Agenda and draft minutes

Slough Health & Wellbeing Board - Tuesday, 18th June, 2024 3.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Observatory House, 25 Windsor Road, SL1 2EL

Contact: Manize Talukdar  07871 982 919


No. Item


Appointment of Chair & Vice Chair


Councillor Smith was appointed Chair of the Board for the Municipal Year 2024-25.


Dr Jim O’Donnell was appointed Vice-Chair for the Municipal Year 2024-25.



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.


Minutes of the last meeting held on 12 March 2024 pdf icon PDF 91 KB


Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting held on 12 March 2024 be approved as a correct record subject to the following amendment:


Under list of people ‘Present’ – delete Superintendent Lee Barnham and replace with  Superintendent Helen Kenny.


Additional Investment in Smoking Cessation Delivery Plans

Additional documents:



The Public Health Lead (Adults) Officer introduced the report. The report set out the Council’s rationale and plan for utilising a new Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) Tobacco Control Grant of £211,394 per annum to significantly enhance Slough’s local stop smoking services.  The funding would target high-risk groups, expand service capacity and drive demand for quitting smoking. The DHSC Grant was for five years, starting from April 2024. 


The Public Health Lead (Adults) Officer advised that the success of the Grant would be monitored carefully working with existing Council data.


An options appraisal had been conducted and presented internally and across East Berkshire Public Health leadership meeting.  The report set out the options considered with the advantages and disadvantages of each option. The recommended approach was option 3 – utilise Grant Funding for a split approach, balancing investing in current provision and exploring new pathways for smoking cessation service provision.  The additional resources from the Grant would help enhance existing services and target resources towards high-risk groups identified in the health needs assessment.


It was noted that the additional DHSC Grant came with specific conditions set by the DHSC. The proposed financial breakdown of the grant allocation for year 1 was outlined in Appendix 2 of the report and fully aligned with these conditions. To effectively the manage the Grant and ensure successful implementation of the various initiatives over the next five years a dedicated public health officer position would be established. 


A number of points were raised in the ensuing discussion which included: 


·  The statistics showed that Slough residents had above average respiratory problems, which was likely to be smoking-related, and which needed to be tackled.

·  The lack of progress in reducing the number of smokers could be partly due to clinicians not asking patients if they smoke/vape as part of a routine consultation. From a GP perspective, there was a noticeable absence of any record of the question being asked and the patient’s response in their notes. 

·  Re-engaging with clinicians at the start of the Grant Funding, reminding them of the importance of having a discussion with their patients as to whether they smoke/vape, the associated health risks etc, would help send out the right message.

·  The data showed that the number of pregnant women who smoked had reduced by around a half in the last six years from around 10.9% to 5.6%. However, the figure was still high. Health professionals needed to refresh the message about the risks of smoking/vaping when carrying out health checks on pregnant women.

·  Tailoring outreach strategies and raising awareness in targeted communities was being explored.

·  It would be helpful to explore ways of raising awareness in targeted areas of the community so as to support more individuals in their attempts to stop smoking.

·  Recognition of the importance of partnership with voluntary and community organisations in the delivery of aspects of the proposed plans, including education and campaign activities.


The Board welcomed the plan for utilising the Tobacco Control Grant in tackling smoking-related disparities in Slough. 


Action – The Executive Director of Public Health and Public Protection to send a letter at the start of the programme to GPs/Health professionals, advising them of the initiative and asking them to have conversations with their patients regarding smoking/vaping and the risks associated.  A list of proposed questions could be circulated to GPs/Health professionals at the same time.




1.  That the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) Tobacco Control of £211,394 per annum for the next five years be noted.


2.  That the proposed breakdown of the grant allocation for strengthening local stop smoking services and driving demand for quit smoking as set out in the report be noted.




Domestic Abuse Strategy pdf icon PDF 157 KB


The Board was provided with a report which set out the background to the Council’s Domestic Abuse Strategy (2023-2026), as required by the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 (the Act). The Board was invited to note and support the Strategy.


Regular oversight of the Strategy would be governed by Slough Domestic Abuse Partnership Board, which reports into the Safer Slough Partnership (SSP) Board. The Strategy and delivery plans focused on four key prevention priorities:


  • Priority 1 – changing attitude
  • Priority 2 – Early identification and intervention
  • Priority 3 – Safety and Support
  • Priority 4 – Work with abusers


By supporting the Strategy, the Board would be working alongside the Council’s Safer Slough Partnership, Youth Justice Board and Safeguarding Partnership Board. All key statutory partners aimed to reduce the incidences of domestic abuse, to include children, who witnessed domestic abuse.  The Act specified that children who witnessed domestic abuse were to be treated as victims.


