Agenda and draft minutes

Dorset Council - People and Health Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 28th January, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: A link to the meeting can be found on the front page of the agenda.. View directions

Contact: Fiona King  01305 221486 - Email:


No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.


An apology for absence was received from Cllr Barry Goringe.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 529 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meetings held on 2 November and 11 December 2020.

Additional documents:


The minutes of the meetings held on 2 November and 11 December 2020 were agreed as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman at a later date.


Minute 18 – Quality Account, Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust

With reference to the working group that had been set up to look at the Quality Account, Cllr Orrell advised that the group had met and reviewed the performance matrix and highlighted the areas to be addressed.  He felt this had been a useful meeting and it was noted that the Trust was performing quite well against national benchmarking.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


No declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests were made at the meeting.


However, Cllr Jon Orrell advised that he was an active GP, with a dispensation, and was also a Trustee of the Lantern Trust.


Cllr Nick Ireland advised he was a Partner Governor to Dorset Healthcare and his wife was also a Trustee of the Lantern Trust.


Public Participation pdf icon PDF 46 KB

To receive questions or statements on the business of the Committee from town and parish councils and members of the public.


The deadline for submission of the full text of a question or statement is 8.30am on Tuesday 26 January 2021.


Details of he Council's procedure rules can be found at: Public Participation at Dorset Council meetings.


Additional documents:


There were no submissions from town or parish councils or from members of the public.


However, the Chairman explained that she had received two questions from Cllr Jon Andrews.  Although these had been received for the previous meeting the Chairman felt it would be helpful for the responses to be shared with the committee and members of the public. The questions were read out and responses provided and are attached as an annexure to these minutes.


Cllr Robin Legg recalled his experience of attending a Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) and felt it worked effectively but felt communication had not been very good. The Chairman expressed concern about the wider aspects as there were now 3 MIUs that were closed and had been for the best part of the year.


The Chairman highlighted an additional question that had been submitted from Cllr Howard Legg. This was also read out and is included in the annexure.



That the clerk request that a short report on the closure of these units be provided from the Service Director Integrated Community Services, Dorset Healthcare University NHS Trust for the next meeting of the committee.


Integrated System Response to Winter and Crisis Pressure pdf icon PDF 813 KB

To consider a report by the Urgent and Emergency Care Programme Director – Dorset CCG.



Members considered a report from the Urgent and Emergency Care (UEC) Programme Director at Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).


Following a question regarding capacity levels, members were advised that triggers were in place and had been refined in terms of winter planning. These would continue to be refined and action agreed and acted upon within the remit and decision making of the group.


With reference to the transferring of patients, members were advised that mutual aid arrangements were in place for critical work.  The practical pressures around the workforce were highlighted and it was noted that patients had been transferred to the Nightingale hospital in Exeter.



1. That the report be noted.

2. The Chairman to write a letter of thanks to the CCG on behalf of the Committee.



Service Performance pdf icon PDF 285 KB

To consider a report by the Chief Executive.


Members considered a report by the Business Partner, Policy, Research and Performance which highlighted those council performance measures that were relevant to this committee that were classified as red or amber in October 2020, or at the last time they were reported on in the 2020/21 reporting year.


Members were advised that officers were developing a prototype tool to give up to date performance information to them. This would be a useful tool to help Chairs in the forward planning of the work of their committees and for members of the public and communities.


The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Development and Change advised that the system was still being built but wanted members to use the system as it currently was to build their confidence in it.


Ensuring up to date actions were associated with the performance indicators was an important part of the system and a network of service managers would be addressing this.


The Chairman asked members to give some thought about how the Committee planned to work with this system in readiness for the Quarter 3 report in April.



1. That the council’s emerging performance framework be noted.

2. That the performance measures that were rated as red or amber either at the end of October 2020, or at the last time they were reported in 2020/21 be noted.


