Health Scrutiny Panel – 4 December 2017

PRESENT:-   Councillor Mumby-Croft in the Chair.

Councillors Armiger, Ogg, O’Sullivan 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.

439     DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS AND PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS (IF ANY) – There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests, or personal or personal and prejudicial interests.

No whip was declared.

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

441     PATIENT TRANSPORT SERVICE (PTS).  The Chairman welcomed Richard Young and Jane Ellerton from North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (NLCCG), and Sue Flintham, Blanche Lentz and Stuart Booth from Thames Ambulance Service Ltd. (TASL) to the meeting.  The Chairman reminded members that the panel had resolved at their meeting on 30 October 2017 (minute 436 refers) to hold a further meeting with representatives from TASL and NLCCG to ascertain progress on improving PTS within North Lincolnshire.

Richard Young gave an overview of progress, describing TASL’s performance as a ‘mixed bag’ with some areas of improvement, alongside some other issues where performance was described as disappointing. Members then highlighted a significant number of cases where staff or local residents had contacted the panel to express concerns around perceived failings.  Representatives from TASL responded to specific questions about issues such as staff morale, rota management and dialogue with staff, booking processes, voluntary car drivers, and general working practices.

The panel then questioned representatives from NLCCG, raising concerns that the CCG’s response was insufficiently timely or robust.  Richard and Jane explained the actions that the CCG has taken, explaining that there were a number of steps that they were obliged to take to seek resolution prior to removing a contract.  These had been in place for some time, a performance notice had been issued, and the recovery plan was being closely monitored.  If further evidence of non-compliance with the service specification arose, the CCG had more flexibility to act on behalf of local residents.  Members asked further questions on related issues of contract management and compliance.  Richard confirmed that the CCG would receive further data in January 2018, and that this would be shared with the panel.

Resolved – (a) That Richard Young, Jane Ellerton, Blanche Lentz, Sue Flintham and Stuart Booth be thanked for their attendance and for providing answers to members’ questions, (b) that a further meeting be arranged in early 2018, with related performance data shared by NLCCG with the panel, and (c) that the situation, including prospects of improving the service provided to local residents, continue to be closely overseen by the scrutiny panel.

442     ADDED ITEM – There was no added item for consideration at the meeting.