cottish Health Campaigns Network Meeting 25/9/2010


Attendees: Robert Cumming (chair) Malcolm Allan, George Venters, Lambert Sinclair, Ken Barr, John Winton, Ruth Winton, Isobel Vernolini, Yvonne McRoberts, James Sandeman, Jean Turner, Eileen Gorie, Margaret Hinds, Catherine Leetch, Margaret Watt, Julie McAnulty.


The chair introduced and welcomed Catherine Leetch of Scotland Pensioners’ Forum.

Catherine explained that the Forum was affiliated to the STUC and to the TUC. She indicated that there was all party support for the extension of concessionary travel in Scotland for the next three years.


1) Apologies: Matthew Dunnigan, Patrick Trust, Alastair Glen, Geoffrey Mawdsley, Vivien Dance.


2) Minutes of meeting 20th March 2010.

Acceptance proposed by K. Barr, seconded by M. Watt.


3) Matters arising from above minute:

Outpatient chemotherapy at Stobhill Hospital—R Cumming, T Herbert and M Watt had met with Jonathan Best, NHSGG and Clyde Health Board and questioned the reliability of statistics about attendees at Beatson from Stobhill catchment area. J B stated that the cost of setting up a service at Stobhill would be £200,000.per annum. Reported that some GPs were asking to be paid for taking blood samples prior to chemotherapy. A further meeting to take place in November.


St Margaret’s Hospice. Two meetings arranged between John Bannon and R Cumming had been called off by JB at short notice.


A & E signs in Dunoon reported to be still in place.


4) Treasurer’s report:


L Sinclair reported balance in bank of £1177.55

A further donation from R Cumming in respect of a talk, which he had given, increased balance to £1187.55. K Barr stated that Bank of Scotland could offer greater interest to non-profit making current account holders. It was decided to remain with RBS.


5) Meeting with Cabinet Secretary for Health-20th May 2010 (papers had been supplied in advance of the meeting).


Item 2—Transfer of Acute Medical Services from Stobhill Hospital to Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

R Cumming stated that concerns remain about the relocation of patients from Stobhill to Glasgow Royal Infirmary. This is scheduled for March 2011.


Item 3-Ambulance Services in Easdale


K Barr advised that residents on the island of Easdale had,in the past, rejected a proposal for a heli-pad landing site to transfer patients to hospital in an emergency.

The alternative of an open launch is considered unsafe by the ambulance service and there are issues with no street lighting on paths.

Open Reach have been proving difficult regarding lights on their poles. Mountain Rescue Team may be prepared to assist in retrieval of patients.


Item 4—NHS Fife


J Winton spoke on results of inspections by infection control teams at Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline. Although deficiencies were reported these tended to be of an administration nature and had been rectified. JW ensured that the completed action plan was reported in local Press.


Delegates congratulated JW on being elected to NHS Fife as part of the two pilot projects for election of members to Health Boards.


Item 9: Vale of Leven Hospital


Christie Ward, Vale of Leven Hospital:

E Gorie explained the situation whereby one wing had been damaged by fire and a further two wings had suffered smoke damage.

The monitoring group was advised that it would cost £1m to re-instate the ward and that this money was not available. It was further stated that even if the funding were available this would not fit the strategy for mental health in the area. Patients are being relocated to Gartnavel Hospital but no additional beds are being created there.

A further meeting of the monitoring group is to take place week commencing 27th Sept.

R Cumming questioned whether ‘Care in the Community’, with particular reference to mental health, was working. Possible topic for next meeting with Cabinet Secretary.

G Venters noted that a report, which ran to over 100 pages covering this topic, quoted figures to 2006 and suggested that more recent figures should be available.


Item 21—Confidentiality of patients’ computerised medical records.


Confidentiality still at risk partly due to the various systems in operation. Claimed that some hospital employees were passing on passwords.


Item 27—NHS Continuing Care:

Delegates from Scotland Patients’Association stated that there are insufficient hospice beds and that palliative care is not always available at the appropriate time.


Item 28—Health services in Lanarkshire:

J Mcanulty expressed the view that there should be a  legally defined minimum staffing level of trained nurses in wards.

