Health Scrutiny Panel – 30 October 2017

PRESENT:-   Councillor Mumby-Croft in the Chair.

Councillors Armiger, A Davison, Ogg and Wilson.

Councillor Waltham MBE attended the meeting in accordance with Procedure Rule 37(b).

The panel met at the Civic Centre, Ashby Road, Scunthorpe.

434     DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS AND PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS (IF ANY) – Cllr A Davison declared a personal interest on item 8 on the agenda (minute 438 refers), as her partner was currently receiving care from Northern Lincolnshire & Goole NHS Foundation Trust.

No whip was declared.

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

436     PATIENT TRANSPORT SERVICE (PTS).  The Chairman welcomed Richard Young, Jane Ellerton, and Sally Czabaniuk from North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (NLCCG), and Sue Flintham and Stuart Booth from Thames Ambulance Service Ltd. (TASL) to the meeting.  The Chairman explained that the witnesses had been invited to attend a meeting following a number of concerns received by members about the quality of services provided by TASL.

Jane Ellerton gave a presentation on the service, providing background information, an overview of performance, NLCCG’s response, and current and planned actions to address concerns.  The Chairman then led a detailed discussion about the concerns held by members, seeking assurances from both the commissioner and the service provider on the ability to improve.  Members discussed and asked questions on issues such as staff turnover, patient flows, the impact on patients and their carers, and contracting arrangements.  In particular, members sought to ensure that NLCCG had a robust plan in place to seek evidence from TASL that services could improve urgently.  It was highlighted by the panel that any failings in PTS would be likely to have a wider impact on other aspects of the local health economy, such as inpatient care, discharge planning, etc.  It was confirmed that NLCCG would be in a better position to supply further information and assurances to the panel in the coming weeks.

Resolved – (a) That Richard Young, Jane Ellerton, Sally Czabaniuk, Sue Flintham and Stuart Booth be thanked for their attendance and for providing answers to members’ questions, (b) that a further meeting be arranged a month from the date of this meeting, (c) that NLCCG be tasked to seek information from Northern Lincolnshire & Goole NHS Foundation Trust on any adverse impacts caused by shortcomings in PTS, (d) that a list of possible questions and discussion areas for the planned meeting be provided to TASL and NLCCG to allow them to collate evidence, and (e) that the situation, including prospects of improving the service provided to local residents, continue to be closely monitored by the scrutiny panel.

437     OPHTHALMOLOGY The Chairman invited Richard Young, Jane Ellerton and Sally Czabaniuk to provide the panel with further information about proposed changes to ophthalmology services.  Jane circulated a number of documents, setting out some background to eye care services, NLCCG’s future commissioning intentions, and ongoing patient and staff engagement. Jane confirmed that feedback from this engagement would inform a service specification, with the retendering process for the service beginning in February 2018.

Members engaged in a discussion on the issue, asking questions on topics such as rising demand for eye care services, the current backlog in acute care, patient numbers, and future consultation requirements.

Resolved – (a) That Richard Young, Jane Ellerton and Sally Czabaniuk be thanked for their attendance and for providing an update, (b) that NLCCG representatives be invited back to a future meeting of the panel to provide an update, and to agree the planned approach for local consultation and engagement, and (c) that the situation be noted.

438     HAEMOTOLOGY – The Chairman introduced Dr Peter Reading, Chief Executive, Richard Sunley, Deputy Chief Executive, and Dr Stuart Baugh, Associate Medical Director for Medicine, Northern Lincolnshire & Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG) to the meeting.  Dr Reading, Dr Baugh and Richard had requested to meet with the panel to begin a dialogue on the future provision for a number of haemotology specialities, in particular some oncology cases such as lymphoma.  It was likely that the number of locally based consultants would reduce in the near future, so the Trust had begun to consider how treatment for this cohort of patients could be delivered in the most clinically safe and effective setting.

An overview of the number of patients potentially effected was given, along with details of how their care might be provided.  It was confirmed that a more sustainable, ‘joined-up’ system for blood cancers and other haematological issues would be preferable, and that work had started on planning this.

Members asked a number of related questions, such as consultant recruitment, links to travel and PTS, the management of patient risk, and the likely configuration of future services.

Resolved – (a) That Dr Peter Reading, Richard Sunley and Dr Stuart Baugh be thanked for their attendance and for providing an update, (b) that NLaG representatives be invited back to a future meeting of the panel to provide an update, and (c) that the situation be noted.