To receive and consider the recommendations made by the GP Services Task and Finish Group, following their review and subsequent report.
Councillor Margaret Bell introduced the report which outlined the recommendations from the GP Services Task and Finish Group and which were for action by the County Council and the wider Coventry and Warwickshire health system.
Councillor Bell provided background to the work, explaining that in March 2021 the Adult Social Care and Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee had proposed the establishment of the Task and Finish Group to look at GP Services in the area. She noted that the work had been taking place whilst the CCG’s were being transformed into the ICS, making it harder to work against a moving background.
Appendix A to the report outlined the recommendations made by the group and Members noted that the report would also be submitted to the Health and Wellbeing Board for consideration.
The Chair of the Task and Finish Group, Councillor Judy Falp, addressed the meeting and expressed her thanks to the officers involved, especially Paul Spencer, Senior Democratic Services Officer. She advised that it had not been an easy piece of work to scope due to the breadth of health services and hoped that the recommendations would be supported, with the Overview and Scrutiny Committee enabled to monitor progress.
Councillor Izzy Seccombe supported the proposal of continued overview of the work and recognised that the changes around health would be imperative moving forwards. She reminded Members that they were the vehicle for encouraging good communication in their areas.
Councillor John Holland concurred with the comments made and recognised the role of the scrutiny committee and the Health and Wellbeing Board in leading on the issues being raised. He recognised the very difficult job of the GP’s and the challenges being encountered by residents and hoped that with all partners working together, the situation could be improved and some of the problems solved.
Councillor Andy Crump supported the recommendations and reflected on his experience dealing with residents who were often confused about who to speak to and what was happening in their area. He felt that recommendation 3 was key, encouraging patient involvement and engaging with partners.
The Leader recognised that all Members were affected by these issues and queried if some would appreciate understanding more about the systems and processes currently in place. She suggested a briefing for wider members of the Council in six months’ time to help understand the changes and to enable Councillors to feedback to the ICS.
Councillor Bell agreed to take the suggestion back to officers and recognised the importance of good communications. She thanked the Task & Finish Group for their hard work and proposed the recommendations as laid out.
It was therefore,
Resolved that Cabinet approves the recommendations made for actions by the County Council and the wider Coventry and Warwickshire health system as set out in the report of the GP Services Task and Finish Group (TFG) and as detailed below:
1) That coordinated communications activity continues to be undertaken to explain to the public the revised primary care service delivery rationale. This is an area where partners in the local Integrated Care System, including councillors as community leaders and the Health and Wellbeing Board members can assist, but should rest primarily with the Integrated Care Board;
2) That the ICS includes involvement at all levels of both primary care and Public Health, especially as the new arrangements embed. There is a periodic monitoring role for the commissioning Adult Social Care and Health OSC post-implementation to ensure adequacy of representation;
3) That the Adult Social Care and Health OSC undertakes periodic monitoring around patient/resident involvement in the new ICS. There were perceived concerns that decision making may be moving away from the patient, which is not the intention; and
4) That periodic engagement is undertaken with the Integrated Care Board (as the body responsible for commissioning of general practice services and, associated with this, general practice estate planning and infrastructure delivery) to understand the delivery progress of its general practice estate programme.