The report set out the national context of domestic abuse as well as the local context. In Slough, the findings from the local needs assessment showed that there had been a rise in domestic incidents over the period 2019-2022, with an increase in the number of number of referrals to the Council’s local domestic abuse specialist over the last three years.


A detailed delivery plan was underway, led by Slough Domestic Abuse Partnership Board, which would be the governing body to monitor the implementation of the strategy.


Officers responded to questions and/or comments from Members of the Board.  Several points were raised in the ensuing discussion which included:


  • The level of under-reporting of domestic abuse was recognised; having the Strategy in place will help raise awareness.
  • The uniformity and strong partnership support across the Borough.
  • Were there wards in and around Slough where the rate of domestic abuse was above average and if so, was it possible to share this information with East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group so that they inter-act with GP Practices?
  • There needed to be greater support to victims of domestic abuse following the reporting of the matter. It could have distressing consequences for the victim as well as the victim’s/ offender’s families. 
  • Some victims of domestic abuse may feel reluctant to trust certain agencies which in turn creates difficulties.
  • It was important to continue to work with local community groups to support victims and help challenge notions that married women are expected to have sex with their husbands even if they do not want to do so. 
  • The work of the Safer Slough Partnership in response to domestic abuse and the commitment to training was applauded.
  • Routine enquiries were key to addressing domestic abuse – Wexham Park Hospital and Frimley Park carried out routine enquiries with patients (without their partners being present when the question was asked)
  • The adverse impact on children who have witnessed domestic abuse and the longer-term impact on them.


Officers advised that the Council carried out strategic assessments, which could be broken down by Wards, and could be shared with the local commissioning groups.


The Board thanked Officers for their hard work in producing the Strategy and applauded the work and the support of the Safer Slough Partnership.



1.  That the Domestic Abuse Strategy be noted and supported.

2.  That the regular oversight of the Strategy will be governed by Slough Domestic Abuse Partnership Board, which reports into the Safer Slough Partnership Board, be noted.




Sport England Place Based Investment pdf icon PDF 86 KB


The Board considered a report which set out the background to Sport England’s (SE) Place Based Work and its proposal to invest via Get Berkshire Active (GBA) into Britwell to create a sustainable active environment for residents. This required GBA to submit a Development Bid proposal to SE. Slough, and Britwell in particular, was one of the least active areas of England.


Working with SE in a Place Based and Whole Systems approach and would provide the Council with an opportunity to go beyond the traditional attempt to get people active and focus on the causes of inactive lifestyles. If successful, the fundings would be for a three – four-year investment period.


While noting that this was not a competitive bid, GBA, supported by the Council, was nonetheless required to show:


  • How the bid would make a sustainable, long-term difference to activity levels
  • How the bid was supported by local strategic partners such as the Council and NHS Frimley
  • How any options that are included in the proposal but are outside of SE remit to fund will be locally funded/supported.


Members of the Board made the following comments:


  • It would be helpful to establish a ‘buddy’ system to encourage people to become more active – eg walking.
  • Active travel is a key area to focus on.
  • There appears to be gaps in the referral platform from GPs to GBA which needs to be re-energised and built-on.
  • Working together with Clinical Commissioning Groups and community groups to encourage people to move and exercise would be beneficial.
  • Exploring suitable, safe venues where some of the least active groups could exercise safely was suggested. This could include GP practices, places of worship and schools which are not used in the evening. 
  • It would be good to encourage Council employees (half of whom are residents from Slough) to do more exercise at Council premises as part of being role models as well as for their well-being.
  • A short exercise programme (around 10 minutes) just before the start of the next Board meeting was suggested.
  • Finding safe walks around Slough Town Centre in the evening as part of an organised social activity could be explored. 
  • Continuing to engage with GBA is important in preparing for the bid.



1.  The Democratic Services Officer to share her notes of the discussion with the Deputy Director of Public Health.

2.  Dr O’Donnell, East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group to discuss with Matthew Lewis, Everyone Active, to discuss ways forward for a representative from Everyone Active to attend occasional GP meetings.

3.  The Director of Public Health to plan a short exercise programme for members of the Board just before the start of the next meeting.



1.  That the proposed investment be noted

2.  That the Board endorses support to Get Berkshire Active to prepare the Development Award bid including providing insight, data and officer time as part of the emerging Steering Group (GBA, SBC, local groups)

3.  That the elements discussed above be put forward to support the bid to Sport England.




Prevention of Whooping Cough in Babies pdf icon PDF 128 KB


The Board considered a report which included information on the current situation on rising cases of whooping cough in England, the risk to babies, the use of the Pertussis vaccination in pregnancy and inequalities in vaccination coverage in pregnancy.  Appendix A provided the number of Laboratory confirmed cases of vaccines for 2011 to 2023.


