Purpose of the report: The Select Committee is to review a follow-up report that outlines performance against the key themes included in the original Winter Pressures report, presented to the Select Committee in October 2019. The Select Committee will also ensure that appropriate measures are in place for Winter 2020-21, and it will scrutinise the ongoing work being done to improve the take up of appropriate vaccinations in Surrey for residents, NHS staff, partners and those who interact with the system.
Olive Aherne, Area Director, Richmond Fellowship
Nicola Airey, Director of Planning and Delivery, Surrey Heath CCG
Karl Atreides, Chair, Independent Mental Health Network
Michelle Head, Area Director, Adult Social Care
Nick Markwick, Co-Chair, Surrey Coalition of Disabled People
Professor Helen Rostill, Director of Mental Health, Surrey Heartlands
Kate Scribbins, Chief Executive, Healthwatch Surrey
Key points raised during the discussion:
1. A Member requested more detail on the new standard to replace the four-hour standard for waiting times in A&E. The Director of Planning and Delivery stated that the new standard measured average time in A&E rather than percentage of people seen within four hours. The rationale behind this was to try to see the right people in the right time-frame. For instance, a very sick person would need to be seen much more quickly than four hours. The benchmark average time was 220 minutes, and this week Frimley Health and Care had averaged around this benchmark. As well as the 220-minute figure, there were sub-targets including particular pathways for the most vulnerable.
2. A Member enquired what the effect of the closure of the Camberley Safe Haven had been. Had it resulted in increased footfall at the Safe Haven in Aldershot, particularly amongst Surrey Heath residents? The Director of Mental Health agreed to provide footfall data for the Aldershot Safe Haven and said that there had not been a significant increase in people with mental health needs going to A&E.
3. The Chair of the IMHN questioned whether the possibility was being looked into of Safe Havens run by Frimley Health and Care offering 24/7 provision, as well as Surrey Heartlands. The Director of Mental Health stated that this had not been decided yet but the possibility of extending the 24/7 model was being explored.
4. A Member asked how Frimley Health and Care were viewing staffing and other challenges, given the rapidly changing situation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Director of Planning and Delivery acknowledged that the situation was changing rapidly day by day. Key to Frimley’s response were adjusting for risks, flexing resources and mutual aid. The service was aware that this period would be challenging and had experience of adapting to change. The Member questioned whether, during the approaching second wave of Covid-19, Frimley had the resilience to continue offering treatment for conditions other than Covid-19, such as cancer. The Director of Planning and Delivery replied that there were plans in place to treat patients with the greatest need, including elective operations in some cases. The Area Director added that the service was able to adapt quickly and respond to residents’ needs in a personalised manner. It was also anticipated that communities would support each other during the second wave, as they had during the initial wave of Covid-19. Moreover, councillors could support the work of the health service by sharing the message that the NHS was open for business.
Actions/further information to be provided:
1. The Director of Planning and Delivery to provide footfall data for the Aldershot Safe Haven.