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Patients Council - Caithness

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Minutes of a Meeting 24 September 2001 - 2.00pm

Caithness Patients Council

Report of meeting held on Monday 24 September 2001 at 2.00 pm in the Conference Room at Caithness General Hospital.

PRESENT: Patients Council

Philip Anderson Anne Campbell Jim Fry

Jim McAdie Sandy Macleod Rena Mappin

Frances Purves Ivy Webster


Sheena Craig, Directorate General Manager, CGH

IN ATTENDANCE: Kay Oswald, Directorate Assistant

1. WELCOME Sheena Craig welcomed everyone to the meeting. It was agreed that the planned visit to the A&E Department need no longer take place as the majority of members were present at the official opening. Arrangements can be made for anyone who still wishes to visit the Department at a later date.  
2. APOLOGIES Isabel Ferrier Jean Forbes Jean Castle Malcolm Smart Sandy Morrison, Trustee of Highland Acute Hospitals NHS Trust Lachie Robertson, Quality Manager, Highland Acute Hospitals NHS Trust Alison Phimister, Local Services Manager - Caithness, CGH
3. MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 30 July 2001 were agreed to be a correct record.
4. MATTERS ARISING Group Membership Mr John Bond telephoned in response to the letter he received enquiring whether he wished to remain as a member of the group. Mr Bond indicated that he had written earlier in the year to advise that he could no longer participate in the group as he was moving from the area. This letter had not been received but Mr Bond was thanked for his response.
  Patients Council Minutes Members of the group reported to have seen the minutes available in the libraries and at the Medical Centres at Davidson’s Lane, Thurso; Halkirk and on the counter at Wick. The minutes were not available at the Princes Street Surgery in Thurso. It was agreed that this issue should be raised with Alison Phimister. KO
5. WAITING TIMES Information on the waiting lists and waiting times was distributed. Sheena intimated that the NHS guarantee that nobody should wait for more than 1 year before being given an appointment has been lowered to 9 months. It was agreed that the inpatient waiting list figures are fine but concern was raised over the outpatient times and numbers for Ophthalmology; ENT; and Orthodontics. It has been intimated that there will be nurse led clinics for Diabetics to help reduce the waiting times. Consultants will assess patients and indicate who can be referred to the nurse led clinic.


6. CLINICAL STANDARDS BOARD - Update Review of Care of Patients Post MI - A copy of the draft report has been seen. A group has been convened to draw up an action plan for unmet criteria. Many of these will be addressed by the recently appointed Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse - Mike McGivern. Insufficient audit has been cited as a problem and this should be rectified by the recent identification of a member of staff from Medical Records Department to gather data for onward transmission to Clinical Audit Department for analysis. Colorectal Cancer and Breast Cancer - The Clinical Standards Board visited on Monday, 17 September 2001. Initial feedback was fairly positive although there may be an issue over clinical networking to be addressed. Also the length of time for definitive diagnosis should be 24-48 hours whereas our results take from 7 - 10 days because we do not have a pathologist on-site. A draft report is awaited. Generic - The Self Assessments have been completed and representatives will be attending Raigmore on 27 September to see how CGH measures up to the standards as set. Anne Campbell will be representing the Patients Council.  
7. REPRESENTATION ON OTHER GROUPS Meetings are being arranged for the working groups. It was agreed that progress on the Highland Health Council visit to the Queen Elizabeth Assessment and Rehabilitation Unit should be included as an agenda item for the next meeting. KO
8. ARBUTHNOTT FUNDING NHS Highland has received additional funding from the Scottish Executive and it was queried whether further developments would now be seen. Sheena indicated that the Highland Health Plan was committed to the following:- Expenditure as a result of the guidelines following recent Decontamination and Sterilisation Legislation Video Endoscopy Equipment Renal Services. Renal Services An option appraisal is being carried out as to the possibility of opening a Renal Dialysis Unit at Caithness General Hospital or Belford Hospital. It has been acknowledged that there is a need for 2 satellite units but the debate is to which area should be first. Dr Brunton has assessed both sites but due to annual leave a decision has not been announced yet. If CGH is identified as the preferred site a full business case has to be developed and funding agreed. Thereafter, the project will take a while to be set up as building work would be required and training issues addressed. The members of the Patients Council intimated their full support to promote this service in Caithness.
9. RECRUITMENT OF NEW MEMBERS It was agreed that following the resignation of several members a recruitment drive for 4 members should take place. An advertisement will be placed in the local press and notices put up around the hospital. It was agreed that for “experience” the “recent past” should be used instead of a specific period. KO


10. ANY OTHER COMPETENT BUSINESS Pastoral Partnership Meeting Rena Mappin reported on her attendance as a representative of the group at the recent Pastoral Partnership meeting. Rena expressed her surprise at the fact that there was some doubt expressed by a member of the clergy as to the accuracy of statistics which had been produced to show the percentage of patients wishing to see the chaplains or their own minister whilst in hospital.
  Pain Management Clinics Discussion arose as to the establishment of Pain Management Clinics at CGH. It was intimated that this service was previously provided by the Consultant Anaesthetist Dr Brian Campbell who had a particular interest in this field. Dr Campbell has now left and the remaining Consultant Anaesthetists are not qualified in this field.  
  Information Leaflet A recent article in the local press where a local minister expressed his dismay that Insurance Services were being advertised on the back of an information leaflet about hospital services was discussed. It was agreed that Kay should contact Alex Robertson, Charge Nurse at Dunbar to establish whether this leaflet had been available within the outpatients area at the Dunbar Hospital. KO
  Telephone Rates It was indicated that the telephones at Raigmore are supported by different telephone companies- Mercury and BT, who have different rates for their phone cards. It was agreed that Lachie Robertson should be asked whether this can be investigated and if the rates/minute can be established. An indication of where the phone cards can be bought would also be useful. LR
  Visiting Times The visibility of information regarding visiting times was discussed. It was intimated that this information is available in the Visitors Leaflet and also on signs on the walls at the wards.  
  Hospital Food The recent survey on hospital food which was carried out in England was discussed. It was noted that the survey had mentioned that most hospitals have an allowance of £3 - £5 per day to cater for each patient. It was agreed that further discussions on this will be undertaken by the working group which has been identified to look at the catering services.  
  Public Transport It was intimated that a member of the group had been approached by a patient who had recently had to attend Raigmore Hospital for an outpatient appointment and had required to use public transport which required the gentleman to leave early in the morning and return by the 4.45 bus in the evening. Transport arrangements for patients were discussed in general and it was clarified that if deemed appropriate the GPs can request ambulance car transport. If the patient is deemed fit enough then they are required to make their own arrangements and be reimbursed under the Patient Travel Scheme.  
11. DATE OF NEXT MEETING The date and time of next meeting is Monday 3 December 2001 at 2.00 pm in the Conference Room, Caithness General Hospital.