Agenda and draft minutes

Joint with Communities OSC, Adult Social Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday 11 January 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Shire Hall. View directions

Contact: Paul Spencer  Senior Democratic Services Officer


No. Item


Election of Chair

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Councillor Jeff Clarke nominated Councillor Clare Golby to be Chair of the meeting. This was seconded by Councillor John Cooke.



That Councillor Clare Golby become Chair of the meeting



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Councillors Heather Timms, Marian Humphreys, Sandra Smith (North Warwickshire), Dave Humphreys, Andy Jenns, Wallace Redford, Pamela Redford (Warwick), Penny-Ann O’Donnell (Stratford) and Andy Crump.


Disclosures of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

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Chair’s Announcements

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Minutes of previous meetings pdf icon PDF 251 KB

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The minutes of the 25 November 2020 were signed and approved as a true and correct record.


Public Speaking

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Health (2 parts)

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Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 on Ethnically Diverse Communities

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Dr Shade Agboola (Public Health Director – Warwickshire) presented the item and raised the following points:


·               People from deprived and ethnic minority backgrounds were disproportionally affected by Covid-19 early on

·               The first 11 doctors to die from Covid-19 had ethnic minority backgrounds

·               Public Health England (PHE) made investigations into this reason

·               People from ethnic minority backgrounds were dying and contracting Covid-19 more than their white counterparts. Lower social economic status’ and being more at risk from health issues e.g. diabetes was a reason for this 

·               Seven recommendations were proposed by PHE including: organisations supporting communities, undertaking participatory research to understand what was occurring in relation to the wider determinants of Covid-19 among ethnic minority communities and to develop implementable and scalable programmes to reduce risk and improve health outcomes

·               Work went into Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) Covid-19 recovery plan which had 10 recommendations including PHE’s research recommendation

·               Money from the Outbreak Management Fund awarded to the Council was provided to do this

·               WCC’s Covid-19 plan included grants for ethnically diverse communities to access funding for projects that linked to the research findings i.e. projects addressing the social economic determinants of health inequalities relating to COVID-19 

·               This was done with WCC, PH Warwickshire, Warwickshire Communities & Partnerships and the Benn partnership in Rugby

·               The research included a combination of case studies and a survey from people with ethnic minority backgrounds; these covered: GP experiences, experiences of caring for others, lockdown experiences, any long-term physical health conditions that increased their risk of contracting Covid-19, asking people with physical/mental health conditions, asking people struggling with isolation, people with accommodation issues and issues around vaccine hesitancy

·               Many people from ethnic minority communities were vaccine hesitant

·               Coventry University were commissioned to carry out a rapid literature review i.e. look at the published evidence to tackle health inequalities amongst ethnically diverse populations 

·               The aim of the review was to ensure that whatever strategies were implemented were based on the best available evidence

·               Key findings from the research showed that there was lots of collaboration amongst community representatives which was an original PHE recommendation. It also found that the term BAME did not appropriately represent all ethnic minority groups and the literature review recommended that WCC needed to move beyond information provision to improve trust in health services 

·               Access to primary health care during the pandemic was more difficult

·               There was now a WCC Community Development Worker and Benn Partnership Community Connector that work together to address PHE’s recommendations

·               WCC’s grant process (as above) had £350,000 total funding across two funding rounds in three lots. Lot 1 for projects costing up to £2000, Lot 2 for projects up to £10,000 and Lot 3 for projects up to £25,000

·               Each project had to demonstrate its relevance in: reducing social isolation, supporting mental health and wellbeing tackling, unemployment or tackling physical health. All applications had to include community engagement and demonstrate sustainability, use of volunteers and how they would evaluate it  

·               There was a clear scoring criterion used to assess  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4(1)


Health Inequalities Strategic Plan pdf icon PDF 1014 KB

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Harpal Aujla (Specialty Registrar in Public Health) presented the item and raised the following points:


· NHS England required all local authorities to produce a strategy by March 2022 to show how we're going to tackle inequalities locally but WCC’s strategy was done with Coventry 


· The aim of the strategy was to obtain health equity across Coventry and Warwickshire (resolve unfair differences between ethnicity groups), reduce health inequalities (every relevant piece of council work to resolve health inequalities) and challenge the system as a whole


· Health inequalities in Warwickshire included life expectancy which was slightly higher than the national average (79.9 compared to 79.6 for men and 83.6 compared to 83.1 for women). However, there was a big gap in life expectancy between deprivation areas and non-deprived areas. Deaths in deprived areas class as avoidable 


· The King’s Fund Health Equality model showed that not just health behaviours could be addressed to tackle health inequalities and wider determinants like lifestyles, places, communities and an integrated care system need to be looked at. To do this, major programmes were done with Coventry 


· Work with NHS England was done to create Core 20 +5 which became embedded across the system. Core 20 are the most deprived 20 groups in in the country and this would be one element of tackling health inequalities. The +5 are the five clinical areas (maternity, early cancer diagnosis, severe mental illness, chronic respiratory disease and hypertension) 


· The plus group could be locally determined so work was done with the local place partnerships to ask them what their plus groups were. These included travellers, people with learning disabilities and people in rural isolation. 


