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Gloucestershire Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee Update

To receive an update from the Council’s representative on matters considered at the last meeting. 


59.1          Members received an update from the Council’s reserve representative on the Gloucestershire Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee on matters discussed at its last meeting held on 13 November 2018.

59.2           Members were advised that the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report had been presented to the Committee and it was pleasing to note that the Board was already working closely with the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board.  There was concern regarding those placed out of area – both by Gloucestershire County Council and other local authorities placing people in Gloucestershire – who were more vulnerable to abuse as they were distanced from family and friends.  Although the placing authority should ensure placements were suitable and that the individual was safe, the Committee heard that did not always happen and the County Council had no powers to enforce that duty.  It was also concerning that providers were not required to inform the County Council when a person from out of the area was placed with them and the Committee had therefore agreed to write a letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Care outlining these issues.

59.3           The Committee had shared its concerns regarding drugs and alcohol on previous occasions and additional information on this matter had been included in the Director of Public Health’s report.  It was also stated that the data for Cheltenham in relation to disadvantaged children and the effect on their life chances was stark.  Members had been advised that the Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Board was in the process of refreshing the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy and this would be included in the discussion around priorities.  The Board was also leading on the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) work; Gloucestershire County Council was leading on a restorative practice programme and led the Children’s Partnership Framework in Gloucestershire.  With regard to the Adult Social Care performance report, the Committee continued to be concerned about performance against reassessment which was exacerbated by the lack of detail in the comments section about what was being done to address the situation.  It was acknowledged that it was a complex area but a positive shift in performance against those targets was needed. 

59.4           In terms of the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group’s performance report, the Council’s reserve representative advised that the Committee had previously expressed concerns with regard to the performance of the South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust against category 1 calls and the Trust had been congratulated for achieving this target.  Some Members had continued to express concern at the difference in performance against the four-hour Accident and Emergency target across the two acute hospitals; however, it was important to note that, at the overall Trust level, the target had been consistently met in 2018/19.  In the areas where performance targets were not being met, one of the contributing factors related to the available workforce – this was about shortages at a national level as opposed to finance.  A particular concern related to the two-week wait and 62 day cancer targets which had been consistently missed.  The Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust had appointed two urology consultants and it was expected to see the impact of this in the performance going forward. 

59.5           The Committee had received a presentation on the proposal for the general surgery pilot.  The consultant surgeons in attendance had explained what an average day in general surgery looked like and the expected benefits of the pilot.  Clarification was provided that the Committee’s role in relation to this was to act as a “critical friend”.  To provide some context, Members were advised that the proposal was first put forward following a leaked internal staff memo from Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in September which was followed by 57 consultants writing to all members of the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Board to express their views on the preferred model of care – this had subsequently been the basis of articles in the local media.  The presentation had given the detail of expected benefits of the pilot and the metrics by which its success would be measured. 

59.6           The final Agenda item had focused on the need to implement a temporary service change within interventional and community radiology and a detailed presentation had been given on the reasons for that.  Members were advised that it was intended to curtail radiology days in a range of hospitals due to a national shortage of radiologists which had been reported in the media.  There would be a knock-on effect for people seeking x-rays locally.  Another Member confirmed that Tewkesbury Community Hospital would be reducing the number of days radiology could be accessed to two per week.

59.7           The Chair thanked the Council’s reserve representative for his update and indicated that it would be circulated to the Committee following the meeting.  It was subsequently

                  RESOLVED          That the Gloucestershire Health and Care Overview and                                    Scrutiny Committee update be NOTED.