Health Select Committee Minutes

Monday, 24th May, 2010
First Floor, Committee Room, Town Hall, High Street, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1AU
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr Mrs Ann Cains (Chair), Cllr Paul Baker, Cllr Dick Cains, Cllr Julia Cherrett, Cllr Aidan Cockerill, Cllr Kevin Faulks, Cllr Mohammed Javed and Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley.
P J Mennear, P K Bell (LD).
In Attendance:
A Murray (PCT); J Newton (LINk).
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Andrew Sherris.
Item Description Decision
There were no interests declared.
The minutes of the meetings held on 18th, 25th January and 8th March 2010 were signed by the Chair as a correct record.
CONCLUDED that the draft minutes from the meeting held on 19th April 2010 be agreed as a correct record.

CONCLUDED that the assessments of progress contained within the report be agreed, and further updates be received as appropriate.

1. Progress in relation to ongoing regional health scrutiny projects be noted.

2. The Regional Health Committee Protocol be endorsed and that Council be recommended that the Chair of the Health Select Committee be appointed to serve on this body.

3. The Committee provide input into the Social and Economic Wellbeing work stream of the Ex-Service Community Project and that regular progress reports be presented to Health Select Committee in due course.
CONCLUDED that the Chair's Update be noted.
4.00 pm - 6.00 pm


Members received the following matters arising from the draft minutes from the meeting held on 19th April 2010:-

Judicial Review of South Central Strategic Health Authority's plans for consultation on the introduction of fluoridisation

The Chair informed Members that she had received a response back from South Central SHA and they have not been told when the judicial review will take place.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust Draft Quality Account 2010-11

The Chair presented Members with the joint statement that had been produced by the Scrutiny Officer on behalf of both the Committee and Stockton on Tees LINk following the previous meeting. A copy of the statement had been sent to the representative of the LINk for any comments and Members were requested to send any final comments to the Scrutiny Officer within two days. If no comments were received the statement would be sent to the Trust as presented.

Seminar on Personal Health Budgets

Councillor Cockerill reported back on the seminar on Personal Health Budgets. Councillor Cockerill tabled a leaflet that he had received at the seminar for Members information. Councillor Cockerill outlined that they had not been given any information as to the amount each budget would be and the seminar content in general was very broad.

Draft Communications Protocol

The Chair informed Members that the Draft Communications Protocol between the Committee and NHS Stockton on Tees had been subject to further discussion internally and was still awaiting on clarification on some issue.
Members were asked to consider the assessments of progress contained within the Progress Report on the implementation of the recommendations from the review of Audiology. A Murray (PCT) was in attendance at the meeting to help answer any questions on the Progress report.

Following the Cabinet consideration of scrutiny reports, accepted recommendations were then subject to a monitoring process to track their implementation.

Evidence had been submitted by the NHS Stockton-on-Tees together with an assessment of progress against all recommendations. Members were asked to consider and agree the assessments of progress as contained in the report. If Members of the Select Committee agree, the recommendations which had reached an assessment of ‘1’ would be signed off as having been completed.

In order to track those recommendations which were not signed off following this initial Progress Report, a series of Progress Updates would be submitted to Members on a quarterly basis.

The Progress Report and the ‘assessment of progress’ categories was attached for Members information.

A verbal update was given in relation to recommendation 7, and the operation of audio/calling devices in reception areas. It was agreed to sign off the recommendation as complete.

Members requested that next time they receive an update they receive a glossary of terms.

The Chair presented Members with a leaflet that had come from an external organisation and on the leaflet it said that there was a 2 year waiting list for the NHS audiology which was not the case. A Murray reported that she would investigate further and report back to Members.

Members overall were happy with the progress that had been made against the recommendations and thanked A Murray (PCT) for her attendance at the meeting.
Members were asked to note progress in relation to the ongoing regional health scrutiny projects; endorse the Regional Health Committee Protocol; and comment on the involvement of Stockton Council in the regional ex-service community project.