· For ethnic minority communities, a quick analysis was done to look at the 20 nationally most deprived areas and fewer ethnic minorities were in deprived areas in Warwickshire compared to the rest of the country


· Children at risk was being worked on but it could be more locally determined whereas the Core 20 +5 groups had been predetermined, however this was still being worked on because of evidence gathering for each section 


· Early cancer diagnosis in Coventry & Warwickshire had 52.7% of cancers diagnosed at stage one or two but the goal was 75% by 2028. Ethnicity was not recorded with this


· The NHS set out five key priorities, but Coventry and Warwickshire wanted six high impact actions to get a long-term focus and capture things like inclusion and workforce development


· The model to achieve everything was called ‘levelling up health’ which will narrow down the authorities’ goals with different tools. This will target disadvantaged communities with a health equity audit assessment tool to be embedded in all health strategies 


Following several questions from Councillor Jonathon Chilvers, Harpal Aujla stated that life expectancy recently ‘tailed off’ but it was not clear whether the deprivation gap was growing or not. The gap with health inequalities did grow though. Dr Shade Agboola confirmed that the pandemic made the health inequalities between the most and least deprived in the population worse.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4(2)



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Mark Ryder (Strategic Director – Communities) introduced the item and raised the following points:


·       Equality in schools includes encouraging schools to increase the participation of pupils with protected characteristics when it is disproportionately low so these students who are not participating as well on any part of the curriculum or school activities

·       A lot of school resources were used to mitigate Covid-19 problems

·       WCC must support schools to make sure they fulfil their duty in supporting these students and have all the information needed to develop skills to eliminate discrimination to promote equality of opportunity amongst all students. These resources were available on council webpages for school which were updated in July 2021 and this update had over 2000 views

·       Most schools used the equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) policy for schools and guidance on collecting diversity information

·       Feedback was obtained on these tools to see how successful these tools were

·       Mental health and race training was delivered in 2021 to 81 people; these sessions included looking at the impact of mental health through different characteristics and what might could be considered to resolve these issues

·       EDI content was regularly provided into education forums to help head teachers develop their school agendas around supporting inclusion

·       Department for Education (DFE) funding was used to pay for the commissioning of attendance service to support vulnerable students who had poor outcomes from equalities to support improving attendance at schools so as extra resource

·       Data was collected on educational attainment which cut across various ethnic groups but this was halted due to Covid-19 so no information was collected in Key Stage 2 and the data was not comparable to previous years. When possible, this work would be picked up again when possible

·       One of the key challenges moving forward is to understand the impacts that Covid-19 had on education equality, this work would be done with health colleagues, the economy and EDI teams across Warwickshire to decide on what these impacts are and what we could be addressed


In response to Councillor Fradlgey, Mark Ryder agreed to get an update on the Pupil Premium Project. Following a supplementary from Councillor Fradgley, Mark Ryder confirmed that these resources were accessed by academies as well as primary and secondary schools.


Councillor Bell raised concerns with autism waiting lists and schools needing support with children on a ‘managed move’, especially if they have moved school multiple times. Mark Ryder concurred that support with this would be sought.


In response to Councillor Sinclair, Mark Ryder stated that the data looked at outcomes across different ethnic groups and this could be used to look at measures to encourage participation in these groups. Following a supplementary from Councillor Sinclair, Mark Ryder confirmed that this data meant that they needed to decide if a future strategy was needed.


Economy and Skills

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David Ayton-Hill (Assistant Director – Communities) presented the item and raised the following points:


· Data presented for Warwickshire unfortunately looks at ethnic minorities as a single group as disaggregated data is just not available at this geographic level 


· In Warwickshire the employment rate of ethnic minority groups was higher than the national average and this improved recently 


· Ethnic minorities in Warwickshire have a lower economic inactivity rate than the national average which suggested more employment 


· Warwickshire only data on levels of pay and earnings was not available because of the small sample size but national data showed that some ethnic groups (Indian and Chinese) were above the average pay rate but others were significantly below (Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Black ethnic groups). Supporting this earning growth needed to be looked at due to other determinants like health 


