Healthier Communities and Older People Overview and Scrutiny Panel 9 January 2020

Venue: Committee rooms C, D & E – Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden SM4 5DX


No. Item
1. Apologies for absence


There were no apologies for absence

2. Declarations of pecuniary interest


There were no declarations of pecuniary interests

3. Minutes of the previous meeting  PDF 47 KB


The Minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a true and accurate record

4. Improving Healthcare Together 2020 to 20

The Chief Accountable Officer for the South West London Alliance said the Committees in Common had agreed to proceed to public consultation on the re-configuration of acute services in South West London set out in the Improving Healthcare Together 2020-2030 (IHT).

The Improving Healthcare Together 2020-2030 (IHT) Programme Director gave an overview of the consultation plan for Merton stating that it will run for twelve weeks. It will remain under constant review and will include a wide range of activities, including listening events, focus groups and telephone surveys. The Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will  to do outreach activities. There will also be a mid-point review of the consultation.

Panel Members asked; what the budget will be for the consultation, further details on the mid-point review and if there will be an extension to the consultation should it be required. The IHT Programme Director said there is no fixed budget for the consultation as it is dependent upon the number of responses. The CCG’s are aiming to manage fixed costs within existing budgets.

The Chief Accountable Officer said the outcomes from the mid-point review depends on information received. The consultation falls well within good practice guidelines and will not be extended. The cost of the consultation will be available when it is completed.

Panel Members expressed concern about the location of consultation events and asked if there will be events in Wimbledon and why there is an event in Dundonald Ward which is an area where residents are less likely to be affected.

The IHT Programme Director said events will be held across a broad range of areas to represent the population. There will some events in Wimbledon and will consider if more need to be held as the consultation goes forward.

A Panel Member said she works closely with a local charity who are concerned about the proposals as residents will need to get two buses to get to the Sutton site . The Medical Director for Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals said if Sutton is chosen, people will only go there when acutely ill and need critical care. The majority of people will receive care at nearest hospital. The aim is to get care closer to home and minimise the time people need to spend in specialist community care hospital. The IHT Senior Programme Manager said they will run focus groups with older people in Merton.

A panel member asked what weighting is given to each of the components on decision making. The IHT Programme Director said no weighting will be given, they will go through a process to look at responses as well as evidence from finance and the integrated impact assessment.

Panel members expressed concern about travel times. The Chief Executive of Epsom and St Helier Hospital said most people who are unwell travel by ambulance, the average change in journey times is the same to all the proposed sites. The big variation is in public transport and we need to determine what improvements should be made.

A Panel member said the dedicated monies for this project was withdrawn in the past what is the guarantee that the finances will remain this time. The Chief Accountable Officer said she has received assurance from the Government that the funding is available.

A panel member sought clarification about how the interviews will be conducted and how the weighting will be assessed for different characteristics. The IHT Senior Programme Manager reported that YOUGOV will engage with those who do not traditionally attend focus groups.

A Panel member highlighted that the website should state that the Equality Impact Assessment is still in draft as work is on-going between Merton council and the CGG to ratify the data. The Chief Accountable Officer agreed to update the website to reflect this.

A Panel member expressed concern that in ‘meeting the health needs of local people’ in the consultation plan they merge older people and people from deprived communities when their health needs are very different.

The Chief Executive, Epsom and St Helier Hospital said CCG engagements had found service had a higher use by older people and those from deprived backgrounds. The big impact identified was travel time.

A Panel member asked if they measured the extent the quality of care would improve. It was reported that cancer care will improve as it is co-located at the Sutton site but everyone will benefit in all the models.


The chair wished NHS colleagues well with the consultation and asked panel members to encourage local residents to participate. He highlighted that Merton Council has been very clear that it wishes for all services to remain at the St Helier Hospital.

Supporting documents:

5. Merton Safeguarding Adults Annual Report  PDF 111 KB

Additional documents:


The Assistant Director for Adult Social Care gave an overview of the report stating that Care Act 2014 made safeguarding a statutory function of the council. The Assistant Director also highlighted the importance of protecting vulnerable adults in the community from harm. The key highlights from the annual report was that safeguarding concerns raised by the council in 2017/18 were slightly lower in comparison to the previous years. The conversion rate from safeguarding concerns to section 42 enquiries had increased from the previous year but were still low when benchmarked with London. It was discussed that a new client database had been implemented in 2015/16 and this with the implementation of the Care Act in 2015 had caused issues with the recording of safeguarding on the customer database. It was found that there had been errors with how the data could be entered to the database which had resulted in the figures. It was reported that safeguarding processes were safe, which had been confirmed with audits on safeguarding cases.

Panel members expressed concern that as the data was recorded incorrectly,  it could have an impact on overall safeguarding figures. The Assistant Director of Adult Social Care reported that the most important thing was that vulnerable adults were safeguarded and the issue with the data related to a recording error only and that this has been resolved and will show in the 2019/20 returns to the Department of Health and Social Care.

The Director of Community and Housing clarified that  Safeguarding is complex as we are working with individuals who are going through crisis in their lives and working across different teams and agencies in Merton. The issue of the data relates to the client database and that the team are working with a system administrator and this issue has been rectified. The audit and deep dive into safeguarding cases helped to provide reassurance that residents are being safeguarded in Merton.

A panel member asked about the trends in safeguarding. The Assistant Director of Adult Social Care reported that it is neglect along with financial and physical abuse.

The Panel would like to see trends over a number of years in future safeguarding adult’s reports.

A panel member asked if there is a safeguarding issue if wider issues within the home are taken into consideration. The Director of Community and Housing said this is a complex process.  Staff look at concerns raised elsewhere, working in the statutory framework, if there is criminality the team work with police and Safer Merton. People also want to also be in control of what is happening.  If there is risk of serious harm the council will intervene immediately.


Officers were thanked for their report.

6. Work Programme  PDF 105 KB


The work programme was noted.

7. Older People’s Day Opportunities – Exempt Report


This is an open minute of an exempt agenda item.

The report advised members of a contract termination notice received from a third party provider. Panel members asked a number of questions and were satisfied that officers were taking the necessary steps to support those affected by the provider giving notice on the contract, and ensuring continuity of care and support.


Officers were thanked for their report.

8. Exempt Report: Older People’s Day Opportunities
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About Mark Gale

A Ravensbury resident fed up with mistakes being made at council meetings, my local Councillor preferring to complete a Sudoku Puzzle rather than listen to comments made at a scrutiny meeting, not having an accurate record of council meetings. Merton Council needs transparency to expose the childish behaviour, and blind party loyalty from our elected members. I have setup this website and will do my best to make as many council meetings accessible for ALL. With the help from other committed residents of our borough, we can keep a close eye on Merton.
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