Minutes of the 9th AGM of The Scottish Health Campaigns Network 2cnd and 16th March 2013, Milngavie.


The original meeting on 2cnd March was, of necessity, continued into 16th March as further detailed.


Those attending on 2cnd March:

George Venters (Acting Chair)

Malcolm Allan (Secretary)

Lambert Sinclair (Treasurer)

Ken Barr

Eileen Gorie

Tom Herbert

Margaret Hinds

James Sandeman

Alastair Glen

Roddy Macdonald

Julie MacAnulty

Martin Allan

David Williams

Ken Brown

Catherine Hughes

Anne Hughes

Andrew Robertson OBE Chair, NHSGGC as guest.


1) Apologies:

Robert Cumming (Chair)

Patrick Trust

Matthew Dunnigan

Catriona Leslie


2) Introduction and Welcome

George Venters, in chairing the meeting, welcome all those present and introduced Mr Andrew Robertson OBE, Chair NHSGGC who had generously agreed to explain to the meeting his role as Chair of the largest health board in Scotland.

The Board employs 40,000 people and has a budget of £3 billion. There are 28 board members, of which there are five executive and seven elected members, the latter being local councillors. There are three statutory stakeholder directors.

The board aims to maintain a balance between public and administrative and professional interests.

He emphasised his willingness to meet voluntary and special interest groups whenever possible as he recognised that there were limited opportunities for members of the public to bring matters of concern to the attention of the board.

Among groups and organisations with which he has met he mentioned Glasgow District Council, the Maggie Centre, Friends of the Beatson and Cancer Support Scotland. He also has engaged with families with regard to the facilities which will be in place in the new Sick Children’s Hospital. He added that as a result of public pressure, insulin pumps are now more readily available within the area served by the board than had been the case beforehand.

He provided information about the progress at the new hospital being built at the site of the Southern General Hospital and of the planned move from the Western Infirmary.

Mr Robertson answered numerous questions from those present. These included issues relating to public transport to hospitals, acute care at home, transfer of children to Yorkhill from Cowal, waiting times for physiotherapy, care in the community, variation in quality of care provided by some GPs within GP contract. He noted the suggestion of patients being able to arrange appointments with GPs by using IT. Other topics included the fear of whistle blowing, GP hours and market values of former health board properties now lying empty.

He confirmed that the £840 million earmarked for the new Southern General was ring- fenced and that the build was on target for time and budget.

Mr Robertson was thanked for his valuable contribution to the meeting and left at 3.15 pm.

As the chairman for the meeting had to leave for Edinburgh, the AGM was suspended at this point to be resumed at the same venue on Saturday 16th March.

Ken Barr was thanked for having organised the catering arrangements.


AGM continued on Saturday 16th March 2013


Those attending:

As above, with the addition of Patrick Trust but with the exception of Roddy Macdonald, Catherine and Anne Hughes from whom apologies had been received.

Mr Andrew Robertson was not present.


The minutes of the meeting of 8th December were accepted unanimously as a true record.

There were no matters arising from the minutes.


The minutes of the 8th AGM of the Network were similarly accepted and there no matters arising from those.


Vice Chairman’s report (as Acting Chairman)

This had been circulated in advance and is summarised as follows:

The VC noted that Robert Cumming, as Chairman of the Network, was still unwell and it was hoped that his health would show some improvement.

Noted the change of Cabinet Secretary for Health. VC has written Alex Neil

Local Health Concern and Scotland Patients Association have left Network.

Consideration to be given to future of Network and involving fuller engagement with communities through community councils.

Need to identify topics relating to health issues within communities.

Outcome of exchanges of correspondence re lack of chemotherapy at Stobhill unsatisfactory. Contact had been made with Chest Heart and Stroke Association but decision made not to attempt to influence its own programme.

Contact made with some Community Councils with a view to future involvement with Network.

VC indicated his intention to demit office at AGM and thanked everyone for “their help, friendship and support”.

Paid particular tribute to Secretary and Treasurer for their contribution and service to the organisation.

Secretary’s report.

This, too had been circulated in advance and is also summarised:

Two meetings in 2012-13.

Resignations, as noted above, from Local Health Concern (Fife) and from Scotland Patients Association both of whom had been written to express thanks of the Network.

The Acting Chairman of the Network was thanked for his diligence and valuable contribution to the organisation, both during the absence of the Chairman and since its formation.

He was also thanked for extensive correspondence with NHSGGC re the chemotherapy issue involving Stobhill Hospital.

Secretary had been in touch with representatives from Community Councils in Kirkwall, St Andrews and Skye.

