Agenda and minutes

Health Scrutiny
Tuesday, 26th January, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Virtual address. View directions

Contact: Mark Hardman  Email:

No. Item


Apologies For Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Byrne, Cosgrove, Hamblett and Toor.



Declarations of Interest

To Receive Declarations of Interest in any Contract or matter to be discussed at the meeting.


There were no declarations of interest.



Urgent Business

Urgent business, if any, introduced by the Chair


There were no items of urgent business.



Public Question Time

To receive Questions from the Public, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.


There were no public questions received.



Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 401 KB

The Minutes of the meeting of the Health Scrutiny Committee held on 8th December 2020 are attached for approval.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Health Scrutiny Committee held on 8th December 2020 be approved as a correct record.



Tackling Digital Exclusion in Oldham pdf icon PDF 565 KB

Additional documents:



Consideration was given to a report of the Chief Operating Officer Unity Partnership and Senior Responsible Officer for Customer and Digital, which provided an update to the Health Scrutiny Committee on the digital exclusion

challenge both nationally and regionally within the context of the Coronavirus pandemic.


The report provided a summary of the current initiatives and support across Team Oldham including examples of Council services, partners, anchor organisations, the VCFSE sector, and businesses working together with communities to tackle digital exclusion.


A summary of future development and initiatives in Oldham to continue to tackle the digital divide was set out, which included:

·         The presentation of the report to the Oldham Leadership Board (and for digital exclusion to be a quarterly agenda item), to create visibility and ownership for digital exclusion with strategic leaders across the system and to continue the momentum to join up initiatives to have the most impact as a system moving forward;

·         the Customer and Digital Lead, as custodian of the digital strategy and roadmap, would coordinate the digital inclusion offer and activity with services and would provide strategic leadership, to drive forward the approach with momentum and to ensure a joined up and consistent approach across Team Oldham and beyond;

·         tackling digital exclusion would be a key element of the Team Oldham COVID-19 Recovery Strategy;

·         embedding digital skills into the emerging Work and Skills Strategy for Team Oldham linked to economic development, to ensure that  joined up support and opportunities for digital skill development were provided; and

·         the development of a robust evidence base of digital exclusion in Oldham to demonstrate the difference being made together as a system as well as understanding where there could be most impact moving forward.


Members asked for and received clarification on the following:-

·         Lack of IT for pupils not attending schools and missing out on education – challenged recognised. GM Mayor sought donations of devices from businesses. In Oldham, there had been a survey across education settings identifying those learners with no device or no data and this provided a strong evidence base which identified areas and schools with need. Although he government had not yet indicated when devices would be provided, the GM approach made clear what was needed and where.

·         Support available across the Borough to address digital exclusion eg library system - £65K had been made available to use towards a blended lending/gifting scheme. This would be mainly for adults to use, especially to address employment and access. The devices needed to be robust and easy to use, and the maximum number possible. A number of Oldham libraries had remained open for the public to access the computers. This needed to be better communicated and shared to raise awareness. These computers were public access and could be pre-booked for an hour at a time.

·         Lending of IT equipment from closed libraries and/or recycling used equipment for the Council to the community – the GM Tech Fund would co-ordinate the recycling of equipment from businesses or individuals  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Northern Care Alliance - Update on employment support and local recruitment. pdf icon PDF 624 KB


The Committee gave consideration to a report from the Alliance Director, Oldham Cares, which provided an update on employment support and local recruitment.


Programmes had been very much affected by the pandemic and the numbers currently looked low, however there were plans in place to bring them back. At this point it was not possible to provide a trajectory while the pandemic was ongoing.


The report focussed on young people, as that was what the Committee had requested. Members noted that other opportunities eg re-skilling were also available.


The Committee was asked to note particular areas of new success, including the joint working with Oldham College and obtaining funding from GMCA, that sat alongside the traditional offers.


Members asked for and received clarification on the following:-

·         Guaranteed interviews – offered to any learner who has completed a pre-employment course. Selection for the pre-employment course was the equivalent of a job interview. It was hoped that 85% from the course would apply for employment and 15% would be supported into degree courses.

·         Score card information – the numbers on pre-employment courses, the number of NHS ambassadors. From them can determine what work experience or pre-employment to offer

·         Scheme with huge potential, how will it develop – this is a new approach for the NHS and introductions to anyone interested would be very welcome.

