Agenda and minutes

Health Scrutiny Panel - Monday 1st November, 2021 4.00 pm

Venue: Virtual

Contact: Scott Bonner 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


There were no declarations of interest received at this point in the meeting.


Minutes - Health Scrutiny Panel - 5 October 2021 pdf icon PDF 140 KB


Following discussions about Prospect Surgery at the Panel’s meeting of the 5th October, and comments made about repeat prescriptions of opioids for pain relief, a Member queried if an update could be provided on this matter.




1.    The panel receive an update relating to the prescribing of opioids

2.      The minutes of the Health Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 5 October 2021 be approved as a correct record.


Health Inequalities - Tees Valley Regeneration Initiatives

The Chair of the Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership will be in attendance to provide an update on how Tees Valley regeneration initiatives can help to reduce health inequalities.


The Panel was advised the Chair of the Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership was unable to attend and would instead attend the Panel’s December meeting.


Health Inequalities - Council Regeneration Initiatives pdf icon PDF 139 KB

The Council’s Director of Regeneration will be in attendance to provide an update on how Council regeneration initiatives can help to reduce health inequalities.

Additional documents:


The Director of Regeneration and the Programme Management Team Leader for Public Health provided the Panel with information about how local regeneration initiatives could help reduce health inequalities.


The Panel was made aware that health inequalities and regeneration were cross cutting and there was a clear link between the two.


One of the clearest links was the relationship between employment and health outcomes, notably those in work tended to be healthier. Importantly, the work of Public Health in this regard could also contribute people’s mental as well as physical health.


A number of regeneration initiatives could actively contribute to reducing health inequalities by emphasising place making. The need to improve environments for residents and maintain links between place and well-being had been growing for a number of years and was likely to continue. It was also explained it was easier to plan for healthier places rather than retro-fitting them, with Middlehaven provided as an example.


It was possible to be more innovative when planning for healthier spaces and that regeneration initiatives could be a catalyst for improved health provision and vice versa. For example, the need to plan for new medical facilities, such as doctors surgeries, could affect the overall scheme for a particular area.


Going forward there was a need to examine how the plans for the town centre could employ effective health and regeneration initiatives. As previously described, the link between work and wellbeing was well established. Therefore, any plans for the town centre had to include job creation for local people. However, this also had to be balanced with creating appealing open spaces that people could visit.


Plans to improve well-being in the town also included sustainable and joined up transport provision that allowed people to easily access employment opportunities and open spaces. This also has the benefit of reducing loneliness and isolation.


The Council did help improve well-being by controlling opportunities for negative health impacts using mechanisms such as licensing processes. However, there were limits to how effective these could be.


A Member commented that while improvements to open spaces were being made it was important not to lose momentum where such work had already begun, with Linear Park being used as an example.


The Council secured funding from the Town’s Fund as well as the Future High Street Funding amounting to approximately £37 million. Further funding was posible from the Levelling Up Programme and the Shared Prosperity Fund. As part of this funding the Council was working with a delivery partner (Arup) that had carried out research resulting in the Total Town’s Framework. Arup’s research found a healthy community is key when developing and planning spaces, as well as the necessity to empower the local population. Going forward it was important that planning for a healthy community was a key objective in every investment.


However, those objectives did not need to be limited to economics, as the Council’s Events Team also contributed to this objective by holding cultural events that promoted social inclusion.


Investment and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21/105


Covid-19 Update pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Mark Adams, Director of Public Heath (South Tees) will be in attendance to provide an update on COVID-19 and the local Public Health / NHS response.


The Public Health Intelligence Specialist provided the Panel with an update on the ongoing Covid-19 situation for the week beginning 29th October 2021. The Panel heard Covid-19 infection rates continued to fall in Middlesbrough albeit slowly. In terms of case numbers the average was 90 in the week of 24th October, however this did represent a gradual increase since the start of October. In terms of rates per 100,000 this stood at 439 which was a continuing decrease from its peak on 24th October.


Demographically, there was a slight increase in Covid-19 rates within the 40-59 age group (16%) while there were decreases across all other age ranges.


The Panel was advised that not all school cases were being sent to the Public Health team, with the data gap likely being due to half term.  From the available data Covid-19 rates in schools stood at 428 cases, with Middlesbrough ranked 56th in the league tables. This was not a significant change on the previous week.


On a Ward basis the highest number of cases was Park, however when cases per population were considered Stainton and Thornton had the highest number of cases. However, it was important to note cases were spread evenly across all age ranges and were not high in their own right. South Tees Trust had 76 in-patients which was an increase from 66 the previous week. The NHS continued to be stressed.


With regard to vaccination rates Middlesbrough; the town stood at 105th in the league tables for people receiving both a first and second doses. There remained just over 4,000 people within the over 50 age range that had not received the vaccine.


Information about vaccine take up in schools was yet available. However, children were now able to book appointments through the National Booking System meaning children did not have to wait for schools to administer vaccines, subject to appropriate consent.


The Chair expressed concerns about some discrepancies between data sets and it was acknowledged that this was a reality of how the data was compiled and presented by different organisations. 


A Member commented that Covid-19 vaccination rates were reflective of exiting health inequalities in the town and that there was a need for education on this subject.


A Member commented that lessons needed to be learned from vaccine initiatives such as the Miranda Bus, as many people in the town centre found it difficult to get to the Riverside Stadium and other vaccination centres. 


A discussion took place about the availability of the vaccination booster and how in some cases this was available in local pharmacies.


Members expressed concern that the winter period could result in an increase of Covid-19 cases and that people should be remain cautious.




Chair's OSB Update


The Chair updated the Panel with an update from the last meeting of OSB held on 20th October. The Chair informed the Panel that the Executive Member for Regeneration was in attendance and provided the Board with an update on his aims and aspirations, as well as progress relating to his portfolio. These included the improvement of eyesore sites and getting more people into the town centre.  Several regeneration initiatives were taking place across the town including converting Captain Cook Square into an entertainment complex and the continued development of Middlehaven.


The Chief Executive was also in attendance and provided the Board with an update on the Council’s ongoing response to Covid-19. The Board was also advised that LMT was examining several strategic priorities including poverty and social isolation as well as staff reoccupation and the move to Fountain Court. The Board were also made aware that the Chief Executive’s staff briefings had been well received.


The Board approved the final report of the Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel which examined cultural event delivery which would be considered by Executive.


The Council’s latest budgetary and performance information was also presented to the Board.


Finally, the availability of scrutiny chairs training was highlighted to the Board and its importance was stressed with all scrutiny chairs strongly encouraged to attend.




Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered.