Venue: Council Chamber Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Jess Bayley Amanda Scarce
Welcome from the Chair and Housekeeping
To receive a welcome from the Chair and an outline of the housekeeping rules.
The Chair welcomed all those present and advised that the meeting would be recorded.
Apologies and Introductions
To receive apologies for absence and to introduce members of the Commission.
An apology for absence was received on behalf of Councillor Juliet Brunner and it was confirmed that Councillor Jane Potter was attending as her substitute.
To receive announcements from the Chair and an explanation for the purpose of the Health Commission.
The Chair outlined the purpose of the Health Commission and explained that this was the third and final meeting that would be taking place. Two meetings had been held on 12th and 14th January 2017. Unfortunately there had been limited attendance at these meetings, though a significant number of people had viewed proceedings on the Save the Alex Facebook page. Residents were urged to have their say, either by speaking during the meeting or completing one of the commission’s surveys. The Chair asked for it to be noted that the deadline for surveys to be completed was Friday 20th January 2017.
The feedback provided during the Health Commission meetings and in completed surveys would be analysed over the following few weeks and would help to inform the Council’s formal response to the three Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups’ (CCGs) consultation process. The Health Commission’s findings and conclusions would be detailed in a report, due to be presented at a special meeting of full Council on 2nd March 2017. This meeting would be open to the public to attend.
To invite Members of the public to speak on the subject of the proposed changes to Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust’s services.
Please note that those residents who registered to speak in advance will be given priority. Each resident will have a maximum of five minutes to speak.
The Chair explained that seven people had registered in advance to speak, though one resident had subsequently provided their apologies. Registered speakers would be invited to talk to the commission first before the meeting was opened up to other members of the public to speak.
The following residents spoke during the meeting. (As some residents did not register to speak in advance some names may not have been spelled correctly. Apologies are extended to those residents where this may have occurred):
a) Ms Margot Bish (spoke twice)
Ms Bish commented that there were a number of key problems that needed to be addressed:
· Two overcrowded A&E Departments in Worcestershire.
· Inaccessible services for Redditch residents. In particular Ms Bish expressed concerns about the accessibility of Maternity and Paediatrics services following centralisation at Worcester Royal Hospital.
· Log jams on the wards, with demand exceeding capacity.
To address these problems Ms Bish suggested that WAHT should work with equivalent trusts in Birmingham and Warwickshire. This would create a larger pool of doctors to treat patients and the doctors could be provided with greater flexibility in respect of working shifts. This model would also make the location more attractive to junior doctors as there would be experienced consultants within the multi-trust arrangement from whom they could learn. Within this structure junior doctors would feel valued and anticipate that they would have opportunities for promotion which would encourage specialists to remain working in the area.
This multi-trust approach to service delivery was also promoted by Ms Bish for Paediatrics services. The commission was advised that this approach would again attract junior doctors and the larger team would enable the rotation of consultants and registrars. Ms Bish suggested that across the area working patterns already in place at Birmingham City Hospital, whereby trained nurses managed the night shift, could be replicated. Consultants could then be invited to operate during the day across the region and Ms Bish suggested that if some of these consultants worked at the Alexandra Hospital this would reduce the need to refer children over night to Worcester Royal Hospital except in emergency cases. This working arrangement would also have a beneficial impact in terms of accessibility for parents and carers.
Similarly Ms Bish suggested that a multi-agency approach to delivering Maternity Services would provide staff with flexibility and the opportunity for Doctors to rotate in terms of shift patterns. Alternatively a midwife-led unit supported by a single registrar and junior doctor for each shift would potentially provide parents with an option to give birth at the Alexandra Hospital. Ms Bish asked the Health Commission to note that the reason provided for the temporary move of Maternity Services had been that there was a shortage of skilled staff to provide safe services; the rotation of staff in a multi-trust arrangement would address this staffing problem.
The Health Commission was informed that the log jam in Worcestershire could be addressed by making three additions to each hospital; a GP surgery, a Minor injuries ... view the full minutes text for item 16.