Agenda and minutes

Venue: Professional Excellence Centre, Acre Lane, Bromborough

Contact: Nancy Clarkson  Children and Young People's Department

No. Item


09:00 Apologies


09:00 Declaration of Interest


09:05 Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 98 KB



Item 8 Local Area Agreement Report Quarter 2. Bev Morgan noted that a lot had been done to improve breast feeding.

Amended to: Bev Morgan noted that a lot was being done to improve breast feeding

Item 13 Workforce Strategy. Hazel Thompson felt it would be difficult for her to implement this.

Amended to: Hazel Thompson felt it would be difficult to implement this.


Resolved – That with the amendments the minutes of the meeting on the 20th November 2009 be approved and adopted.




09:10 Matter Arising




09:15 Wirral Children's Trust Commissioning Strategy


Rose Curtis and Peter Wong presented on the progress of development of a commissioning strategy. Currently Wirral Children’s Trust has a Joint Commissioning Framework although implementation has not been consistent across the partnership. It was suggested that the new governance structures for the Children’s Trust, the upcoming statutory status of the Trust arrangements, and current financial drivers require a step change in the commissioning capacity of the partnership.


Ali Hardman of the Commissioning Support Programme (CSP) has been working with the Children’s Trust Executive to support Wirral arrangements. A workshop was held on Wed 13th January.  Stage 1 was a Self Analysis and Planning Exercise (SAPE).


Through self assessment the Children’s Trust was rated against twelve standards in three sections.

Section 1- Governance and Framework

The architecture and some arrangements are in place but these are not a consistent whole. The suggestion is that more focus is required on co-ordination and implementation.


Section 2 – Commissioning Activity

Activity was identified to be patchy although some clear plans are in place in some areas.


Section 3 – Capacity and Competence

There is not a common perspective or practice across partners. There is a lack of capacity, expertise and a dedicated resource.


During the exercises three key areas were identified:

  Children with disabilities/complex needs

  Identifying children at risk of poor outcomes

  Major shift towards early intervention and prevention


The SAPE exercise will be continued with various stakeholder groups. The self assessment exercise is ‘Gate 1’, the exploration part of the process. The next steps are to prepare, deliver and sustain success criteria. The CSP will provide tailored support for one year.


The Board were asked to:

·  Note and approve the content of the SAPE.

·  Note the key areas for further focus that have been identified as those which will contribute most to a step change.

·  Agree that these key areas will be subject to ‘deep dives’ and that detailed findings and recommendations will be considered in due course.


A discussion regarding the presentation was held.


Tina Long suggested that the Board would have to ask searching questions as to how Wirral should progress such as developing an evolutionary approach or to be more radical such as to set up a joint commissioning unit that operates for the Children’s Trust. Tina Long suggests that to deliver effectively a radical approach is required. She suggested that the Children’s Trust should set out what we aspire to and that collectively as a Children’s Trust that debate has not been held.


Richard Longster suggested that it was a very honest appraisal. He asked what could be learned from other Children’s Trusts.  Howard Cooper responded that practices have varied from joint units to very little and all points in between.  For example Hertfordshire PCT and the Council have merged.  Liverpool PCTs and the Council have pooled £450 million.  Wigan Children’s Services is in the process of establishing a Joint Children’s Commissioning Unit.  Wirral is currently at the lower end of the continuum.


Hazel  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.


10:00 Connexions Core Offer


Sheila Lynch, Assistant Director (Performance), Greater Merseyside Connexions presented. 


Board members requested this report at the last meeting. Greater Merseyside Connexions service was recently commissioned to provide services across six Merseyside authorities until 31 March 2012.  The contract represents a significant reduction of funding in Wirral.  A core service is in operation with options for accelerated and advanced services as required.  All areas have the option to purchase over and above the core service.


The contract has been defined and is currently being finalised and signed off. Local delivery plans will be developed.  Guidance regarding the 14-19 landscape is changing due to the range of 14-19 provision now available and the planned raising of the participation age.  Standards for Information Advice and Guidance (IAG), advancements in adult cover and advancement services are being addressed within this changing context.


Core Service Statutory provision includes:


·  Career Education and Guidance

·  Encouraging participation

·  Assessment to support transition

·  Achievement of targets including 16-18 NEET, increasing the proportion of 19 year olds achieving level 2, client tracking and contribution to other key targets.


