Agenda and minutes

Health Select Commission - Thursday 2 September 2021 5.00 p.m.

Venue: Council Chamber - Rotherham Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S60 2TH. View directions

Contact: Katherine Harclerode, Governance Advisor  The webcast can be viewed at

No. Item


Minutes of the previous meeting held on 8 July 2021 pdf icon PDF 136 KB


To consider and approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on 8 July 2021 as a true and correct record of the proceedings.




That the minutes of the meeting held on 08 July 2021 be approved as a true and correct record of the proceedings.


Declarations of Interest


To receive declarations of interest from Members in respect of items listed on the agenda.


There were no declarations of interest.


Questions from members of the public and the press


To receive questions relating to items of business on the agenda from members of the public or press who are present at the meeting.


The Chair confirmed that no members of the press or public had submitted questions in relation to any matters of business on the agenda.


Exclusion of the Press and Public


To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any part of the agenda.


The Chair confirmed that there was no reason to exclude members of the press or public from observing any matters of business on the agenda.


Suicide Prevention

To receive a presentation regarding an update on suicide prevention in Rotherham.


Consideration was given to an update presentation in respect of suicide prevention in Rotherham presented by the Strategic Director of Adult Care, Housing and Public Health and Public Health Specialist. The presentation included national context, changes to the way suicide is tracked, and how Rotherham’s rates compare with that of similar localities and with the nation. Rotherham’s action plan was described as well as examples of partnership working and various avenues of support for suicide prevention.


In discussion, Members expressed the desire for more information around wider factors that intersect with suicide. The response clarified these factors including relationship breakdown, relationship loss, financial hardship, and other sources of emotional distress. It was noted that only about one third of suicides are related to a mental health condition; therefore, it was important to have multiple pathways to support rather that simply by the health care route.


Members also requested further assurances that learning is shared between neighbouring areas where rates are lower. The response from officers noted that the regional neighbours work closely together and network to share good practice continually. Action plans were also assessed by national Samaritans, and national leaders have been to visit Rotherham twice, and had commented on the good practice at Rotherham that should be implemented more widely throughout the nation.


Members also requested clarification around historic changes to the way instances of suicide have been recorded and whether the data is accurate. The response from officers provided assurances that Rotherham’s data was accurate and that the coroner does not have a greater preparedness to determine a death as a suicide than in other areas.


Members also expressed concerns around Rotherham’s higher-than-average figures for men as well as now the sharply rising category for women as well. The response noted national picture for men in 40s and 30s is also being reflected locally. Specific findings regarding the need to support children who have been bereaved by suicide were also cited.


Members expressed the desire to know more about what tailored support is available and what good practice is being put in place to help target vulnerable groups specifically based on their unique needs. The response from officers noted the differences in age groups and gender and how these groups are being supported, especially children who have experienced bereavement due to suicide.


Members expressed interest in the take up, effectiveness, and sustainability of the small grants funding. The response gave details about the nature and use of this funding, which is usually small, one-off sums that become available and are applied for on an ongoing basis, but the effects of these can be far-reaching.


Members also sought more information around learning that has been captured during the pandemic about how to more effectively support individuals who may be at risk. The response from officers noted apps and resources that are available, including the Stay Alive app for smartphones. The response further noted the Make Every Contact Count training of Council staff.


Members wished to hear an update  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.


Rotherham Healthwatch Update

To receive an update regarding recent activities and research by Rotherham Healthwatch.


Consideration was given to an update presentation from the Service Manager of Rotherham Healthwatch, which described recent initiatives and research undertaken by the programme as well as identified potential areas for collaboration and feeding into scrutiny work for the coming year.




1.    That the update and opportunities for scrutiny collaboration be noted.


2.    That thanks to Lesley Cooper be recorded on behalf of the Chair for her leadership and dedication throughout her time at Rotherham Healthwatch which has had a positive impact on public health scrutiny in Rotherham.



Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 267 KB

To receive an update in respect of the scrutiny work programme.

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to an update report in respect of the scrutiny work programme for 2021/22. Recent changes and additions to the work programme were described and the updated schedule of scrutiny work presented for endorsement.


Members were invited to participate in the work of two upcoming sub groups in October.




1.    That the updated work programme be noted.


2.    That the Governance Advisor be authorised to make changes to the work programme in consultation with the Chair, with any changes to be reported back at the next meeting for endorsement.



Urgent Business


To consider any item(s) which the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.


The Chair announced there was no urgent business.


Date and time of next meeting


The next meeting of the Health Select Commission will be held on 7 October commencing at 5pm in Rotherham Town Hall. 


The Chair announced that the next meeting of the Health Select Commission would be held on 7 October 2021, commencing at 5pm in Rotherham Town Hall.