Venue: Boardroom, BFVA, Amber House, Market Street, Bracknell
Contact: Emma Silverton 01344 352281
The minutes of the meeting held on 14 June 2011 were agreed as a correct record.
Minute 42: details of the impacts of raising the pension age to 65 were circulated.
Minute 42: Martin Gilman would contact Richard Beaumont to confirm a date for the OPP to attend an Overview and Scrutiny meeting.
(Action: Martin Gilman)
Minute 43: the Older People’s Partnership Conference would not be held in January 2012 however, it would take place before the end of the financial year. A meeting of the sub-group to steer the conference would be organised in the next month.
(Action: Mira Haynes)
Minute 45: an item on Community Transport would be brought to the OPP meeting in March 2012.
Minute 48: invitations for an Older People’s Network meeting to be held on 4 November at Easthampstead Baptist Church had been circulated.
Minute 48: a discussion on GP Consortiums lead by Sally Kemp had been held at the June meeting of the Federation of Community Groups.
Simon Hendey, Chief Officer: Housing, gave a presentation in respect of the Older Person Accommodation and Support Services Strategy. The vision of the Strategy was to ensure that all older people in BF had a choice as to whether they remained in their home for as long as possible or choose another home that would meet their needs.
Five aims had been developed in consultation with older people. Results showed that 50% of people wished to remain in their own home but be able to access services that would support them to do so.
The Group noted that the consultation was wide-ranging across partners, community groups and voluntary groups in the Borough and commended the work undertaken by officers on a lengthy and full consultation.
It was noted that if older people moved from their homes and downsized their property then mobility in the housing market would increase. No investigation had been undertaken to specifically look at the size and type of properties owned by older people in BF however, there were national statistics that could be investigated.
Research had been undertaken to investigate the reasons that older people did not move to a different property or downsize. Results showed that many people had developed a network of family, friends and support in the area over the years and were reluctant to disrupt this.
The Group noted that some older people may find the prospect of downsizing daunting as packing to move house could be difficult. The Group suggested that this was an area where the voluntary community may be able to offer assistance. It was noted that BFH provided a package to assist people in moving.
It was suggested that when consultation work was undertaken older people could be asked what their plans for the future and retirement were, specifically whether they planned to remain in the area or move to a different part of the country as this may be useful intelligence for the housing market. It was agreed that this could be asked as a question at the Older People’s Conference.
Mira Haynes, Chief Officer: Older People & Long Term Conditions presented a report on Modernisation of Older People’s Services which had been approved by the Executive. The report’s recommendations covered a wide range of measures intended to improve support for older people in the Borough.
It was noted that there had been a shift in the way in which people wished to be supported and how they made decisions. Modernising services looked at making services more efficient and effective and was not about cutting the level of support available to older people.
The recommendations would now undergo considerable consultation with both people currently receiving support and staff involved in the delivery of services. The Group held a discussion on the recommendations in the report which were to:
Members were informed that the consultation on Ladybank Older Persons Home had begun. Officers would be meeting with staff, residents and relatives. A consultation document was available on the BFC website. Members of the Group were encouraged to participate in the consultation.
To address the availability of staff in relation to the Community Response and Enablement service it was intended that an electronic monitoring system be used to improve the co-ordination and operational efficiency or the service. It was noted that this would show the actual time people received from the service and would help monitor whether a review of circumstances was required.
Members of the Group were encouraged to contact Mira Haynes with any queries they may have in relation to the Modernisation of Older People’s Services.
Abby Thomas, Head of Community Engagement and Equalities presented a report in relation to the BFC Equalities Scheme 2012-16. The Council was required to publish equality objectives by April 2012 as part of the Equality Act 2010. The Scheme would be a single equality scheme which would replace the Council’s existing four schemes.
The Council was now inviting views from elected members, staff, partners and voluntary and community groups on the selection of the Council’s equality objectives with a view to reducing the list to 10 or 12 key objectives that would be achievable, measurable and outcome focussed. This would include workshops and discussion with staff, representatives from the voluntary and community sector and with partners.
The draft Equality Scheme along with the selected objectives would be available on the Council’s website from 5 December for 8 weeks.
The OPP were invited to give their views on which equality objectives they believed were most important in relation to older people, particularly with reference to prioritising the equality objectives numbered 25-30 in the long list of objectives.
The Group felt that objective 26: To reduce fuel poverty through helping people improve the energy efficiency of their homes was important as it affected a large number of older people in the Borough during the winter.
It was also felt the object 25: support our older and vulnerable residents by further developing our approach to ensure that people are safeguarded against abuse, was particularly important as it addressed a very serious issue. A number of incidents in relation to commercial abuse including purchasing of mobility scooters had become apparent. It was suggested that an article be included in Town and Country to raise awareness.
