Minutes of Meeting of Scottish Health Campaigns Networkheld at Milngavie Community Centre Saturday 23rd October 2010.
Present: Robert Cumming (Chair),Lambert Sinclair (Treasurer), Malcolm Allan (Secretary), Ken Barr, Margaret Watt, Jean Turner, James Sandeman.

  1. Apologies: Matthew Dunnigan, John Winton, Ruth Winton, Isobel Vernolini, Eileen Gorie, Patrick Trust, Julie McAnulty, George Venters, Yvonne McRoberts,Margaret Hinds, Catherine Leech.
  2. Minutes of meeting 25/9/10. Correction to spelling of surname of delegate from Pensioners’ Forum and amendment to report from HSFSE noted.  Subject to the above amendments, approval of minutes moved by M Watt and seconded by J Turner
  3. Matters arising from above minutes. Re: chemotherapy at Stobhill, R Cumming and T Herbert to have a further meeting with Jonathon Best in December.  Dec. 13th has been suggested.  Transfer of patients from Stobhill to Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI).A publication, Community Engagement News, produced by NHS GG and C, had been received by R Cumming. It showed a photograph of an empty refurbished ward with no provision for individual rooms i.e. no single beds. Wards 4 and 5 are involved.R Cumming will take it up with the Cabinet Secretary of Health
  4. Questions for next meeting with Cabinet Secretary.   At the previous meeting, and in the minutes circulated to delegates, then followed by a reminder, R Cumming had advised that he required questions for forwarding to the office of the Cabinet Secretary by 16th October.  He had also advised that these should be submitted in the form of a Word document.  Several delegates had tendered questions beyond that date and few were in the form requested.  This resulted in the Chair having to re- type the questions in Word for forward submission and having to do so within a much shortened time scale.  M Watt proposed that, in future, should any questions not be received by an agreed date they would not be accepted.  This was seconded by K Barr and passed without dissent.
  5. Treasurer’s report L Sinclair reported balance in bank of £1187.67.  He noted that a cheque for £29.99 had been posted to Webhosting UK but had not yet been cleared.
  6. Meeting with Cabinet Secretary Those questions which had been received by R Cumming had been circulated in advance of the meeting. These included:Robert Cumming-Numbers of single beds in wards/Monitoring of Out Patient waiting times targets.Further questions were/are:
  7. K Barr – ’Down times’ for ambulance crews/ Relative absence of health in publication ‘Speak up for Scotland’ and lack of input from health professionals.

    Julie McAnulty-Staffing levels of nurses in various areas.

    Cathy Leech – Spending Review cuts relating to Health Service.

    Eileen Gorie – Christie Ward, Vale of Leven Hospital.

    Ruth Winton-A&E/ Minor Injuries Unit, Victoria, Fife.

    George Venters-Costs in use of Consultancy Services.

    Malcolm Allan-Minor Ailment Service.(Information on prescribing and dispensing statistics may be accessed from__Information Statistics Division of National Support Services)

    Jean Turner – Scotand Patients Association

    James Sandeman – IT   James Sandeman agreed to take notes at the meeting with the Cabinet Secretary.

    R Cumming has contacted Robert Milroy to enquire if anyone from the Staff Associations at Stobhill/GRI are prepared to join the meeting on 24th Nov. with the Cabinet Secretary for Health.  Delegates agreed to this suggestion. If none forthcoming, R Cumming will raise the issue of these wards with NS.Noted that invitations to attend annual review of Health Boards had been sent by Axis rather than by the Board itself. Unnecessary additional expense involved?  R Cumming reported that hospital appointments were being sent out to meet  waiting times deadline of ten weeks but were then cancelled with later appointments then substituted. This savoured of manipulation of figures.   He also reported the late arrival of papers prior to meetings of Health Boards.   The information contained in these can extend to 200 pages but insufficient time continues to be made available to study the contents in advance.   This has been raised with the Cabinet Secretary before and RC intends to do so again.

  8. SHCN Website As indicated in the Treasurer’s report, the cheque posted to the new company, Webhosting UK has not been presented, though a receipted invoice has been received by the Treasurer.  K Barr reported that the transfer from Patrickinternet had not been completed and that a password was required for this to take place.  K Barr will phone Patrickinternet, failing which, Evelyn McKechnie, to obtain the password which is required.
  9. Reports from Groups No reports had been received.
  10. NHS White Paper—England R Cumming reported on the meeting of the NHS Consultants Association (NHSCA) which he had attended in York. The Annual Representative Meeting of the BMA (effectively the AGM) took place approximately a fortnight before the publication of the White Paper and was therefore it was not able to be discussed. Attempts by some members of the BMA council to call a Special Representative Meeting (effectively an EGM) to discuss the White Paper have to date been unsuccessful. There is a marked discrepancy of views within the profession regarding the White Paper, although opposition appears to be mounting as the full consequences of the adoption of its proposals are exposed.Richard Taylor, former Independent MP for Wyre Forest, near Kidderminster, stated at the meeting of the NHSCA, that many MPs had a poor knowledge of the content of the White Paper on the future of the NHS in England. He further added that there seemed to be a lack of interest in Health by Conservative MPs R Cumming suggested that delegates write to their own MPs expressing their concern. He has already written Jo Swinson, MP for East Dunbartonshire. While health in Scotland is devolved to Holyrood, Scottish MPs have a vote in Westminster on English legislation.
  11. AOCB Executives from Scotland Patients Association will meet with representatives from POhWER on 1st November. That organisation has proposed amalgamating with SPA. POhWER operates in England and Wales and receives some Government funding. Because of this, representatives of SPA expressed reservations about the proposal.M Watt referred to the Compensation Board and expressed the view that the Ombudsman should be in a position to recommend to that Board that an ex gratia payment be made to some patients in appropriate circumstances from a ‘contingency fund’ stated to hold £20,000. The number of patients who will be able to receive Legal Aid is to be reduced.Date and Venue of next meeting
  12. To be decided after meeting with Cabinet Secretary.*

Thanks were expressed to Anne Cumming for catering arrangements and to the Chair for the efficient way in which the meeting had been conducted.

*Meeting with the Cabinet Secretary.  This will take place at Holyrood on Wednesday 24th November at 12.30 pm.A reminder will be sent prior to that date.
Malcolm Allan

Secretary SHCN,

26 October 2010