Agenda and minutes

Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 10th December, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: CC2, County Hall, Lewes. View directions

Contact: Harvey Winder  01273 481796


No. Item


Minutes of the meeting held on 10th September 2020 pdf icon PDF 173 KB

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31.1     The minutes of the meeting held on 10th September 2020 were agreed as a correct record.



Apologies for absence

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32.1     Apologies for absence were received from Geraldine Des Moulins and Jennifer Twist.

32.2     The Committee welcomed Cllr Richard Hallett as a new Member of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC).



Disclosures of interests

Disclosures by all members present of personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the member regards the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.

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33.1     There were no disclosures of interest.


Urgent items

Notification of items which the Chair considers to be urgent and proposes to take at the appropriate part of the agenda. Any members who wish to raise urgent items are asked, wherever possible, to notify the Chair before the start of the meeting. In so doing, they must state the special circumstances which they consider justify the matter being considered urgent.


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34.1     There were no urgent items.


Eastbourne Station Health Centre pdf icon PDF 464 KB

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35.1.      The Committee considered a report asking for a decision as to whether the NHS decision on the future of the Eastbourne Station Health Centre is in the best interest of the health service in East Sussex.

35.2.      The Committee asked for confirmation that all alternative services would be in place before the Eastbourne Station Health Centre is closed.

35.3.      Jessica Britton, Executive Managing Director, East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), confirmed that would be the case. She said that many of the new services are already in place, such as the new NHS 111 service, however, the registered list of patients at the Eastbourne Station Health Centre would not be moved until the Victoria Medical Centre branch surgery was open in the town centre. This change would also not happen until the newly commissioned service for the homeless and rough sleeper population was up and running. In addition, once the GP list is moved, there will be a transitional period where a walk-in service is retained at the site whilst people are getting used to the new arrangements.

35.4.      The Committee asked what the potential timelines would be for implementing the decision.

35.5.      Jessica Britton said that the potential timeline would be as follows:

·         the drop-in service for rough sleepers and homeless would be in place by April 2021;

·         the GP registered list would be moved to the town centre branch surgery from June 2021; and

·         the walk-in centre would remain for three months after the GP list has been transferred.

35.6.      If any of the dates were to change, the other dates would move consequentially, i.e., they would also change.

35.7.      The Committee asked whether the CCG was correct to take the decision despite the overwhelming response from the public consultation against the closure of the Eastbourne Station Health Centre.

35.8.      Jessica Britton said that the public consultation was a really useful tool for hearing the concerns of people in the local community. The CCG made every effort to communicate as widely as possible and hear from as many residents as possible, however, the majority of people who respond to consultations tend to have a particular view on what they think is best for the local population. A major purpose of a consultation, therefore, is to identify the key concerns of local people and look to address these in the final business case.

35.9.      Tom Gurney, Executive Director of Communications, Sussex Health and Care Partnership, assured the Committee that the CCG made considerable efforts to consult with those groups identified in the Equalities and Health Impact Assessment (EHIA) as being affected by the proposals. This included reaching out through the community and voluntary sector, for example, the consultation was promoted by the Eastbourne Food Bank, which led to a spike in responses.  He said that the response rate during the final six weeks of the consultation (the period after lockdown) was the same as the first eight weeks before lockdown, which shows that a comparable number of people  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.


NHS Response to Covid-19 in East Sussex pdf icon PDF 196 KB

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36.1.      The Committee considered a report providing an update on the NHS response to Covid-19 in East Sussex.

36.2.      The Committee asked why there has been a sudden increase in the rate of Covid-19 infections in the Hastings and Rother area.

36.3.      Darrell Gale, Director of Public Health, said that the Public Health Team had seen the rate of infection beginning to increase in Hastings and Rother prior to the start of the November lockdown. The rate slowed after two weeks of lockdown but figures from the 30th November, just prior to the lifting of the lockdown, showed a high rate of increase that continued to rise throughout the week. Due to the timing of this increase, the infections must have taken place prior to lockdown being eased.

36.4.      Having investigated the cause, the Public Health Team found that 50% of cases in Hastings and Rother were random and likely caused within households, rather than originating from a specific location or event. The other 50% were traced to care homes, hospitals, and schools, however, the infections in these places were originating from households and just being identified in these locations through testing of staff. Darrell Gale explained that care home staff are regularly tested and can be isolated very quickly before transmitting the virus to residents, who have been less affected than staff.

36.5.      The Director of Public Health added that the Public Health team has  issued communications to the residents in Hastings and Rother in response to the outbreak telling them that they now have a high transmission rate that is increasing and that they need to stop any behaviours that they were doing when they thought they were in an area with a low number of infections. He said that this included not doing things that are permitted in Tier 2 unless you have to; avoid or leave any areas that are too crowded; and that the easing of restrictions over Christmas should be treated with extreme caution and not be seen as an instruction to meet with lots of people or travel across the country. He added that Tier 2 only leads to a levelling of infection rates and that the rate over Christmas will undoubtedly increase infection rates. The Director of Public Health warned that if people nationally wish to avoid a further lockdown in the new year, they should consider whether it is necessary to meet during Christmas.

36.6.      The Committee asked for an update on how East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) was coping with the increased rate of infections.

36.7.      Joe Chadwick-Bell, Chief Executive of ESHT, said the Trust has seen a sharp rise of cases, particularly in the last week. The Trust now has 61 positive cases as of 9th December – 16 in Eastbourne District General Hospital (EDGH) with 2 in the Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU); 36 cases in Conquest Hospital with 4 in the ITU; and 8 cases in community beds. Some of these are new admissions and some are  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.


HOSC future work programme pdf icon PDF 386 KB

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37.1     The Committee considered the work programme.

37.2     The Committee RESOLVED to agree the work programme subject to the addition of the following items:

1) a report on Primary Care Networks (PCNs); and

2) a report on the progress of the Eastbourne Station Health Centre closure for September 2021.