Agenda and minutes

Older People's Partnership - Wednesday, 17 September 2014 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Fourth Floor, Easthampstead House, Bracknell. View directions

Contact: Amanda Roden  01344 352253

Note No. Item


Minutes and Action Points from 18 June 2014 pdf icon PDF 62 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 18 June 2014 were agreed as a correct record.


Janet Berry and Kieth Naylor’s actions would be carried forward.



Talking Therapies


Hazel Adams, CBT Therapist, East Berkshire gave a presentation on Talking Therapies.


Talking Therapies was established in Berkshire 2008. It aimed to help people across Berkshire by relieving their distress, and it aimed to improve access to therapies especially among groups less likely to access help.


Talking Therapies worked with people experiencing low mood, lack of pleasure or achievement, difficulties with loss or transitions, worries about health, anxieties about social situations, phobias, and medically unexplained symptoms.


Talking Therapies offered Stress Control Workshops, Well-Being Courses for depression and anxiety, Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Guided Self-Help. Individual Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Individual Interpersonal Therapy, Counselling sessions, and Signposting could also be offered if needed.


An initial triage was conducted, usually over the phone and people would be given a choice of the appropriate treatment options. The aim was to offer the least intrusive options first and then signpost to another service if needed. Statistically the retired population were less likely to access therapy. The aim was to improve access to therapy for those who were less likely to be offered or to seek it.


Self referral to Talking Therapies could be made by telephone or online, East Berkshire: 0300 3652000, or a referral could be requested from a person’s GP.


It was suggested that Talking Therapies could be mentioned to GPs on training days and opportunities could be explored for GPs to become more involved. Talking Therapies was based in some GP practices in Bracknell Forest but not all of them. It was suggested that Talking Therapies could be raised at the Bracknell and Ascot Clinical Commissioning Group AGM on 18 September 2014 and it could also be raised at the Health and Wellbeing Board.


Talking Therapies was a national programme and a free service. People needed to recognise when they needed help and to look at the options available to them. People often did not think that they qualified for help which was available. If people did not qualify for the Talking Therapies service, they could be signposted to other counselling services. It was suggested that there could be an online self-assessment on the Talking Therapies website. People in their 40s and young people aged 17-18 years were the age groups who most frequently contacted the service, and more women than men usually contacted the service.


The aim was to give people the tools and strategies to help with low mood, and it was queried how much anti-depressants were prescribed as opposed to looking at alternative therapies. Leaflets could put at the sheltered schemes in Bracknell Forest and agencies could phone Talking Therapies if they wanted further leaflets.


Welfare Reform


Nicola Jolly, Senior Benefits Officer, lead a discussion on the changes arising from the Welfare Reform.


The main benefit changes were: Social Sector Size Criteria, Benefit Cap, Local Council Tax schemes would replace the national scheme, Personal Independence Payment, Universal Credit, and changes to Pension Credit.


Working age were customers below the qualifying age for State Pension Credit and Pension Age customers were those at or above the qualifying age for State Pension Credit. During the financial year 2013-2014 the qualifying age for State Pension Credit was approximately 61 ½ to 62 years, and the qualifying age would increase slightly year on year.


From April 2013, the Social Sector Size Criteria specified that if a person or family had more bedrooms than they needed, then Housing Benefit would be reduced by 14% of the eligible rent if there was one spare bedroom or by 25% if there were two spare bedrooms. One bedroom allowed for a couple or single adult, for two children of different sexes aged under 10, or for two children of the same sex aged under 16. If a couple and one person reached qualifying age for pension credit then size criteria would no longer apply.


The Benefit Cap was introduced for working age claims so that workless households no longer received more in benefits than the average earnings of working households. The cap was set at £500 per week for couples and lone parents, and £350 per week for single adults. Exemptions included if someone was in receipt of Working Tax Credit, Pension Credit, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, support component of Employment and Support Allowance, Industrial Injuries Benefits or War Widows and War Widowers Pension. There were currently 25 cases subject to the benefit cap.


From April 2013, Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme came into force. The national council tax benefit was replaced by local schemes set by each council.  Working age customers would have an 8.5% reduction in their benefit if they received an income based out of work benefit, or if their income was below their applicable amount. Pensioners would receive the same council tax benefit support as they did under the national scheme.


From June 2013, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) replaced Disability Living Allowance for those aged between 16 and 64 years. From June 2013, anyone who had made a new claim had to claim Personal Independence Payment. The Government intended to reassess existing customers who received Disability Living Allowance who were aged between 16 and 64 and they would have to apply for PIP. The Government’s aim was for everyone to have been reassessed by May 2018.


Universal Credit was a new benefit replacing a range of working age benefits. It was hoped that bringing the benefits together into a single payment would make claiming simpler. The following benefits would be replaced: Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, and Income Support.


Universal Credit was being introduced slowly and was currently only available  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.



Digital inclusion - Initial Research Findings pdf icon PDF 95 KB


The Board noted the report on digital inclusion research. Tracey Hedgecox advised that the Ascot results in the research were not typical of the older population generally in Bracknell Forest, as many older people did not use the internet in the borough.


Enquiries had been made at lunch clubs regarding what older people wanted help with and many had smart phones or iPads but did not know how to use them for what they wanted. Getting the right kind of help to those who needed it was something to consider.


People could be signposted to Age Concern Bracknell Forest in the first instance in relation to digital inclusion issues.



Update on Older People and the DAAT Service


This item was deferred.



Health Check Advice for people aged 75+ pdf icon PDF 78 KB


The Board noted the report on Health Checks for People aged 75+.


There was no rolling national programme of health checks for people aged 75+ but people of this age group could request one. It was suggested that GPs could ask about patients’ mood during a health check.


What a health check involved would be investigated further.

(Action: Mira Haynes)


Members Updates


Tracey Hedgecox mentioned that Age Concern Bracknell Forest’s weekly events at Priestwood Community Centre were attracting over 30 people a week. There had been three sessions so far and different people came each week. Bracknell Forest Homes provided transport for their tenants to attend these events which included a mixture of social activities and gentle exercise sessions. It was hoped that these events could be continued on a regular basis and the cost implications would be considered further.


Yvette Hockley mentioned that the befriending service at Involve was currently oversubscribed and there were 36 people on the waiting list at present. One person on staff had a caseload of 80 people and that was the maximum they could manage. It was suggested that opportunities for more funding for this service could be sought. Telephone befriending was offered to people on the waiting list and there would possibly be an extra 15 hours of support for Bracknell Forest Homes (BFH) tenants.


Ruth Edminson mentioned that Clement House was in the process of being built. BFH had been liaising with Housing Options to find potential people for the new extra care scheme. People had not been bidding on places available at a scheme in Sandhurst and other avenues for advertising vacancies was being sought.


Future Meetings

Future meetings of the Older People’s Partnership will be held at 10am in the Council Chamber at Easthampstead House:


Wednesday 17 December 2014

Wednesday 18 March 2015


Proposed future dates:

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Wednesday 16 December 2015


Future meetings of the Older People’s Partnership will be held at 10am in the Council Chamber at Easthampstead House:


Wednesday 17 December 2014

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Wednesday 16 December 2015