Questions from the Floor, 2010 November
Board Meeting Held on Wednesday 24th November 2010 in the Conference Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hospital
|Q1||I recently received a letter of response to the question I had raised regarding Phlebotomy Services at Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), may I ask that the answer is included in the Trust Board Minutes. May I also reiterate my concerns with regard to Phlebotomy Services at Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) and the economic nonsense associated with the present system that is used?|
The Trust clearly understands the concern you have raised with regard to at Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) and I will ask the Chief Operating Officer to meet with you to discuss your concerns.
Trust response sent to Mr Angell dated 22nd November 2010
I write to update you on matters related to concerns you raised with regard to phlebotomy services at Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH). May I first thank you for bringing these matters to my attention and inform you of the action taken by the Trust to improve the quality of services in the Phlebotomy Department at QEH.
I understand the Trust has recruited an additional five new phlebotomists for the QEH site and approved funding for a new ticketing machine that I expect to be installed and operational in four weeks time.
It is my expectation that this additional staffing and new equipment will help to improve the patient experience within the Phlebotomy Department at QEH.
|Q2||When you discharge patients from hospital how do you ensure they get the home care they need?|
|The Trust has responsibility to put in place arrangements for care when patients leave hospital. Social Care has responsibility for the delivery of that care. The final "gate keeping" process is formal sign off of the care package.|
|Q3||So who is responsible?|
|The Nurse Director would be happy to meet with you after the meeting to answer the very important point that you have raised in relation to patient discharge, and an update on this item will be reported at the next Trust Board meeting.|
|Q4||Is it not the case that answers to questions from the public after a Trust Board meeting should be included in the record of the Trust Board meeting?|
|Q5||I note the Chairman of SLHT is paid an annual salary of £40 to £45 thousand pounds. I also note that on top of this the Chairman is paid a further annual payment of £15 to £20 thousand pounds under Other Remuneration. My question is, what exactly is this other remuneration, what is it for and how is it paid?|
The other remuneration was paid to reimburse expenses.
Trust response sent to Mr Williams 21st January 2011
Thank you for your FOI request dated 29th November 2010 asking for the exact salary and expenses that are drawn down by the Chairman. I have reviewed the matter and determine that we must refuse your request for two reasons, listed at sections 22 and 40 of the Freedom of Information Act.
The salary of the Chairman is set by the Secretary of State and is paid monthly. The Chairman is entitled to claim out of pocket expenses on a scale set nationally for non-Executive Directors which is managed by the Appointments Commission. The Trust has a policy of publishing such salaries and expenses in the annual accounts and these are available once a year. The Trust can therefore decline to supply such information if it is destined for future publication.
The Trust does not feel that giving an accurate figure is appropriate, given that your request from these figures concerning the Chairman can easily indentify that person and in doing so it would constitute personal information as outlined and defined in the Data Protection Act 1998. Section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act covers the issue of personal information. It is the Trust's position that your request also falls under section 40 and therefore we will not disclose this information.
|Q6||Does the Trust have a protocol in place for when a member of the public or other parties write to the Trust Chairman in hard copy or email as regards acknowledgements and replies? And what is it?|
|The Trust will consider whether there needs to be a protocol for responding to questions from the public that includes what constitutes an appropriate response to a question raised outside of Trust Board or questions raised under Freedom of Information.|
|Q7||This year on three occasions three Non Executive Directors have left the Trust Board meeting during questions from the public, I find this very discourteous.|
|Q8||Can you please tell me why you have not yet published the October spend details on your website in line with the government's transparency agenda – your own statement says that monthly data will be published by the 15th working day after month end. If you are not publishing them…what are your reasons for flouting the government's transparency agenda?|
The Trust will check the guidance that had been issued and come back to you.
Trust response sent to Mr Mott dated 12th January 2011
This is just to confirm that we have published on our website up to December all of the £25k disclosure of external suppliers as you had enquired about. There had been discussions among local NHS finance departments about the most consistent way of doing this and to avoid any anomalies and this has now been resolved. I hope that you are happy with this.
|Q9||At the September Board meeting I brought to your attention the fact that, in response to a question from the floor, an incorrect statement had been made at the May Board Meeting regarding the outsourcing of operations. The response I received was that an investigation would be carried out. Will you please tell me the outcome of your investigation? If not then will you furnish me with a) the name of the person carrying out the investigation b) what the terms of reference are for the investigation c) when will the investigation be complete d) will you make the full details of that investigation public?|
|An investigation will take place|
|Q10||At the AGM I brought to the attention of the Board that in the minutes of the July Finance Committee meeting Mr Bolot had updated the committee stating….”having met with several interested parties to discuss proposals for the future of Orpington Hospital”. Dr Streather responded that this was a mistake and that the minutes would be corrected. I have seen no amendment and the Board have signed off those minutes as being correct.|
|The Trust will review the minutes of the July 2010 Finance Committee and make any changes as necessary.|
|Q11||It is crystal clear that the Trust wants to improve the Patient Experience and Patient Safety. It is equally clear that this message is not getting though to some staff, what are you going to do with those staff?|
It's about using more than one approach. It's about discussing guidance, asking ourselves whether we are equipping staff with the same skills and knowledge and implementing Trust initiatives like Clinical Wednesdays. For staff that don't respond to such approaches we will manage them through the performance management routes.
If you look back at the relatively short history of this organisation, we have made improvements in Stroke Care and made efforts to recruit some fine doctors and nurses. It is a matter of setting the right standards at the point of contact with patients, providing leadership and recruiting the right staff to ensure you have a critical mass of people in an area who follow good practice.
LINk wish to draw your attention our concern at the way public questions are dealt with. At the last SLHT Board meeting:
What is the Chairman proposing to ensure that questions from the floor are accurately recorded and responses fully answer the question?
|The Trust is proposing to introduce a written protocol that will seek to address the points you have raised.|
The workforce performance target indicates a constant, continuing staff vacancy rate and reliance upon costly agency staffing. This undermines the excellent work on improving standards by the Divisional Directors of Nursing.
When will the impact of this work reverse the current trend of the failure to retain staff coupled with inadequate recruitment?
|I disagree with points in your question. Agency Staff have been frequently discussed at this meeting and it is evident that the use of Agency Staff is reducing Proper workforce planning will improve the figures in relation to vacancy rates. The wage bill is going down, agency use is going down and sickness rates are reducing. Emergency Care and Maternity Pathway Vacancies are going down. There's a bit of mythology we haven't been trying hard enough to recruit people, we have been trying and we will continue to recruit.|
|Q14||Raised a question regarding the future use of the Orpington Hospital site|
|The Trust would like to settle the future of Orpington Hospital Site however the future of Orpington Hospital lies with commissioners and not a provider (i.e. Acute) Trust. The Trust Chief Executive, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Estates and Facilities met with the Chief Executives of Bromley Council, Bromley Primary Care Trust and the General Practitioner (GP) Leader of Orpington Commissioning Consortium to discuss the future of clinical services on the Orpington Hospital site. The GP Commissioning Consortia is leading a piece of work to develop a clinical services solution for the Orpington Hospital site that will pre-date any future Estates Solution.|
Keep the NHS Public
|Q16||Commented upon a statement omitted from the Trust Board minutes that related to Sub-Acute Care.|
|Q17||Expressed concern about the transfer of patients between hospital sites on behalf of the Greenwich Pensioner's Forum.|
|Q18||Commented that Critical Level and Substantial Level Winter Planning will remain in place.|
|Q19||Asked the Board to note the potential impact of 500 soldiers moving into the borough of Greenwich. Asked to know the number of patients infected with Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE) that occurred in ICU at QEH in October 2010?|
The Trust understands the concerns you have raised with regard to the pathway for elderly patients leaving our care, a lot of your concerns have also been expressed by staff. We have undertaken work to mitigate risk to ensure that the transfer of patients to a sub-acute unit is undertaken in a planned way with the involvement of relatives. The Trust will monitor the number of people being transferred around the borough.
Ms Hall reported positive feedback from patients that had been transferred.
The issue of Patient discharge had been picked up by Greenwich LINks and members had been invited to visit services where patients would be transferred.
|Q20||What was the cost of extra ambulances?|
|Transport costs for the transfer of patients would be included within the total cost of Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services. Ambulances used for the transfer of patients would not be "blue light" ambulances.|