Agenda and minutes

Venue: Professional Excellence Centre, Acre Lane, Bromborough

Contact: Nancy Clarkson  Children and Young People's Department

No. Item


09:00 Apologies


S Roohi;

R Longster;

G Thomas (Stephanie Appleton attending);

A Hughes (Pat Higgins attending);

A Styring (B Baker; I Batman);

P Sheridan.



09:00 Declarations of interest


Councillor Meaden’s daughter works for Children’s Services.



09:05 Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 92 KB


Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting held on 22nd November 2010 be confirmed as a correct record.



09:10 Children's Trust Commissioning Annual Report


P Wong introduced the Annual report.


  In March 2010 the Children’s Trust Board reflected on its commissioning role and agreed a range of recommendations to progress joint commissioning.  There have been a number of organisational changes as a result of a change in government which has impacted on commissioning.  However some of the new initiatives such as the commissioning Green Paper and localism complement the direction Wirral Children’s Trust’s is taking regarding commissioning. 


In 2010-11 a number of programmes were commissioned individually however inter connectivity between different commissioning programmes does exist.  The introduction of a new Early Intervention Grant (EIG) in 2011-12 replacing a number of ring fenced programmes should enhance the approach of the Trust.


P Wong outlined for each of the main commissioned programmes the key information regarding each programme including the highlights and the challenges for the future.


These programmes are:

·  0-19 Parenting and Prevention

·  Aiming High for Disabled Children

·  Social Care/Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB)

·  Sure Start

·  Positive Activities for Young People

·  Children and Young People’s Health Services


The challenges:

·  Meeting increasing demand within the context of reduced public sector resources.

·  Exploring joint commissioning.

·  Providing a satisfactory mix of targeted and universal services.

·  The impact of Localism and ‘Big Society’ on commissioning.

·  GP commissioning.


Although these are challenges they can be used as opportunities to promote and facilitate joint commissioning.


The areas for development in 2011-12 were outlined. This work would be developed through a new Joint Commissioning Group (JCG) which will drive the change.

·  To develop the Children and Young People’s Plan into a commissioning plan.

·  To use the commissioning of the EIG to discuss and implement new commissioning practices and disciplines as a pilot for other areas of commissioning.

·  To ensure alignment with local changes in commissioning, in particular GP commissioning and any Council commissioning developments.

·  To fully explore how “in house” council services are commissioned and move towards all activity being strategically commissioned in the same way.


Councillor T Harney asked what the mechanism was in place for ensuring vulnerable families did not get missed. 


P Wong reported that the commissioning cycle would include a regularly updated needs assessment. In addition reviewing what delivers the best outcomes and comparing this to local need and ensuring the discipline of gaps analysis is would also be embedded into the cycle.


D Mayor noted the critical importance of partnership working and sharing information across agencies.


J Owens also noted that VCF organizations can enhance this as they understand the nature of their community.  B Morgan noted that based on a recent regional event Wirral are well ahead with VCF sector involvement in commissioning compared to many authorities.


DA noted that positive steps were being made by setting up the multi-agency new Joint Commissioning Group (JCG) reporting to the Children’s Trust Executive.  This group will establish clear priorities based on need and drive the development of commissioning.



09:40 The Health White Paper


F Johnstone introduced ‘Healthy Lives, Healthy People White Paper: Our strategy for public health in England’ released in November 2010.  The consultation closes on the 31 March 2011. 


The national health picture was introduced. The life expectancy gap between poorer and richer areas is 11 years on Wirral compared to 7 years nationally.


The new approach outlined in the paper is for health to be owned by communities and shaped by their needs.  The approach was described as rigorous evidence based, efficient and effective and will focus on improving the health of the poorest fastest.


The paper has seven key strands, six of which reflect the Marmot recommendations.

·  Empowering local government and communities

·  Tackling health inequalities

·  Coherent approach to different stages of life

·  Giving every child the best start in life

·  Making it pay to work

·  Designing communities for active aging and sustainability

·  Working collaboratively with business and voluntary sector – the Public Health Responsibility Deal


Public Health England will be the new national public health service which will be returned to Local Government.  There will be dedicated leadership and dedicated resources nationally and locally. The Director of Public Health will be jointly appointed by the Local Authority and Public Health England.


The Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy will be the responsibility of the Local Authority. Wirral Children’s Trust Board would want to consider the new arrangements for the Health and Well Being Board and strategy.


It is proposed that Local Authorities will be responsible for commissioning a range of services.  The NHS commissioning board would be responsible for children’s public health for the under 5’s, over time this may be delegated to local areas, the proposed route is currently unclear.