Response to Homelessness during Winter pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To consider a report by the Corporate Director for Housing and Community Safety.

Additional documents:


Members considered a report by the Corporate Director for Housing and Community Safety which responded to the request for an update on winter pressures which impact on homelessness and the way that Dorset Council was responding.


Questions from Cllr Peter Barrow and Cllr Howard Legg had been received and those along with their answers are attached as an annexure to these minutes.


Following a discussion on homelessness and rough sleepers it was agreed that a focus group be set up.


In respect of discretionary housing payments members were advised that these were used to prevent evictions and the Corporate Director for housing and Community Safety undertook to provide supplementary information on this outside of the meeting.



1. That the report be noted.

2. That a focus group be set up (Cllr Taylor, Cllr Rennie, Cllr Orrell, Cllr Dunseith, Cllr Barrow) to look at the holistic approach to homelessness and to look at the predicted spike in terms of evictions as a result of Covid.


Community Response pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To consider a report by the Corporate Director for Commissioning, Quality and Partnerships.


Members considered a report from the Corporate Director, Commissioning, Quality and Partnerships which focused on the partnership response of the council and the community response to the pandemic.


Members’ attention was drawn to the critical and valuable contributions that had been made from all the various voluntary and community partnerships during the pandemic.


The Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health noted that the response from communities had been incredible throughout the pandemic and felt some long lasting good had come from it.


Following a discussion about the delivery of prescriptions, the Corporate Director advised that initially volunteers were matched with residents to collect prescriptions where possible. Also, pharmacy contracts had changed to be able to fund them providing prescriptions to shielded residents. 


Other areas highlighted in discussions were food insecurities and grants.



That the committee:

(a) Receive and comment on the contents of the report.

(b) Endorse the strategic approach described in section 10 and the coordination

of partnership community responses through ‘Dorset Together’

(c) Consider in particular the lessons learned and next steps in section 16.

2. That every opportunity should be taken to recognise and thank Dorset’s

communities and the voluntary sector for their critical part in the ongoing

response to the pandemic.

3. That an item on Grants be added to the Forward Plan.


Community Safety Annual Scrutiny Report pdf icon PDF 121 KB

To consider the Annual Report.


Members considered a report by the Service Manager for Community Safety which provided information on partners’ work in three main areas:


  • Progress against the Community Safety Plan 2020-23
  • Work undertaken to tackle domestic abuse, including partners’ response during the Covid 19 pandemic
  • The response to issues emerging from Domestic Homicide Reviews

            (DHRs) that are relevant to Dorset Council


Areas highlighted and discussed included:-


  • Domestic Abuse work
  • ‘Drive’ project
  • HRDA (High Risk Domestic Abuse)
  • Competing pressures
  • Criteria for DHRs


The Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety reminded members to be mindful that this was a partnership and thanked officers for their sterling work on this.



That members considered and commented on the Community Safety Annual Scrutiny report.


Committee and Cabinet Forward Plans pdf icon PDF 57 KB

To consider the Committee’s Forward Plan and the Cabinet’s Forward Plan.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered its Forward Plan and that of the Cabinet.


Actions for the Committee’s Forward Plan:-

  • Remove housing from April
  • Add a report on SEND and include a look at how Covid has affected young people and those not in mainstream school for April
  • Add an item on Grants
  • Look at how to prioritise Housing Association working group
  • Reference made to co-opt other members with particular interests in areas to take forward



1. That the Cabinet and Committee’s Forward Plan be noted.

2. That the Committee’s Forward Plan be updated.


Urgent Items

To consider any items of business which the Chairman has had prior notification and considers to be urgent pursuant to section 100B (4)b) of the Local Government Act 1972.  The reason for the urgency shall be recorded in the minutes.


There were no urgent items of business.


Exempt Business

To move the exclusion of the press and public for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph 3 of schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).


The public and press will be asked to leave the meeting whilst the item of business is considered.


There was no exempt business.