Healthier Communities and Older People Scrutiny Panel – 2 June 2008

PRESENT:  Councillor Barker in the chair.

Councillors Sidell (vice-chair), Ali, Eckhardt, Ishaq, Simpson and Wells.

Councillors Carlile and Wilson attended the meeting in accordance with Procedure Rule 37(b)

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

66  DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS – The following members declared a personal interest in the following matter: –      

Member Minute Subject & Nature of Interest
Councillor M Ali


68 Member for Humber &

District MIND

Mr Dean Gillon, Scrutiny Officer in attendance, declared a non-pecuniary interest in Minute 68, as his wife had an indirect work commitment through Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber Mental Health (RDaSH).

No whip was declared.

67  PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAK There were no requests received.

68  ADULT MENTAL HEALTH TRANSFERVerbal update from John Pattinson, Head of Service Development, Mental Health, North Lincolnshire PCT – The Chair advised the panel that John Pattinson had been invited to attend the meeting to provide an update on the Adult Mental Health transfer.

He confirmed that the transfer had been completed on 1 June 2008, and that RDaSH had taken ownership of North Lincolnshire Adult Mental Health Services. 

The panel was advised that RDaSH had a statutory contract for three years and that North Lincolnshire PCT had agreed a further two year rollover period, in effect extending the contract to five years.  It was confirmed that regular reviews would be conducted and for the next 12 months there would be no change made to the service.  Any subsequent change to service provision would have to be agreed through the commissioner.

Members engaged in further discussion and received assurance that there would be continuity in the service with very little/if any disruption.

Resolved – (a) That John Pattinson be thanked for his attendance at the meeting and, (b) that a copy of the regional dementia consultation documents be forwarded, by John Pattinson, for circulation to all members of this panel.

69  IN-VITRO FERTILISATION (IVF) GUIDELINESDiscussions with Allison Cooke, Chief Executive North Lincolnshire PCT – The Chair invited Allison Cooke to provide the panel with an overview of the IVF guidelines for North Lincolnshire and an explanation as to how North Lincolnshire PCT decide who is eligible for NHS funded IVF.

Allison explained that recent changes had to be made in deciding who would be eligible for NHS funded IVF.  As from April 2008 it was agreed that any female reaching the age of 39+ by 31 March 2009 would receive 1 cycle of NHS funded IVF.  The associated costs with meeting this target equated to approximately £70,000.  The panel was advised that this decision had been made in accordance with National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines, who recommend that IVF treatment not be used for females over 39 years of age.

Allison confirmed that where the applicants for IVF continued to smoke, take drugs/alcohol, or would not engage in reducing their Body Mass Index, if deemed relevant, the case would be deferred until such targets were met.

The panel was advised that the PCT needed to assess where NHS funded IVF stood in relation to other priorities, such as age related problems, obesity, coronary heart problems and other expenditure, to ensure that there was balanced investment in all areas.

Questions from the panel ensued, and concerns were raised about only the older applicants on the waiting list receiving treatment at present, what effect this had on younger applicants and how long they would they have to wait for treatment.  Allison confirmed that each case was taken on its own merits, and if cases were deemed as exceptional circumstances by the clinician, exceptions would be made.

The panel concluded with discussions over the changing trends and how many couples waited until they were older before considering parenthood, this had had an impact on the number who needed assistance through IVF.

Resolved – (a) That Allison Cooke be thanked for attending the meeting and, (b) that she keep the panel informed of future progress.

70  THE JOINT STRATEGIC NEEDS ASSESSMENT (JSNA) – Dr Andrew Furber, Director of Public Health attended the meeting and gave a presentation on the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.  He advised that this had been presented to the PCT board on 15 May 2008.  The information was principally around health and social care within North Lincolnshire and case filed five typical families within the authority, which accounted for 45% of the population.

Confirmation was given that children and young people would be included in the next stage of the JSNA.

Members engaged in further discussion and questions were raised over the accuracy of the figures for the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) community within North Lincolnshire.  It was agreed that further information would be obtained from the council’s Diversity Officer to ensure that they were as up to date as possible.

Resolved – (a) That Dr Andrew Furber be thanked for his attendance and informative presentation and, (b) that accurate data be obtained from the council’s diversity officer to show the correct number of people within the BME community and also Eastern European.

71  (1) OBESITY IN NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – Consideration of the draft report – The panel engaged in discussion over the content, conclusions and recommendations made within the report.  It was agreed that the report be presented to the next Council meeting on 25 June 2008.

Resolved – That the review of the Obesity Strategy be approved and submitted to council for its consideration.

72  CONSIDERATION OF FUTURE WORK ITEMS – The Service Director Legal and Democratic circulated information on possible future scrutiny review topics.  Members were asked to consider these and any other topics that they felt relevant, a decision would be made at the next scheduled meeting of the panel.

The Chair recommended that the PCT attend a future meeting to provide an update on the breast screening programme, so that a report could be made to Council after its recess.

Resolved – (a) That members give consideration to the next review topic prior to the next scheduled meeting and, (b) that the PCT be invited to attend a future meeting to provide an update on the breast screening service within North Lincolnshire.

73  (2) LEADER OF THE COUNCIL’S FORWARD PLAN – The Service Director Legal and Democratic circulated the Leader of North Lincolnshire Council’s Forward Plan for June to September 2008.

The plan contained details of all matters and issues likely to be the subject of key decisions for a period of the next four months, updated on a monthly basis. 

Resolved – That the position be noted

74  Consideration of Forward Plan at Panel Meetings – The Chair asked for a decision to made as to whether the Forward Plan should be printed and attached with every agenda.  He explained that all members receive a copy and therefore this was unnecessary paperwork if there was no item relevant to the panel.

Resolved – That the Forward Plan will only be enclosed with the agenda papers if there is an item that is of relevance to the panel.