Agenda and minutes

People and Health Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 11th December, 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.



Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Molly Rennie, Bill Pipe, and Robin Cook.


In the absence of the Vice-Chairman it was proposed by Cllr Taylor and seconded by Cllr Kimber that Cllr Ireland be appointed as Vice-Chairman for the duration of the meeting.




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.



Cllr Ireland declared that he was a governor of Dorset HealthCare and that his wife worked for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, however she would not be affected by the reconfiguration of hyper acute stroke care.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 31 October 2023.



Proposed by Cllr Taylor, seconded by Cllr Ridout.



That the minutes of the meeting held on 31 October 2023 be confirmed and signed.




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 either 1 question or 1 statement for each meeting.  You are welcome to attend the meeting in person or via Microsoft Teams to read out your question and to receive the response.   If you submit a statement for the committee this will be circulated to all members of the committee in advance of the meeting as a supplement to the agenda and appended to the minutes for the formal record but will not be read out at the meeting. The first 8 questions and the first 8 statements received from members of the public or organisations for each meeting will be accepted on a first come first served basis in accordance with the deadline set out below.  For further information read Public Participation - Dorset Council


All submissions must be emailed in full to by 8.30am on Wednesday, 6 December 2023.


When submitting your question or statement please note that: 


·         You can submit 1 question or 1 statement.

·         a question may include a short pre-amble to set the context.

·         It must be a single question and any sub-divided questions will not be permitted.

·         Each question will consist of no more than 450 words, and you will be given up to 3 minutes to present your question.

·         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.



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 Wednesday, 6 December 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.




Committee's Work Programme and Executive Forward Plans pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To consider the committee’s Work Programme and the Executive Forward Plans.


Additional documents:


The Chairman outlined the committee’s work programme for the remainder of the council term. Items included scrutiny of the council’s budget and medium-term financial plan, and scrutiny of the SEND Delivery Strategy. There was also a planned informal meeting of sufficiency within the adult social care workforce.


The Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care, Health, and Housing informed members that there would be an all-member webinar on Care Dorset.




Update on Somerset Hyper Acute Stroke Care pdf icon PDF 406 KB

To receive a report by the Programme Manager for Stroke, Neurorehab and Community Hospitals, NHS Somerset Foundation Trust.


Additional documents:


Members received an update on hyper acute stroke care in Somerset, following a public consultation. The Programme Manager for Stroke, Neurohab, and Community Hospitals and the Head of Communications and Engagement, NHS Somerset, outlined the outcomes of the public consultation and the key themes that emerged from it; these were travel times for staff and patients, and options for recruitment. Financial considerations and the final decision of the reconfiguration of stroke services would be made by the NHS Somerset Board in January. The process to select the options in the consultation was highlighted.


Members asked questions and considered the following points:


·         There was an existing stroke unit at Dorset County Hospital and a hyperacute unit was planned for quarter 1 of 2024/25.

·         There were some arrangements in place for transport, travelling and access to the hyper acute stroke unit in option A. It would be useful to link with the transport team at Dorset Council.

·         There was a need to consider how to attract therapists to work in the area.

·         Apprenticeships were being used to fill posts, but it took time to train apprentices.

·         A specialist grade doctor had recently been recruited.


The Committee was content with the work completed and thought the consultation was robust.


Members requested a written update following a decision being made by Somerset ICB.




Young People's Mental Health Services - Your Mind, Your Say pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To receive a presentation by the Head of Children & Young People and Mental Health, NHS Dorset.



The Head of Children, Young People, Learning Disabilities & Autism, and Mental Health introduced the item and gave some background information to children’s mental health services in Dorset.


The Manager of Healthwatch Dorset explained a report that the organisation had produced on young people’s views of mental health services. The report highlighted that young people wanted better continuity of care, follow-up support after treatment, and activities during face-to-face therapy. There were some voluntary sector organisations that have helped young people with mental health services.


The Head of Children, Young People, Learning Disabilities & Autism, and Mental Health gave a detailed presentation to the committee, which is attached to these minutes. The presentation covered the following areas: the services that would be part of the transformation; partner organisations and the project governance structure; the assumptions and boundaries used for the project; the funding available for young people’s mental health; the project non-negotiables; and how services could work together following transformation. 


Members asked questions and considered the following points:


·         The metrics for children’s mental health were concerning so it was good to see the transformation plans.

·         An all-age neuro diversity review would help address some of the challenges.

·         There needed to be investment across the system for the project to work effectively.

·         There were people who did not want to access or engage with services.

·         It was important that children’s mental health services were based in places where children were, such as schools, localities, and family hubs.

·         There was a tight timescale to keep the pace on the project.

·         March 2024 was the deadline for the business case, but it was realistic that the deadline would not be met on time.


Members suggested that, due to the timescale of the project, the committee should receive a further report on the project following the Dorset Council elections in May 2024. 




Corporate Complaints Team Annual Report 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To receive a report by the Senior Assurance Officer Complaints.


Additional documents:


The Senior Assurance Officer Complaints introduced the report and outlined the role of the complaints team. The key areas of the annual report were highlighted, which included that: the number of complaints has risen; timescales for responding to complaints have improved but need to be improved further; there was a low number of complaints that reached the Ombudsman, investigated, and upheld; and there was an open culture of learning and transparency for complaints.


In response to questions from members, the Senior Assurance Officer Complaints advised that he was confident changes made from lessons learned were sticking, and that there was a 166% increase in complaints since the council was formed.


The Committee noted the report.




Prevent and Channel pdf icon PDF 141 KB

To receive a report by the Programme Coordinator.


Additional documents:


The Service Manager for Community Safety introduced the report and explained the statutory duties of local authorities in relation to Prevent and Channel. The Programme Coordinator outlined parts of the report, including how recommendations to the Home Office to a national review could affect Local Authorities; updated guidance on Prevent and Channel; compliance and exceeding compliance of statutory duties; and how the Channel panel has developed in their role of supporting people at risk of radicalisation.


A member stated that the low number of referrals demonstrates how safe Dorset is.


In response to questions from members, the officers confirmed that the three recommendations from the Home Office would be implemented, and they would aim to complete that within the next 2 months.


The Committee noted the report.




Exempt Business

To move the exclusion of the press and the public for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph x of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended). The public and the press will be asked to leave the meeting whilst the item of business is considered.  


There are no exempt items scheduled for this meeting.



There was no exempt business.