Healthier Communities and Older People Scrutiny Panel – 1 December 2009

PRESENT: Councillor Barker in the chair.

Councillors Wells (Vice-Chairman), Collinson, Jawaid, N Sherwood, Sidell and Simpson.

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

205′ DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS (IF ANY) – There were no declarations of personal or personal and prejudicial interests.

No whip was declared.

206 PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAK – There were no requests received.

207 (13) ADDED ITEM REQUESTED BY A MEMBER OF THE PANEL – PRESCRIBING AND REPEAT PRESCRIPTIONS – The Chair welcomed Mike Rymer, Associate Director of Prescribing and Medicines Management, NHS North Lincolnshire to the meeting and explained that he had been invited to discuss the draft Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) and also answer any questions that members may have.

Mike Rymer referred members to the document that had been circulated and advised that there was the need for a more robust, repeat prescribing system to ensure that the budgetary expectations were met

Mike explained that the PNA was a requirement from Central Government and would succeed previous legislation, and ultimately determine whether new pharmacies/locations were necessary.

Mike explained that at present there was no standard repeat prescription system for general practitioners, and this was not something that NHS North Lincolnshire could enforce. The 28 days prescription was normal within North Lincolnshire, however repeats were also determined by what type of medication they were, examples were given. Members were advised that one week’s notice was the usual number of days used by most general practitioners and pharmacies.

The panel engaged in further discussion over the number of drugs often found within people’s homes and the potential risk of overdose, the monetary effect of unused and stock piled drugs which were being thrown away, and how the pharmaceutical needs of individuals living in rural areas would be met.

When questioned about obtaining two or three months worth of prescription for individuals wishing to take extended holidays during the winter months, Mike confirmed that the decision on how this would be managed was that of the general practitioners. There was no uniform approach and to enforce such a system would require further guidance from Central Government.

It was concluded that it would be beneficial to invite Mike Rymer to attend a future meeting to discuss the outcomes from the Pharmaceutical Need Assessment.

Resolved – (a) That Mike Rymer, Associate Director of Prescribing and Medicines Management, NHS North Lincolnshire be thanked for his attendance at the meeting, and (b) that the position be noted.

208 PROMOTING THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE COUNCIL EMPLOYEES – Next Stages – The Service Director Legal and Democratic confirmed details of the witnesses who would be attending future scheduled meetings and also confirmed that the visit to Kimberley Clark Factory would be rearranged for a future date.

Members engaged in further discussions and it was concluded that a revisit of the review into Community Equipment and Adaptations would be beneficial. It was decided that a sub group would meet with representatives from ‘Who Cares’ in the New Year.

209 (14) LEADER OF THE COUNCIL’S FORWARD PLAN -DECEMBER 2009 TO MARCH 2010 – The Service Director Legal and Democratic circulated the Leader of North Lincolnshire Council’s Forward Plan for December 2009 to March 2010.

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. Members discussed various items on the Forward Plan.

Resolved – That the position be noted.

210 EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC – Resolved – That the public be excluded from the meeting for consideration of the following item (Minute 211 refers) on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

211 (15) INVERSE CARE LAW – draft report – The Service Director Legal and Democratic referred members to the above draft report that had been circulated for consideration.

Discussion ensued as to whether the information collated did provide evidence that the Inverse Care Law existed within North Lincolnshire.

Recommendations were made to include more visual diagrams to show age categories, the number of doctor’s practices and also the concentration of people within all areas of North Lincolnshire. In addition further clarification was requested for each factor relating to the inequalities and for it to be indicated as to what trend the evidence had found, these included –

  • Deprivation with vaccination rates
  • Budgets with deprivation
  • Satisfaction rates with deprivation
  • Treatment quality with outcomes
  • Health inequalities

The debate focused on potential conclusions and recommendations.

Resolved – That the position be noted.

212 FURTHER ADDED ITEM – The Service Director Legal and Democratic confirmed that Andrew North, Chief Executive for Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust would be attending the meeting of this panel scheduled for 12 January 2010. Members of the panel were asked to consider any areas that they would like to discuss at this meeting and provide details to the Scrutiny Officer as soon as possible.

Resolved – That the position be noted.