·         Working with schools, youth service, job centres – there were regular discussions with the job centres. The NHS was keen to go to anywhere that can offer a link to the local community and had already been offered introductions to two mosques. Networking with older people, eg women returning to work after having a family, was also an aim.

·         Training programme – this was available for all levels and the Council could help with this going forward.

·         Links with other care providers eg GP’s and pharmacies – Constitutional Services has an email address which can be circulated.

·         Access for small businesses to NHS contracts – this was the next major area. Links had been made with policy officers to identify spend that was not payroll and the aim was to work with the Council to develop local contacts. Working within the NHS procurement rules, opportunities for local send could be identified. It may be possible to work with the Council’s Communications Team to promote this locally.

·         Would contracts include a menu of social value contributions – they would do.

·         Meet with NHS before update – the Strategic Director of Communities & Reform was chair of the Inclusive Economy Group. A list of officers that had been involved in discussions would be sent to Constitutional Services so there could be a joined-up approach to moving forward.



1.    An update would be brought to a future meeting, date to be confirmed.

2.    A further meeting between the NCA Director and members of the Committee be held, to further explore how this approach might be extended to other partners including the Council and other local employers.


Health Improvement and Weight Management Service pdf icon PDF 284 KB

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to a report of the Director of Public Health which updated the Health Scrutiny Committee on the outcome of the recent collaborative commission by Oldham Council and NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for the provider of a Health Improvement and Weight Management Service through an open competitive tendering procedure.


The new borough-wide health improvement and weight management service

offer, Your Health Oldham, delivered by ABL Health Limited was introduced.


Members were informed that having a high functioning health improvement offer was an essential component of the range of activity required to achieve better population health and reduce demand on health and social care services.


Oldham Council and the NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) had worked in collaboration, under the banner of Oldham Cares, to jointly commission a provider for the provision of a Health Improvement and Weight Management Service through an open competitive tendering procedure


Following completion of the tender evaluation processes, the Oldham Council Chief Executive and NHS Oldham CCG Accountable Officer awarded the contract on behalf of both the Council and NHS Oldham CCG, as per the delegated authority agreed by Cabinet in November 2019, to the provider who submitted the most economically advantageous bid, ABL Health Limited.


The contract term was for a period of five years up to the end of 31 December 2025 at a value of £970,000 per year (£700,000 contribution from Oldham Council and £270,000 contribution from NHS Oldham CCG). There was an option to extend the contract for up to a further two years.


Representatives from ABL Health attended the meeting to introduce ‘Your Health Oldham’: Oldham’s Health Improvement and Weight Management Service which went live in January 2021. Members gave consideration to the presentation provided by ABL Health.


Members asked for and received clarification of the following:-

Similar projects elsewhere – evidence across the country showed integrating services achieved better results. Lessons learned and best practice from elsewhere had been taken into account and the programme was made Oldham specific. The service was very new and it would take time to see the impact at Borough level.

Connection with Asian communities – the service worked with many different partners as this helped them deliver the service and gave better outcomes.

Support for those with diabetes, especially Type 2 – support could take a long time though a GP and people could either self-refer or be referred to the service. Although the process had been interrupted by the pandemic, it would be a smooth system

Number of people the service could support – the organisation had a wide range of skills. The person would be allocated a key worker who could refer to others in the organisation. The individual was not passed around. They retained the key worker and other services were added, as this gave better outcomes. The service was staffed to meet the agreed targets and was adaptable and flexible.

Number of caseworkers and average caseload – as the service was very new, there were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Health Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee gave consideration to the proposed Health Scrutiny Committee Work Programme for 2020/21, outlining those issues which would be considered by the Committee during the municipal year.  


Members were informed that the recommendations the Committee forwarded to the Cabinet arising from the ‘Ban on Fast Food and Energy Drink Advertising’ Council Motion for issues to progressed at the GM level were considered and agreed by the Cabinet last night.


Members noted that the recommendations of the Committee arising from the ‘Not every disability is visible’ Council Motion for the Portfolio Holder and Officers to cost up the signage of accessible toilets in line with the Crohn’s and Colitis UK campaign and the provision of a Changing Places toilet, had been supported by the Leader as Portfolio Holder for costings to be drawn up.


RESOLVED that the Health Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2020/21, as presented, be noted.



Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Health Scrutiny Committee is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, 16th March 2021 at 6pm.



It was noted that the next meeting of the Health Scrutiny Committee was scheduled to be held on Tuesday, 16th March 2021 at 6pm.