It was noted that there used to be a dedicated resource that worked towards addressing objective 25 through TVP however, this was no longer the case. It was reported that previously there had been a scheme known as the ‘Bobby Scheme’ however, it was unclear whether this was still available. It was agreed that this would be investigated.
(Action: Chris Cowap)
The Group agreed that objective 25 was the highest prioritiy followed closely by 26 with the other three objectives still important however, less of a priority as they would be monitored through the Council’s other strategies and EIAs.
Madeline Diver presented the Bracknell and District CAD Annual Report 2009-10 and circulated a paper which contained the age range breakdown for visitors to the CAB.
The CAB were concerned with the increased pressure from clients which was a result of the recession. The increased number of clients had more complex problems than previously seen and the CAB needed to find new ways of working that would increase capacity.
In 2009/10 the CAB assisted people with £500,000 of benefit claim and the management of £4.8 million of debt. It was reported that there had been a significant increase in the number of young people with problems relating to debt.
It was reported there was higher than average number of people in the Borough who suffered from depression and it was likely that this was linked to the economic climate. It was important to develop mechanisms to be able to support people, assist them with their problems and reduce their stress.
The CAB were currently experiencing a problem in relation to migrants. The Bracknell CAB had a low level of ability to advise on certain issues and had to refer clients to either Reading or Slough. In many cases clients were then turned away from other areas as it was not where they resided.
The statistics showed an increase in the number of people over 50 who came to the CAB seeking advice on problems relating to housing. It was noted that the Older Person Accommodation and Support Services Strategy had actions to try and address these issues in Bracknell Forest.
Actions from Economic Development Strategy
Mira Haynes, Chief Officer: Older People & Long Term Conditions gave an update on specific actions within the economic Strategy which related to older people. It was suggested that these action be included in the Older People’s Strategy so that they could be taken forward effectively and would be owned by the Partnership.
It was agreed that the clerk of the Economic and Skills Development Partnership would be contacted find out when their meetings were in order to develop a stronger link between the Economic and Skills Development Partnership and the Older People’s Partnership.
(Action: Emma Silverton)
The Group noted that Bracknell Forest Partnership would be holding a Careers Event on 25 January 2012.
Update on Health Issues
To receive an update regarding current health issues to include:
Health and Wellbeing Board
Kieth Naylor, Joint Commissioning Officer, gave an update on the proposal in the Health and Social Care Bill to develop Health and Wellbeing Boards. Health and Wellbeing Boards were intended to be strategic bodies with a specific duty to ensure patient and public involvement and to pools funds using NHA s.75 agreements.
The Boards would help develop the JSNA which would now be know as the ‘Enhanced’ JSNA and would be responsible for the coordination of the local Health and Wellbeing Strategy. It was noted that the Government would not be publishing national guidance on the development of HWB Boards as they should be developed based on local need.
At present many areas including Bracknell Forest operated ‘shadow’ HWB Boards which would become statutory bodies from April 2013. Although there was no national guidance the Government had set up Learning Sets to share best practice across authorities in relation to key issues.
The Group noted that it was likely that the voluntary sector would need to play a key role on the Board if they were to become successful and ensure the voice of the community was not lost.
It was agreed that the OPP would receive an update on progress of HWB Boards at a future meeting.
Gill Major provided an update in relation to the Bracknell HealthSpace. At present NHS Berkshire East were undertaking preliminary engagement on future plans for Heatherwood Hospital which did not mention the HealthSpace.
It was noted that the business case for Bracknell HealthSpace would be on the agenda of the NHS Berkshire East Board meeting in November. It was hoped that building works would begin in January 2012.
Discussions were still taking place in relation to GP consortia. It was agreed that an update would be provided at the December meeting of the OPP.
New health number
It was reported that a new emergency health number was to be introduced. Further details would be circulated to the Group via email.
(Action: Gill Major)
Gill Major distributed leaflets containing information in relation to flu including details specifically for carers.
NHS Annual Report
The NHS Berkshire East Annual Report was now available to view. A link to the report would be circulated to the Group.
(Action: Gill Major)
Representation from the NHS
Due to restructuring it was unlikely that Gill Major would be able to attend future meetings of the OPP. Discussion where being undertaken to see if resources would allow attendance from a representative of NHS Berkshire east at future meetings.
The Group thanked Gill for her contribution to the OPP>
Age Concern meeting
A meeting of Age Concern would be held on Tuesday 25 October from 6.30pm at Forest Park Day Centre.
Over 50’s Forum meeting
A meeting of the Over 50’s Forum would be held on Tuesday 1 November from 2pm at Pilcher House.
The next meeting of the Older Peoples’ Partnership will be held on Tuesday 13 December at 10am in the Council Chamber, Easthampstead House.
The next meeting of the OPP would be confirmed to members once a venue had been secured as regular meetings would now be held on a Wednesday rather than a Tuesday.