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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Gordon Oliver / James Townsend 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for inability to attend the meeting (if any).


Apologies were received from Councillor Dominic Boeck, Dom Hardy, Charlotte Hall and Gary Lugg.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 413 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 21 May 2020.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 21 May 2020 were approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Health and Wellbeing Board Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 17 KB

An opportunity for Board Members to suggest items to go on to the Forward Plan.


Councillor Vickers asked for an update on work being done around health inequalities and the BAMER community.

Matt Pearce stated that tackling health inequalities was a priority, with immediate health inequalities from the pandemic being addressed by working with community groups / champions. He indicated that discussions with communities would inform the long-term strategy to tackle inequalities. He noted that tackling inequalities was  theme running through all activities and could not be tackled in isolation.

Councillor Doherty stated she was concerned there were no standing items on the forward plan relating to KPIs.

Action: Gordon Oliver to update the KPIs and circulate these to the board.


Actions Arising from Previous Meeting(s) pdf icon PDF 26 KB

To consider outstanding actions from previous meeting(s).


The actions arising from previous meetings were noted and updated as appropriate.


Declarations of Interest

To remind Members of the need to record the existence and nature of any personal, disclosable pecuniary or other registrable interests in items on the agenda, in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct.


Dr Bal Bahia, Councillor Graham Bridgman, Andrew Sharp and Councillor Martha Vickers declared an interest in Agenda Item 10 and Councillor Masters declared an interest in Item 11, but since their interests were personal or an other registrable interest, but not a disclosable pecuniary interest, they determined to remain to take part in the debate and vote on these matters.


Public Questions


A full transcription of the public and Member question and answer sessions are available from the following link: Transcription of Q&As.

(a)     Questions submitted to the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust by Mrs Paula Saunderson.

Six questions standing in the name of Mrs Paula Saunderson on the subject of services for dementia patients would receive a written response from the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

(b)     Questions submitted to the Portfolio Holder for Public Health and Community Wellbeing by Mrs Lucy Brown

          A question standing in the name of Mrs Lucy Brown on the subject of the local response to the Covid-19 pandemic would receive a written response from the Executive Member for Public Health and Community Wellbeing.

(c)     Question submitted by Zoe Teather and Heather Wild to the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

          A question standing in the name of Ms Zoe Teather and Ms Heather Wild on the subject of health services for new parents would receive a written response from the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

(d)     Question submitted by Zoe Teather and Heather Wild to the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group

A question standing in the name of Ms Zoe Teather and Ms Heather Wild on the subject of maternity mental health services would receive a written response from the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group.

(e)     Question submitted by Mrs Carol Jackson-Doerge to the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

A question standing in the name of Mrs Carol Jackson-Doerge on the subject of improving outcomes for pregnant women from ethnic minority backgrounds during the Covid pandemic would receive a written response from the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.



Councillors or Members of the public may present any petition which they have received. These will normally be referred to the appropriate Committee without discussion.


There were no petitions presented to the Board.



Health and Wellbeing Sub-Group Activities pdf icon PDF 764 KB

Information on sub-group activities shared with delegates at the Health and Wellbeing Conference on 11 September 2020.


Councillor Woollaston asked the Board to note the updates of the sub-groups. He suggested that it was an opportunity to note the achievements of the sub-groups.

Dr Bal Bahia indicated that the Steering Group had thought this approach to be more useful than the usual dashboard, since the new strategy was not yet prepared.

Councillor Doherty stated she would like to see KPIs alongside the narrative.

Dr Bal Bahia stated that there had been no dramatic changes in the KPIs from the sub-groups.


Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy pdf icon PDF 373 KB

To receive an update on progress made in developing the strategy, including a summary of current conditions.


Sarah Rayfield introduced a report updating the Board on progress with the development of a Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Berkshire West.

She noted that Phase 1 (Defining the Current State) was complete and they were currently nearing the end of Phase 2 (Prioritisation).

She explained that wide-ranging stakeholder engagement had been undertaken to identify potential priorities. A data exercise had also been completed to identify areas of population need that had not been highlighted through stakeholder engagement. Also, an online survey had been used to engage hard-to-reach / vulnerable groups.

She stated that a long-list of potential priorities had been identified and a series of workshops had been held to assess these with the intention of reducing them to three to five priorities for the final strategy. She confirmed that the next step was to look at inter-dependencies between potential priorities and ways to tackle more than one area at a time, as well as mapping out specific areas in more detail. She highlighted four emerging themes of:

·         Empowerment and self-care

·         Digital enablement

·         Prevention

·         Covid-19 recovery

She noted that there would be a comprehensive public engagement exercise taking place in October that would make use of a variety of media and techniques to gather feedback.

She stated that the development of the strategy had faced a number of challenges:

·         Limited capacity within the team and the wider system.

