Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Health Select Committee Minutes

Monday, 28th April, 2008
04.00 p.m.
Lecture Hall, Stockton Library, The Square, Stockton on Tees
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr Mrs Ann Cains (Chairman), Cllr Cains (vice Cllr Beall), Cllr Aidan Cockerill, Cllr Kevin Faulks, Cllr Mrs Liz Nesbitt, Cllr Julia Roberts, Cllr Andrew Sherris, Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley.
Ruth Hill (CESC); G Birtle, F Shayler (LD).
In Attendance:
Paul Frank (PCT); Ms Cath Jones (IDEA); Chris Bentley (Team Leader - Health and Equalities); Councillor Jonathan Owen (Deputy Leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council).
Apologies for absence:
were submitted on behalf of Cllrs Baker, Beall.

The Chairman welcomed new Councillors onto this Committee and the IDeA visitors.
Item Description Decision
The minutes of the meeting held on 10th March 2008 were agreed as a correct record.
CONCLUDED that a further meeting be held as part of the formal consultation. The Chairman also requested that Members attend one of the public consultation meetings.
CONCLUDED that Members continue to scrutinise the contracting process to ensure that best value was being achieved.
CONCLUDED that the Review of Audiology Services be put on hold and a more formal process within the Tees Valley to share future scrutiny topics be considered.
CONCLUDED that consideration be given to the possibility of 'Care Call' being a future review topic.
CONCLUDED that the update be noted.
CONCLUDED that the comments be noted.


The minutes of the meeting held on 10th March 2008 were agreed as a correct record.

Matters Arising

Members discussed the high cost of parking at the Hospital as well as the difficulties in getting parked. There had also been some changes to the disabled parking bays.

A constituent of Councillor Mrs Cains had written to the Chief Executive regarding these issues and had received a response stating that an additional seven parking spaces for the disabled had been added making a total of thirteen disabled parking bays.

Councillor Roberts stated that she had also written with regard to the two disabled parking bays that had been removed and changed to parking bays for the Chief Executive and Chairman. A response had been received detailing the reason for the changes which was somewhat different to the other response received.
Members were provided with the North Tees PCT’s requirement to develop a health centre in the borough the details of which would be consulted upon for thirteen weeks commencing Monday, 5th May 2008.

In October 2007 Professor Lord Darzi published an interim report 'Our NHS, our future' which was to be read as the start of developing a vision of the National Health Service for the next ten years.

Included within the report were the following immediate steps that were expected to be taken ahead of a final report:

- To help make care fairer - a comprehensive strategy for reducing health inequalities, challenging the NHS, as a key player, to live up to its founding and enduring values.
- To help make care more personal - patient choice should be embedded within the full spectrum of NHS funded care, going beyond elective surgery into new areas such as primary care and long term conditions:
- New resources should be invested to bring new GP practices - whether they are organised on the traditional independent contractor model or by new private providers - to local communities where they were most needed, starting with the 25% of PCTs with the poorest provision.
- Newly procured health centres in easily accessible locations should be offering all members of the local population a range of convenient services, even if they choose not to be directly registered with GPs in these centres.
- PCTs should introduce new measures to develop greater flexibility in GP opening hours, including the introduction of new providers. The aim was that, over time, the majority of GP practices would offer patients much greater choice of when to see a GP, extending hours into the evenings or weekend.

The second stage of the Review would set out how this would deliver the vision for a world class health service through a locally accountable NHS in which health and social care staff were empowered to lead change, supported by the right reformed systems and incentives.

In order to meet the requirements of the first stage of the review North Tees PCT is required to develop a 'walk-in' health centre, but would not be required to procure additional GP practices.

Based on the factors used by North Tees PCT the preferred location for the new health centre was the Hardwick ward and the preferred site was Tithebarn House.

It was proposed that a 13-week consultation would be undertaken commencing 5 May 2008 until 1 August 2008 focusing on possible additional services to be provided in a new Health Centre and the criteria for the selection of providers.

The Health Select Committee were requested to consider the content of the briefing, highlight any additional issues that may need to be addressed during the consultation period and decide upon how the Committee wished to be involved.

