Agenda and minutes

Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 16th June, 2022 1.30 pm

Venue: Bridges Room - Civic Centre

Contact: Rosalyn Patterson E-mail: 

No. Item


Minutes of last meeting pdf icon PDF 278 KB

The Committee is asked to approve as a correct record the minutes of the last meeting held on 28 April 2022


RESOLVED -              that the minutes of the last meeting be approved subject to it being noted that Councillor Davison submitted her apologies and they were not recorded.


Constitution pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Report of the Chief Executive


RESOLVED      -         that the constitution of the Committee for the 2022/23 Municipal year be noted.


Role and Remit pdf icon PDF 186 KB

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


RESOLVED    -           That the roll and remit of the Committee be noted.


Performance Management and Improvement Framework - Year End Performance 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 271 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Resources and Digital

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report and presentation for the year end performance reporting from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 against each of the 6 policy objectives of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy and the Balanced Scorecard.


The views of the OSCs which were reported to Cabinet following the 6 monthly position included:


·       Prioritisation and Thrive Policy – clearer priorities to achieve Thrive, focus resources to achieve the biggest impact and emphasis on early intervention and reducing longer term demand - LIoN data to be refreshed end 2022 / early 2023 to understand changes post pandemic; Budget approach priority-based transformation review of Thrive and early intervention activity. 

·       Locality based working – ensuring that the right approach is taken with councillor and community involvement from the outset and recognising that different approaches may be needed in different areas of Gateshead – approach to locality working being developed in collaboration.

·        Housing repairs and maintenance – Housing Improvement Plan and timescales for tackling the issues and backlog to meet housing requirements and standards – Review in place to address challenges in delivery impacting on customers.

·       Place and Environment – importance of a clean, safe attractive environment to support the health and wellbeing of local people – part of budget approach.

·       Climate Change – Clarity on actions and progress the Council is making towards its Climate Change ambition with greater communications with local people – extensive engagement taking place.

·       Employees and Workforce – Improvements to employee morale and address recruitment and retention – proposals being developed •

·       Other comments also being incorporated into the PMIF i.e. use of dates, new measures, digital/ online presentation being developed, specific areas of focus such as Community Wealth Building, social care, jobs and employment


Some emerging cross-cutting issues were highlighted to the Committee:


·         The continuing impact of Covid 19 on performance

·         Widening inequalities, income and the longer term anticipated impact to health

·         The demand pressures facing services such as social care

·         The impact of EU Exit/Ukraine Conflict, rising costs for residents and in service delivery

·         Staffing pressures including recruitment and retention across the Council

·         There has been good progress in key policy areas such as climate change strategy and engagement

·         There has been an increase in the shift towards digital and online services

·         Support is being provided to local people and businesses for example the Household support grant

·         There has been an effective response to supporting vulnerable people throughout the pandemic – i.e through local hubs, public health and vaccinations


The Committee heard from Gary Lewis with regards to an update in relation to Looked After Children:


The Committee were advised that research published in February 2022 by Association of Directors for Children’s Services (ADCS) reflected a national picture of increasing demand to social care services.  This general trend has been emerging for several years and has been further complicated by the impact of Covid-19 and the cost of living crisis.  Locally in Gateshead, we have not been immune to the national picture and have seen some  ...  view the full minutes text for item F45


Breastfeeding and Tongue Tie pdf icon PDF 262 KB

Report of the Director of Public Health


The Committee received a report to provide an overview of breastfeeding performance in Gateshead, support available for mums who wish to breastfeed and a tongue tie overview.


It is know that tongue-tie can prevent successful breastfeeding.  It is estimated that 10.7% of babies born are with tongue-tie.  In Gateshead 1900/2000 births, this would equate to about 200 babies.


Breastfeeding rates at 6 to 8 weeks had previously remained at around 35% to 36% in Gateshead for several years. The table below demonstrates the progress and improvements around breastfeeding rates since the contract for the 0-19 public health nursing service was award to Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust in July 2018 (note these figures include mothers who are fully breastfeeding and those who are partially breastfeeding).