·         There were many new people in roles across the three local authorities, which had reduced corporate memory.

·         The impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

·         Difficulties in undertaking early public engagement as planned, but a wider piece of public engagement was being co-produced for later in the process.

·         Difficulties with developing a ten year strategy which is fit for purpose in a post-Covid world, when the full impacts of the pandemic are not yet fully known. However, she noted that an early review after 1-2 years would ensure the strategy remained fit for purpose.

Given these challenges, it was recommended to extend the completion date for producing the strategy by a month to allow time for further public engagement.

Councillor Vickers asked if there were any figures on the numbers of people who had been engaged. She highlighted Berkshire Youth, and asked if the community hubs were being utilised, and if town and parish councils had been engaged. She also asked about the age profile of respondents and which groups had not been reached.

Sarah Rayfield stated that engagement was due to start in October. She confirmed that they would be engaging through the community hubs and town and parish / town councils to discuss priorities and get their insights into their local communities. She stated that responses would be closely monitored and profiled to inform changes to the engagement process.

Councillor Doherty noted that previous surveys had attracted a low response from young people. She suggested contacting Nikki Davies about the Peer Mentoring Network and how to engage young people in different ways.

Andrew Sharp commended the work that had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 111.


Healthwatch Maternity Report pdf icon PDF 126 KB

To consider a report produced by Healthwatch West Berkshire on local maternity services.

Additional documents:


Michelle Paice, Alice Kunjappy-Clifton and Andrew Sharp introduced the Healthwatch report about Maternity Services in West Berkshire

They explained that their work followed on from the BOB STP maternity survey undertaken by the five local Healthwatch services, which highlighted the need for improvement in a number of key areas.

Healthwatch wanted to find out more about what women thought about their whole maternity experience. Their survey attracted around 200 responses.

Their report highlighted that West Berkshire mothers used three hospitals:

·         Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading (40%)

·         Basingstoke Hospital (24%)

·         Great Western Hospital in Swindon (28%)

Healthwatch recommended that future data on maternity services should come from all three hospitals.

They highlighted that only 35% of ante-natal care was provided by GP practices and that data from the three hospitals must be included to get a more representative picture.

They suggested that more work was required to explore if women wanted an alternative to giving birth in a hospital delivery suite.

They highlighted issues and variances between hospitals and across various aspects of maternity services. Particular issues were identified with women being able to make their own decision, and the quality of post-natal care.

Between 12 and 15% described their birth experience as ‘poor’ or ‘traumatic’. Also, 34% of mothers said that they did not get the opportunity to speak to a health professional about their experience.

They explained that a West Berkshire Maternity Forum had been set up to enable women to share their childbirth experiences. The forum highlighted issues during Covid lockdown when many new mothers lost support from their families and friends, and lacked information about where to get help.

They highlighted inconsistencies between the hospital trusts around partners being allowed to visit and attend scans and births.

They also expressed concerns about the impact of Covid on health visitors, who were unable to perform their role normally and highlighted the mental and physical impacts of the pandemic on new mothers.

They summarised maternity care for West Berkshire women as being disjointed and inconsistent and stressed the need for continuity of care from ante-natal to post-natal care, and the need to work across NHS and local authority boundaries. They noted that women wanting home births could only book with Royal Berkshire Hospital.

They suggested that more work was needed to understand the birth experiences of minority groups, since they experienced additional risks and had been disproportionately affected by Covid.

They also suggested that maternity provision should be given greater priority in the District Needs Assessment, and pointed out that it was a priority of the NHS Long-Term Plan.

Healthwatch encouraged the Board to engage more with new mothers, learn from the report findings, and improve monitoring processes for all of the maternity hospitals.

Councillor Woollaston asked about the John Radcliffe Hospital. Michelle Paice indicated that only a very small number of respondents had used this hospital.

Action: Healthwatch to confirm John Radcliffe Hospital maternity figures for Councillor Woollaston.

Councillor Woollaston also asked about the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 112.


Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health pdf icon PDF 480 KB

To seek the Board’s approval to sign up to the national Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health and for them to adopt and become signatories to it.


Rachel Johnson introduced a report that sought the Board’s approval to sign up to the national Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health.

She noted that this would demonstrate the Board’s and its partners’ shared commitment to prevent mental health problems and promote good mental health, which was important, since this should not just be the responsibility of Public Health.

Councillor Vickers stressed this was an important step in the current circumstances. She also highlighted the importance of childhood experiences and commented that health visitors used to do a 6-8 week questionnaire with new mothers about their mental health, which often highlighted issues that had not previously been detected. She asked if this could be reinstated.

Rachel Johnson commented that the action plan would address all different age groups to develop a life course approach to preventing mental health problems.

