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Patients Council  - Caithness

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Report of meeting held on Monday 15 April 2002 at 2.00 pm in the Conference Room at Caithness General Hospital.

PRESENT: Patients Council

Philip Anderson Anne Campbell Jean Forbes Jim Fry Jim McAdie Sandy Macleod

Rena Mappin Frances Purves Malcolm Smart

Ivy Webster

Sheena Craig, Directorate General Manager

Sandy Morrison, Trustee of Highland Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

IN ATTENDANCE: Kay Oswald, Directorate Assistant

1. WELCOME Sheena Craig welcomed everyone to the meeting.  
2. APOLOGIES Jean Castle Isabel Ferrier Lachie Robertson, Quality Manager, Highland Acute Hospitals NHS Trust Alison Phimister, Local Services Manager - Caithness, CGH
3. MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING It was intimated that the reference to the Raigmore Day Case Unit under “Any Other Competent Business” in the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 4 February 2002 actually referred to a day case episode in the Eye Unit. After this clarification the minutes were agreed to be a correct record.
4. MATTERS ARISING Patient Meals Attempts had been made to establish the budget allocation for patient meals at different hospitals. Grampian Trust were unwilling to express a set cost as they indicated that they have various categories for different types of patients and their costs include domestic costs etc. not just the cost of the meals. All Caithness and Sutherland Hospitals budget approx £1.80 per patient per day and Raigmore Hospital indicated that their budget is under £2. Telephone Rates There was further discussion on the types of phone cards which can be used at Raigmore. Sandy Morrison agreed to follow this up. NB: Subsequent to the meeting Sandy advised that only Premier Cards can be used in the telephones at Raigmore. These can be obtained from the WRVS shop. BT cards or other firms cards will not work. Diabetes Service Sheena had a meeting with Dr McCrury, Diabetologist. Referrals have been increasing but only 11 new referrals from Caithness. Referrals are made to him if the patient requires a specialist, although it was suggested that specific referrals from GPs could have been due to locum staff not being aware that clinics were held at CGH. The waiting times here are still 4 weeks but can be up to 1 year at Raigmore. Renal Services The business case was approved by the NHS Highland Board on 2 April. There will be a public meeting on 25 April at 2.30 pm in the Norseman Hotel to update the public on the proposals and the anticipated timescales. The recruitment process for 2 full time and 1 relief staff has commenced. The training will be carried out at Raigmore. The tenders for architects are out and it is hoped the building will start June/July. It is anticipated the unit will be operational by January 2003. Funding is still an issue as the Board only starts funding the unit from 2003. Outpatient Appointment Bookings It was agreed that Isabel More should be asked again regarding the booking of follow up appointments for outpatients following their first appointment. The Freephone message at CGH was discussed and it was agreed that Isabel should be asked if the message could be updated. KO KO
  Procedure re Anaesthetics Sheena advised that there is not a normal procedure for anaesthetics as it is patient dependent. Patients are pre-assessed. The error that occurred in the procedure for a member of the group was due to an error in the list. The quality assurance process was questioned. Eye Unit - Day case The facilities for storage of patients belongings will be queried with Lachie Robertson. Neurological Services It was intimated that Aberdeen is the main centre for Neurological Services for the Highlands. Alzheimers Patients at Town & County Hospital Alison Phimister, Local Services Manager-Caithness has indicated that the Town & County Hospital provides inpatient assessment and respite facilities for the elderly mentally ill. There is no plan to cease these services though the style of service will change over time as the service develops. A discussion on Delayed Discharge Patients followed. Speech & Language Therapy The speech and language team leader, Penne Martin will be meeting with members of the Chest, Heart and Stroke Association soon to discuss the issue of referral to the chest, heart and stroke service. Control of Infection It has been confirmed that there have been no problems experienced with the laundry at CGH. There should be no problems with staff uniforms as there are always spare uniforms available in every size. Information on MRSA was distributed to clarify the procedures should an incident occur. There has not been a meeting yet of the Control of Infection Group but the representation of the Patients Council on this group will be raised at the next meeting. A member of the group queried whether there have been any problems with infection recently in the Queen Elizabeth Assessment and Rehabilitation Unit as it was noted that visitors entering a side room had to be gowned and masked. Sheena agreed to follow this up. LR SCC SCC
5. WAITING TIMES Information on the waiting lists and waiting times for the end of February were distributed and discussed.
6. CLINICAL STANDARDS BOARD - Update A report on the Generic Standards has been received. The working Group will reconvene to address the action points. An audit on Cleaning Services and Infection Control will be undertaken in the following week.  
7. RECRUITMENT OF NEW MEMBERS The group were advised of the applications received and were happy to invite the applicants to join the group for the next meeting. The applicants will meet with Sheena beforehand for a brief orientation.
8. WORKING GROUPS Medication on Discharge The notes from the last meeting will be distributed to the group members. Review of Admission Letters for Endoscopy Procedures New leaflets have been completed and will be distributed for information. Quality Group Reports from the Patient Questionnaires have just been received. A meeting will now be arranged. Catering Services Review Kay will establish Jean Castle’s availability for another meeting. Patient Handbook Sheena agreed to chair this group and will arrange a date for the first meeting. Pastoral Partnership A leaflet regarding the chaplaincy at CGH is being prepared. KO KO KO KO SCC
9. ANY OTHER COMPETENT BUSINESS Orthopaedics Clinic at Dunbar A member of the group attended the Dunbar hospital in November for an Orthopaedics appointment with Mr Campbell which was scheduled for 3.30 pm. At 6.10 pm she had still not been seen and had not been advised of any delay by a member of staff. When she asked if there was a problem she was advised that she had just been forgotten about. Sheena agreed to raise this issue with Isabel More. Inpatients with Learning Disabilities A discussion arose over how nursing staff cope with inpatients with learning disabilities and the problem of them being dehydrated. It was agreed that there was no straightforward answer but the issue would be reinforced with nursing staff. Acknowledgement Jim Fry asked that the work of the Patients Council and the co-operation received from management be acknowledged. Franking Machine It was queried whether the CGH could be removed from the franking machine as a confidentiality issue. Sheena agreed to raise this issue with Isabel More. Obstetrics Consultant There will be interviews for the third Obstetrician/Gynaecologist in May. Cardiac Rehab Centre The Cardiac Rehab Centre for the Highlands is at Raigmore. The first meeting is scheduled for next week. A & E Department A member praised the speed of the service received recently at A&E Dept. Joint Meeting with Raigmore and Belford Patients Council Lachie Robertson had enquired whether the Group would be interested in a joint meeting. It was agreed that this would be a good idea. A daytime meeting, possibly on a Thursday would be the preference. SCC SCC SCC
10. DATE OF NEXT MEETING The date and time of next meeting is Monday 17 June 2002 at 2.00 pm in the Conference Room, Caithness General Hospital.