Further detail of the core service was outlined. Personal Advisors deliver IAG in schools and colleges. Targeted support is available for Children in care, young people with learning difficulties and disabilities (LDD), young offenders and young carers. Curriculum support to schools, colleges and learning providers and around IAG. Innovative out of hours provision, including young people developing online services, virtual groups and podcasts. Services to families, four Connexions Centres also deliver adult services. Services will focus on early intervention to ensure prevention and sustainable outcomes. Vacancy Services including text adverts.


A range of Accelerated and Enhanced Services will be available for LAs, schools and colleges to purchase. Examples include:


·  Positive Activities for Young People (PAYP) services.

·  Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance fund

·  14-19 Curriculum resource pack

·  Careers Library Services including source software licences.


Tina Long asked if there were any risks associated with reduced funding. Risk management was addressed in the Commissioning process. The outcome will be the preservation of front line services. Risk to these should be negligible but there will be a shift in services and reductions in other areas.


Resolved – That the presentation be noted.



10:30 Being Healthy Strategy Group Report pdf icon PDF 102 KB


Anne Tattersall, Head of Health and Wellbeing Children and Young People, Public Health, NHS Wirral and Being Healthy Strategy Lead, introduced the report.


The Being Healthy strategy group was reported to be a very committed multi-agency group, with good partnership working. It is well aligned to a range of sub-committees including the teenage pregnancy, breast feeding, healthy school steering groups and the obesity and sexual health programme boards.


The group works directly to and informs the priorities outlined in the Children and Young People’s Plan. The key recent achievements include health services launched in schools, decreased teenage conception rates and exciting developments in the breastfeeding peer support programme.


Some key issues were outlined including the launch of the Healthy Child Programme with no additional funding provided. Key challenges ahead included the sustainability of services linked to funding reductions which may require difficult decisions.  Risks outlined included staff availability and recruitment. For example an issue was raised regarding recruitment of health visitors which is being addressed by the PCT.


Regarding developments in the National Child Measurement programme Thelma Wiltshire reported that schools have had no feedback yet. Anne Tattersall reported that analysis is currently being carried out and she will ensure that schools will be provided with the information. Six schools are being piloted for enhancement of the programme and work with families.


Areas for Promotion were discussed and programmes are in development including baby and teen life check, weight management services and immunisation benefits.


Two areas were reported in detail. The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) uptake is 94% for the 2008/09 cohort, the highest in the North West which is the result of a good multi-agency approach. Good progress is being made regarding teenage conceptions and numbers are decreasing.  Annual data for 2008 due in February.  Excellent programmes are in place and the reducing teenage conceptions profile has been raised, everyone is involved at all levels in all Wirral organisations to drive forward awareness.


Howard Cooper noted that to optimise outcomes as demonstrated by the teenage pregnancy project a comprehensive approach including top level support, good project management, embedding in universal services such as schools can enhance the impact of the project.


Councillor Quinn suggested that like teenage pregnancy, obesity is not just a health issue, and that everyone should be involved.


Thelma Wiltshire noted the importance of health issues for schools and the impact of ill health on attendance and outcomes. Sixth form colleges are included in discussions around the Healthy Child Programme. Anne Tattersall reported that enhanced school representation on the Being Healthy Strategy Group would be beneficial and she would investigate this.


  Resolved – That the report be noted.



11:00 Young People and Alcohol Briefing pdf icon PDF 97 KB


Terry White, Young Persons Programme Manager presented to the Board.


This report was requested at the previous board to provide an overview of alcohol services available for young people.


The Wirral Programme is based within the context of the HM Government’s Youth Alcohol Action Plan (2008), the National Drugs Strategy (2008), the Chief Medical Officer’s guidance and a Borough specific alcohol needs assessment. Wirral Drugs and Alcohol Team (DAAT)/NHS Wirral has commissioned an alcohol programme targeted towards stakeholders to guide their efforts to reduce the harms that alcohol causes young people, their families and the communities. Funding is provided by government grant and NHS Wirral.


Alcohol is increasingly causing health and other problems for young people. Less young people are drinking, but those who are drinking are consuming larger amounts. The related risk taking behaviour and the impact of this was outlined.


