Health Select Committee Minutes

Monday, 18th January, 2010
Room J, Education Centre, Junction Road, Norton
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr Mrs Ann Cains (Chairman), Cllr Dick Cains (vice Cllr Jim Beall), Cllr Julia Cherrett and Cllr Aidan Cockerill.
Sean McEneany (CESC); Fiona Shayler (LD).
In Attendance:
James Newton (LINk); Mark Cotton (North East Ambulance Service); Ruth Hill, (NHS Stockton on Tees); Jan Atkinson, Ian Nicholson (North Tees and Hartlepool NHS); Gill Taylor, Beverley Godfrey, James Seegoolam (Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS).
Apologies for absence:
were submitted on behalf of Cllr Paul Baker, Cllr Jim Beall, Cllr Kevin Faulks, Cllr Andrew Sherris.
Item Description Decision
CONCLUDED that the presentations be noted and the presenters were all thanked for their attendance at this meeting.


Councillor Mrs Cains declared a personal/non prejudicial interest in relation to agenda item No. 3 further to a relation working within Mental Health at St Lukes Hospital.

Cllr Cherrett declared a personal/non prejudicial interest in relation to agenda item No. 3 further to being a Member of the Fire Authority.
Members were provided with a full overview of the Health Services in Stockton on Tees and an update on performance.

NHS Stockton:-

The first presentation was provided by Ruth Hill, Acting Director of Health Improvement, NHS Stockton on Tees. The presentation highlighted the World Class Commissioning Competencies and what they meant in practice. The role of the PCT and its strategy which included 8 themes which were as follows:-

Staying Healthy
Maternity and Newborn Care
Child Health
Planned Care
Acute Care
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Long Term Conditions
End of Life Care

The PCT's achievements, challenges and emerging issues were discussed. Achievements included making progress on the ongoing development and re-design of services, managing the response to swine flu, development of strategies to meet identified needs. All age all cause mortality rates, access to dental treatment, rates of breastfeeding, teenage pregnancy, and responding to demographic changes represented ongoing challenges. Emerging issues included the relationship of health inequalities to CAA, ongoing and future financial pressures and efficiency programmes, compliance with the World Class Commissioning standards, and health issues associated with recession.

In light of recent national media coverage, the Chair requested that a report be provided to the Committee in relation to the arrangements for monitoring the safety of out of hours GP services. It was also noted that the Committee would find it helpful if a diagram setting out the new PCT structure could be provided.

Members asked questions relating to the recent severe weather conditions and how this had affected services. It was stated that measures would need to be put in place particularly around prevention in icy conditions of slips/trips/falls.

The Chair stated that the Committee had been pleased with the success of additional services being commissioned for the hearing impaired.

Adult Mental Health Services:-

The following presentation was by Gillian Taylor, General Manager of North Tees and detailed Adult Mental Health Services in the Stockton locality.

The vision for Adult Mental Health Services was 'To provide safe, effective and high quality, specialist mental health services across the spectrum of care to meet the needs of service users and carers'. It was noted that this would include the development of specialist in patient services supported by flexible, broad based community services. The aims and models of service provision were provided together with the services that were currently available. Members were also updated on the Service's future plans and challenges and the quality measures that were in place.

Mental Health Services for Older People:-

The next presentation was by James Seegoolam, Tees Esk and Wear Valley, NHS Foundation Trust, regarding Stockton Integrated Mental Health Services for Older People. The service vision for high quality services, aims, achievements, challenges of the future based on the demographics of rising population with dementia were highlighted, together with a structure for future services. Beverley Godfrey, Clinical Services Manager presented the current services.

Acute Hospital Trust:-

The next presentation was presented by Ian Nicholson and Jan Atkinson, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and provided a general overview to Members. An update was provided on Momentum with the new hospital still planned to be open in early 2015.

The trust had been hosting community services since November 2008, these arrangements were the first of its kind in the country and the benefits were outlined.

The trust was rated 'Good' for Quality of Services and 'Excellent' for Use of Resources in the latest annual Care Quality Commission (CQC) assessment published in October 2009.

Further information was provided on the trusts estates and environmental developments, such as maintenance of the hospital and capital investment.

Quality Review Panels had been established where face-to-face feedback from patients was sought from the Director of Nursing and Patient Safety and her team of senior matrons. This had resulted in a number of changes being initiated.

North East Ambulance Service:-

The final presentation was provided by Mark Cotton, North East Ambulance Service (NEAS). He provided a summary of statistics and performance measures for the year. The service had received 'Good' rating for quality of services and 'Good' for use of resources from the CQC.

External assessors had visited the NEAS for three months to determine whether the service was ready to apply for Foundation Trust status and public consultation had taken place from June to August 2009.

The latest developments in patient transport services were highlighted. All vehicles had been fitted with new radios and tracking technology and bariatric vehicles had been purchased at two locations to carry patients over 25 stone. The NEAS had also been successful in winning the urgent care transport contract for County Durham and Darlington.

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