Agenda and draft minutes

People and Health Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 10th January, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Dorchester, DT1 1XJ. View directions

Contact: George Dare  01305 224185 - Email:


No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.


An apology was received from Cllr Nick Ireland.



Declarations of Interest

To disclose any pecuniary, other registrable or non-registrable interest as set out in the adopted Code of Conduct. In making their disclosure councillors are asked to state the agenda item, the nature of the interest and any action they propose to take as part of their declaration.


If required, further advice should be sought from the Monitoring Officer in advance of the meeting.


There were no declarations of interest.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 231 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 8 November 2022.



Proposed by Cllr Pipe, seconded by Cllr Ridout.



That the minutes of the meeting held on 8 November 2022 be confirmed and signed.



Chairman's Updates

To receive any updates from the Chair of the committee.



The chairman reminded members about a joint briefing with BCP Council’s health scrutiny committee.



Public Participation

Representatives of town or parish councils and members of the public who live, work or represent an organisation within the Dorset Council area are welcome to submit up to two questions or two statements for each meeting.  Alternatively, you could submit one question and one statement for each meeting.  


All submissions must be emailed in full to by 8.30am on Thursday, 5 January 2023.


When submitting your question(s) and/or statement(s) please note that: 


·        no more than three minutes will be allowed for any one question or statement to be asked/read  

·        a question may include a short pre-amble to set the context and this will be included within the three minute period 

·        please note that sub divided questions count towards your total of two 

·        when submitting a question please indicate who the question is for (e.g. the name of the committee or Portfolio Holder) 

·        Include your name, address and contact details.  Only your name will be published but we may need your other details to contact you about your question or statement in advance of the meeting. 

·        questions and statements received in line with the council’s rules for public participation will be published as a supplement to the agenda 

·        all questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting.   


Dorset Council Constitution Procedure Rule 9 



There was no public participation.



Councillor Questions

To receive questions submitted by councillors.  


Councillors can submit up to two valid questions at each meeting and sub divided questions count towards this total.   Questions and statements received will be published as a supplement to the agenda and all questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting. 


The submissions must be emailed in full to by 8.30am on Thursday, 5 January 2023.


Dorset Council Constitution – Procedure Rule 13 



There were no questions from councillors.



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.



Corporate Complaints Team Annual Report 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 290 KB

To consider the report by the Senior Assurance Officer Complains.


Additional documents:


The Senior Assurance Officer Complaints introduced the annual report. Complaints had continued to increase, however there was a reduction in formal complaints. Twenty complaints were upheld by the ombudsman but there were no reputational damages. The majority of complaints related to adult and children’s social care and education. There was an 100% increase in complaints over 2 years, but response times only increased by 18%. Lots of warmth had also been received but the council was not as good at sharing it.


Members of the committee asked questions and received the following responses:


·         Children may not complain due to the formality of the process.

·         Children were made aware of an advocacy service available to them.

·         Complaints from children are normally resolved informally.

·         The difference between formal and informal complaints depended on whether they were resolvable, vexatious, or right and proper.

·         There were statutory timescales to respond to some complaints. The number of responses given on time had been improving.

·         There was an online compliment form and compliments that services received were often accepted, such as thank you cards.

·         There was a fast-track system for young people.

·         There were opportunities to learn from compliments.

·         It was statutory to report on complaints.


Members felt that the word ‘complaints’ had a negative connotation, and that some thought should be given to the name of the team and title of the annual report.


The committee noted the Corporate Complaints Team Annual Report 2021-22.




Risk Management Update

A review of the relevant Dorset Council risk register dashboard to inform the Scrutiny Committee’s Forward Plan and identify items for deep dives.


The following link is the dashboard for this committee:


Risk Dashboard - Power BI



The Service Manager for Assurance presented the Risk Management Dashboard and highlighted the risks that were identified by the committee in a pre-meeting. The risks were:


·         Poor housing conditions in the private rented sector

·         Failure to stabilise the budget for the High Needs Block

·         Delivery of OHID targets for drug and alcohol misuse.

·         A number of risks across services which related to the ability to recruit and retain staff, in particular the link to affordable housing.


Officers responded to the risks and members asked questions of the officers. Committee members made the following points:


·         There was a need for more local government housing in the long-term.

·         Landlords needed to be encouraged to keep properties warm and dry.

·         Housing was needed for care staff so older people could be supported more.

·         The Poole Harbour nitrate issue was preventing some affordable housing being built.




Forward Plans pdf icon PDF 299 KB

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


Additional documents:


The committee considered their forward plan and that of the Cabinet.


There were no comments on the forward plans. The Chairman would explore the best options to take forward the points raised earlier in the meeting.




Budget Strategy and Medium-Term Financial Plan pdf icon PDF 323 KB

To receive a report by the Executive Director for Corporate Development (Section 151 Officer).


Additional documents:


The Committee considered the Budget Strategy and Medium-Term Financial Plan. The Committee received presentations from the appropriate directors of Children’s Services, Adult Social Care, Housing, and Public Health, which are attached to these minutes. Members of the committee asked questions and received responses from the appropriate director or portfolio holder. The questions and responses are summarised in the following table:


Questions and Issues raised by the People and Health Scrutiny Committee 


Adult Social Care

1.    Recruitment was a risk factor. What are we doing to retain staff? Are there any apprenticeships? 

This was a big challenge for the care sector.  We have put in place centralised recruitment process to recruit staff. 

We were supporting staff with their wellbeing – for example training for good mental health, conflict resolution, and resilience. 

We do support Apprenticeships – we were encouraging staff into the social care system.


2.    Were the hospital discharge pressures pandemic related – was the high level of demand a spike, or a longer-term issue? 

In our assessment, the high level of demand was a combination of pandemic related and underlying demand.  Covid had stopped people accessing early intervention. This would continue for some time. This was a five-year legacy, and it was why we are working on a 10-year plan. 


3.    Should there be more funding coming from the NHS? 

We have received more monies into the council this year and we have been investing these monies into the Home First programme. We were trying to address the immediate demand and we were working together as a system which was key to delivering programmes. 


4.    We do not have enough carers - have we taken into account the wider responsibility of people/employees who have a caring role in the community?  

We are working on a 10-year plan so that we can try and predict the demand and have a strategy to manage that demand. If we work more on early intervention this should support carers who were employees and also people in the community.


5.    In your pressures list you have £11.5m for increased care market costs. Was that enough? 

We have used the corporate calculation and we felt that this funding was sufficient. There were some things that were outside of our control, but we think the budget is sufficient.


6.    The service has done a good job and done the best job we can. The demographics of the county have an impact on the services that are provided. Have we done enough to promote on what services were available after people become discharged from hospital.

We were expanding the reablement service which sits within Care Dorset. We have introduced reablement beds this year which was a new service where we were helping people to regain the health and independence to go home. The beds were based in a care home environment with support to help people move back home.

7.    Reablement service – will that be a 9-5 5 days a week. It was difficult to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.


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.