Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 14th May 2009
Title of Item/Report
Scrutiny Review of Audiology
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that presented the findings of the Health Select Committees following a review into audiology services for Stockton residents. The review examined access to services, care pathways and waiting times as well as feedback from users of the service.

During the review, the Committee received evidence from service users, and a link officer from the Tees PCTs was assigned for the duration of the review.

It was noted that following consideration of the recommendations by Cabinet and the Tees PCTs, an action plan would be submitted to the Select Committee setting out how approved recommendations would be implemented detailing responsibility for action and timescales.

RESOLVED that: -

1. The Tees PCTs be congratulated on implementing measures to significantly reduce waiting times.

2. The provision of more localised services in community settings be supported and this be considered as part of the Momentum proposals and through opportunities for the co-location of services with other providers.

3. The commissioning of private sector providers with a High Street presence (such as that provided via the Specsavers pilot) be supported to reduce pressure on the more specialised services provided elsewhere and improve access to services, subject to clear information and reassurances being provided to patients that the NHS service is free of charge from any commissioned provider.

4. The Tees PCTs review the care pathway for children's screening, taking into account the different models operating across the Tees PCTs to seek to achieve best practice.

5. The Tees PCTs review demand for audiology services provided at UHNT (in particular the drop-in clinics) and investigate ways of reducing the pressure on services at UHNT if necessary.

6. The Tees PCTs review the care pathway to provide an improved ear wax removal service at the point of referral from the GP to the audiology dept.

7. Both visual and audio calling devices are operated in all audiology reception areas.
Reasons for the Decision
The topic was identified at a meeting of the Scrutiny Liaison Forum in March 2008, and subsequently incorporated into the scrutiny work programme by the Executive Scrutiny Committee in April 2008. The review enabled the Select Committee to review progress in reducing waiting times for audiology services and identify improvements audiology services for Stockton Borough residents.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
By Midnight, Friday, 22nd May 2009

Date of Publication: 19 May 2009

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