Reported on contributions to (Glasgow) Herald newspaper.


Treasurer’s report.

Noted that a generous donation of £1000 received at outset from the NHSConsultants Association. Network has been self-funding since then and balance at 16th March 2013 stands at £827. Still outstanding will be hall lets for meetings on 2cnd and 16th March. These will approximate to £21.

It was explained that meetings were originally held in Perth and elsewhere. Milngavie has proved to be less expensive and also provides facilities for tea etc. It is always open to members to suggest alternative venues though the consensus was that the present location was acceptable.

The treasurer said that he had occupied this position since 2004 and indicated that he now wished to retire from the post and from the organisation. He thanked his fellow members for their help and friendship over the years. These have been much appreciated.


All three reports were accepted without dissent.


Prior to the election of Office Bearers the future of the SHCN was fully discussed.

The Chair, and then the Secretary, explained how the SHCN had originated. Ten years ago there had been a wave of discontent among many communities about the perceived over-centralisation of health related services in Scotland. The organisation was formed to bring together groups which were campaigning to oppose that principle and to share possible ways to provide common support i.e. an umbrella organisation.

The various groups and issues were listed and it was noted that in many instances, though not all, there had been a satisfactory outcome.

The then Health Minister, Andy Kerr, had instigated a nationwide consultation process, overseen by Prof. David Kerr and this resulted in the publication ‘Building a Health Service Fit for the Future’ (ISBN 0-7559-4545-X May 2005).

It also resulted in, for the first time, a public debate in the chamber of the Scottish Parliament entitled ‘ Reshaping the NHS in Scotland?’ where several members of the SHCN expressed their views.

The Secretary suggested that, as this widespread discontent was no longer evident, the Network had perhaps outlived its purpose as reflected in the fact that its membership was now drawn from a limited area, particularly the western central belt.

M H took the view that there was still a need for the organisation, but that it would benefit from input from Community Councils, perhaps as ‘virtual’ members if it were not possible for representatives to attend due to distances involved.

P T reported on the co-operation which had been established between consultants and GPs in the area served by the Vale of Leven Hospital. This provides a 24 hour Minor Injuries Unit while those in other more centralised hospitals limit the hours where such a service applies. Chemotherapy also provided at the Vale. Reported that he felt “muzzled” at being prevented from speaking directly to the Press as a Clinical Director but only as a retired GP.

Further general points arose including the fact that Community Councils has only become aware of the existence of the SHCN when contacted directly by KBarr and JS.(K Brown).

DW -Important to respond to consultations.

JMcA expressed concern that the extension of the private sector as being implemented in England could eventually occur in Scotland despite assurances to the contrary by the present administration.

The consensus was that the Network should continue though with more involvement from Community Councils.


Election of Office Bearers.

The Secretary raised the question as to who would be eligible to vote. The Chair decided that the vote should extend to all present.

At this point the existing Office Bearers stood down.

The Chairman had offered his resignation due to ill health.

The outgoing Acting Chairman, George Venters, had also indicated that he would not seek re-election.

The outgoing Treasurer, Lambert Sinclair, had indicated that he did not wish to stand for Office and would not continue with the organisation.

Similarly, the outgoing Secretary, Malcolm Allan, would not seek re-election and would not continue with the organisation.


Julie McAnulty proposed by M Hinds    and seconded by P Trust

Martin Allan          :           :   G Venters    :          :          :  K Barr

The two candidates withdrew and a vote was taken.

Julie McAnulty was elected by a majority.


Vice Chair:

David Williams    Proposed by M Hinds and seconded by K Barr.



James Sandeman   Proposed by M Hinds and   seconded by K Barr



P Trust                   Proposed by T Herbert and seconded by K Barr.

The above Office Bearers were elected to serve for one year.



M Allan noted that the last reported meeting of the Network with the Cabinet Secretary as displayed on the website was May 2010 and asked that the site be updated.

J McA agreed to attend to this.

G V agreed to write the Chairs of the 14 NHS boards to advise them of the new Chair of the SHCN. He will also write Mr Andrew Robertson for having spoken to the organisation and responding to input from those present at the meeting which took place on 2cnd March.

Minutes of the AGM to be sent to Community Councils.


L S recommended that a decision on subscriptions be held over until the next meeting.

This will allow discussion to take place about the different subscriptions for full members and ‘virtual’ members.


Date and Venue of next meeting:


Saturday 20th April at Community Education Centre, Milngavie.


The AGM closed at 3.30 pm.


Malcolm Allan

Outgoing Secretary SHCN

17th March 2013