Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Holding Room, The Guildhall, St. Giles Square, Northampton, NN1 1DE.

Contact: Alice Morgan  0300 330 7000 e-mail:

No. Item


Welcomes, introductions and apologies pdf icon PDF 185 KB


Present: Cllr Larratt (NBC Co Chair), Martin De Rosario (MD Co Chair ), Beverly Mannell (BM NBC/Tennant), Laura Noble (LN Voiceability, Shared Voice Network),  Vicki Rockall (NBC, VR), Stephen Campbell (SC, Olympus Care Services),  Nisha Mejer (NM, NBC)*

*Took minutes


Apologies: Rashmi Shah, Jacqueline Forrest- Smith, Simon Burgess, Elnora Latchman (EL), Graeme Wilson (GW), Harvey Morgan (HM), Alice Morgan, Mike Jackson


Chair welcomed everyone to meeting



Minutes and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 84 KB


Minutes agreed as true record.


No matters arising.


Stephen Campbell - Olympus Care Service


SC has been an occupational therapist (OT) since 1999 and has worked predominantly in Northamptonshire. SC has manged OCS for approx. 5 years.

SC gave figures on the work achieved by OCS:

8209 – contact with clients

4070 – assessments carried out

3,000 – Cases where telephone advice has been given.

There is an average of 6 weeks waiting times to carry out assessments. 67% of clients have received equipment to help them and 30% have received minor adaptations to their home.

The OT service sits in the middle of other care services.

Cllr L: This could lead to problems. Can services be brought together to work more closely?

SC: We try to. The contract for minor adaptations is with Millbrooks. All minor adaptations for people in Housing Associations get sent to Housing Associations. Where major adaptations are concerned, a copy of the report is sent to Housing Association if it concerns them.

Cllr L: Are assessments available to individuals who contact them?

SC: Yes. Some Housing Associations have their own OTs. Always keep the door open for a second opinion. SC stated that he deals with complaints personally.

BM: There is a New Housing Allocations Bill. The changes in the policy cannot be ignored. There are properties not fit for disability needs. The outcomes do not come to the expectation of the tenant.

SC: The local authority should be approached to explore all options. Schemes can be developed to move tenants to new properties. OCS does liaise with private sector housing and talk to tenants about best options.

Cllr L: There is lots of development and social housing in Northampton. Does OC have input into this? Could have a supply of properties which could meet the needs of disabled people and be adaptable to specific needs.

SC: No – have never been consulted. Argued that there would be better facilities if OCS is advising at the planning stages in areas being developed.

ACTION: NM to contact Director of Planning to liaise with OCS to have lifetime homes.

SC: In terms of size, OCS comprises of :

18 staff- equates to 16.5 full time.

3 admin

11.5 OTs

5 assistants – (do lower level assessments).

Proud of service provided. All staff is in a different culture to county council and therefore OC is given more freedom to adapt to services. Therefore, it is less bureaucratic.

Cllr L: Pleased with progress. However concerned as to the part that County Councillors play in this. They have a democratic role in this and there needs to be accountability.

BM: Thanked SC for attending the forum. Please be aware that elderly people are discharged from hospitals and there is not adequate care for them. They are often left in limbo.

SC: The OCS is a joining together of organisations as there is a lack of care agencies.



Olympus Care - Assistive Technology Service


SC: A virtual house has been created online to enable people to see products which are available to help people in their daily life. People can monitor their loved ones – text messages can be sent to them. Sensors can be added to fridges and food cupboards. This helps manage anxieties and risks.

This helps reduce reliance on money invested back to services. Helps raise awareness.

BM: This can help dementia patients.

VR: This is a more preventative approach.

BM: The service can be promoted to NPH.

ACTION: NM to contact OC to carry demonstration of this at next meeting.

ACTION: Promote this service at the next Disability Day.

ACTION: Presentation to be made at NPH board AM/NM to make enquiries.

SC: would like to set up a focus group to help meet the needs of people

ACTION: SC or colleague to attend next meeting to use the Forum as a focus group.



Action Plan


Will be discussed next meeting.



Community Information Exchange


LN: Voice ability will be in One Stop Shop on Thursday 12-3pm.

BM: There is a new Air Ambulance shop in Kingsthorpe. Please donate.

Graeme Wilson provided the following information:

-          Eleanor Robinson from Northampton Swimming Club recently competed in the British Para Swimming Championships in Glasgow where she won 1 Gold & 2 Bronze medals breaking the British Record in the 50M Butterfly in the process of winning the Gold medal. Eleanor then made her Senior British debut at the European Championships in Portugal last week where she won 1 Silver & 3 Bronze medals. She won Silver in the 50M Butterfly where she again broke the British Record & swam quicker than the old World Record in a race won by a 21 year old Ukranian who hasn’t been beaten for 4 years! Eleanor’s time in the 50M Butterfly beat the consideration time for the Rio Paralympics, so she’s now waiting to find out if she’s been selected for the squad!

-          Northampton Swimming Club now has 5 swimmers with disabilities training & competing for them.

-          A training course was recently ran in the county by the Amateur Swimming Association for pool instructors which was attended by 6 people from facilities ran by Northampton Leisure Trust to help them learn how to include disabled swimmers in their sessions.

-          There are some new Tennis sessions being ran for disabled people & anyone with a sensory impairment in Northampton at Abington Park every Sunday 10 – 11am. More details below:

-          Inclusive Community Training workshop for Parents/Carers of disabled people & anyone else who supports them from day care centres, charities, support organisations etc being ran at Northampton University’s Park Campus on Thursday 16th June 6:30 – 9:30pm costing £10 per person. More information can be found on the booking page of our website below:

-          We are running a sports quiz at Northampton Saints on Thursday 9th June 7:30pm to raise funds for Northants Federation of Disability Sport. Entry costs £20 for a team of 4 & can be booked on via the following website:

Northampton Leisure Trust has a new Sports Development Officer who will be leading on their work around developing opportunities for disabled people in the Borough. He is called Harvey Morgan & his email address is





BM: Talked about PIP assessment as it was recently highlighted in Dispatches programme that an assessor failed to maintain professional standards.

Cllr L: The House of Lords are looking at questions in the assessment to review.

BM: Questions are being asked but not logical. The work capability assessment is not fit for purpose. The assessors are on a bonus scheme. There is advice to report to Community Law and the organisation advises the individual to go to the GP. However, they may not know the medical history. This puts more pressure on surgeries. This was not thought through properly by Iain Duncan Smith.

ACTION: NM to invite GPs to look at the impact of PIPs and the workload of GPs.



Date of the Next Meeting

15th July 10.30am -12.30pm, The Guildhall


15 July Jeffrey Room, The Guildhall 10.30am – 12.30pm