· High inflation rates and energy costs affected the earning rates especially with slow pay rate increases. Between 2021-2023 there would likely be a loss of real earnings (2% reduction)


· Ethnic groups have a lower earning potential on average than others which was made worse by inflation pressures; this could impact their wellbeing/lifestyle 


· Work around supporting businesses was done (Survive & Sustain) as well as business start-up opportunities for deprived communities and supporting self-employed people (Jump Start Programme). These operated successfully, and still were at the time of the meeting, for over 18 months 


· c. 8% of these projects beneficiaries were from ethnic minorities which was in line with Warwickshire’s demographics, and one quarter of new businesses started in 2021 following support provided were by individuals from an ethnic minority background


· A lot of focus is now on employment and skills as we move more into economic recovery. The Warwickshire Skills Hub, which is both a virtual hub for information ( and a physical hub based at Eliot Park Innovation Centre in Nuneaton, is the core focus for this work.


· The Skills Hub are launching a programme called ‘fair chance employer’ shortly that will work with businesses to encourage them to become fair chance employers i.e. get businesses to expand their job-search horizons and not always go through the traditional job routes and look at hiring people with disabilities, care leavers, NEET people (not in employment, education or training), people who left the armed forces, migrants/refugees and people with mental health issues especially with businesses facing labour shortages. These groups were being worked with to get them into employment 


· The council has also obtained funding from the Community Renewal Fund and the Warwickshire Brighter Futures project is focused on running employment support programmes for c. 1000 young people to get them back into employment. This will be done with five different strands, providing a range of initiatives, including a programme (extra ability) focused on people with special educational needs and how they could have an easier transition from education into sustainable employment 


In response to Councillor Chilvers, David Ayton-Hill stated that the council would push people into apprenticeship programmes which were tailored to business needs; the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (within WCC)

This presentation will provide members with an update on internal equality, diversity and inclusion work that focuses on our people, by sharing highlights from our EDI Annual Review 2020/2021 and our priorities for 2021/2022.

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Keira Rounsley (Senior EDI Practioner) presented the item and raised the following points:


· In line with the refresh of Our People Strategy in January 2021, after approval by Staff & Pensions Committee,a new approach to our reporting was developed through annual reviews on WCC’s continual development in improving equality, diversity and inclusion.

· Achievements included a tool to measure work done with how employees felt valued as well and the ongoing recruitment and retention

· The median ethnicity pay gap in WCC was -2.2% meaning that Black, Asian and minority ethnicemployees working for WCC were paid more on average than their White British/NotStated counterparts. To get full accurate data the ‘not stated’ and ‘prefer not to say’ ethnicity employees would need to be disclosed. WCC’s pay gap is significantly lower than the 2018 West Midlands median ethnicity pay gap of 9.5%

· There was an increase of employee diversity data disclosure rates across all the groups

· Staff networks increased from three to seven because of home working, creating a desire for employees to engage with others 

· More WCC employees said that they felt valued/recognised (increased by 8% to 71% of respondents) and there was an increase inemployees believing that WCC valued equality and diversity in the workplace (increased by 2% to 83%).

· 2% of staff identified as Black/Black British (a reduction of 0.9%) but this figure is impacted by theincrease in headcount by 5.2%.

· 96% of employeeshave disclosed their ethnicity but 8.9% did not want to say. Employee’s not disclosing their ethnicity made it difficult to break down our ethnicity data for the Senior Leadership Team

· WCC employee’s were over-representative compared to the Warwickshire’s ethnicity demographics.

· There was a pay gap of 1.7% between Asian/Asian British and White British/Not Statedemployees whereas nationally it was 0.9% and compared with Black/Black British it was -2.1% compared to the national average of 5.7%.

· Employee’s would rather not disclose their religion or sexual orientation compared to ethnicity and these employee’s scored lower on wellbeing and staff engagement

· The main targets WCC wanted to address were making gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps between 0-5%, increase diversity disclosure rates to make sure WCC’s workforce represents the diversity of Warwickshire at all levels within the organisation and continue the upwardtrends for employee’s agreement scores as part of the regular check-ins.

· WCC’s EDI project included looking at active practices within recruitment and onboarding in relation to becoming a more inclusive employer and with talent development too. All employee’s should have progression opportunities regardless of ethnicity or disability.

· For Black History Month 2022 there was an action to empower and equip WCC employee’s with the skills and knowledge to be able to embed the EDI agenda throughout the organisation. For 2021’s Black History Month there was a lot of different activities that had really high engagement including speeches on talking about racism, a special session on Black and Asian history in the archives, Public Health colleaguesdelivered a webinar on providing inclusive mental healthcare and 200 employee’s watched a play as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.