Venue: Council Chamber - Observatory House, 25 Windsor Road, SL1 2EL
Contact: Manize Talukdar 07871 982 919
Declarations of Interest
All Members who believe they have a Disclosable Pecuniary or other Interest in any matter to be considered at the meeting must declare that interest and, having regard to the circumstances described in Section 9 and Appendix B of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct, leave the meeting while the matter is discussed.
No declarations were made.
Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting held on 18 October 2022 be approved as a correct record.
The SBC Executive Director of Children provided a brief overview of the report.
The representative from the Police stated that the outcomes for children detailed in the report linked well with the four priorities of the Safer Slough Partnership.
It was reported that there was emerging evidence of vaping among young children and this phenomenon had to be looked into as a priority. Staff were being trained to deal with this issue and there was also a need to educate parents of the harm of vaping. The Council would need to take a multi-agency approach and work with families to first identify the scale of the problem.
Following a question about the plans for targeted early help for children and young people, the SBC Executive Director stated that his team had been focussing on developing a business plan for SCF (Slough Children First). He agreed that the voice of children and young people needed to be better represented across the service. The SEND service continued to work to improve outcomes for children and young people, but that this needed to be based more on partnership working.
The SBC Safeguarding Partnership Manager stated that young people were regularly consulted on a range of topics and it was important to ensure that the results of those consultations were shared with them.
The representative from the public health team emphasised the importance of identifying and plugging any gaps in current provision.
The SBC Executive Director of Children stated that discussions were ongoing to further develop early help for children and young people and improve signposting to these services.
Resolved – That the report be noted.
The SBC Public Health Program Manager provided a brief overview of the report, Priority Four: Workplace Health Task and Finish Group.
A Member shared that the Health and Safety Executive figures showed that 1.8M working people suffered from work related stress, a million of whom said they experienced depression and anxiety, and the second largest group said they suffered from musculo-skeletal disorders. She added that it was important to take a strategic approach to the issue of workplace health, by engaging in dialogue with all the major employers in Slough.
Following a question, the SBC Public Health Programme Manager stated that national data from primary care colleagues had been provided in a report submitted at the May 2022 meeting of the Board. She added that the current report set out those actions which had been agreed and delivered. Mental health struggles were also a reason for workplace absences. However, this was difficult to quantify as there were some barriers to sharing this data by employers. This information could be sought from local GP practices, however, it would require identifying which of their patients suffering from mental health problems actually worked in Slough.
Following a question, she advised that some funding was available through the public health grant. Her team were working with the human resources team to ensure all was in place by March 2023. She added that there were opportunities to offer wider support and health checks for those living in Berkshire and for Frimley Healthcare employees working in Slough.
Following a question regarding how these employees would be supported to achieve health outcomes, she provided examples of initiatives such as menopause support and smoke free hospitals. She added that the Strategy Group formulated the strategy, guidance and a suite of toolkits which employers could pick and choose from.
The SBC Director of Adults stated that it was important for managers and HR colleagues to be receptive to feedback from employees about heavy workloads and capacity issues.
Following a question, the SBC Public Health Program Manager advised that currently there was no regional network regarding workplace health. Although there were networks within East Berkshire, each of these had slightly different strategies.
An further update report would be provided at the March meeting of the Board.
Resolved – The report be noted.
The SBC Associate Director of Adult Social Care Operations provided key highlights of the reports Update on Adult Social Care Reform and the Adult Social Care Transformation Programme and Savings Plan.
Following a question, he advised that the co-ordinated groups of authorities working together ahead of their OFSTED inspection met regularly to discuss how best to demonstrate evidence against the thirty-four quality statements set out by OFSTED. Slough had been with matched with Wokingham and East Berkshire in this endeavour. There was also potential to join up with Children’s Services to share learning from recent inspections. He added that the head of the CQC had indicated no authority had yet been inspected under the new regime.
Following a question, he advised that the Shared Life Scheme was a service offer, whereby an individual, who after undergoing training and a DBS check, could apply to provide accommodation (in their home) and support for a vulnerable adult, in exchange for payment. The scheme acted as a stepping stone to independent living for that person.
Resolved – The reports be noted.
Safeguarding Partnership Annual Report: Substance Misuse
The SBC Safeguarding Partnership Manager and the Independent Scrutineer for the Adult and Children’s Safeguarding Partnerships provided an overview of the report Safeguarding Partnership Annual Report: Substance Misuse.
The Safeguarding Partnership Manager emphasised that substance misuse, its impact on families, crime and health was a recurrent issue in her work. She provided examples of how some residents lives had been affected, in some cases fatally, by substance misuse. She added that substance misuse often masked mental health struggles. She asked what the role of the wellbeing board was in helping to tackle this issue.
The representative from the Thames Valley Police advised that substance misuse lead to crimes such as exploitation of people, drug use and drug sale, and sexual exploitation. His team were engaged in tackling drug dealing hot spots in the town. He stated that tackling substance misuse was one of the four priority areas for the Safer Slough Partnership (SSP). He added that the cost of living crisis also impacted significantly on domestic abuse, substance and alcohol misuse.
The SBC Public Health Programme Manager stated that it was important to tackle the root causes of substance misuse, and invest in the ‘strengthening families’ programme and other preventive initiatives. All partners needed to come together at the SSP. She added that the National Drug Strategy focussed on prevention and treatment and its work linked in with schools, to provide safe spaces for young people to share their problems. Domestic violence data showed that this phenomenon was closely linked to substance and alcohol misuse.
The Chair stated that Slough ranked one of the highest levels of opiate and crack cocaine use in the South East. A wider debate was necessary to tackle this issue and it would require a whole council approach and getting buy in from the community.
Board members agreed that tackling this problem would require:
· A zero tolerance approach
· A multi-agency partnership approach
· Encouraging behaviour change, which would require a comms plan, engagement with the community and building capacity in teams
· Further exploration of the link between poor housing and mental health issues
· Some funding sources were already in place and additional funding would need to be identified
· looking into patient pathways and for those supporting patients
· identifying those at risk and early intervention and education programmes
· the use of trauma informed practice across the partnership
· designating substance misuse an all-partnership and a Slough Council priority
· Focussing on deliverable actions
Following further discussion, the following actions were agreed:
Action 1: The SBC Chief Executive to raise the matter of designating tackling substance misuse a Slough-wide priority at the Senior Leadership Group.
Action 2: the SBC Director of Children’s Services to request the regional Director of Children to write to all schools regarding the matter.
Action 3: An update report to be provided to a future meeting of the Board.
Action 4: The matter to be further discussed at the next informal session of the Board.
Resolved – That the report be noted.
Update - National & Local Policy
The SBC Policy Insight Officer presented the report, Update, National and Local Policy. He did slide presentation which covered key information from the government’s autumn statement, recent developments in government policy and information from the release of additional census data sets. The slide presentation would be published after the meeting.
Resolved – That the update presentation be noted.
ICS & Place Update
A representative from Frimley Health provided the following information:
· The ICS partnership strategy refresh was underway
· The ICS partners assembly had its second meeting recently to discuss key issues
· Uptake rates for vaccinations remained worryingly low
· The Cancer Alliance was providing support to Slough and lung cancer health checks were being rolled out, however, getting residents to engage with this remained a challenge
Resolved – That the verbal update be noted.
Forward Work Programme
The Policy Insight Officer stated that some agenda items had been deferred to later in 2023.
Resolved – That the amended work programme be noted.
Date of Next Meeting
18 January 2023.
18 January 2023.