Ø Chance for all partners to raise current issues and activities as well as updates from the Partnership Boards and networks
The Steering Group was advised that there have been a number of changes to Cabinet and officer changes. Jane Robinson has left the Council to take a new position at Durham University. Mike Barker is currently Acting Chief Executive, Sheila Lock has been appointed as Interim Strategic Director of Care, Wellbeing and Learning and Alice Wiseman has been appointed as Director of Public Health. An email will be sent to the Steering Group to advise of the changes within the Council.
The position of Chief Executive has been advertised nationally.
The North East Combined Authority (NECA) is meeting now in relation to devolution governance for consultation and partners will be updated as soon as possible.
Work is ongoing on the Council’s budget to develop options and public consultation will be held from November.
It was reported that Ofsted gave a good rating for Children’s Services. At the recent LGC awards 2016, the Council was highly commended as Council of the last 20 years which focussed heavily on its partnership work.
It was reported that most organisations have been CQC inspected with all achieving good or outstanding. Work is ongoing on Sustainability and Transformation Plans, the footprint of the STP now includes North Durham. It was acknowledged that the financial picture is very challenging.
Older Peoples Assembly
The OPA has moved to a new central hub in Deckham. The OPA is struggling to attract those hard to reach older people, so a café has been set up with work ongoing around malnutrition and cooking on a budget. The Wellness Hub has been integrated with primary care navigators, and work is ongoing with primary care providers to ensure the OPA is integrated and there are no service gaps for older people. Funding has also been secured for a community garden.
An arts project, We Stand Together, has been developed on hate crime, working with pupils at Heworth Grange School and Joseph Swan Academy to raise awareness on hate crime and reporting such crimes. The project has been funded by the Gateshead Housing Company and the Council’s Safer Communities Team and has gone on to win a number of national awards.
GemArts has worked with young travellers from three different primary schools to improve attainment. 12 young people achieved a recognised Arts award.
GemArts was successful in its consortium application to the Arts Council England for funding of £140,000 over three years to develop successful and sustainable fundraising. The consortium is made up of GemArts, Equal Arts and The Lawnmowers, which are leading arts charities who champion diversity, equality and opportunity. In addition GemArts and its Director won the North East regions Arts and Culture Award at the annual ABConnexions Award Ceremony.
It was reported that funding has been received through Gateshead CCG Isolation Fund to deliver creative arts interventions with communities, to engage with women, young and old people and intergenerational to tackle isolation and improve physical, social and mental wellbeing. It was noted that the GemArts Masala Festival took place in July with a focus on South Asian LGBT lives.
A review is underway into adult services within Care Wellbeing and Learning and a new model is starting to be embedded. The new integrated commissioning unit brings together adult and children services and eventually Public Health will also come under the unit. Public Health (PH) is currently working across the NECA footprint to look at health and inequality. A re-design of Live Well Gateshead is underway, this is the first phase of the design. Comprehensive work is ongoing around the strategic needs assessment. The Health and Wellbeing Board tasked PH to look at homelessness and a report will be presented to the HWB in November. Also looking at the 0-19 services and how this may be run differently in the future with a focus on early intervention rather than high and costly intervention.
Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Service
TWFRS is currently undergoing a restructure, targeted response vehicles have been introduced since September 2015 and have dealt with 415 incidents up until the end of June 2016. It was noted that incidents have fallen and this is a more cost efficient way of responding.
It was reported that Northumbria Police is the worst hit force in terms of budget cuts, having to save £100M, however the force is the highest performing in comparison to statistical neighbouring local authorities. It was also noted that Northumbria is second in the UK in regards to the public’s perception of staying safe, Durham is first on the list.
Gateshead is the first nationally to pilot a Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). The MASH is government funded to look at the most vulnerable residents to ensure they don’t become victims, referrals are made from the multi-agency team and are fast tracked. It has recently been highlighted as national best practice.
It was questioned if financial abuse was included. Financial abuse would fit the criteria but a referral would need to be made.
A review of the Community Safety Board is taking place.
Gateshead Health NHS Trust
GHNT has been CQC inspected and achieved good with outstanding features, it was noted that this was a very good result, particularly at a time of financial challenge. It was reported that A&E performance is bucking the trend and is the best in the area. Close work is ongoing with Newcastle about how best to deliver services and the Gateshead Care Partnership will be live in October.
Work is ongoing to map need in Gateshead. A new Music Director has been appointed and a bid has been submitted for the Great Exhibition of the North 2018. A Development Board has been established with seven new members.
Citizens Advice Gateshead
Work is ongoing to overhaul how the organisation deliver volunteering advice. Therefore the advice framework will be developed to ensure more targeted advice. Previously there had been 20 outreach venues in Gateshead, however now there is only one, so a trailer will be commissioned to go across Gateshead to offer advice to members of the public.