Breastfeeding at 6 to 8 weeks













Gateshead is 3rd highest in the North East region for breastfeeding rates at 6 to 8 weeks.


The 0-19 public health nursing service (Growing Healthy Gateshead) received accreditation for stage 2 of the Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) in September 2021. The baby friendly standards provide a roadmap for services to improve care and through the staged accreditation programme services are enabled to support all mothers with feeding and help parents build a close and loving relationship with their baby.


There are 3 stages to the accreditation programme as follows:

·         Stage 1          Building a firm foundation

·         Stage 2          An educated workforce

·         Stage 3          Parents experiences

There are a number of standards that have to be met at each stage to achieve accreditation. Services have to submit all of their evidence for each standard and this evidence is then assessed by Unicef. They also interveiw practitioners within the service to verify the evidence and to see how the standards are being implemented in practice.

The service achieved 100% in some of the standards and received excellent feedback about the team and their communication skills used in antenatal discussions and beyond.

An early year’s practitioner (EYP) in the service is also completing Unicef advocate training which will support families in Gateshead. This course is in the second intake and the cohort for the UK is only 8 members, so the EYP is really privileged to secure such a highly sought-after place.


During the pandemic the 0-19 service adapted and offered face to face, telephone and virtual support to clients and families with regards to infant feeding.  Proactive support is offered to all women in Gateshead to assist with infant feeding issues or provide encouragement and praise to women who choose to breastfeed. Daily pro-active telephone calls continue to be offered to breast feeding mothers during the first weeks after birth and these calls are continued as needed during the first 6 weeks based on each individual family’s needs and requirements.


Infant feeding cafes have been set up in partnership with the children’s centres at Elgin and Blaydon. These offer support around breastfeeding (positioning, blocked ducts, cluster feeds,  ...  view the full minutes text for item F46


Implementation of Mosaic



The Committee received a presentation on the replacement of Care First and the Implementation of Mosiac within Gateshead Council.


The Committee were advised that Care First had to be replaced as it was an end of life system which was developed in the 90s and was no longer going to be supported by the supplier.


16m records have been migrated into the new system.  The data has all come from Car First.  There are currently 500 users of the system.  Mosiac is a work flow based system which ensures pathways are followed.  This was developed by Gateshead Council to fit in with our work practices.  Mosiac can be used on a lot more devices than care first including I phone and I pad and practitioners own devices at home safely and securely with just one login.


Mosiac is cloud based so it can be access from anywhere subject to the user having the correct security access.  This will be particularly useful for partnership working.


Attachments can be added to a person’s information and the system is also connected to Agresso as well as being integrated to the NHS Spine so that NHS numbers can be pulled through from the national database.


The presentation showed some of the forms and the way the system will work.


        All packages of care come from Mosaic

        Mosaic is interfaced into the Council’s finance system Agresso

        Every package of care has to be authorised within Mosaic

        Auditing is much easier as the payments to suppliers are all derived from the child’s record in Mosaic

        Financial risk is managed within Mosaic through protocols embedded into the system, i.e. a package of care cannot be paid unless it is all set-up within Mosaic

        Eliminates spreadsheet recording and keeps all records in one place

        Improved reportability of package data for Commissioners


Indirectly, Mosaic will allow more direct working with children and families as it is more intuitive and efficient to use so practitioners won’t need to spend so much time on case recording.  Life story work, child’s journey and subject access requests will be much better presented and easier to understand.  Management oversight through built in daily reports.  Ease of auditing of cases.  Mobile access to work with children and families within their homes.  Quickly accessible financial information, i.e. children with disabilities families using Direct Payments


It was queried whether there was a joint data sharing agreement set up.  It was noted that agreements were set up and were jointly signed by both partners.  This is audited and is very thorough.  Each different partnership will have to have different data sharing agreements.  The access is controlled and all parties have different degrees of permissions.  Permissions  are restricted to make sure no one is ever able to access information they shouldn’t be accessing.


