However, Dr Slowie stated that the downside of such an approach might be that being a GP in such circumstances was seen as a  ...  view the full minutes text for item CHW217


Gateshead System Covid -19 Update

Presentation from the Gateshead System.


The OSC received a presentation from Steph Downey, Director of Adult Social Care providing an update from the Gateshead system on the position in relation to Covid 19.


The update focused on epidemiology, vaccination uptake / rates, the impact of Covid 19 / work being progressed to tackle Covid 19 and associated backlogs in both primary and acute, community settings and mental health settings and the impact of Covid 19 on social care commissioning and capacity, safeguarding and workforce issues within adult social care.


The OSC noted that a key issue was that Covid 19 cases were rising across all ages to the end of March but were then decreasing. However, it was likely that the decline in figures since the end of March was linked to the end of free testing as of the beginning of April.


The OSC noted that there seemed to be a higher uptake of the vaccine in more rural wards as opposed to urban wards and queried whether there were access issues.


The OSC was informed that access was not an issue and this was a result of individuals’ understanding of the benefits of having the vaccine. As a result more work was to take place in relation to the benefits of the vaccine and myth busting via social media. There were also 500 Covid Community Champions and 4,500 young Covid Champions passing on key information.


The OSC was also informed that there is a Community Vaccine bus which will be carrying out visits in June to deliver Covid 19 vaccines and the dates of the visits to specific communities could be shared with the OSC so they could promote.


The OSC queried whether focusing on those who had yet to take up the vaccine was to the detriment of those who wanted to access the vaccine. The OSC was informed that the two programmes were delivered by different staff.


RESOLVED            That the information be noted.



Healthy Weight Work in Gateshead - Progress Update pdf icon PDF 455 KB

Report of the Strategic Director of Public Health attached.


Natalie Goodmand and Louise Harlandson, Gateshead Public Health Team provided the OSC with an overview of the scale of the problem in relation to child and adult obesity within Gateshead and the healthy weight work being carried out in Gateshead across the life-course as part of a whole system approach.


The Committee received an update on progress in relation to healthy weight work which was being focused through :-

·        The Gateshead Healthy Weight Alliance

·        Local Healthier Food Advertising Policies – these had been halted as a result of Covid 19 but were now being progressed again.

·        The Healthy Weight Declaration – this work had also recommenced after being dormant due to Covid 19.

·        Training on Healthy Weight /Nutrition via Making Every Contact Count Champions in Gateshead cascading messages to communities and colleagues in relation to 14 lifestyle topics / signposting to specialist advice or support

·        Wellbeing Walks Programme

·        Support to Public Health England in the development of a healthy weight intelligence tool and testing the tool at a local level.

·        Work with the Office of Health Improvement and Disparity (OHID) and Teeside University in relation to the approach to hot food takeaways and the food environment during Covid and the approach following the expiry of the temporary legislation.

·        20 Minute Neighbourhoods

·        The Spatial Planning Core Strategy

·        The CCG/ Local Authority Group review of current services and approaches to healthy weight across the system

·        Active Travel and Social Prescribing

·        Making Every Contact Count(MECC) training sessions delivered to primary care focusing on how to have conversations around lifestyle topics such as physical activity,healthy weight and nutrition

·        Regional Work – “A Weight off your Mind” led by CNTW NHS FT to support people with lived experience of mental health conditions and / or learning disabilities maintain a healthy weight.

·        The multi-partnership Maternal Healthy Weight Group focusing on work around healthy weight during pregnancy and potential interventions

·        Integrated Care System Core20plus Funding

·        The 0-19 years Growing Health Team of health visitors and school nursing services.

·        Implementation of the HENRY programmes

·        Active Mums sessions at Saltwell Park and Winlaton Mill

·        PHD Research projects in Gateshead

·        Gateshead School Sports Partnership

·        ESCAPE Pain pilot within the workplace.


A member of the OSC noted that the data indicates that breastfeeding rates in Gateshead are better than the regional average. However, the member of the OSC considered that the figures may be skewed as a result of a high proportion of mothers in the Jewish community breastfeeding and they highlighted an example of a poor support available for pregnant women and breastfeeding and indicated that they considered improvements could be made in this area.


The OSC was advised that in January 2022 a mapping exercise had been carried out for 0-19 Services which had highlighted a number of gaps and so they had brought a range of professionals together including a paediatric consultant to support as part of the Gateshead Healthy Weight Alliance. This had already led to work in relation to consistent messaging around the range of support  ...  view the full minutes text for item CHW219


OSC Work Programme pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Report of the Chief Executive and Strategic Director, Corporate Services & Governance attached.

Additional documents:


The OSC was informed of the position in relation to the current work programme for 2021-22 and the current position / next steps in the development of the work programme for the municipal year 2022-23.


The OSC considered the emerging issues for this OSC and agreed that given the number of issues suggested that some of these matter should be dealt with outside of the OSC work programme for 2022-23 as follows:-


·         Temporary Medical Aids (Briefing to councillors from the Equipment Service)

·         Assistive Technology Pilots (Show and tell to be arranged for councillors on a date to be confirmed)

·         Activity Based Care Models (Briefing to councillors and an invite to CHW OSC to visit on a date to be confirmed)

·         Watergate Court – (Chair and Vice Chair of CHW OSC to be invited to official opening and a briefing to be provided subsequently to councillors).

·         How the physical and mental health of carers is considered / supported and any good practice adopted (Briefing to councillors on the Carers Service)


The OSC considered that the remaining emerging issues should form part of their work programme for 2022-23 with some issues being grouped together where appropriate.


It was noted that it was proposed that the emerging issue in relation to Breastfeeding would form part of the Families OSC work programme for 2022-23 and members of this Committee would be invited to the meeting which considered this matter as part of a joint scrutiny exercise.


RESOLVED              i)          That the work programme for 2021-22 be noted.

ii)         That the work programme for 2022-23 be developed taking account of the issues identified by the OSC as outlined above.