Agenda and minutes
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Apologies for absence and clarification of alternate members
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 64.
The following apologies for absence were received:
· Councillor Conneely (with Councillor Mashari substituting)
· Simon Goulden (Co-opted Member)
· Lesley Gouldbourne (Appointed observer - Brent Teachers’ Association)
· Ms Sotira Michael (Appointed observer – Brent Teachers’ Association)
· Jean Roberts (Appointed observer - Brent Teachers’ Association)
Gail Tolley (Strategic Director of Children and Young People, Brent Council) informed the Committee that she would leave the meeting at 6:30 pm in order to attend a meeting of the Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee, following which she would return to the room.
Declarations of interests
Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, any relevant disclosable pecuniary, personal or prejudicial interests in the items on this agenda.
The following personal interests were declared:
· Councillor Ketan Sheth declared that he was a Lead Governor at Central and North West London National Health Service Trust; a Governor of the federation of St Joseph’s Infant School and St Joseph’s Junior School; a member of the Board of Harrow College and a Director at Daniel’s Den Ltd;
· Councillor Colwill declared that he was a Governor at St Gregory’s Catholic Science College;
· Councillor Knight declared that she was a Governor at Wykeham Primary School and a Co-founding Trustee of The Promise Foundation;
· Councillor Mashari declared that she was a Governor at Wykeham Primary School;
· Councillor Thakkar declared that she had recently been appointed as a Governor at Phoenix Arch School;
· Co-opted Member Alloysius Frederick declared that he was Chair of Governors at St Gregory’s Catholic Science College; Chair of the All Saints Trust; and a National Leader of Governance; and
· Co-opted Member Helen Askwith declared that she was Governor at Wembley Primary School.
Deputations (if any)
To hear any deputations received from members of the public in accordance with Standing Order 67.
There were no deputations received.
Matters arising from the previous meeting
Please note that the minutes of the special meeting on the London Borough of Culture held on Wednesday 21 November 2018 will be approved at the Committee meeting on Thursday 13 December 2018.
It was noted that the minutes of the special meeting on the London Borough of Culture, held on Wednesday 21 November 2018, would be approved at the Committee meeting on Thursday 13 December 2018
There were no matters arising from this meeting.
The report provides an overview of the current Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) offer in Brent, the improvements and investments identified as in the CAMHS Local Transformation Plan as a response to ‘Future in Mind’.
It also provides an update on progress against the recommendations made by the Brent Council Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee CAMHS Task and Finish Group as set out in their report of July 2017.
Duncan Ambrose (Assistant Director, Brent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)) introduced the report which provided an overview of the current Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) offer in Brent and the improvements and investments identified in the CAMHS Local Transformation Plan. Mr Ambrose pointed out that two out of three children with mental health conditions did not receive the support they needed. In order to address this, the National Health Service (NHS) had set up a plan for investment in CAMHS which was refreshed on an annual basis.
Mr Ambrose directed Members’ attention to section three of the report which provided an update on progress against the CAMHS Scrutiny Task Group recommendations. In relation to increasing investment in mental health support in schools, it was noted that the Brent CCG had submitted a bit for School CAMHS service and was awaiting the outcome. Furthermore, Brent CCG had engaged with schools directly and through partnership fora to confirm the referral processes, leading to a positive impact in referrals. Work on developing a programme of peer and staff support in schools was ongoing as well as the engagement and recruitment of community champions.
Jackie Shaw (CAMHS and Eating Disorders Service Director, Central and North West London (CNWL) NHS Trust) added that Brent Council and Brent CCG had been successful in developing a children’s eating disorder service which had the ability to assess urgent cases on the day of referral. She added that commissioning arrangements had been under review as services had to become more responsive to the needs of children and the increasing demand. A potential option to achieve this would be the commissioning of joint providers to operate in a similar way to Autism diagnosis support services. Furthermore, an urgent crisis service had been introduced which enabled children who presented themselves at hospitals to access specialist support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while new discharge arrangements had made referrals to local services quicker. Nevertheless, the CNWL NHS Trust would continue to work closely with local communities in order to prevent children from going to hospitals unless this was strictly necessary.
The Committee welcomed the report and enquired whether the CAMHS in Brent were at crisis point. Mr Ambrose said that there had been a reduction in the number of children on waiting lists – 90% of children were seen within the target of 18 weeks which had reduced waiting lists by approximately 50%. Although the total number of children accessing CAMHS continued to increase, the service was not at a crisis point, but there had been concerns related to falling mental health workforce numbers. A number of professionals were leaving because it had not been affordable for them to live in London which caused issues related to the development and expansion of staff. Brent CCG held weekly conference calls with the CAMHS team to monitor recruitment to vacant posts and in cases where recruitment rounds had not been successful, relocation support and training had been offered to ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
The paper provides information on the Youth Offer in Brent, including details on the delivery of services such as Connexions, Brent Youth Parliament, services delivered from the Roundwood Youth Centre and the newly established Brent Youth Zone website.
