Considered – Daniel Harry, Democratic Services and Scrutiny Manager, North Yorkshire County Council, introduced this item providing Members with a summary of how overview and scrutiny is undertaken at the Council and the role Members have within that. The responsibilities and powers of the Committee were also identified.
Key points to note were
· This is a new Committee and encourages Member and Officer participation.
· The Committee acts as a check and balance, in order to explore and challenge.
· Joint working with external partners works well and is encouraged.
· Work programme and mid cycle briefings are invaluable in maintaining focus on the areas to prioritise.
· There were a number of major hospitals in the area.
· The future of the NHS and the changes to service delivery, Committee to respond and contribute.
Some of the key areas of the work of the Committee over the past 5 years were identified including:
· Mental health services: the move from in-patient provision to more specialist, enhanced community services
· Re-development of Whitby and Scarborough Hospitals, ageing infrastructure and options considered for smaller ‘cottage’ hospitals
· Hyper acute stroke provision of the populations of Harrogate and Scarborough and the adoption of a new treatment pathway in line with nationally recognised best practice
· Workforce shortages and how this is a factor in shaping the development of local NHS services in the county
· Access to NHS dentistry
· Strategic changes to NHS commissioning and delivery from the emergence of the Sustainability and Transformational Partnerships model through to the Integrated Care Systems
· Collaborative work the Area Constituency Committees.
Themes for the next 5 years of the Committee were also suggested, in particular:
· Changes to NHS structures, the creation of the Integrated Care Systems, Partnerships and Boards
· Changes to primary care and the possible emergence of a more integrated models of delivery
· Greater collaboration between hospitals over the provision of services and sharing key staff
· Workforce shortages, particularly rural and coastal, across a range of different specialisms and how this force changes to services
· The long term impact of the pandemic on changing how services are accessed and delivered, including the greater of use of technology
· Ageing population, the provision of services to frail and elderly people
· Finance pressures with the local NHS system
· Mental health services, access, range of services and CQC inspections
· Autism services, young people and adults.
Councillor Andy Solloway suggested that future Scrutiny Committees could be on line or in a hybrid format which would continue to save time and money in travel and accessibility.
It was agreed that attendance via remote methods had proven to be good, but reiterated that in order to vote Members must be physically present, however there was ongoing discussions looking at options to utilise facilities in divisional offices.
Councillor Liz Colling endorsed the views of Councillor Solloway agreeing that the expertise from external guest speakers was invaluable and the hybrid model would be advantageous to continuing this.
Councillor Peter Lacey asked what the scope of the scrutiny committee was in terms of areas they are able to scrutinise.
It was confirmed that any NHS service is able to be scrutinised and there would be situations where working together with other Committees for example Care and Independence would be advantageous.
District Councillor Pat Middlemiss asked where dental issues would be identified as this was an issue in her ward.
It was confirmed that this was part of the work programme and would be picked up in that agenda item.
The Chairman confirmed that he was happy to be guided by Members on their thoughts on the way forward for future meetings but was keen that the initial meeting should be held in person.
Councillors Sam Gibbs, Rich Maw and Peter Lacey all suggested that virtual meetings were most beneficial but meetings where decisions were to be made could be in person but continue online if no decisions were required or if the weather was particularly bad, allowing flexibility.
Councillor Paraskos suggested a small investment in order to allow remote or hybrid meetings would be worthwhile.
Councillor Arnold Warneken reiterated the benefit of a reduced carbon footprint utilising remote means and this should be taken into consideration when decisions were made.
Resolved – That points of view of the Committee should be fed back to the Chair/Vice Chair and the clerk would investigate the options going forward in line with the balance of decisions made on the future of Committee meetings.