(To receive an update from County Councillor J Oates.)
The Chair introduced County Councillor J Oates who would provide an update on matters considered by Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee, and in particular the three items requested by this Committee.
Future of the George Bryan Centre
County Councillor Oates reported that since the previous meeting of this Committee there had been a significant fire at the centre which had led to the need to move 18 residents of the centre, either to alternative residential centres or to alternative arrangements. Staffordshire County Council were maintaining contact with the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, however, there was no update which could be provided on future plans.
The Committee sought clarification on any investigation into the fire. County Councillor Oates confirmed that he would seek clarification on what investigation would be undertaken.
Breast Screening in Tamworth
It was reported that the new breast screening facility at the Robert Peel hospital had been installed following work to upgrade the platform.
The Chair thanked the Committee for its work in this area and for members continued pressure to ensure the return of a screening facility, in particular for the support from Councillor R Claymore and County Councillor A Little.
Councillor S Goodall joined the meeting.
Broader Mental Health Care
County Councillor J Oates reported that Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee had considered and recommended to its Cabinet an Approach to Children and Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health 2018-2023. This set out the principles which underpin the change which were:
· ensure that this area would be a priority within strategic plans and in our partners’ organisational structures;
· have collaborative commissioning arrangements in place making best use of our collective resources
· ensure that all commissioning decisions are informed by robust assessment of need
· participate fully in the developing and implementing the National Minimum Dataset across commissioned provision and the new outcome measures
· be transparent about what is invested in local services and the outcomes delivered
· participate fully in developing and implementing the National Minimum dataset across all levels and ensure that arrangements are fully embedded in all contractual arrangements with regard to services for children and young people with mental health and emotional wellbeing needs
· recognise and act on opportunities to influence local and national policy to the benefit of children and young people and their families.
County Councillor Oates reported that this approach aimed to raise Childrens’ and Young People’s mental health up the agenda.
In terms of adult mental health, County Councillor Oates reported that Staffordshire County Council delivered against the national policy, however they had launched a MindKind strategy, which aimed to develop within Staffordshire County Council a network of mental health first aiders and also aimed to encourage more openness in discussing mental health and to provide further support and sign-posting to mental health services.
A concern was raised by a Member that given the potential extent of mental health issues highlighted, it was important to ensure that there was an acute mental health facility locally. County Councillor Oates reported that the County aimed to focus on the earlier intervention to pre-empt issues before they developed into more acute issues.
County Councillor Oates reported that one of the drivers behind the strategy was to ensure that mental health assessments were undertaken as part of any decision making process in terms of service provision.
The Committee discussed the role of schools and academies and their engagement in mental health activities and MACs and how this varied across Tamworth schools. County Councillor Oates reported that he had been briefed on a scheme, Talent Match Staffordshire, which was aimed to reduce the number of 16 years old who did not either remain in education, go into employment or training (NEETS). This scheme would look to support pupils at the start of secondary school and a Tamworth Council officer was engaged in this activity which it was expected would help support activities in this area.