Agenda and minutes

Venue: Thetford Town Council, King Street, Thetford

Note: Meeting in the Woodlands Room at the Healthy Living Centre 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 11 September 2007.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 11 September 2007 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



To receive apologies for absence.


An apology for absence was received from Mr F.J. Sharpe.


Impact of the Reorganisation on the new Primary Care Trusts

Presentation by Tara Studholme-Lyons of Norfolk PCT.


Tara-Studholme Lyons, Assistant Director, Norfolk Primary Care Trust was in attendance to give Members a presentation on the impact of the reorganisation on the new Primary Care Trusts.


The Norfolk Primary Care Trust (PCT) was an amalgam of five Primary Care Trust covering six local authority areas. 


According to National Guidance the functions of a Primary Care Trust was to:-


·              engage with the local population to improve health and well-being.


·              commission a comprehensive and equitable range of high quality, responsive and efficient services, within allocated resources, across all service sectors.


·              directly provide high quality responsive and efficient services where this gives best-value.


The priorities for the NHS for 2007/2008 would be to:


·              gain financial stability.

·              achieve a maximum of an 18 week wait milestone.

·              reduce rate of healthcare acquired infections.

·              reduce health inequalities and promote health and well-being.


In the context of the Norfolk PCT the priorities for 2007/2008 would be firstly to become financially stable in order to gain a license to operate which would allow the PCT to commission its own services. Three out of the five PCTs had a deficit and this, in its entirety, amounted to £40 million which had to be re-paid.  It was noted that the way in which the PCT was funded was complicated but it was moving towards getting a larger proportion of funding equal to its demography.


The PCT would re-invigorate Partnerships and Joint Working to improve health and well-being; develop services responsive to local need; consider “health” in its widest sense and offer opportunities for public/patient engagement.


Progress in implementing Practice Based Commissioning (PBC) would be accelerated and GP surgeries were fully engaged and were embracing the commissioning agenda.


Obviously, managing demand and increasing efficiency were areas which were constantly under review.


There was a Provider Section of the PCT and this was kept separate from the Commissioning Section.  Although the Provider Section would be able to bid for contracts to provide services.


There were six Assistant Directors: four worked with locality briefs; one working with mental health, children and the elderly and one working with elective care.


With regard to engaging with local stakeholders Members suggested that the Norfolk PCT could use Breckland Voice to target Breckland residents.  Ten issues were sent out each year to every household within the Breckland district.


In relation to commissioning service the Norfolk PCT would be looking towards private companies such as Boots and Lloyds.   This would be to improve primary care; such as improving weekend access to services.  However, it was made clear that what was national guidance was not always appropriate for local needs.


With regard to ensuring that Members were kept up-to-date with issues facing the Board it was noted that the Norfolk PCT Board minutes were available on-line on the Norfolk PCT website.  However, for information at grass roots level there was a Clinical Executive Committee and a Committee for Practice Based Commissioning.  It was not clear whether these papers were in the public domain.  It was agreed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.


Housing Improvement Plan – Monitoring pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Report of the Strategic Housing Manager.

Additional documents:


The Strategic Housing Manager presented progress against the delivery of the Housing Improvement Plan and requested that Members agree the recommendation for future reporting.


Breckland had been awarded the Homelessness Regional Champion status as a result of the huge improvement the Team had made in relation to this service area.  The award meant that Breckland’s Housing Team would peer review other local authorities for improvement.


As well as the above Breckland’s approach to Black, Minority and Ethic Groups had been seen as one of the leaders following the work commissioned in relation to these Groups.


Members were informed that progress against the targets contained within the plan had been consistent since its adoption despite pressure on the team to respond to other national and local targets not contained within the plan itself.   The Team had responded well to the challenges and the majority of targets had been met.  Several targets were still in progress and Members were informed of the progress as follows:-


Migration of Housing Service into Customer Contact Centre


It was believed that this would happen in the future as part of the Strategic Alliance discussions and proposed increase in the capacity of the Contact Centre, however no date had yet been set for migration.   The benefits of migrating the housing service were thought to be that better signposting of clients with generic housing enquiries could take place, freeing up the professional officer time.  Enquiries relating to homelessness would however still need to be put straight through to the Housing Team due to the vulnerable nature of the client group.  The Council would want to avoid inadvertently operating a ‘gatekeeping’ approach to telephone calls which could deter those that needed the help most from seeking guidance.


Diversity/BME Issues


Breckland had led a Norfolk and Waveney Wide consultation on BME issues with a concentration on migrant worker issues.  The results of that consultation could be viewed at the next meeting of Panel 3.  An Action Plan would be developed from the results of that consultation and to raise the profile of migrant workers. 


It was hoped that the consultation would dispel myths around BME Groups within Norfolk; such as the perception that there was a high number of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants within Norfolk.  However, it was noted that the Government was looking to disperse these Groups around Britain to avoid a concentration within urban areas.


Affordable Housing Policies/Approach


Within Breckland developers were requested to provide 30% of affordable homes within a development.  Officers working on the Local Development Framework (LDF) were working towards the maximisation of affordable housing within the District and it was intended to increase that percentage. 


The Housing Market Assessment from July 2004 stated that the need in Breckland for social rented and low cost home ownership units was 600 per year.  That had now increased to 900 per year and the Council needed to have a realistic approach and investigate ways to improve delivery year on year to provide that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.


Thetford Healthy Living Centre pdf icon PDF 31 KB

At the last meeting, the Panel asked about the issue of the “green travel plan” planning condition pertaining to the Healthy Living Centre, Thetford.   The attached position statement has been provided by Development Control for members’ information.


Members had been given the opportunity to visit the Healthy Living Centre, Thetford.  Whilst discussing the issues with their guide, Marilyn Boulton, they came to the following conclusions:


·              The person responsible for the Travel Plan had only just been made aware that this Plan formed part of their duties.  This person was the Business and Performance Manager and Members agreed that they should be invited to attend a meeting of the Panel, in 3 months, to provide further information regarding the monitoring of the Travel Plan.


·              There was an urgent need for an ambulance turning bay to ensure that the Centre was being used to its optimum level.  At present ambulances could not pick-up or drop-off as there was no safe access or egress for an ambulance.


·              There was a need to provide local signage to the Centre and this needed to be subject to an urgent review as it was not clear to those visiting the Centre where it was situated.  Members were informed that patients were coming in from well outside the district as Papworth Hospital held clinics at the Centre.



(1)    the Overview and Scrutiny Commission support the need for a turning bay for ambulances at the Health Living Centre, Thetford; and


(2)    the Overview and Scrutiny Commission support the need to provide adequate signage on the highway for the Healthy Living Centre, Thetford.


Work Programme

To receive the Work Programme and note any amendments.


The Scrutiny Officer circulated the latest Work Programme for Policy Development and Review Panel 3.


The Panel considered dates of future meetings and agreed that the principle of rotating Panel meetings around the district continue. In relation to a meeting in January 2008 it was


RESOLVED that a meeting of Panel 3 be held on 11 January 2008 at 10.00 am in the Norfolk Room, Elizabeth House, Dereham.


Next Meeting

To note that the next meeting of Policy Development and Review Panel 3 will be held on Tuesday, 27 November 2007 at 10.00 am in the Norfolk Room, Dereham.


That the next meeting of the Policy Development and Review Panel 3 be held on Tuesday, 27 November 2007 at 10.00 am in the Norfolk Room, Elizabeth House, Dereham.