Councillor Doherty agreed the need for a cradle to grave solution, and asked if the National Concordat could incorporate some points that are more specific to West Berkshire, with a particular focus on young people.

Rachel Johnson suggested that this was something that could be woven through the work of all the Board’s sub-groups and highlighted work already underway with young people.

Councillor Masters supported the Concordat, but wanted it to be more than a badge, and for it to be supported by action and adequate resources. He thanked Rachel Johnson for her work.

Matt Pearce agreed with Councillor Masters and noted that it was about securing a shared commitment. He also agreed with Councillor Doherty about the need for a cradle to grave approach in tackling mental health issues. He emphasised that all of the Board’s partners had a role to play in tackling mental health issues.

Dr Bal Bahia supported the report, and agreed the need for a cradle to grave solution. He asked who would lead on delivering the Concordat and over what footprint would it be delivered.

Matt Pearce confirmed that he was happy to continue as Chair of the Mental Health Action Group. He confirmed that the Concordat applied just to West Berkshire, but recognised that it needed to interface with work done at the Berkshire West level and understand what partners’ roles would be.

RESOLVED that the Board formally adopt the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health.


Health and Wellbeing Board Membership pdf icon PDF 148 KB

To review the membership of the Health and Wellbeing Board.


Gordon Oliver introduced a report that sought to confirm the current membership of the West Berkshire Health and Wellbeing Board and whether any changes to membership were required.

He invited the Board to consider the proposal to appoint Sean Murphy to the Health and Wellbeing Board as a Public Protection Partnership representative.

He asked the board to note the recent changes in the individuals attending Board meeting and highlighted the current vacant employer position. He also encouraged members to nominate substitutes to attend Board meetings where they were unable to do so.

Councillor Woollaston noted that it was good practice to keep membership under review and suggested that this be done annually or in between as needed.

Garry Poulson noted that the Corn Exchange represented the arts on the Board, but due to current circumstances, their attendance had been limited. He suggested that the Watermill Theatre could potentially share the role to represent the arts sector and attend when the other could not.

Councillor Bridgman suggested that members should be representative of a body or sector and suggested that membership should apply to the role rather than the person. He suggested that West Berkshire Council members should be the Portfolio Holders for Adult Social Care, Children Young People and Education, Health and Wellbeing, and the Leader, with opposition and minority group representatives and substitutes nominated.

Andrew Sharp agreed and suggested that Thatcham Research could be approached about being an employer representative.

Dr Bal Bahia stated that an employer member should represent the whole of West Berkshire. He stated that Vodafone had been approached previously, but the Board’s activity was not particularly relevant to them. He suggested that it would be good to have a post for people to come into to talk about particular issues as required rather than attending every meeting.

Resolved that:

·         Changes to the individuals attending Health and Wellbeing Board meetings be noted;


·         The Watermill Theatre and the Corn Exchange be approached regarding sharing arts representation on the Board;


·         Thatcham Research be approached about employer representation on the Board;


·         Sean Murphy be appointed to Health and Wellbeing Board as a Public Protection Partnership representative;


·         Members should nominate substitutes to attend Health and Wellbeing Board meetings where they are unable to do so.


Review of Health and Wellbeing Board Meetings pdf icon PDF 148 KB

To consider a proposal to revise the meeting schedule for the Health and Wellbeing Board, increasing the number of meetings held in public.


Gordon Oliver introduced a proposal to revise the meeting schedule for Health and Wellbeing Board, which would increase the annual number of public meetings from three to five, with no regular meetings to be held in private.

It was proposed that Board meetings would still be preceded by Steering Group meetings, to be held in private as they are now. The Steering Group meetings would be used to agree the agendas for Board meetings and to discuss operational issues.

It was also proposed to have two or three themed workshops each year and an annual conference, which would be opened up to members of the public.

He suggested that the proposed changes would make the board more effective and efficient, while making agendas more manageable and increasing opportunities for public engagement.

It was suggested that the changes come into force from 1 April 2021 so they could be integrated with other council meetings when meeting dates are agreed for the coming municipal year.

Councillor Doherty stated that private board meetings allowed for open and frank conversations with one another and it was perhaps wise to bring the LGA peer review back to review this. She suggested that there needed to be time between meetings for work to happen.

Dr Bahia stated that when the Board was formed, the private meetings were vital in order to facilitate frank and honest conversations. However, the Board had reached a stage of maturity and development that permitted meetings to be held in public. He noted that there was a greater emphasis on public involvement and co-production and applauded the Council for its ways of working. He acknowledged that he had the benefit of attending Steering Group meetings, so was more aware of work being delivered between meetings. He concluded by noting that the LGA Review had steered the Board towards more transparency in due course.

Nick Carter agreed with Dr Bahia. He suggested that if there was a need to have a conversation not in the public domain, this could be done via the Steering Group, but that he thought the board had reached a point where it could be confident about holding all of its meetings in public. He suggested that development work could be taken off-line if necessary.

