Coalfield Forum Minutes July 2015

Dorothy chaired the meeting in Karen’s absence.

Telecare was not going to discontinue the card service; rather Mike wanted to create a new format which stood out from e.g. a library card. Sue Goulding had secured SCCG funding and Mike had advised on content. Approval was awaited from the Carers’ Association. Members were very appreciative of Mike’s efforts.
Patient Transport:
Dorothy noted that Aileen had kindly replied to queries about the service. For example, escort eligibility doesn’t relate to a scoring system rather to medical needs (NEAS could provide assistance). Recurring trips by ambulance could be flagged up on a form GPs can request. If a practice has opted out the company appointed by SCCG would deal with transport. Brian gave an example of good practice in his opted out GP practice. Members felt there were inconsistencies in the quality of service and more queries would be raised.
Mike felt a genuine carer should be allowed to accompany the patient. The meeting agreed that Malcolm should write to NEAS
via Aileen to express concerns about the service, in particular that ‘one size does not fit all.’
Patients Managing Ongoing Conditions:
Dorothy noted that Grangewood had discussed helping patients to access information. NAPP was a useful source but practices had to pay a subscription. NHS Choices was another avenue. The City and SCCG were due to meet in September this year to make recommendations across the City. Members were concerned that only two staff were working on this issue.
Margaret and Paul, members of the Coalfield Network area committee, reported that City Of Sunderland was inviting people to become health champions to advise on self care. Training would be given under the Living Well scheme. Members were concerned that medically unqualified people would be offering advice.

Dorothy had attended the last event and reported a wide range of participants. It was noted that Sunderland Hospitals would provide a breast screening service only, with surgery being undertaken at QE Gateshead.
It was announced at the event that problems with reception staff at Urgent Care Centres had been resolved by training. However this was contradicted by an SCCG member who reported a very unpleasant experience. Brian said that a friend who had returned from Spain on entering Houghton UCC was asked if they had an appointment. He/she did not. The person, who was in severe discomfort waited 70 minutes to be triaged. It was thought there was a possible thrombosis and was advised to take a bus to A and E. Members felt not all was well at UCCs.

Dorothy had attended the last meeting at which a draft code of practice was issued. The code of practice sets an agreement
between SCCG, City of Sunderland Council and ‘others?’ the latter being unspecified. Although the NHS Act 2006 is mentioned, setting out a statutory requirement to involve and consult patients, Dorothy felt that:
a) The document lacked clarity in communication and ownership. There was a distinct lack of plain English.
b) It did not suggest how patients were to be consulted and enabled to respond. Examples of projected procedure needed to be included.
Members felt consultation via a website was totally inadequate. Members felt PPGs and the patient locality groups, (of which our Forum is one), should be involved. We were a long established patient group which was ready to be engaged with. Malcolm was asked by members to write to Dr Val Taylor, SCCG clinical vice-chair to express our frustration and the need to be taken seriously as a reflective and responsive body. Members felt undervalued and underused.

Norma asked who was responsible for checking on care workers in their dealings with the elderly. She gave the example of her blind and deaf mother being put back into a wet bed and being cared for by workers who cut corners. Mike said Mr Revie was in charge of care services. Paul noted this was now Mr Alan Caddick and Mike suggested Norma should write to him.
Hetton New Dawn:
Margaret reported that some funding had been granted for services in the Coalfield area. Lonely and isolated people currently lacked contact. It was projected to set up afternoon social activities such as tea, gentle exercise and speakers. It was hoped to advertise the new provision in GP surgeries, libraries and home care services. Paul would be driving the Nissan Leaf vehicle provided by Gentoo so that people could be brought to the events.

£4,500 would enable one year of provision from September but there was uncertainty after that.
Mike noted that the Bethany church had a drop-in coffee morning each Thursday but, as a religious organisation it could not apply for funding. Dorothy asked if Margaret could report back in a year’s time to let members know about the project’s implementation. Paul said he hope to visited Coalfield PPGs to explain the aim of the project.

Monday 19th October 6pm at Kepier Medical Practice.

These minutes are confidential until agreed as a true record at the next Forum.

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