Agenda and minutes

Adults and Safer City Scrutiny Panel - Tuesday, 15th September, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Earl Piggott Smith  01902 551251 email:


No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


[The Chair to welcome everyone to the meeting. The Scrutiny Officer will then read out a list of those invited to the meeting to confirm who is in attendance.]



Cllr Val Evans, Chair, welcomed everyone to the virtual meeting and advised it was being live streamed to the press and public. Cllr Evans advised that she was not expecting any exempt or restricted items on the agenda. A recording of the meeting would be available for viewing on the Council’s website at a future date.



Meeting procedures to be followed

[The Chair will explain how the meeting will proceed, how questions are to be asked and any matters of meeting etiquette.]



Cllr Evans explained the protocol to be followed during the meeting for asking questions and reminded everyone that microphones should be muted and cameras off, unless they have been invited to speak.Earl Piggott-Smith, Scrutiny Officer, invited all attendees to introduce themselves to confirm they were present at the meeting.


Please note that the following offices were also in attendance at the meeting


David Watt

Becky Wilkinson

Lynsey Kelly

Hannah Pawley

Julia Cleary

Martin Stevens





Apologies were received from the following member of the panel:


·         Cllr John Rowley



Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest recorded.



Minutes of previous meeting (28 January 2020) pdf icon PDF 471 KB

[To approve the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record]


The Scrutiny Officer advised the panel that for Agenda Item 7b references to Adult Services in the minutes should have been stated as Adult Education Services and not Adult Services.


The panel members voted and approved the minutes of the meeting held on 3 February 2020, subject to the amendment, as being a correct record.



Matters arising


The Scrutiny Officer advised that a briefing paper drafted by Joanne Keatley, Head of Adult Education Service, was recently sent to panel members in response to comments raised at the meeting on the 28 January 2020.



Update on the response of Adult Services to the Covid-19 crisis and future plans pdf icon PDF 1 MB

[David Watts, Director of Adult Services, to present report]


Cllr Evans invited David Watts, Director of Adult Services and Becky Wilkinson, Head of Service Adult Improvement to present their report on response of Adult Services to the Covid-19 crisis and future plans.


The Director of Adult Services outlined the context for the presentation about explained how the service has worked closely with care providers throughout the City to manage the response to the Covid 19 pandemic. In addition, the service has also worked closely with colleagues in Public Health in developing an approach to protecting people, particularly those living in care settings.


The Director of Adult Services detailed the range of specific work done to support care providers, for example, regular communication, the provision of sufficient stocks of protective equipment and the safe arrangements for the discharge of people from hospital to care homes.


The Director of Adult Services advised the panel that he also has responsibility for arranging Public Health funerals and the provision of infection prevention personal protective equipment to care homes.


The Director of Adult Services commented on the challenges that the service faced in providing sufficient supplies of protective equipment stocks towards the end of February and during March 2020 at the peak of the pandemic.


The service was able to build on the previous good working relationships with the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital trust (RWHT) in managing the discharge of people with social care needs back into the community with the added challenge of responding to the frequency of new national guidance being issued to the sector.


The panel were reassured that the correct systems were in place to safely discharge people from hospital either into their own home or into a non-acute care setting. The service has been working extremely closely with the infection prevention team and the rapid intervention treatment service managed by RWHT. This work has helped to put the service in a good position during a period when the number of Covid 19 cases was becoming more prevalent both within the care home setting and the wider community. The Director of Adult Services advised the panel of the detailed planning work ongoing with key partners in care and health sectors to respond the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic.


The Director of Adult Services invited Becky Wilkinson, Head of Service Adult Improvement, to outline the specific work on infection prevention control done to support residential care homes during the pandemic.


The Head of Service Adult Improvement advised the panel about plans for supporting residential care was developed rapidly in response to the outbreak of Covid 19, for example the bulk purchasing of protective equipment and the offer of infection prevention training to care staff. This work was supported by daily meetings with care providers at the start of the outbreak which provided an opportunity to discuss any specific concerns.

A clinical lead has been appointed within each care home with the aim of trying to prevent a care resident from needing a hospital visit by looking at safe alternatives where they  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Supporting our Community pdf icon PDF 952 KB

[Lynsey Kelly, Head of Community Safety, to present briefing]


Lynsey Kelly, Head of Community Safety, presented a report on the work of the community safety team and also the wider work done to support vulnerable people in the community since the start of the pandemic.


The Head of Community Safety advised the panel that at the start of the pandemic the Government developed a shielding list of chronic vulnerable residents who would be required to shield for a period initially of 12 weeks.  However, the Council also identified a further 28,000 residents who should be added to the shielding list and therefore qualify for national support, for example, food delivery.


The Council has also worked with the CCG to identify other residents who may be also be classified as vulnerable who have been added to this list. In total, 80,000 Wolverhampton residents were identified across the city who may need additional support to remain safe during that initial 12-week period. A letter was sent to the everyone on the list advising them to be extremely careful when out and about and the support available to them, which included providing access to food and medical support and health and well-being support if required.


The scheme was expanded later with support from Children's Services to look at over 14,000 financially disadvantaged families who were identified as needing more support. The Leader of the Council was keen that the welfare of residents was to be the main priority during the pandemic. A range of initiatives were quickly introduced such as the ‘Stay Safe be Kind’ call centre helpline.  The Head of Community Safety highlighted the important role of the community and voluntary sector in supporting local residents, for example helping with shopping and the collection of medicine.


The call centre was delivered with the help of redeployed workers across a range of different services.  During a three-month period, the call centre received over 16,000 calls and emails for people wanting support. The valuable contributions of local business, Wolverhampton Homes and Wolverhampton Wanderers Foundation Trust in helping to set up the Food Distribution Hub was acknowledged.


The Head of Community Safety advised the panel of the range of other initiatives to provide information in different languages and to make services accessible to people who are deaf and hard of hearing. There is also work being done with other agencies across the city to ensure the Council continues to provide essential services to children and young people, for example The Virtual Squad and distribution of activity packs and games. Base 25 has been commissioned to do outreach work to engage with young people on the streets.


The Head of Community Safety advised the panel of work done with colleagues at The Haven to offer a range of support to families experiencing domestic abuse. The number of reported cases during lockdown was lower than expected and this may suggest people were finding it difficult to disclose domestic abuse.

The number of reported cases has increased since lockdown restrictions were eased earlier in the year. The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Adults and Safer City Scrutiny Panel 2019 20 - Draft Work Programme pdf icon PDF 740 KB

[Earl Piggott-Smith, Scrutiny Officer, to present report]



Julia Cleary, Scrutiny and Systems Manager, presented the draft work programme and explained the new approach agreed at Scrutiny Board meeting for all panels to consider the cross-cutting theme of ‘Connected City’ and digital considerations when developing ideas for the work programme.


The Scrutiny and Systems Manager outlined the list of suggested topics for future meetings of the panel based on discussions with the Chair and Vice Chair of the panel.


The panel were invited to comment on the draft work programme and to suggest ideas, following the guidance, of topics that could be added.


The panel suggested that the issue of fly-tipping could be added to the work programme due to concerns raised by residents. The issue consider what further work can be done to improve the situation.


The panel suggested that the issue of loneliness and the how technology is being used to meet this need could also be added to the panel work programme. The panel discussed the importance of people living in care settings having access to personal contact to meet their social needs and also the skills needed to use new technology to communicate.


The Director of Adult Care Services outlined the workforce changes which have been introduced following lockdown and also how the service is having to work differently and more flexibly to meet the needs of different groups.




The panel agreed to note the report and the suggestions for future work programme topics.