Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 17th February 2011
Title of Item/Report
Regional Review of the Health Needs of the Ex-Service Community
Record of the Decision
Cabinet noted that the North East Regional Joint Health Scrutiny Committee had been established in September 2010. Members were provided with a report that represented the results of a substantial, pro-active scrutiny project that had been undertaken by the Joint Committee. As chair of Health Select Committee, Councillor Ann Cains represented Stockton Council on the Committee, which Cllr Cains also chaired.

Cabinet noted a summary of the outcomes and recommendations from the review including reference to physical needs, mental health and socio-economic issues.

It was explained that the Joint Committee's review had been concerned with ensuring that ex-service personnel are receiving their entitlement to equality of access to service provision, and that they were not disadvantaged by their service in the Armed Forces. In addition, Members had noted that in some cases (for example, NHS provision of prosthetic limbs) additional priority had been granted, and that greater awareness was needed to promote such services.

It was noted that most ex-service personnel experience very few problems when they transition back to civilian life. However some specific groups did encounter difficulty (for example, some early service leavers), and some experience problems many years down the line after their discharge. There were also significant issues in relation to the quality of data in relation to ex-service personnel.

A range of services dedicated to the ex-service community already existed and these were often provided by the voluntary and community sector. Better co-ordination and sign-posting to these had been identified as a requirement and was the basis for a number of the recommendations. In some cases, if such services were promoted more widely, they could lighten the load on other statutory services.

Within the context of a regional project involving discussion amongst Members from all 12 authorities, the Joint Committee had identified 47 recommendations.

As this was a regional project, the report was being submitted to each of the region's local authority Executives. There were 27 recommendations aimed at local authorities, either to be implemented directly or in partnership with others. In addition there were a number of recommendations aimed at partner organisations.

It was proposed by the Joint Committee that an Action Plan be formulated in order to co-ordinate the response to the report. In order to provide a focus for this process, and to launch the report itself, the Joint Committee propose to hold an event, provisionally scheduled for March, in order to invite relevant organisations to discuss taking forward the recommendations.

RESOLVED that

1. the Regional Joint Committee's report be supported in principle, and it be agreed that the recommendations for local authorities be assessed in terms of how they could be taken forward by Stockton Council, in partnership with relevant organisations, where appropriate.

2. the Corporate Director of Children, Education and Social Care, and Corporate Director of Development and Neighbourhood Services, be authorised to agree the actions relevant to Stockton Council, in conjunction with the Joint Committee, and to implement these in consultation with relevant Cabinet Members and the Corporate Director of Resources.
Reasons for the Decision
The regional scrutiny review on the health needs of ex-service personnel had been completed and the Joint Committee had made a number of recommendations for consideration by the region's local authorities, regional NHS bodies and a number of other organisations. Submission of the report to Cabinet will enable Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's response to be formulated.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
None
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on 25 February 2011
Attachment

Date of Publication: 21 February 2011


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