News and reports from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 27 January.
New partnerships to replace NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG)
Dr Rob Gerlis, Peter Wightman, and Ian Tomkins of the West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group met councillors of the Epping Forest District Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 27 January to explain the development of the new Integrated Care System (ICS).
From 1 July 2022, the West Essex CCG will be replaced by the ICS for Hertfordshire and West Essex.
The ICS partnership will bring providers and commissioners of NHS services across Hertfordshire and West Essex together with local authorities and other local partners to collectively plan health and care services to meet local needs.
The ICS will have 2 statutory parts:
- An Integrated Care Board (ICB), responsible for NHS strategic planning and allocation decisions
- An Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) bringing together a wider set of system partners to plan and address broader health, public health and social care needs
The new system envisages integrated health and care provision supported by partners working together at a local level, often referred to as ‘place’ while teams will deliver services together through smaller ‘neighbourhood’ areas.
As well as the NHS, Epping Forest residents will be served by Essex County Council, Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford District Councils and the voluntary sector in the West Essex ‘place’, known as the One Health & Care Partnership.
Councillors also explored some of the issues that currently inhibit access to health services. Responding to questions on diabetes care and access to COVID vaccines, Ian Thompkins reminded councillors of the free community transport service for patients attending eye-screening and other clinics.
Housing (HRA) Business Plan
Work is being undertaken to maintain and develop Epping Forest District Council’s high-quality housing stock many years into the future. A new Housing Revenue Account – HRA Business Plan looking 30 years or 40 years ahead was presented to Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
There is a clear link between health and housing. First and foremost, council housing is about good quality homes for local people and their families in places where they want to live.
Investment in existing stock is essential and the Business Plan includes information on stock condition surveys, essential for targeting resources where they can be used most efficiently and effectively. A new stock condition survey will identify housing maintenance cost projections over the next 40 years. Maintaining housing properly also makes good business sense, investing to avoid larger repair bills later.
Buying a house in Epping Forest district is very expensive. As well as maintaining existing stock, the Business Plan budgets for a large capital programme of new council house building to help meet the demand for social and affordable housing.
As well as long-term projections, the Business Plan identifies over £20 million of significant and specific investment over the next 5 years:
- Limes Avenue and Copperfield – £6 million over 2022-2023 and 2023-2024
- Broadway – £2.75 million in 2022-2023
- Roofing packages at Pyrles Lane, St Johns Court, Langley Meadow and Hillyfields – £1.2 million in 2023-2024
- Harveyfields – £2 million in 2024-2025
- Oakwood Hill Estate – £6 million in 2025-2026
- Sheltered refurbishments – £1.98 million over 6 years from 2022-2023 (repeated every 5 years)
- Emergency alarm upgrade – £360k in 2022-2023 (repeated every 10 years)
Prices are assumed to rise in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) / Retail Price Index (RPI) rates.
In a long and complex meeting, Overview and Scrutiny Councillors also reviewed the latest Cabinet, Overview and Select Committee work programmes.
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