The Health Select Committee had in the past taken advantage of the free support days provided by the Centre for Public Centre to deliver Member training on Health Scrutiny. The most recent programme of support from the Centre consisted of 10 free days to Overview and Scrutiny Committees (OSCs) in each Strategic Health Authority area. An application to use this support was made last year on behalf of the region and was successful.

As a result of the bid, an expert advisor was appointed to the 12 North East Councils. Members were reminded that it was agreed that this support would be used to develop health scrutiny structures on a regional basis. On 28th February 2010 a joint meeting of health scrutiny chairs from across the region was held to discuss a draft protocol and possible working arrangements and a consensus was reached that there should be a standing regional health scrutiny committee to scrutinise the Strategic Health Authority and respond to health consultations affecting all North East Councils.

An example of a health consultation affecting the full region was the recent North East Ambulance Service consultation on their application to become a Foundation Trust. In that case a committee had to be formed at short notice in order to be able to respond to the consultation. Having a standing committee in place would ensure that if and when similar regional issues arose, they could be expedited in a quick and efficient way. It was planned that the Committee would meet twice a year, and so this would not place an unreasonable burden on host authorities. The Committee may also choose to undertake discretionary scrutiny reviews on issues that affect the region as a whole.

The draft Protocol had been the subject of extensive discussions and was attached to the report. Members were asked to endorse the protocol to Council, and to agree the proposal that the Chair of the Health Select Committee be the Council’s representative on the Committee when formed.

Members had previously been informed of the proposed bid for support from the CfPS under their Health Inequality Scrutiny Programme. A regional bid was prepared based on undertaking a piece of regional scrutiny work on the Health Needs of Veterans. This bid was successful and the project planning for the review had begun.

The review would examine the physical, mental and broader health needs of ex-servicemen and women, their families and communities, how they are being assessed and met, and how far ex-service personnel and their families are aware of the support available to them.

The project was also discussed at the meeting of 28th February 2010 and it was proposed to hold a ‘Baseline Day’ to follow the recent local government elections in order to set the scene for the review. A date had been set for this Overview Day and it would take place on 28th June 2010. The majority of the work would then take place following this over the summer and autumn 2010.

It was planned that the project would be divided up into three workstreams, each covering an aspect of ex-servicemen’s health needs. These were: physical health, mental health, and the wider social and economic wellbeing. Each workstream would involve Members from four Councils.

Initial discussions had taken place with regard to how each Council would be involved, and it was suggested that Members of the Committee join the work stream covering issues related to social and economic wellbeing. Involvement could involve the Chair of the Committee and other interested Members forming a working party with Members of other Councils in the workstream. Therefore it was further proposed that Members agree to be kept up to date and consider invitations to take part over the forthcoming few weeks.

Members agreed that Councillor Cherrett, Councillor Cockerill, Councillor Cains and the Chair would attend the Overview Day.
The Chair updated Members on the following issues:-

FACS Leaflet

The Chair informed Members that the final version of the FACS leaflet had been sent to all Members of the Council. A letter and survey was attached to the leaflet. The public meeting dates and venues were included in the document and if any Member of the Health Select Committee wanted to attend the meetings they should let the Scrutiny Officer know. The FACS leaflet would also go out to the public on 1st June 2010 and articles informing the public would be placed in Stockton News, as part of extensive publicity. This would be out for public consultation for 3 months and then the results would be fed back into the Health Select Committee.

North Tees Hospital Notification

The Chair informed Members there had been a problem with a medical device fitted as part of operations at hospitals nationwide, including North Tees Hospital. The device was used in the hip replacement procedure and people that have had the operation may have to have it again. Patients would be recalled.

Major Trauma Improvement Forum

The Chair informed Members that the Major Trauma Improvement Forum can be accessed via the internet and the Chair had more details if needed.

Paediatric Cardiac Surgery Review

The Chair informed Members that the NHS were undertaking a national review of this type of procedure. There was the possibility of a joint scrutiny committee to look at the issue during of the consultation phase.

New Hospital

The Chair informed Members that the future of the possible new hospital was still under review.

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