Minutes of meeting of SHCN 6th October 2012 in C E Centre, Milngavie.

George Venters, Acting Chairperson
Malcolm Allan, Secretary
Lambert Sinclair, Treasurer
Kenneth Barr
Alastair Glen
Margaret Hinds
James Sandeman
Eileen Gorie
Julie McAnulty
Tom Herbert.

Matthew Dunnigan.

The Secretary reported that the Scotland Patients Association and Local Health Concern (Fife) had e mailed their respective resignations from the organisation. He stated that he had replied to both groups thanking those involved for the contributions which they had made to the SHCN and to wish them continued success in their current activities. It was noted, in particular, that Jean Turner had initiated the bringing together of various campaign groups to form the umbrella organisation.

1. Acceptance of minutes of last meeting on 11th February 2012 proposed by K Barr and seconded by G Venters.

2. Matters Arising from the previous minute

G Venters agreed to write the previous Cabinet Secretary of Health, Nicola Sturgeon to thank her for having agreed to sit down with the Network and discuss various health related issues.
He also agreed to write the recently appointed Cabinet Secretary, Alex Neil, to congratulate him on his appointment. He will express the hope that A N will also be willing to meet with delegates in due course with particular reference to issues relating to the care and treatment of stroke patients, mental health and concerns about centralisation of services.
The principle purpose of the meeting was to afford members the opportunity to discuss the future of the Scottish Health Campaigns Network.

3.The Future of the Network

Members noted the issues which the Network had focussed on since its formation. These included A&E at the Belford Hospital, Fort William, Monklands, the Victoria Infirmary, Casualty at Stobhill, the threatened loss of in-patient beds at the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital, the threat to the consultant led maternity service at Caithness, reduction in services at the Vale of Leven hospital and the changes to the services at Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy and at St John’s Livingston. The change to legislation preventing commercial companies tendering to obtain an NHS contract to run GP practices in Scotland had also been attributed to a vigorous campaign centred on Harthill.
These issues had been resolved for better or worse since the formation of the Network.
It was felt that the wave of opposition that had swept through several communities had now dissipated and concern was expressed as whether those present now represented those communities.
G V observed that in Lothian there was no longer any effective opposition to moves which would have an impact on the welfare of patients.

After contributions from several members it was agreed that the membership of the Network must expand or risk disbandment.
With this in mind, K B proposed that representatives of Community Councils be contacted and invited to attend. There was some doubt as to whether a register of Community Councils still exists. K B and J S will liaise.
It was also agreed that the focus of the Network should be on topic- specific issues. These would have to be pursued jointly with other National partner voluntary organisations with SHCN focusing on levels and types of service provision in a particular local area. These would act as exemplars for the implementation of general monitoring systems and actions to enable improvements in care. This kind of activity was also consistent with some of our original objectives.
In this context it was agreed that three topics be developed in depth with potential partner organisations. These were:
 provision of stroke services in communities
 local provision of chemotherapy
 mental health services in rural communities.

G V had hoped to meet with David Clark of the Chest Heart and Stroke Association but the latter had been involved in an accident and the meeting had not proved possible. It is still hoped to make contact with that organisation in order to that the Network may receive input from it and work with it in order to avoid the potential for perceived duplication of effort. GV would work in concert with MH on this topic to explore the viability of the SHCN working in this partnership mode.

K B spoke about the provision of out of hours service in rural areas.
G V introduced Tom Herbert(TH) who is involved in attempting to have chemotherapy offered to patients at the ACAH at Stobhill in the same way as it is provided at the similar unit at Victoria i.e an out patient service to avoid patients having to travel to the Beatson Unit.
East Dunbartonshire supports this and he has met with the recently elected councillor for Milton of Campsie. She will contact her opposite numbers on Glasgow District Council to gain their support and to exert their influence on NHSGGC.
TH agreed to lead in taking this issue forward in partnership with a suitable National voluntary organisation – e.g. The Marie Curie Trust or MacMillan Nurses.

E G spoke of mental health issues and the failure of GG&C to deliver adequate boarding provision for acutely ill psychiatric patients despite its promise to do so. G V suggested that she contact Angus McKay retired consultant psychiatrist to explore whether this could be worked up as an other example of partnership working with an appropriate mental health charity -e.g. MIND. EG agreed to lead on this topic.

A further tranche of topics to be pursued if this modus operandi proved practical would include:
the provision of out of hours care in rural areas and
the integration of health and social care.

It was agreed that exploring this kind of working relationship would allow us to determine whether the Network could continue to fulfil a useful purpose. If it did not then it would seem only sensible to disband. By our next meeting we should be in a position to answer this question.

4. Other business

The Treasurer reported that he had received an invoice from the web providers and it was agreed that this be paid. J McA agreed to continue to manage the site.
The Treasurer recorded that the balance in the Network’s bank account stands at £896.78. The charge for the let for the current meeting from 1.0 pm to 3.30 pm is £10.40. Taking this into account the balance will be £886.38.

Thanks were expressed to the Acting Chair for his attendance and for conducting the meeting.

The Secretary was thanked for arranging the meeting and for maintaining contact with members.

The next meeting will take place on Saturday 8th December at the same venue. 1 pm for 1.30 pm.
Tea and coffee will be provided.

Malcolm Allan
Secretary SHCN 8th October 2012