Councillor Mili Patel (Lead Member for Children's Safeguarding, Early Help and Social Care) introduced the report which provided an overview of the youth offer in Brent and included detailed information about the Connexions service, Brent Youth Parliament (BYP), services delivered from the Roundwood Youth Centre and the newly established Brent Youth Zone website. She pointed out that the Council had not fully recovered from the cuts it was forced to make in 2015 so the majority of services for young people were targeted at specific groups. Nigel Chapman (Operational Director – Integration and Improved Outcomes, Brent Council) provided more detail on specific services and future proposals. He noted that the outcomes for young people from the Connexions service had been positive, with performance being in the top 25% nationally. The contract for this service was due for recommissioning in April 2019 and officers had been looking into ways of combining the in-house provision with the commissioned contract as per the recommendations of recent Outcome Based Reviews focused on Gangs and Children on the Edge of Care.
Mr Chapman informed Members that although the scope of the youth offer in the Borough would be reduced, arrangements were expected to be enhanced by delivering services differently. For example, the online youth offer (Brent Youth Zone) had been launched on 23 November 2018 (the Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover day). It had been developed in collaboration with young people across the Borough including BYP and users of Roundwood Youth Centre. It provided information on work and learning; help, safety and advice; things to do; and ways of getting involved. Future plans were being developed to create a Youth App to further the use of Brent Youth Zone and expand its reach.
Sandra White (Sector Development Director, Young Brent Foundation (YBF) delivered a presentation on the charity’s history, current activity and future plans to work with Brent Council. Members heard that YBF had been set up in 2016 with the aim to support voluntary sector organisations, working with children and young people in Brent, at a time of severe challenges and funding cuts. She directed the Committee’s attention to the findings of the Young Brent Survey which had identified the key needs, challenges and opportunities for voluntary organisations supporting young people in Brent. There had been 120 groups and organisations, primarily focused on education, community development, arts and sports, working in the Borough supporting approximately 5,000 young people a month. One of the main challenges identified had been the lack of affordable space to be used by young people. The demand for it had been highlighted by the successful Midnight University initiative organised by The Hyde Group – Hyde Housing when the Yellow Pavilion in Wembley had stayed open until midnight. A further issue related to lack of signposting and coherence between the work of various groups and organisations as a number of them were operating in silos. Ms White said that YBF acknowledged the need to invest resources in building the capacity of organisations ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
The report provides information about Children’s Centres in Brent and an overview of Family Hub models and their potential to improve the wellbeing of children and young people. It includes details of what the introduction of a Family Hub model in Brent could provide, building on the current provision of services offered by the borough’s Children’s Centres.
Councillor Mili Patel (Lead Member for Children's Safeguarding, Early Help and Social Care) introduced the topic and reminded Members that the proposals outlined in the paper were subject to consultation and pending a decision by Cabinet. Therefore, she proposed that the financial aspects of the Family Hub model could be discussed at the special Budget Scrutiny meeting scheduled to take place in early December 2018.
Nigel Chapman (Operational Director - Integration and Improved Outcomes, Brent Council) presented the report which included details of what the introduction of a Family Hub model in Brent could provide, building on the current provision of services offered by the Borough’s children centres. He directed Members’ attention to paragraphs 3.8, 3.9 and 3.10 of the report (pages 57-58 of the Agenda pack) which summarised the changing nature of service demand and the necessity to think differently about the way services would be delivered to the most vulnerable families in Brent. Mr Chapman pointed out that information about other parts of the country where the Family Hub model had been in operation was also included in the paper.
The Chair spoke of a site visit to a Children and Family Hub run by Westminster City Council which had provided Members with a good insight into what the model looked like once developed and enquired about the ways it was expected to improve existing provision in Brent. Mr Chapman explained that children centres had been successful in engaging families with children aged 0-5 which had led to a number of positive outcomes such as a greater proportion of children being school ready; building resilience amongst families at risk; greater engagement of fathers, etc. However, there was currently a ‘cut off’ of services once children turned 5 which the Family Hub model would address by moving towards a whole family approach as issues like late diagnosis of mental health conditions and risk of youth violence, often arose with older children.
Service delivery under the Family Hub model would take into account the research carried out as part of the Council’s Outcome Based Reviews (OBRs) on domestic abuse, children on the edge of care and reducing the impact of gang activity. It would enable services to be co-located and delivered to families with children of all ages including vulnerable adolescents. Sue Gates (Head of Early Help, Brent Council) explained that at present children centres were used predominantly during school hours (9 am to 3 pm). Under the new model, there would be fewer centres, but timetabling of activities would be improved to enable a wider range of services to be offered. This would take into account the outcomes of the OBRs, the results of the children centres annual satisfaction survey and the outcome of the consultation on the Family Hub model. She explained that it might be possible that not all services would be delivered from all centres, with others such as employment support and housing advice, rotating between the sites. Furthermore, service provision would be flexible, including weekends, ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
The report updates Members on the Committee’s Work Programme for 20187/19 and captures scrutiny activity which has taken place outside of its formal meetings.
James Diamond (Scrutiny Officer, Brent Council) informed the Committee that the Chair of the Task and Finish Group reviewing contextual safeguarding would present an interim report back to the Committee on 30 January 2019 to allow Members to discuss potential recommendations. A full report with final recommendations would be presented at the meeting on 18 March 2019.
RESOLVED that the contents of the Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Work Programme 2018/2019 Update report, be noted.
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.
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