Health Scrutiny Panel – 5 February 2018

PRESENT:-   Councillor Mumby-Croft in the Chair.

Councillors Evison, Glover, O’Sullivan and Wilson.

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

443     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.

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

445     MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the proceedings of this panel held on 18 September, 9 and 30 October, and 4 December 2017, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and signed by the chairman.

446     PATIENT TRANSPORT SERVICE (PTS).  The Chairman welcomed Richard Young and Jane Ellerton from North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (NLCCG), and Mike Casey, Blanche Lentz and Chris Milner from Thames Ambulance Service Ltd. (TASL) to the meeting.  The Chairman reminded members that the panel had resolved at a planning and evaluation meeting on 22 January 2018 to hold a further meeting with representatives from TASL and NLCCG to ascertain progress on improving PTS within North Lincolnshire.

The Chairman led a discussion with representatives from North Lincolnshire CCG on TASL’s progress on their recovery targets.  Jane Ellerton explained how these had been agreed and accepted by the CCG, and provided some commentary on the CCG’s position.  The panel then asked the representatives from TASL about their position, how they felt that the service was improving, and a range of related issues.  The Chairman explained how she had been contacted many times by concerned local residents, staff and volunteer drivers.  The representatives from TASL confirmed that the situation was far from ideal and that a number of difficulties remained.  Work was ongoing to address each of these, but this would take time and considerable effort and investment.  Members continued to question TASL about various aspects of patient care, co-ordination, governance, recruitment and other issues.

The panel then questioned the CCG representatives on their actions to improve the service that they had commissioned, and future options.  These were explained, and it was confirmed that an Exception Notice had been served on TASL, requiring urgent improvements with an option to withhold funding.

The Chairman, with support from the panel, then summarised members’ views that the situation was untenable, that the panel had no faith that the service could be turned around, that local people had been let down, and that other solutions for the provision of services should be urgently sought.

Resolved – (a) That Richard Young, Jane Ellerton, Blanche Lentz, Mike Casey and Chris Milner be thanked for their attendance and for providing answers to members’ questions, (b) that a further meeting be arranged in the coming weeks to discuss the CCG’s intentions, and (c) that the situation continue to be closely overseen by the scrutiny panel.

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