It was queried whether we could do a survey 1 year into the use of the system to see what users think of the system.  It was noted that  ...  view the full minutes text for item F47


Results of Covid 19 Survey



The Committee received a presentation on the results of the Covid 19 Survey conducted in March 2021.  The aim of the research was to make sure that the pandemic emergency and recovery plans enable Gateshead to thrive as the borough adjusts to living with Covid.


The Objectives of the survey were to:


·         Assess the ongoing impact of the pandemic

·         Gather information to identify, estimate and address potential risks and issues – clarify the ‘known unknowns’

·         Generate insights to support effective decision making

·         Facilitate emergency response and recover planning

·         Understand the longer-term legacy and implications of the pandemic for future service delivery


There were three themes to the survey:


1.    Public Health Service planning; feasibility of self-isolation, attitudes to social distancing, access to mass testing, vaccination roll out and take up

2.    Economic outlook; household sentiment, patterns of consumer demand (eg shopping, home working, access to public spaces, trave); changes to work, hours and earnings

3.    Living standards; personal health and wellbeing, household financial resilience


The design and the delivery of the survey was undertaken in partnership with NE Local Authorities, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), NHS North East Integrated Covid Hub, Community Covid Champions and Durham University.


The survey was undertaken between 8 and 28 March 2021.  The online survey was built on Gateshead Council’s online consultation portal and then circulated by individual local authorities.  Paper copy surveys were available on request.


Responses received were as follows:


·         All participating authorities             5514

·         County Durham                      -           728

·         Darlington                                -           381

·         Gateshead                              -           1867

·         Middlesbrough                        -           138

·         Newcastle upon Tyne             -           466

·         North Tyneside                       -           693

·         Redcar and Cleveland            -           283

·         South Tyneside                       -           345

·         Sunderland                             -           613



The Committee were advised that the outcomes was summarised as follows:-


·         Analysis of attitude to social distancing, testing, self isolation and vaccination shard with health partners to inform targeted public information and behavioural change campaigns and rollout of the vaccine programme

·         Evidence used to estimate the ongoing economic and fiscal impact of the pandemic and resultant revenue/financial losses caused by a reduction in activity

·         Generated feedback for local, regional and national audiences on the effectiveness of government support measures (Furlough, Self-employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), Getting Building Fund (GBF), emergency grants (Local Restrictions Support Grant, Additional Restrictions Grant, Hospitality and Leisure Grants) and Welcome Back Funds)

·         Influenced Gateshead’s Local Economic Development Strategy

·         Informing our approach to securing future investment in the borough

·         Lessons learned will underpin future resilience planning


The survey contributed to a robust, reliable and statistically relevant evidence base to inform system-wide policy development, service planning, lobbying, and influencing to protect lives and livelihoods.  Results were used to encourage public compliance with lockdown and social distancing measures, maximise the efficacy of mass vaccination, and support economic recovery planning.


The outcomes of the survey allowed for:


·         Analysis of attitudes to social distancing, testing, self isolation and vaccination shared with health partners to inform targeted public information and behavioural change campaigns and rollout of the vaccine programme

·         Evidence to be used  ...  view the full minutes text for item F48


Annual Work Programme 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 149 KB

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

Additional documents:


The Committee received the Annual Work Programme report which highlighted the work of the Committee over the previous municipal year 2021/22.  The report shows the proposed work programme for the 2022/23 municipal year and the Committee were advised that partners and other stakeholders had been consulted on the work programmes for all of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees.  Some proposals have been made, however, none of them were for the Families OSC work programme.


RESOLVED -               (i)       that the information contained within the annual review be noted.

                                      (ii)      That the work programme for 2022/23 be endorsed and referred to Council on 21 July 2022 for agreement, subject to it being noted that the item on dentistry be brought forward to as early in the programme as possible.  That a further update be brought from the Tongue-tie team and that the Tongue-tie item be referred to the Care Health and Wellbeing OSC.

                                      (iii)      that it be noted that further reports be brought to the Committee to identify any additional issues which the Committee may be asked to consider.