The Local area will determine actions and a framework by which to deliver them.

  Domain 1 - Health Protection and Resilience: Protecting the population’s health from major emergencies and remain resilient to harm

  Domain 2 - Tackling the wider determinants of health: Tackling factors which affect health and wellbeing and health inequalities

  Domain 3 - Health Improvement: Helping people to live healthy lifestyles, make healthy choices and reduce health inequalities

  Domain 4 - Prevention of ill health: Reducing the number of people living with preventable ill health and reduce health inequalities

  Domain 5 - Healthy life expectancy and preventable mortality: Preventing people from dying prematurely and reduce health inequalities


The timetable for the proposed changes was outlined.


Summary timetable

 (subject to Parliamentary approval of legislation)


Consultation on:

  specific questions set out in the White Paper;

  the public health outcomes framework; and

  the funding and commissioning of public health.

Dec 2010–March 2011

Set up a shadow-form Public Health England within the Department of Health Start to set up working arrangements with local authorities, including the matching of PCT Directors of Public Health to local authority areas

During 2011

Develop the public health professional workforce strategy

Autumn 2011

Public Health England will take on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


10:10 GP Commissioned Services - Wirral developments and impact on Children and Young People's Services


D Mayor and F Johnstone outlined the report. Three GP Consortia have been defined for Wirral. They are not aligned to any current geographic areas. All consortia have been approved as pathfinders - early adoptions from April 2011. 


The consortia were named as:

·  Wirral GP Consortia (~130,000 people), mainly in Birkenhead.

·  Wirral Health Commissioning Consortium (~130,000 people), Wallasey and Bebington and West Wirral.

·  Wirral Health Alliance (~31,000 people), GPs across the borough.


They are at various stages of initial development and are in the process of identifying named leads for key roles within their own executives.


D Mayor and F Johnstone have asked if named leads for Children and young people would be named but are awaiting clarification on this. They suggested that it was important to maintain a high profile for CYP in the consortia developments


Councillor S Clarke asked if it was currently appropriate for Wirral Children’s Trust Board to engage with consortia leads to discuss their approaches to children and young peoples services and who their who their CYP leads are.


F Johnstone replied it was currently very early days of forming internal relationships and that each consortia taking different approaches.  The role of NHS is to advise on developments and NHS CYP commissioners are involved in this. The Board would be updated when further information was available.


D Mayor commented that the PCTs will continue with statutory responsibilities until 2013 although arrangements will change, with a wider geographic area.


Councillor S Clarke thanked Debbie and Fiona for their contribution.


Resolved: The Board noted the report.



10:55 Early Intervention Grant and Commissioning pdf icon PDF 263 KB


M McDaid presented the report. 


Wirral is in a good position through joint working to respond to the introduction of the Early Intervention Grant (EIG). EIG replaces a number of ring fenced grants; it covers Children’s Centres, 2 year old free allocations, short breaks for disabled children, targeted support for vulnerable young people, targeted mental health in schools, targeted support for families with multiple problems. EIG provides an opportunity to reduce duplication caused by previous ring-fencing and legislation.


Priorities have been identified based on comprehensive needs analysis from Common Assessment Framework and Youth Offending Service information and other consultations. Commissioning needs analysis has outlined three themes:

·  Parenting and compromised parenting (Sure Start)

·  Children with disabilities

·  Behaviour in CYP and families


The Council agreed to a roll over of the current grants for 3 months to allow appropriate commissioning time.  Work is ongoing now to ensure the appropriate processes are in place.  A report on the proposals has been prepared to go to Council Cabinet.


There are options for the commissioning period.

1.  Commission for 12 months initially.  This allows ensuring services commissioned directly on to priorities.

2.  Commission for 21 months.  This is a risk that such arrangements would not fully match priorities and do not provide any flexibility to change. 


Option 1 is the recommendation from the Children’s Trust Executive.


Councillor S Clarke noted the excellent needs analysis produced with the report. 


B Morgan agreed with option one to ensure the right services are commissioned.


F Johnstone was impressed with the level of needs assessment, and wanted to ensure that the impact of the intervention would be effectively measured.


M McDaid responded saying that impact of previous commissioning has been fully demonstrated.  This will be used to articulate the outcomes required during the commissioning process.


The EIG nationally currently proposed is £15.1 million.  Some elements of this will be required for specific programmes.  Council Cabinet will define the money available in the budget setting process.


S Brown noted that increasing competition was a good approach. 


M McDaid responded that the marketing would be clearly developed to communicate with all organisations.



