Home > Council and Democracy > Agenda item

Agenda item


The purpose of this report is to provide Blackpool Adult Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee members a further update relating to the implementation of the Initial Response Service (IRS), which was presented to the Committee in February 2022, and to give a progress update in relation to actions following on from the Trust’s CQC inspection in April 2021 at The Harbour, following the pervious presentation to Committee members on 29 September 2021.



Ms Joanna Stark, Director of Operations, Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCFT), Ms Linda Bennett, Director of Nursing and Quality, LSCFT and Dr Mark Worthington, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, LSCFT provided an update to the Committee on the progress made in relation to the Initial Response Service and an improvement report following the previous Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection of the Trust.


In relation to the improvement made since the ‘requires improvement’ CQC inspection, Members noted the absence of an action tracker in the report and queried whether all actions identified following the inspection had now been completed. In response, Ms Bennett advised that the CQC action plans had been completed. She added that recruitment remained an ongoing consideration and that a number of transformation projects had been introduced across the Fylde locality to allow for the natural progression of staff.


Ms Bennett added that the Trust had recently met with CQC inspectors to discuss progress, evidence and statistics and feedback from the Commission had been positive despite the additional pressures caused by the pandemic. In response to a question, Ms Bennett advised that there would not be a further report from the CQC at this time, however, detailed feedback had been received by the Trust.


The Committee discussed the issues with recruitment in detail, and queried whether issues with staff turnover contributed to the continual need to recruit. Dr Worthington advised that staff turnover varied across different parts of the workforce. He advised that there had been a change at The Harbour, an area of previous concern for staffing, with the change and progress made having a positive impact on staff. Ms Bennett advised that staffing was the biggest challenge facing the NHS nationally and that despite this the Trust had been very successful in recent recruitment for senior members of staff.


In response to further questions, Ms Bennett advised that apprenticeships and training programmes were on offer where possible to support workers into skilled and qualified professions. She added that the Trust was making the training as attractive and interesting as possible to staff.


Members discussed the introduction of the Initial Response Service (IRS) in detail and noted that the premises for the service had not yet been secured. It was queried whether the delay in securing a building would delay the overall introduction of the service to Blackpool. Ms Stark advised that there had been difficulties in securing a local estate from which to run the service and that a deadline had been set to find an alternative site should the original estate identified not be procured. Following further questions, Ms Stark advised that it was possible that the introduction of the Service would be delayed and agreed to provide an urgent update to the Committee once the deadline for the estate procurement had expired. A full report would then be provided to the Committee at its next meeting.


The Committee went on to consider the identified bed deficit and noted that the previous modelling had suggested the Trust was 90 beds short. Dr Worthington advised that additional rehabilitation beds had been identified which would free up other beds. He noted that additional sites had been identified for redevelopment to add in additional adult and older adult capacity. It was expected that the deficit would be reduced to zero by May 2023, however, Members were informed that should new modelling be carried out, it might change the figure required again due to the additional demand seen over the previous few years.


In reference to the transition from children’s to adults mental health services, Members of the Committee sought assurance that improvements had been made and that a good transition was now provided. In response, Ms Bennett advised that she had assumed responsibility for the transition and undertook regular quality assurance of the staff and processes in place. She advised that pathways for the transition were being developed and that all complaints and incidents were logged so that they could be learned from. Additional support was also being provided for both families and the professionals working with young people through the service transition.


The Committee agreed to receive an urgent update on the procurement of a building for the IRS and a further update to its next Committee meeting.

Supporting documents: