Minutes 7th July 2013
Place: Archway Methodist Church
Time: 19:00 – 21.00
Chair: Shirley Franklin
Minutes: Mike Hart
1) Previous minutes were approved.
2) Matters arising: It was asked if the board had ever replied to our list of questions. Shirley had written to the board and had a reply saying that a full reply would be forthcoming, but nothing has arrived. Shirley will chase.
There have been significant management changes. Joe Liddane, Chair of the Board is on ‘parental leave” until the end of August 2013 and Robert Aitkin is now Acting Chair. There is a new head of HR and a new communications director.
3) Developments at the Whittington.
The FT application process was at a crucial juncture. The board’s new plan was being publicised. The press were to be informed the day following the planning meeting. The MPs had been briefed and Jeremy Corbyn had just contacted Shirley to inform her of the key points:
There was to be no job or bed loss. Two more buildings – Jenner and education – were being retained. JC had expressed concern regarding the nurses’ accommodation since the alternative at Sussex Way was already being used by nurses at other hospitals.
There was some discussion about the meaning of ‘no job losses’. There are also large numbers of agency staff, who, if they lost their jobs would not figure in the calculations (they are not employees). Many of the jobs done by agency staff were once done by permanent staff.
It seems that anyone whose job goes, will be offered three alternatives which are not always at the same grade level or in similar work.
The main concern for us is that the Whittington should remain a General District Hospital, and it would appear, prima facie that this is the plan, however there are still a number of concerns.
Concern was expressed about the early discharge programme, which Greg Battle had outlined at the Camden Scrutiny Meeting. There are many vulnerable patients in the area. There is inadequate social care provided for people convalescing and there are not enough district nurses.
At the moment elderly patients are frequently being sent home between 11:00pm – 7:00am. This is obviously completely inappropriate. It is not clear from the plan that this will stop. This is happening despite the fact that the area has a very high rate of people who die alone in their homes.
Regarding bed losses, it was pointed out that two wards are being used as offices, so there must have been some bed losses.
Also the hospital will have a new Day Treatment Centre in November
A press conference had been called for 9:30am in the Education Centre. The BBC and ITV had asked Shirley for interviews the next day between 9.30 and 10.00.
4) Setting up a Strategy Group
There was a discussion about having smaller groups to discuss strategy. Tricia proposed that we set up a strategy group that she felt would create a space where ‘meta’ level thinking could take place. She felt that this sort of thinking was not done in the full group meetings. The strategy group could, for instance recommend a ‘patient group’ that would think about liaising with patients, a worker group for the hospital workers etc. Others argued that setting up separate groups could be divisive. It was pointed out that the broad strategy – and DWHC’s constitution and aims – were already on the website. Shirley suggested that this could be a useful subject for discussion at the December AGM.
5) St Anne’s Hospital David explained that he and others had set up a new group to defend St Anne’s hospital (Haringey’s only hospital). This includes approving a plan for the Whittington to take over some services. He was aske to inform us abut this by email so that this information could go on our website.
6) Camden Health Scrutiny Committee Shirley and tony went to the meeting of this committee. The upshot of the meeting is that Camden are to mount an enquiry into Harmoni. There was also a presentation about the Whittington plans at this committee.
7) Board Meeting A few members went to the Whittington Board meeting. Shirley asked that if people attend meetings they should email any reports immediately as she is often contacted by the press and needs to be up-to-date as to what’s going on.
Members wore masks but did not interrupt the proceedings. In the aftermath some of the board were quite rude to the attendees.
There is a meeting of Healthwatch where the Whittington is giving a presentation (17th July Holloway Resource Centre). Rod volunteered to attend.
There is also a meeting of the Joint Scrutiny Committee. Valerie and Jan volunteered to attend.
Next meeting was set for Monday 22nd July
9) Meeting Closed at 9.30.
Chair of DWHC