Healthier Communities and Older People Scrutiny Panel – 20 October 2009

PRESENT: Councillor Barker in the chair.

Councillors Wells (Vice-Chairman), Bunyan, Collinson, Sidell, Simpson and Whiteley.

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

183 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.

184 PUBLIC SPEAKING REQUESTS BY PRIOR NOTICE – There were no requests received.

185 CLOSURE OF THE LINDSEY HEALTHCARE SUITE AT SCUNTHORPE GENERAL HOSPITAL – The Chair explained that he had considered this item to be urgent following the recent article in the local newspaper highlighting the proposed closure of the Lindsey Suite. It was questioned how private patients would be accommodated within Scunthorpe General Hospital and how this would affect the care provided to NHS patients.

The Chair explained that Andrew North, Chief Executive for Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust and Angie Smithson, Director of Service and Business Development for Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust had been invited to the meeting to explain the rationale behind this decision.

Andrew North explained that Scunthorpe General Hospital provided a two parts service. Mandatory Services, included the traditional NHS Services and required the authorisation of the regulator to change. Authorised Services, requiring the approval of the regulator to set up but not to make any changes, included the provision of a private healthcare suite.

The panel was advised that the Trust had a duty to ensure that anything undertaken within the Authorised Services did not undermine the Mandatory Services and that this had increasingly been the case.

Members were informed that over the last five years there had been a decline in the number of people using the suite and that this had been attributed to the reduction in waiting times for NHS treatment. People were generally less inclined to pay for treatment now that it was available within a relatively short period of time. The decline of usage had led to a decline in the income received, and Andrew North confirmed that the Lindsey Suite was now running at a loss.

It was explained that the Trust could not justify supporting private practice with NHS money. Attempts had been made to boost the usage through advertising campaigns and also day treatments, however this had not had the desired effect.

Members engaged in further discussions covering issues as to how the hospital would accommodate those patients who still wished to go private, what the knock on effect would be for someone within a ward who was suddenly taken extremely ill, whether there would be side wards still available for the NHS patients and what other options were available for those wishing to go private.

Angie Smithson explained that the principles were still to be agreed and until such a time that they could provide a satisfactory conclusion to these matters, the Lindsey Suite would remain open. She explained that the principles were to be very clear and had to ensure equal fairness to both private and NHS patients.

Andrew North confirmed that several expressions of interest had already been received for the future usage of the space that would be generated through this change, but at this present time could not indicate what may be accommodated within this section of Scunthorpe General Hospital.

Resolved – That the position be noted.


(5) (i) To discuss and agree the terms of reference, draft timetable and required information – The Service Director Legal and Democratic circulated a draft copy of the proposed terms of reference, timetable and details of information sources, for consideration.

It was suggested that consideration be given to co-opting a Trade Union representative or a representative of the Council Welfare and Counselling Service onto the panel for the duration of this review.

Resolved – (a) That the Service Director Legal and Democratic contact the necessary departments to enquire about co-opting a representative onto the panel for the duration of this review, and (b) that the draft terms of reference be adopted and the draft timetable agreed.

(ii) Next Stages – The Service Director Legal and Democratic confirmed the details of arrangements made for scheduled meetings and also details of the site visit to Kimberly Clark factory at Barton upon Humber. Kimberley Clark had been identified as a centre of excellence for the promotion of staff health and well-being and it had been agreed that the site visit would be beneficial to the review, to see what changes had been made and the benefits that had been seen.

Resolved – That the position be noted.

187 DISCHARGE FROM ACUTE CARE – 2007 REVIEW OF THE FORMER HEALTHIER COMMUNITIES AND OLDER PEOPLE SCRUTINY PANEL – Outcomes from the informal meeting with Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Trust representatives – The Chair confirmed that the meeting had been very informative and had involved input from ‘Who Cares’, the Local Involvement Network. The Chair confirmed they had considered the Trust’s response to the recommendations and a great deal of progress had been made since the 2007 review.

Discussion ensued and Members who had attended the meeting confirmed that the situation had improved.

Resolved – (a) That the position be noted, and (b) that the information be taken into consideration when revisiting the 2006 review into Community Equipment and Adaptations.

188 (6) LEADER OF THE COUNCIL’S FORWARD PLAN -OCTOBER 2009 TO JANUARY 2010 – The Service Director Legal and Democratic circulated the Leader of North Lincolnshire Council’s Forward Plan for October 2009 to January 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.

189 CARE QUALITY COMMISSION RATINGS – The Service Director Legal and Democratic updated Members about the recent ratings for North Lincolnshire’s healthcare service commissioners and providers. Particular focus was drawn to the double excellent rating that had been received by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber (RDaSH) mental health services.

The Chair requested that a letter be sent on behalf of the panel to both RDaSH and also NHS North Lincolnshire to congratulate them on their achievements.

Resolved – That the position be noted.

190 NATIONAL ALCOHOL STRATEGY – The Service Director Legal and Democratic reported that the National Support Team for Alcohol were currently in the area and had referred to the Alcohol Misuse scrutiny report recently produced by the panel for guidance. The panel was advised that further information surrounding this visit would be fed back to Members in due course.