Vaccines were being offered locally during antenatal care at the hospital and in primary care and maternity services were working hard to improve vaccination rates locally. 


Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and West Berkshire Integrated Care Board was offering a free 2.5-hour training session to health, social care and voluntary sector staff working in the Southeast to help build confidence, skills and knowledge so as to open up discussions with patients about vaccination.


The Board endorsed the approach set out in the recommendations.




1.  That the picture of rising cases of whooping cough, the risk to babies and opportunities for prevent be noted.

2.  That staff working with families be encouraged to take up training opportunities, so they understand the reasons for and the value of vaccination and to demonstrate a positive attitude to vaccination programmes, including those to prevent whooping cough.

3.  That communications with partners to share and amplify NHS messaging on Pertussis vaccination be encouraged.  





Better Care Fund pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received a copy of the Slough’s Better Care Fund Plan (BCF) 2024/25 which provided a summary of the BCF programme in 2023/24 along with an updated plan for 2024-25, including finance, governance and the Council’s approach for integration in Slough.


The Integrated Delivery Lead, Frimley Integrated Care Board, highlighted the salient points in the report, including the number of the falls and residential admissions. He confirmed that the BCF plans had been submitted on 10 June 2024, in accordance with the deadline. The budget was around £90 million.


Members of the Board made a number of points which included the following:


  • Of the £90 million allocated, just under 3% of the money is spent on children, which is very low. The percentage contribution needs to be increased on children to ensure health intervention at an earlier stage.
  • Spending the bulk of the funding supporting people who are already ill, with chronic co-morbidities, some of whom will have the shortest future lives, is very expensive and likely to place more pressure on the NHS.
  • The Council was already subject to statutory intervention for working with children with special educational needs and disabilities (including health plans for children) – the funding needs to be spent more widely to meet their needs.
  • Joint working on preventative measures should be encouraged. 


Resolved: That the contents of the Better Care Fund Plan and the areas of joint investment by the partners from the pooled budget be noted. This includes that the BCF schemes are set within the national policy framework and are aimed at supporting Slough residents to live independently at home, avoid unnecessary admissions to hospital where possible, and if they are admitted to hospital, experience a timely and well-co-ordinated discharge and transfer from hospital back home. 



HWB Action Plan Progress Reports pdf icon PDF 238 KB



The Board received a copy of the Action Plan Progress Report (an updated version of the Report was tabled at the meeting).


The Executive Director of Public Health and Public Protection drew the Board’s attention to two actions in respect of the updated report:


Under action SW2.2b – Under “Publish a healthy weight needs assessment” – it was noted that this task has been completed. There was now a proposal to change the action to implementing the whole systems approach to Healthy Weight.


Under action SW5.1a – Under “Develop a new healthy schools programme” - two new Health and Wellbeing Officers had started working with education and health colleagues to develop a programme of work. 


The Executive Director of People (Children) advised that in respect of the action increasing the number of children attending nursery school by the age of two, an early years’ peer review was currently taking place in terms of uptake. A further report would be provided at the next meeting.


The Board welcomed the breadth of activities that were taking place and the projects that were underway.


One of the members of the Board asked whether the action 4.1 – improve oral health amongst children in Slough to improve dental decay – whether the options appraisal could include an element of dental care in a general practice setting. The question of how to help children overcome the fear of seeing a dentist was raised in this context.  Working with GP practices and community hubs jointly in showing children how to look after their teeth at an early stage was suggested. Officers agreed to follow up on this suggestion.


Resolved: That the report be noted.  




Health & Wellbeing Board Workshop Sessions 24/25 pdf icon PDF 192 KB


The Board received a report which set out the proposed informal Board sessions to develop the work to be undertaken on behalf of the Board in 2024-25 and inform the next Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy from January 2026.  The proposed areas of work were as follows:


  • Extending healthy life in Slough
  • Building safe, health, active communities
  • Health and Equity in the Council’s policies
  • Children and young people: Family Hubs


The Board welcomed focus groups as the way forward.



1.  That the proposal for informal sessions to develop work programmes of the Board and inform the next Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

2.  The areas of work considered to cover be endorsed.



Information Bulletin pdf icon PDF 102 KB



The Board welcomed the June 2024 Information Bulletin.  The Vice-Chair enquired whether it was possible for the publication to be shared on the Council’s website. The Executive Director of Public Health and Public Protection advised that the Public Health section on the Council’s website was currently being updated and that she would arrange for the bulletin to be uploaded to it once that exercise had been completed.



Date of Next Meeting

17 September 2024.


17 September 2024