1. The board approved the priorities as outlined in section 4.4.

2. The board approved the time line.

3. The Board agreed option 1.

4. The board agreed that the Children’s Trust Executive oversee and agree the service specification and be accountable for the time line.




11:15 The announced inspection of safeguarding and looked after children


J Hassall introduced the presentation.


On 10th January Wirral was informed that an announced inspection would commence on 24th January for 2 weeks. 


This is a very important inspection for the whole partnership. A number of activities are underway:

·  Ofsted have requested a large amount of information.

·  A survey for LAC aged 8 plus is being initiated.

·  12 cases have been identified.  Ofsted have requested a Wirral multi agency audit of these cases before they audit them from Monday 24th.

·  Ofsted will select another 12 cases for Children in Need on Monday for further work.

·  Ofsted have identified Key Lines of Enquiry.  DA noted that the whole partnership. attended a very positive meeting yesterday where expectations of all partners were outlined.

·  The inspections will want to meet with focus groups.  All Wirral Children’s Trust will be involved.

·  There will be additional meetings this week on the 12 case files which partners will be invited to.


The inspection focuses on a number of areas:




·  How well agencies and professionals work together to identify, support and promote welfare of vulnerable children

·  How well is practice supported and underpinned by effective local policy making and implementation.

·  Outcomes for children.

·  How safeguarding is prioritised.


Looked after Children


·  Outcomes achieved and impact of services.

·  Quality of risk management and decision making.

·  Quality of care planning, review and support in care and care leavers.

·  Placement stability.

·  Safeguarding of LAC.

·  Access to health and school, training and accommodation.

·  Support to families and carers.

·  Effectiveness of corporate parenting.

·  Preparation for leaving care and adult life.


The Quality of the Provision would also be investigated.


The focus for all key partners is a child centred approach to ensure that those best outcomes for the children, young people and families are delivered.


J Owens noted that governors have an effective track record of safeguarding and this could be evidenced to the inspectors.


The importance of the Children’s Trust and operational management to support the front line social workers to provide effective outcomes will be demonstrated in the inspection. If board members are asked to represent the Children’s Trust a briefing will be provided.


Councillor Sheila Clarke noted that there is a really good tale to tell of all the positive work in Wirral.


Resolved: The Board noted the report.




11:40 Children and Young People's Plan 2011-12 Update pdf icon PDF 56 KB


N Clarkson outlined progress so far in the review of the final year of the 2008-11 plan and the new plan for 2011-12. Consultation had been carried out and all organisations working with children and young people were involved in the development of the new plan through outcome area Strategy Groups. The Children’s Trust Executive was overseeing the development of the plan.


F Johnstone commented on the importance of reference to organisational changes being incorporated in the plan. 


N Clarkson responded that these were included in the plan.


Resolved: The Board agreed the process outlined and the proposals for the CYPP priorities.



11:50 Annual Children's Services Assessment 2010 pdf icon PDF 94 KB


N Clarkson presented the report. Wirral Children’s Services was assessed by Ofsted in 2010 and the assessment was published on the 9th of December 2010. Wirral Children’s Services was found to ‘perform well’, rated at 3 out of a possible 4 point scale.


The key areas for further development were defined by Ofsted:

·  Improve early years and childcare settings so that more are good or better.

·  Improve further the achievement of 16-year-olds from low-income families.

·  Improve the local arrangements for adoption.


These areas are being addressed through actions in the Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP) and will be embedded in the refresh of the CYPP for 2011-12. They will also be addressed through the delivery of the Council’s Strategic Objectives. A range of current activities and projects underway related to each area were outlined.


It was noted that the result of the announced inspection (and the unannounced inspection) would impact on the CSA grading and the grading could be amended by Ofsted retrospectively.


Resolved: The Board noted the report.




11:55 AOB


The Children’s Trust Board extended congratulations to Howard Cooper on receiving a CBE in the New Year’s Honours list.


Child Poverty

B Morgan and Cllr S Clarke are members of the LCR Poverty and Life Chances Commission.  Wirral has comprehensive representation. The commission has identified a number of key strands; B Morgan is the lead for the Emotional and Social strand.


Schools involvement in Wirral Children’s Trust

D Armstrong reported he had written to all schools regarding their commitment to co-operate with the Trust. No school has contacted him to state they would not be involved and 5 schools have re-stated the importance they attached to the Children’s Trust.


J Owens noted that she would produce a report on the Children’s Trust for the Wirral governor.



12:00 Date and time of next meeting: 18 March 2011, 09:00 - 12:00