Agenda and minutes

Venue: Boardrooms 3, 4 & 5 - Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ

Contact: Hannah O'Brien, Governance Officer  Email: Hannah.O'Brien@brent.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence and clarification of alternate members

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received as follows:

 

  • Councillor Knight
  • Councillor Stephens
  • Councillor Hector
  • Co-opted member Alloysius Frederick

 

2.

Declarations of interests

Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, the nature and existence of any relevant disclosable pecuniary or personal interests in the items on this agenda and to specify the item(s) to which they relate.

Minutes:

Interests were declared as follows:

  • Councillor Ketan Sheth – Lead Governor, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, board member of St Joseph’s Infant and Junior School and Harrow and Uxbridge College.
  • Councillor Colwill – Governor at St Gregory’s School.
  • Councillor Shahzad  Spouse employed by the NHS.
  • Councillor Thakkar – Employed as Care Navigator.
  • Rev. Helen Askwith – Governor at Wembley Primary School.

 

3.

Deputations (if any)

To hear any deputations received from members of the public in accordance with Standing Order 67.

Minutes:

There were no deputations received.

 

4.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To approve the following minutes of the previous meeting(s) as a correct record:

 

·         Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Meeting Minutes 4September 2019

 

·         Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Meeting Minutes 2 October 2019 (call-in)

 

·         Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Meeting Minutes 24 October 2019 (additional meeting)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:-

 

That the minutes of the previous meetings held on 4 September 2019, 2 October 2019 and 24 October 2019 be approved as an accurate record of the meeting, subject to the following amendments:

  • 4 September 2019: Change the record of Councillor Thakkar’s Declaration of Interest to ‘care navigator’
  • 24 October 2019 additional meeting: That Councillors McLennan, Hylton, Perrin, Dixon and Chappell be recorded as present.

 

 

5.

Matters arising (if any)

Minutes:

There were no matters arising.

 

6.

Order of Business

Minutes:

RESOLVED: that the order of business be amended as recorded below:

Agenda item9, Brent Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Reportto be taken before Agenda item 8, Brent Adult Safeguarding Peer Review.

 

7.

Brent Local Safeguarding Children Board Closing Report pdf icon PDF 76 KB

To receive and consider the Brent Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) Closing Report for the period of April 2018 – September 2019 and note that as of 21 September 2019 the LSCB has been replaced by new safeguarding arrangements.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mike Howard (Independent Chair, Brent LSCB) introduced the report, which covered an extra 6 months due to the changes made to children’s safeguarding arrangements. He explained that the government had changed legislation meaning that Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards (LSCB) were to be replaced with Multiagency Safeguarding Partner arrangements. Mike Howard expressed that it had been ensured the Safeguarding arrangements in Brent continued as they had before, with strong relationships developed with schools and the Metropolitan Police. A statutory responsibility of the board was to ensure all agencies had policies that focussed on children at greatest risk of harm, which he was confident continued with the new arrangements.

 

Looking to the key points within the Closing Report, Mike Howard felt that a big improvement had been the number of people receiving training. A new software to book training, had been purchased and was being built upon. Mike Howard thanked Pam Stewart, the Co-Chair of the Learning and Development Advisory Group, for the work done on training and for the community BBQ organised to raise awareness of safeguarding in the community. He felt that an achievement of the board was the development of stronger relationships with schools in the Borough, with 2 Brent Safer School’s Officers receiving recognition for their work from the Metropolitan Police following his recommendation. Mike Howard also drew the committee’s attention to the Safeguarding Survey that was jointly commissioned by the LSCB and Safeguarding Adults Board. It focused on the application of safeguarding knowledge. The BMG, who had conducted the survey, had produced a dashboard of the results which would allow for easy interrogation of the data, which Mike Howard hoped would take place over the following 3 months. He informed the committee that 2-3 schools had excelled in the survey.

 

The committee were informed that the definition of serious harm had been broadened Mike Howard explained that as a result of the widened definition, the number of rapid reviews were likely to increase, and had increased, which had resulted in a strain in the resources of the board and, going forward, the forum. He highlighted the tight timescales of rapid reviews (15 working days from a notification to the convening of a review), explaining that he was often flexible with those timescales to ensure he was sourcing the right people to make decisions. He informed the committee that he had recently commissioned another case review.

