Agenda and minutes

Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 10th June, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Lewes. View directions

Contact: Harvey Winder  01273 481796


No. Item


Minutes of the meeting held on 4 March 2021 pdf icon PDF 274 KB

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1.1.        The minutes of the meeting held on 4th March were agreed as a correct record subject to the addition of the proposed changes circulated to the Committee ahead of the meeting.



Apologies for absence

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2.1.        Apologies for absence



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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3.1.        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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4.1.        There were no urgent items



Redesigning Inpatient Mental Health Services in East Sussex pdf icon PDF 641 KB

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5.1.        The Committee considered a report outlining the proposal to move the services provided at the Department of Psychiatry in Eastbourne to a new site within the next three years.

5.2.        The Committee asked whether the inpatient demand modelling to 2040 should be updated following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s mental health.

5.3.        Ashley Scarff, Deputy Executive Managing Director – East Sussex and Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), explained that the East Sussex CCG regularly runs capacity modelling to determine future demand for NHS services. The CCG will then commission services that can meet that demand. Paula Kirkland, Programme Director at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SPFT), said that the purpose of this first phase of inpatient mental health service redesign was to re-provide an existing core service with a new service that has like-for-like capacity over a short timeframe. There are potentially second and third phases to the project, she explained, that would involve further consolidation of services on to whichever site the Department of Psychiatry is relocated to. When undertaking these future phases, the CCG would take into account any projected future demand for the services and potentially adjust the plans accordingly. 

5.4.        The Committee asked whether the public consultation will focus solely on the relocation of the Department of Psychiatry, or whether it will seek views on the second and third phases of the inpatient mental health redesign.

5.5.        Paula Kirkland said that the CCG and Trust undertook an options appraisal  of sites and service models before concluding that the preferred model would be  a single site Centre of Excellence that could have the potential to eventually include all inpatient services; and the only viable locations for this were at Bexhill or Hailsham. These sites also have the benefit of ensuring sufficient space for the current proposed relocation in a modern environment with good outdoor space.  Funding has been allocated under the National Programme to Eradicate Dormitories in Mental Health hospitals. This funding is aimed at addressing dormitories and therefore an opportunity to  address the needs of the Department of Psychiatry, as phase 1, on a like for like basis in terms of bed numbers.   Nevertheless, both sites have been chosen because they could provide a footprint that allows for future proofing with regard to expansion. The consultation focuses on phase 1 but will gather people’s views on the wider vision of a single centre of excellence. Paula Kirkland added that although a centre of excellence is the current overall vision for inpatient mental health services, any subsequent phases of  reconfiguration would  go through the same process as the first phase. This will involve demand modelling and engagement with stakeholders, providers and commissioners to check that it is still the correct vision for inpatient mental health services in East Sussex.

5.6.        The Committee asked whether the new site’s location may affect travel times for patients, particularly those in areas of high deprivation.

5.7.        Ashley Scarff said that deprivation is fundamental to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


NHS Response to Covid-19 in East Sussex pdf icon PDF 27 KB

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6.1.        The Committee considered a report on the NHS response to Covid-19 in East Sussex and the ongoing impact on NHS services for East Sussex residents.

6.2.        The Committee suggested avoiding using the Astra Zeneca vaccine at pop up sites due to the reluctance of some to use that particular vaccine.

6.3.        Darrell Gale, Director of Public Health, said the vaccination programme aims to respond to intelligence and insight to ensure pop up sites are as effective as possible. He said he would feed back this suggestion to the Vaccine Board to see whether it is possible to increase the mix of vaccines available. He added that some of the information on the storage and use of the Pfizer vaccine is being revised to make it easier to use and more viable for use outside of hospitals. The Director of Public Health argued it was important to see vaccine hesitancy as people wanting questions to be answered and not as a refusal to be vaccinated.

6.4.        The Committee asked whether children suffering from asthma are being told to go home to test if they come to school with an asthmatic cough.

6.5.        Darrell Gale said that schools were aware of the risk of the Delta variant of COVID-19 but were also keen to ensure children remain in education. The Public Health Team is working with Test and Trace colleagues to determine what the best use of testing technology is to ensure that children with apparent symptoms can get back into education as quickly as possible. Any solution will be co-developed with school leaders, as they know pupils very well and the Public Health Team has developed a pragmatic working relationship with them over the past 16 months of the pandemic.

6.6.        The Committee asked what is being done to vaccinate the homeless and rough sleepers.

6.7.        Darrell Gale said his Team is working closely with the Rough Sleepers Initiative; homeless officers in the five district and borough councils; and voluntary organisations to vaccinate the homeless and rough sleeper population, for example, vaccinating them as part of a suite of support alongside the hotel accommodation provided to them as part of the ‘Everyone In’ initiative. This is a continual process, however, as the cohort is a constantly changing population, with people going in and out of the county, especially the Eastbourne and Hastings. This also makes it challenging to track down those needing a second dose.

6.8.        The Committee asked where the three mental health support teams established in schools were located and where iRock is located.

6.9.        Jonathan Beder, Transformation Director, Operational Services at SPFT, explained that the iRock is a nationally recognised drop in model for young people that has been running for some time in Hastings and also now has sites in Eastbourne and Newhaven. There are now three Mental Health Support Teams in Schools and a fourth team is being established. This will increase coverage across East Sussex from 30% to just under 40% of pupils  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


HOSC future work programme pdf icon PDF 363 KB

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7.1.        The HOSC considered its work programme.

7.2.        The Committee RESOLVED to

1) agree its work programme; and

2) appoint Cllr Robinson to the joint HOSC working group