G Venters stated that if nursing staff felt that they were working in an ‘unsafe’ situation this should be raised with management.


6) SHCN website:

The website had to be closed due to its having being infiltrated and unacceptable material added to it.

This had been removed by Grant though it had proved to be a time consuming exercise. The organisation is again grateful for his input.

K Barr informed delegates that a new web hosting service would be set up. Grant has downloaded information on the operation of the web site on to a memory stick and this was given to J McAnulty who has agreed to bring the web site up to date and also maintain it.

M Allan proposed that a cheque for £150 be paid to Grant in recognition of his services and this was seconded by M Watt. Web hosting fee to be paid by Treasurer.


7) Experience of Elected Health Board Membership-John Winton:


J Winton gave an insight into his campaigning prior to the election. 5000 leaflets printed and distributed plus calling at homes of residents. Turnout of 14%. 61 candidates. St Andrews University studying results of the election process. Suggestion that the eligibility of recently resigned members of health board to stand for election might be subject of review of pilot study.

J Winton now unable to attend meetings of SHCN with Cabinet Secretary.

JW reported that medical director, Fife, proposes to close A&E at Dunfermline from 2012, retaining Minor Injuries Unit/Community Casualty Unit.


8) Reports from Groups:


M Hinds reported one instance of a patient who presented at Minor Injuries Unit and was subsequently  referred  to the  A&E at Victoria being  further delayed rather than being “fast tracked” .

Concern expressed about the future of Community Health partnerships in NHSGG and Clyde, particularly in Glasgow.

Victoria to lose 10 beds in Breast Unit to transfer to Gartnavel.



K Barr reported that CATCHES had now disbanded.

He will attend as member of Dunoon Community Council.


9) Topics for Next Meeting with Cabinet Secretary:


1)      IT

2)      Vale of Leven (Patrick Trust?)

3)      Stobhill/GRI

4)      Confidentiality Issues


NB Delegates are requested to advise Dr Cumming of topics which they wish to raise no later than 16th October.

These should be in the form of a WORD document.


The meeting with Cabinet Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, will take place in Edinburgh on Wednesday 24th November at 12.30 pm.


10) NHS White Paper in England:


R Cumming has written Jo Swinson MP setting out concerns of the NHSConsultants’ Association of which he is a member of the executive committee and has asked for a meeting with Paul Burstow.


Noted that Brian Keighley, BMA Scottish Council Chair has expressed his concern in “BMA News” of the fear of “White Paper Creep in Scotland”.


11) NHS activity in Scotland v England—Matthew Dunnigan


M Dunnigan had been unable to attend the meeting. His contribution will be held over to the next meeting.

He had examined the Nuffield Trust report and noted discrepancies and advised the Cabinet Secretary of these. A letter has been sent by John Connaghan, Director of the Health Directorate, Scotland to Jennifer Dixon, Director of the Nuffield Trust drawing attention to the “inconsistencies”, some of which amount to 50%, in the report.

M Dunnigan will enlarge at the next meeting.


12) Consultation on Independent Healthcare provision:

Delegates may wish to respond to this consultation document as individuals. Responses by 12th October.


13) Reports by Audit Scotland on Emergency Departments and Best Value in the NHS.

This had been drawn to the attention of delegates to download and digest.


14) AOCB:

K Barr commended the Scotland Patients’ Association on its paper on palliative care.


Geoffrey Mawdsley has received several invitations to attend but has been unable to do so. A further invitation will be extended but, should he be unable to accept this, it was proposed that a speaker dealing with the Freedom of Information Act and its implications be considered as an alternative.

M Watt suggested that the topic of malnutrition be included with an appropriate speaker at a future meeting.

Susan Brimelow could also be considered to speak on Hospital Infections and their control.



Date of next meeting.

Saturday 23rd October at 1pm for 1.30 pm.


Delegates thanked Anne Cumming for providing her catering services once again and asked that our thanks also be extended to the daughter of Anne and Robert for attending and assisting in this respect.


The meeting closed with a Vote of Thanks to the chair for the efficient conduct of the meeting.


Malcolm Allan



26 September 2010