 

Mike Howard had been asked to continue the role of independent convenor for the new arrangements throughout the transition period until May. He was of the opinion that he had progressed the board in his time, enabling better engagement and awareness of the board and making a difference to the children in Brent.

 

The Chair thanked Mike Howard for his introduction and invited members of the committee to ask questions. The following issues were raised:

 

·         In response to requests for reassurance that there was a smooth transition period, Mike Howard explained that over the year he had attended meetings with the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Multiagency Arrangements for Safeguarding Children in Brent pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To note the new statutory Children’s Safeguarding Arrangements that came into effect as of 21 September 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Mili Patel (Lead Member for Children's Safeguarding) introduced the report to the new Multiagency arrangements for safeguarding children in Brent. She drew the committee’s attention to section 3.5, which detailed the membership of the new arrangements and the appendix of the report, which included details of the full arrangements. She also drew the committee’s attention to section 4 of the report detailing financial implications, which included information regarding how much funding each partner was contributing.

 

Gail Tolley (Strategic Director Children & Young People) added that the arrangements were being delivered due to statute and were written with the view of continuity. They were ministerially approved for implementation in June. Meetings were underway with rotating locations. She confirmed that a different statutory partner set the agenda for each meeting, and that the independent convenor of the Safeguarding forum attended those meetings, which provided a direct link between the forum and the multiagency partners.

 

Barry Loader (Detective Superintendent, Head of Safeguarding, North West Basic Command Unit) echoed Gail Tolley, and felt that the relationships within the new arrangements were strong. He told the committee that policing had changed to a basic command unit where they locally managed child abuse investigations, serious sexual offenses and domestic abuse under one umbrella. He added that there were new crime types that as partners they did not yet fully understand, so it was an emerging area of business where the arrangements would develop as more was understood.

 

The Chair thanked the presenting officers for their updates, and invited the committee to ask questions. The following points were raised:

 

·         In response to queries regarding the balance of funding, Gail Tolley confirmed that Brent Council were making the largest contribution, and highlighted that this was normal for shared partnerships of this type. She felt that the funding of £5,000 from the Metropolitan police was an issue, and had been told it was unlikely to increase under the current constraints. Gail Tolley highlighted that during meetings they had conversations as equal partners, but if one were to look at the funding, the Council would be viewed as the lead partner. She also stated that Ofsted would view the Council as the lead partner due to its statutory responsibilities. Barry Loader shared Gail Tolley’s frustration with the funding, and confirmed that the Chief Operating Commissioner was lobbying MOPAC to increase the funding arrangements.

 

·         Further clarification regarding the figures quoted in section 4.1 of the report was given. Mike Howard (Independent Chair, Brent LSCB) explained that the figures only included the contribution of the 3 statutory partners, and the contributions from other partners was mentioned in section 4.2. Gail Tolley explained that the figures represented the 12-month cash equivalent that would go to the partnership arrangements from each contributor, and that the government had identified the key health contributor as the CCG, in comparison to previous arrangements where other health providers also gave cash contributions.

 

·         In response to how the executive group would hold the safeguarding forum  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Brent Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To receive and consider the Brent Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report for the period of 2018 – 2019

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Michael Preston-Shoot (Independent Chair, Brent Safeguarding Adults Board) introduced the annual report, which covered April 2018 to March 2019. He noted that there was concern across safeguarding adults in London regarding funding from the NHS and MOPAC, and in Brent the Council makes the substantial contribution towards the cost of the Board including the business manager and training officer. There were ongoing conversations with NHS England. Michael Preston-Shoot confirmed that Transitional Safeguarding would be a priority going forward, following the transitional Safeguarding workshop, and added that he would report on the progress made in the next annual report. He pointed out the 4 Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs) that were included in the annual report, and explained that learning from Adult C and D was being implemented, and Adult E’s SAR was ongoing. Adult B’s case had been scrutinised by the Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee on 11 June 2019.

 

Councillor Farah (Lead Member for Adult Social Care), in co-presenting the annual report, informed the committee that the formal notification of the outcome of the Coroner’s Inquest into Adult E’s case should be known in the following month. The council had written to the family to share an apology and reassure them that the whole Council had learned lessons from the inquest and would do everything they could to ensure it did not happen again. In concluding, Councillor Farah confirmed that once the formal notification was received the SAR could be concluded and they would be able to bring the full report back to scrutiny once received.

