Agenda item

Pooled Fund Arrangements 2020/21 Scrutiny Report


The Chair introduced the report of the Head of Intelligence (Statutory Scrutiny Officer) that provided feedback from the Adult Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee workshop held on 30 October 2019. Requesting that the Committee note the work undertaken 


The Head of Intelligence’s report informed that the Joint Strategic Commissioning Board (JSCB) had resolved to support a proposed Section 75 agreement in relation to the Wirral Health and Care Commissioning Pooled Fund. This agreement set out a financial governance and decision-making process in order to strengthen the establishment of a single health and care commissioner for Wirral. Subsequently, this decision was ‘called-in’ in accordance with Council procedure rule/standing order 35 on the basis that there had been limited opportunity for Elected Members to consider the contract and undertake the in-depth scrutiny necessary.


Further examination of the proposals took place as a result of this ‘called in’ decision, with the matter referred to full Council in December 2018. As a result of this democratic process, Council endorsed the need for ‘improved and early dissemination of information to Elected Members’ and requested that the Joint Strategic Commissioning Board (JSCB) ensure that a meaningful dialogue with relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee Members was established.


The report further informed that a Member workshop for all Overview and Scrutiny Members had been convened in October 2019 in order that current integrated care arrangements could be reviewed and new arrangements for 2020/21 be scrutinised fully. One of the key priorities for Members in undertaking this process was to ensure there was comprehensive engagement with service users, those close to service users and other stakeholders impacted by services included within the pooled fund agreement. Representations were made by patient, carer and social care staff spokespersons, thus fulfilling the recommendation made by the Adult Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee in 2018/19 that improved engagement take place and the participation of patients and frontline staff in health scrutiny be encouraged.


As a result of the work undertaken, the following conclusions and findings were recommended for consideration by the Wirral Joint Strategic Commissioning Board, namely:


Pooled fund budget performance reporting

Detailed financial reporting of pooled fund budget performance should continue to be shared with Elected Members so that they may have sight of the full budgetary position, financial performance and funding breakdowns. It was recommended that commissioners work closely with Elected Members to ensure this oversight is included in the Council’s revised governance arrangements from May 2020.


Continued engagement with service users or those close to service users, and continued use of external stakeholders where relevant

Members welcomed the opportunity to engage with those affected by services that were included in the pooled funding arrangements and were keen that they play a fundamental role in ensuring legitimate scrutiny of services. Participation should be encouraged by way of Member visits, involvement in advocacy sessions or (where possible) through service user attendance at Council meetings.


Further promotion of the NHS Health Passport Scheme on Wirral

Members recognised the benefits of the use of the NHS Health Passport scheme and note that there is inconsistent awareness and utilisation of this scheme on Wirral. The Health Passport is a straightforward and cost-effective way for key patient information to be shared between health professionals - with particular effectiveness for the most vulnerable patients. Members requested that commissioners liaise with healthcare organisations across the Borough to encourage use of the Health Passport across the system.


Resolved – That


1)  the report be approved; and


2)  the Joint Strategic Commissioning Board be requested to consider the report findings as part of its process of decision-making regarding the pooled fund arrangements for 2020/21.


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