Lewisham Council
Council meetings

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Suite. View directions

Contact: John Bardens (02083149976) 

No. Item


Appointment of Chair for the meeting


Councillor John Muldoon, Chair of the Healthier Communities Select Committee (HCSC) opened the meeting, welcomed the participants and public and explained that the joint meeting came about following a resolution of the HCSC as follows:

“To hold a one-off joint meeting with the Children and Young People Select Committee before the summer recess to further consider the work being undertaken by the council to address BAME mental health inequalities; to receive evidence at this meeting on the progress of this work with clear timescales and proposed actions, on who is responsible for overseeing and monitoring the progress of this work at senior officer and cabinet level, and on whether there are any barriers to making quick progress; and to receive evidence at this meeting from the Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, and the Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board.”


Apologies were noted from Councillors Bernards, Moore, Elliot, Anwar.


It was MOVED, SECONDED and RESOLVED that Councillor Muldoon be appointed as Chair of the meeting.



Declarations of interest pdf icon PDF 201 KB


Councillor Luke Sorba disclosed that:

·         he is the Council’s appointee to the council of SLaM NHS Trust governors;

·         he is also commissioned to deliver workshops through the SLaM recovery college.


BAME mental health inequalities pdf icon PDF 481 KB

Additional documents:


The Chair introduced the Mayor, Damian Egan, who is also the Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, to address the committee. The Mayor made the following points:

1.    He acknowledged that mental health outcomes for BAME residents in Lewisham are worse than for other residents

2.    Austerity had had a pronounced effect on mental health provision and cut across all service providers

3.    Long term change would require sustained efforts

4.    He recorded his thanks to Catherine Mbema - Interim Director of Public Health, Danny Ruta – former Director of Public Health, and all officers involved in this work

5.    He stressed the importance of learning from Lambeth’s Black Thrive programme

6.    He had appointed Barbara Grey, of Lewisham BME Network, as BAME health inequalities adviser.

7.    It was necessary to improve services and to be ready for a change of governance so that when investment in public services will resume, Lewisham will be in a strong position.


Catherine Mbema, Kenneth Gregory – Joint Commissioner, Adult Mental Health and Caroline Hirst – Joint Commissioner gave a presentation. The slides can be viewed here.


The Chair thanked the Mayor and presenters and invited questions from the Committee. A discussion followed in which the following points were made:


1.    Members expressed serious concerns about the unreliability of available ethnicity data. The ethnicity of some 44.5% of service users accessing Child and Adolescent Health Services (CAMHS) was not known.

2.    A Joint Service Needs Assessment (JSNA) was being carried out for adult service, but not for children and young people. A prioritisation process had been followed that identified adult mental health services as a focus area. Transition from CAMHS to adult mental health and self-harm services for children and young people would be looked at this coming year.

3.    The Mayor was clear that this was a 10 year change programme and dramatic change would be challenging during austerity. It was noted that Lambeth’s Black Thrive programme had had a long implementation phase, taking some 5 years to embed.

4.    Members did not think it would be possible to bring about the necessary changes to mental health provision within the existing resource envelope.

5.    Youth First has strong engagement with BAME young people and therefore it was important to look at the role of the youth service in the mental health strand of the Early Help Review. Resilience was at the core of the youth service offer and the Early Help review was considering whether to have a designated clinical lead within the youth service and other relevant settings.

6.    The Virtual School (which provides support to looked after children) had created its own dedicated CAMHS team from within its existing resources and with open access, that is with no access threshold. As a result the number of looked after children accessing mainstream CAMHS services had dropped by 21% in 2017.

7.    Members asked about engagement with faith groups and heard that the council engages with faith groups through voluntary organisations  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Information item: Meeting the public sector equality duty at SLaM, 2018 Lewisham ethnicity information pdf icon PDF 1 MB


It was RESOLVED that the item be noted without discussion.


Referrals to Mayor and Cabinet


It was RESOLVED that the following referral be made to the Health and Wellbeing Board:


That HWB investigates the lack of robustness and possible inaccuracies with CAMHS ethnicity data and provides details of how and when this deficiency will be addressed and remedied;


That HWB considers a dedicated programme, with additional funding and other resources, based within community and third sector partner organisations that already have expertise and the trust of BAME communities, on whose cooperation public consultation and co-production will rely.