Councillor Doherty stated that it may be wise to have a review in 6 to 9 months.

Nick Carter agreed with Councillor Doherty, but suggested that structural changes in the NHS needed to take place first.

Action: West Berkshire Council to arrange another Peer Review once structural change in the NHS are complete.

Councillor Vickers welcomed the proposal and suggested that meetings should be public unless there was a specific reason to have them in public. She noted that Part II items would allow for matters to be discussed in private. She also suggested that the Board could be scrutinised by the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Management Commission.

Councillor Masters stated that he believed more regular and public meetings would be good for public  ...  view the full minutes text for item 115.


Recovery Strategy pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To receive an update on development and implementation of West Berkshire Council’s Recovery Strategy.


Nick Carter introduced a report that set out the Recovery Strategy for West Berkshire, which was approved by the council’s Executive in July. He stated that there was an action plan that was regular updated.

He explained that the council had a Recovery Group and there was also a Berkshire Recovery Group and a Thames Valley Recovery Group. In addition, he noted that recovery was being discussed by health partners.

He indicated that with the second wave of Covid recovery was progressing alongside response and that response activity could dominate in the coming months.

He noted that the ICP had been overseeing a health-focused recovery plan.

In terms of the economic impacts, he indicated that 21% of the workforce had been furloughed. He explained that work was progressing with the LEP on short and medium term economic recovery.

He highlighted the fact that schools were open again which was positive, but the long-term impacts of Covid on children and young people were not yet understood.

He suggested that there may be positive environmental impacts, particularly around promotion of active travel.

He noted that the Communications and Engagement Strategy would go to Executive for approval in October, which needed to be delivered in partnership with the Board.

He indicated that the council was looking at how it would work differently in future (e.g. increased home working).

Councillor Vickers asked if the Council were considering employing Covid-19 marshals to provide a visible presence, inform residents and challenge businesses where they do not follow safety requirements.

Nick Carter stated that Government’s view was that local authorities should enforce regulations that applied to businesses, and the Police should carry out enforcement with residents. He stated that no decision had been made about Covid marshals yet. He indicated that the army could be used to support the police, but not on the streets.

Matt Pearce stated that the Government was still considering what Covid marshals should do. He suggested that these would be prioritised in high-risk areas. He also highlighted Appendix 1 of the Strategy, which featured a life-course infographic which had been recognised nationally and cited as best practice by the LGA.

RESOLVED that the strategy be noted.


Housing Strategy pdf icon PDF 6 MB

To present the draft West Berkshire Housing Strategy. (NB: The Housing Strategy is scheduled to be released for public consultation on 18 September. Therefore, it will be issued as a supplementary pack with these papers once published.)


Gary Lugg was unable to attend the meeting so Councillor Woollaston asked members to note the report and the fact that the draft strategy had been published on 18 September. He highlighted that the public consultation would run until 1 November and encouraged members to provide feedback.

RESOLVED that the report be noted.


Health and Wellbeing Conference pdf icon PDF 242 KB

To receive feedback from the Health and Wellbeing Conference held on 11 September 2020.


Kamal Bahia introduced a report on the Health and Wellbeing Conference held on 11 September 2020.

She noted that there had been a good turnout, with a mix of member of the public and other stakeholders. She indicated that there had been good presentations from Garry Poulson, Matt Pearce and Nick Carter. These were followed by three workshops on Young People, Working Together and Volunteering. She stated that the presentation slides would be made publicly available.

She explained that feedback was being collected from delegates and that the Health and Wellbeing Engagement Group would be reviewing this to understand what had gone well and what should be done differently in future. She stated that there had been positive feedback about the conference being open to the public.

She asked if the Board was happy for the conference to remain as a public event and for the report to be shared with delegates.

Councillor Woollaston congratulated Kamal Bahia for organising such a successful event.

Councillor Vickers agreed that it had been a success and suggested that the strong attendance reflected public interest in health and wellbeing issues. She noted that the event had encouraged many new people to attend. She also indicated that she welcomed the informal atmosphere of the event.


·         the report be noted and

·         future conferences should be held as public events.


Exclusion of Press and Public

RECOMMENDATION: That members of the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items as it is likely that there would be disclosure of exempt information of the description contained in the paragraphs of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 specified in brackets in the heading of each item.


RESOLVED that members of the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the under-mentioned item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as contained in Paragraphs(s) * of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information)(Variation) Order 2006. Rule 8.10.4 of the Constitution also refers.


Future meeting dates

The next public meetings of the Health and Wellbeing Board will be held on 28 January 2021 and 20 May 2021.


The next public meetings of the Health and Wellbeing board would take place on 28 January 2021.