Agenda and minutes

Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Board - Monday 23rd November 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Online via YouTube -

Contact: Joe Suffield  Democratic Services

No. Item




No apologies were received.


Declaration of Interests

To receive declarations of interest from Members.


There were no declarations of interest.


Questions and Deputations

To answer any questions, if any asked by any resident of the Borough pursuant to Standing Orders.


Councillor Tim Hodgson made a deputation in relation to the Specialist Psychotherapies Service, and the resumption of face to face appointments. Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) provided a response which explained that the service had to change to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact with patients continued throughout the crisis albeit virtually or in an alternative fashion. Steps were in place to increase the number of face to face appointments in a COVID-19 secure environment.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 277 KB

To receive the minutes of the previous meeting held on 28th September 2020.


The minutes of the meeting held on 28th September 2020 were presented for approval.



The minutes arising from the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Board meeting held on 28th September 2020 were agreed as a correct record.


Update on Mental Health Services within Solihull pdf icon PDF 2 MB

For Scrutiny to understand the key developments in Mental Health Services for Solihull residents, with a particular focus on the impacts of COVID-19, and responses.


The Director of Joint Commissioning, NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (BSol CCG) introduced the item and provided an update on the Solihull mental health system update. The following points were raised:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on people’s mental health had a big impact, for example on service users, through the economic impact and those who suffered from long COVID.
  • Initially, there had been reduced levels of admissions presented from March to May, however there was now a rise in demand and people presented with more complex problems.
  • As a result, there had been a rapid transition to new ways of working such as a digital infrastructure to access care and to provide care in a COVID-19 secure environment. Throughout the system, they worked together to support service users and residents. This included with a 24/7 helpline number and a communications exercise to encourage residents to get support early.
  • There was a significant impact on people who suffered bereavement during the crisis, which led to enhanced pathways for bereavement support.
  • A Solihull Mental Health pod had been set up as a forum to have key stakeholders discuss shared priorities and concerns, to address concerns and encourage good practice and collaboration.


The Medical Director, BSMHFT, provided information on the support available to the collective workforce. The People Board of BSol Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) received £2mill of funding to create a Health and Wellbeing Hub for staff and £500,000 for a mental health hub. This would cover both health and social care staff, and recognised the disproportionate impact on BAME staff.


The Director of Operations for BSMHFT delivered further details on the delivery of services during the COVID-19 crisis:

  • It was highlighted that no services stopped during the crisis and services were open to referrals throughout. There had been an increased digital offer to service users and staff to enable continued engagement during the lockdown period.
  • In Solar services, when there was a dip in referrals to the service, which led to closer links with schools to ensure there was continued engagement.
  • The early intervention service for early onset psychosis had remained constant throughout the COVID-19, with continued contact both face to face and virtually.
  • Increased demand in service users for SIAS services had been expected, and there had been changes to the way support was provided to respond to the challenges posed. Feedback from service users helped to inform how the changes were introduced or modified.
  • The Community Mental Health Teams had to operate primarily a digital mode of operation, and reduce the footfall through the hubs as part of infection control.
  • The Acute and Urgent Care inpatients had enhanced home treatments during the COVID-19 crisis to encourage individuals to stay in their homes. The Psychiatric Liaison Service had services at Good Hope Hospital, Heartlands Hospital and Solihull Hospital. There would be mental health hubs at both Good Hope Hospital and Heartlands Hospital for the winter period to better support mental health service users.


Members made the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Digital and Technology Use in Social Care pdf icon PDF 175 KB

To inform Scrutiny Board of the progress with the digital programme, and use of digital solutions and technology within the Adult Care and Support Directorate.


The Assistant Director for Adult Care and Support introduced the item and explained that the Digital Strategy involved the use of digital to help people understand social care, improved contact with the Council and better supported in their own home. There was a recognition that digital contact would not always be appropriate and other methods of engagement remained available. COVID-19 helped to accelerate this agenda, as it forced staff to operate differently.


The Digital Programme Manager outlined a number of key highlights from the report:

  • A Shared Care record was in the process of being created which would enable information on people who used the services to successfully and securely be shared between health organisations and the Council. This should be in place by the next financial year.
  • The Council webpages for Adult Care and Support have been updated, and this will continue with the development of the new corporate website.
  • Portals were being developed, which included online forms which enable individuals to complete forms required by the Adult Care and Support. This would also include links to information and advice within the website, and linked to Liquid Logic. There had been substantial work undertaken to ensure these would be accessible for individuals. There was work undertaken to identify how providers would be able to use portals as well, to share key information and upload invoices.
  • Steps have been taken to improve customer service, which has included the procurement of an online booking service, which would give residents more choice when they make an initial assessment. It had a triage system which ensure the correct people were still prioritised.
  • There had been more technology introduce to the smaller sites and day centres to prevent errors and ensure information was available in real time.
  • Commissioners had also used information from national data collections to see wider trends with providers. They also worked with Birmingham to ensure there was information online for roles available within the care sector.
  • A lot of work had taken place as a result of COVID-19 to ensure that staff were able to operate remotely, and still remained engaged with their team. Training was available online. In the future, they would look to introduce an online care management system and a virtual adult care and support conference.


Members raised the following comments and questions:

  • A Member asked whether it would be possible to get tablets available in care homes permanently for residents. The Assistant Director explained that there were some tablets available to care homes as a result of NHS X. Once these had been provided, the Council would assess the effectiveness of this programme, and whether it should be used more widely.
  • A Member expressed concern of the negative impact on mental health for residents if technology was used as a substitute for day to day interactions. The Assistant Director highlighted that digital would be used to enhance the offer for residents, rather than replace a service.
  • A Member queried whether the data collected from the digital  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Board Work Plan pdf icon PDF 382 KB

To provide the latest update of the work plan for the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Board.


The Board were presented with the updated Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Board.


Councillor Dr Sexton requested that a Task and Finish Group would be set up to look at the issue of Primary Care services within the Borough. The Chairman recognised the importance of this problem and expressed that a Task and Finish Group would be difficult to organise at present.


The Members debated whether to create a Task and Finish Group which would consider Primary Care. Councillor Dr Sexton stated that this was an urgent problem that the Board was required to consider. It was proposed that instead the issue of Primary Care would be considered at a separate future meeting.



The Board noted the changes made to the Work Programme, and requested an additional meeting would be organised to consider Primary Care services during COVID.