The DAAT has an overall budget of £500,000.  The School Drugs Advisor role was outlined and links to other groups including Response, Connexions and LAC nurses.  Many agencies are involved and a range of universal, targeted and specialist programmes are in place.


The local needs assessment and plan has been submitted to the National Treatment Agency. It has received good feedback and the recommendation is to immediately implement it, with no changes.  It includes a model of working with multi agency partnerships linking A&E admissions to ensure follow up by appropriate agencies. Use of social marketing techniques to deliver information effectively is included in the plan and preventative work and intervention analysis is development with the police.  More work with schools and family intervention is in development.


Councillor Davies queried the length of funding streams for this area. The bulk of grants are for three years but some grant funding is annual.


Resolved – That the report and presentation be noted.



11:15 Wirral Common Assessment Framework Activity pdf icon PDF 101 KB


The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) report was presented by Julia Hassall, Head of Branch Children’s Social Care, Wirral Council.


The report presented CAF activity April to November 2009 by area, gender, age group, agency, need and outcome areas.  The highest activity is in Birkenhead; the lowest in Wirral South and West.  This is linked to area team leader capacity. With strong area team leaders more CAFs can be addressed which stops escalation. Helping children stay safe is the primary reason for CAF and team around the child work.


Councillor Davies asked if all agencies fully engaged in CAF.  Julia Hassall reported that schools, school nurses, health visitors and Homestart are well engaged.  There are gaps in some areas.  The Staying Safe Strategy Group update scheduled for May will further report on this area.


Thelma Wiltshire reported that schools had found that there was a tendency for other agencies to assume the school will write the CAF.


The CAF post is funded through the LSCB which partner agencies contribute to. LSCB funding is voluntary and there is no national government formula, commitment to this funding is a challenging area.  Continued funding of the CAF post is required to continue the CAF co-ordination and reporting work.


Julia Hassall will organise monthly CAF report to go to all strategy leads to share with strategy group members and further embed CAF across all agencies.


  Resolved – That the report be noted.



11:45 District Boards Review pdf icon PDF 50 KB


Howard Cooper updated the board. ADistrict Board review paper was provided. A refresh of the boards would require:

·  Effort required by officers to manage the boards

·  Partners are required to engage with the boards

·  Clear work programme linked to the CYPP


As resources are required to operate the boards, the benefits need to be realised.  Previously there were four boards.  We know the need is greater in some areas rather than others. The PCT and Adult Social Care have organised around three districts. One option is to re-align District Boards to three instead of the original four.


Kathryn Podmore reported that membership of the boards is a key factor.

Councillor Quinn suggested that the merger of two boards would result in an area too large to have local ownership.

Tina Long suggested that for the health locality manager to join the boards then three boards are the ideal, however if the number was retained at four different people could attend.

Anne Tattersall suggested that district and area intelligence was key to developing an appropriate action plan.

Councillor Clarke suggested that as Children’s Services planning mapped to the four District model and this should be retained for the proposed review year.


Resolved - That the District Boards are retained at four and progress will be reviewed by the Children’s Trust Board in a year.



11:30 Safeguarding Children Update pdf icon PDF 60 KB


Caroline McKenna, Strategic Service Manager Safeguarding presented to the Board. The briefing updated the Board on the new arrangements for safeguarding resulting from the national response to the Lord Laming report. The report presented outlined new and planned arrangements.


Funding of the LSCB board and budget setting is being investigated.  Arrangements are being made for the LSCB annual report to be delivered to the Children’s Trust Board.  At the moment quarterly safeguarding reports are reported to Children’s Trust Board. Current reporting is being evaluated and the Boards may want to develop this further.


A Joint Children’s Trust and LSCB event is planned for 28th January “Keeping Wirral Children Safe – True for Us”. All Trust and LSCB groups are invited. The event will focus on linking Children’s Trust Board and LSC Board and will evaluate the Ofsted Safeguarding and Looked After Children inspections. A self assessment exercise of safeguarding and roles of Children’s Trust Board and LSCB will be carried out at the event.


Resolved – That the report be noted.



12:00 Date and time of next meeting: 19 March 2010, 09:00 - 12:00