 

The Chair thanked the Presenting Officers for their introduction and invited members of the committee to comment. The following issues were raised:

 

·         In response to whether there was any relationship between the reported underspend and the case of Adult D, Michael Preston-Shoot highlighted that the reason for the underspend was that it was known the board would have 3 reviews to pay for, and it was prudent to assume they would be conducting at least 1 review each year. He confirmed that the accounts had been settled for adult C and D, and that he was in the early stages of commissioning a SAR for adults F and G. When a concern was received regarding a specific case that did not trigger the threshold for a section 44 SAR, the practice was to pass the information on to the Operational Director for Social Care, Helen Woodland, who was responsible under the Council’s duty of care.

 

·         Michael Preston-Shoot was of the opinion the Multiagency Safeguarding Partnership had been challenging with the reorganisation of the Metropolitan Police. He felt the reorganisation had impacted strategically on all Safeguarding Boards in London and predicted that the upcoming reorganisation of CCGs would also impact the arrangements.

 

·         In response to reassurance that learning was implemented, Michael Preston-Shoot informed the committee that information sharing and learning was done through exchange during SARs, workshops and training, dissemination events, lunch and learn seminars and other events. Michael Preston-Shoot was also undertaking  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Brent Adult Safeguarding Peer Review pdf icon PDF 128 KB

To note the Adult Safeguarding Peer Review.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Phil Porter (Strategic Director Community Wellbeing) introduced the Brent Adult Safeguarding Peer Review. It was being brought to the Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee  as it was itself a process of external challenge, which should provide a level of assurance. He explained that the peer review was undertaken by a team of 6 ASC practitioners, who were led by a serving DASS, and the team included a Principal Social Worker.  The Council did a detailed self-assessment, submitted over 100 documents and organised 20 meetings with Safeguarding stakeholders for the Peer Review team. Phil Porter was of the opinion that the outcome was of reasonable reassurance, but there were things that could be improved. The review was positive regarding the core processes of adult safeguarding and how concerns were dealt with, including section 42 enquiries. Areas for improvement focused on making the individual more central to the process, as well as providing more feedback to the referrer. There were also challenges regarding self-neglect, and Phil Porter confirmed that the Safeguarding Adults Board would agree self-neglect procedures in January 2020.

 

The Chair thanked Phil Porter for his introduction and invited the committee to ask questions. The following issues were raised:

 

  • The committee wanted reassurance that there was a uniform procedure for commissioning care. Helen Woodland (Operational Director for Social Care) responded, informing the committee that the majority of care was regulated by the CQC and the Council’s procurement of care iwas governed by procurement regulations. She informed members that CQC was the national regulation body that set out care for all providers, and they conducted inspections regularly to ensure they were meeting statutory regulations.  There was also a subgroup of the Safeguarding Board (Establishment Concerns Group) which brought together the relevant  partners that had a stake in  social care provision to ensure there was a joined up response to poor quality social care provision. Phil Porter added that all providers would be expected to have a Safeguarding Policy, and that multiple processes were in place, for example provider forums were held regularly, to allow providers to raise issues and to enable joint working. Due to staff turnover in providers, it was felt necessary to raise awareness and training every 3 years.

 

  • Regarding how the areas for consideration formed part of the safeguarding action plan, Helen Woodland referred to the action plan in appendix 2, which demonstrated the priority areas. She explained one of the action plans related specifically to actions outlined in the peer review and how they would be addressed. They would work in conjunction with partners to complete actions. Michael Preston-Shoot (Independent Chair, Brent Safeguarding Adults Board) added that a discussion regarding the outcomes of the peer review was held at the board development day, with the recommendation to refresh the strategy. They had used the findings of the peer review to do that. The new strategy would be signed off in January, and some of it would focus on self-neglect, and a renewed focus on analysis  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2019/20 Update pdf icon PDF 96 KB

The report updates Members on the Committee’s Work Programme for 2019/20 and captures scrutiny activity which has taken place outside of its formal meetings.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the contents of the Update on the Committee’s Work Programme 2019-20 report, be noted.

 

12.

Any other urgent business

Notice of items to be raised under this heading must be given in writing to the Head of Executive and Member Services or his representative before the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 60.

Minutes:

None.