Members discussed the site at Tithebarn House and raised issues such as parking and internal space. The Service would run 8am - 8pm 7 days per week and would hopefully discourage residents of the area from using A&E at the Hospital. It was stated that GP practices within Hardwick were growing with approximately 1200 residents now registered.

Paul Frank was in attendance to provide details of the consultation process. A plan was currently being formalised and would be circulated to Members . There would be two public meetings:-

- 16th May, 5-7pm, Stockton Library
- 4th July, 2-4pm, Aspen Gardens

It was requested that Hardwick Community Centre be considered as a possible venue rather than Aspen Gardens as the Ward Councillor felt that more residents would attend.

It was also requested that the consultation documents be made available in different languages and formats.

Councillor Harrington had submitted a written question regarding the consideration of extending the Thornaby Practice. It was stated that this may be a possibility under 'Momentum' but this was a separate process.

Discussion was also held on recent changes to the phlebotomy service and it was stated that this matter was currently being investigated and Ruth Hill would report back to Members in due course.

It was requested by Members that a further meeting be held to discuss the matter further.
Patient and Public Involvement Forums (PPI) were disbanded on 31st March 2008 to be replaced by Local Involvement Networks (LINk). LINks differ from PPIs in that they cover a geographic area rather than being aligned to a health body (primary care, hospital, mental health, ambulance trusts) and would be made up of individuals and organisations. LINks would also have an opportunity to influence social care provision, something that was not included in the PPI remit.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council had a responsibility to make contractual arrangements with a host organisation that would enable, support and facilitate the LINk in its activities.

150 LINks would be established nationally, one for each area served by a Local Authority with responsibility for social services. Their primary role would be to enable local individuals and groups to actively influence local care services, from planning and commissioning to delivery.

A LINk would include individuals, groups and organisations with an interest in local health and social care services, and would be expected to make sure that all sections of the community would be heard. The LINk would be a network rather than groups of individuals.

Local Authorities had received a specific grant from the Department of Health, which comprised a baseline amount to enable a contract to be put in place and cover costs, and a targeted amount of money depending on size, population, population sparsity and deprivation. The total funding package contained three strands: local authority contract management costs, host organisation support function costs and LINk expenditure costs. Funding for Stockton Borough was £126,000 p.a. for three years commencing 1st April 2008.

A host organisation would be contracted by the Local Authority to support the LINk, initially for a period of three years.

While the LINk was being set up, the host would be responsible for engaging individuals and organisations and recruiting a diverse and representative group to establish the LINk. The host must be capable of reaching out to the wider community and would need to be innovative to draw in potential participants.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council Officers and Councillors had begun to stimulate interest in LINks with potential members and participants, and potential hosts at a number of events that have been held in the borough. A ‘Getting Ready for LINks’ Steering Group existed to discuss in detail aspects of the arrangements needed prior to a host being procured and a LINk being formulated.

Members considered the content of the tender document.
Members were informed that we had recently discovered that Middlesbrough Borough Council had just completed a review of audiology. The report was not available at present but the Scrutiny Officer would endeavour to receive early sight of the report. It was felt that in the interim Members would put this review on hold until they had had sight of the report by Middlesbrough Council, in order not to duplicate work.
Members discussed their forthcoming work programme. Ideas for future topics were discussed. It was requested that 'Care Call' be considered as a future review topic. The Chairman and Scrutiny Officer would look further into this matter and report back to the next meeting.
A Training Session would be organised for new Members of the Health Select Committee and Corporate, Adult Services and Social Inclusion Select Committee. Further details would be provided in due course.

The Chairman informed Members that we were still awaiting confirmation from Hartlepool Borough Council of the proportionality for the Joint Committee to scrutinise the Momentum programme.
As part of the Healthy Communities Peer Review, Councillor Jonathan Owen, Deputy Leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council (Member of the IDeA Peer Review Team) was in attendance for the meeting held today. Cath Jones and Chris Bentley were also in attendance for part of the meeting.

Members held discussion with the Peer Review Team on what they felt were the key strengths, areas for improvement and whether anything could have been done differently with regard to Health and Well Being.

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