Agenda item

Section 117 Joint Policy

(To receive a report by Heston Hassett, Section 117 Specialist Project Manager, which invites the Committee to consider a report on the creation of the Section 117 Joint Policy for Lincolnshire County Council, Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups and Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust, which is due to be considered by the Executive Councillor for Adult Care, Health and Children's Services between 22 July – 2 August 2019)


The Committee received a report which invited members to consider the creation of the Section 117 Joint Policy for Lincolnshire County Council (LCC), Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (LPFT), which was due to be considered by the Executive Councillor for Adult Care, Health and Children's Services between 22 July and 2 August 2019.


This was a new multi-agency policy replacing the existing arrangements in the three individual organisations.  The policy had been ratified for use by the LPFT's Executive Board and was due to be approved by the CCG's appropriate governance processes in July 2019.  The policy required a decision from the Executive Councillor for its use across LCC for multi-agency working.


Members were advised that Section 117 of the Mental Health Act (MHA) 1983 (as amended by the MHA 2007) provided a responsibility on Local Authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups to provide/commission After-Care Services.  It was noted that LCC, in partnership with the Lincolnshire CCG's had been reviewing their approach to the funding of s.117 cases following negotiation in relation to the s.75 Agreement for Learning Disability Services.  As a result, LCC, Lincolnshire CCG's and Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust had been set an inter-agency requirement to review their s.117 policy provisions.


Members were provided with an opportunity to ask questions to the officers present in relation to the information contained within the report and some of the points raised during discussion included the following:

·         It was commented that it was very important that people were supported after leaving hospital treatment.  It was encouraging that this was now more of a collaborative approach.

·         It was queried whether there would be performance monitoring, and members were advised that reviews would take place at 3 months and 12 months.

·         It was highlighted that the report stated that there would be assessments every six or twelve months, and it was queried how long it would take to implement any actions that emerged from the review.  This referred back to the Mental Health Act code of practice and was a way of ensuring that the health care professionals were being proactive.  It was noted that quality audits of case files would take place where it would be looked at how the individual practitioner operated.  It was important that practice was of the highest standard.  Care plans for S.117 were very specific.

·         It was confirmed that this policy had been agreed by all partners, but it still needed to go through the governance procedures.  It was also noted it would be considered by the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee.  The policy would be considered by the CCGs' executive meeting during the coming week.

·         Work was taking place to create an accessible version which could be accessed by members of the public.

·         One of the alternatives considered was to develop a single agency policy, however this would not have addressed how the relevant bodies, particularly the CCG's and Council worked together to discharge their joint responsibility under s.117 MHS 1983.

·         It was noted that the care plan would be an electronic record to ensure that the record was accessible.

·         It was noted that information could be entered directly into mosaic by LPFT staff who had access, and the quality of data was now much better.  Most of the data was now benchmarked with other councils that were similar to Lincolnshire.

·         It was queried whether this covered those people who had been released from secure hospitals, and members were advised that this would be dependent on which section of the MHA applied to them.

·         In terms of financial implications, the costs were currently shared equally and there was an ongoing piece of work reviewing s.117 cases.

·         In working with people with learning disabilities and mental health issues, it could be difficult to determine what was a social care need and what was a mental health need. However, the experience of individuals going through these processes in Lincolnshire was materially better than in those areas where services were delivered separately.

·         In the future it was hoped that there would be an envelope of funding for those with a profound need.

·         Members were pleased to see that the policy would be meeting the needs of those people leaving prison with a mental health need.

·         The data regarding the numbers of people in secure mental health facilities and prisons would be held by the NHS.




1.    That the scrutiny committee support the recommendations to the Executive Councillor as set out in the report.


2.    That the following additional comments be passed to the Executive Councillor:


The Adults and Community Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee supports the approval of the adoption of the policy under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983.  The Committee stressed the importance of aftercare services, to avoid the 'revolving door' approach, whereby service users might again require services, if they did not receive appropriate aftercare support.  The Committee also recorded its support for the collaboration between the County Council and other agencies in delivering the policy. 


The Committee suggested a summary or easy-to-read version of the policy is prepared so that individuals and their families would be able to access the key points in the policy.  This could complement the information contained in Rethink's Section 117 Aftercare Factsheet. 


The Committee also explored the financial implications, as set out in Section 5 of the report.  It was noted that the section 75 arrangements would be reviewed in the coming year. 

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