The Scrutiny Support Officer submitted a report regarding potential topics gained from a number of sources for future scrutiny investigation by the Panel during the 2013/2014 Municipal Year.
Specific reference was made to the following suggested topics:-
(a) Mental health services capacity specifically the policy to reduce the number of inpatients beds and if the service reconfiguration remained the best for the challenges facing the current services.
(b) Winter pressures and how the local health and social care economy are preparing for the 2013/2014 winter period.
(c) Patient transport to hospital with particular regard to the current and anticipated demand for services.
(d) Quality standards in the independent sector with particular regard as to how the NHS Commissioners gain assurances around the quality and safety of services commissioned from the independent sector.
(e) Healthcare Associated Infections updates from the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
(f) NHS Finances in relation to receiving policy briefings from the healthcare finance field.
The Panel referred to a number of important areas such as the development of smoking cessation services and immunisation in schools which had been the subject of recommendations within the Panel's recent Final Report in respect of Children with Complex Needs. Consideration would be given to the subsequent response/Action Plan to the Final report from the respective service areas and health organisations.
Members referred to personal experiences relating to the current Out of Hours Service and to some of the recent problems being experienced in the A & E Unit at James Cook University Hospital as a result of a number of factors. The South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust had recently announced the intention to provide additional bed capacity in order to create certain flexibility when coping with increased demands arising from winter pressures. It was acknowledged that some of the aspects highlighted would be considered as part of the suggested topics of investigation outlined above.
AGREED that the items outlined above form the basis of the scrutiny work programme for the Health Scrutiny Panel 2013/2014 subject to the inclusion of the following topics:-
(a) public health issues in relation to asbestos;
(b) update on Neurological Services with particular regard to the Gateway Project at Middlehaven.