Apologies: Janice Collier, Gillian d’Eath




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COALFIELD FORUM MINUTES for the 29th meeting 24.11.11
Apologies: Janice Collier, Gillian d’Eath
Present; Brian Nelson (Houghton Medical Practice).

Harry Brown, Margaret Dunn, Anne Farrow (Herrington Medical Practice).

Margaret and Brian Doyle, Kathleen Turnbull, Geoff Armstrong, Malcolm Eves (Westbourne Medical Practice).

Gladys McKillup (Hetton Medical Practice).

Dr.Jackie Gillespie SCCG

Julie Whitehouse STPCT


Houghton PCC:

As Gillian d’Eath was unwell Linda Cumming, the manager for the PCC led a tour of the new facility. She gave information about existing services and said that in 2012 a minor injuries unit and a 24 bed rehab section would be added.

Members were very impressed with the quality of the building and its facilities. Brian noted how proud Keith Boddy would have been.
Other issues:

Brian had received much documentation regarding health matters and he would provide an in input at our first 2012 meeting. These included social care, LINk and Healthwatch and a Healthwatch operating model.

Brian asked Julie Whitehouse, whose remit was public involvement, to investigate whole time equivalent GP/patient ratios for the coalfield area. These to be put in context with comparison to those in Sunderland/nationwide. N.B. Julie works with the Commissioning Development Unit of the PCT, supporting the new Commissioners.

There was a short discussion on prescription drugs and the fact that drug companies/wholesalers were selling supplies abroad for greater profit, thus creating shortages in the UK. Clearly quotas do exist.N.B. There are only five UK wholesalers.


Dr Jackie Gillespie:

She informed members that data showed that nurse-led minor injuries units were not reducing referrals to GPs and hospitals. The answer lay in a GP-led unit. This would hopefully will be established in the Houghton PCC in April 2012.

Members felt there was a need for clear charts which identified where patients should go for treatment…GP surgeries, walk-in units, or A and E.

Julie noted that a publicity campaign would follow.

Brian noted that the new PCC had lots of space for outpatient services. He wondered if there was a timetable for the introduction of new services. It must be frustrating for the local population to see a new building but e.g. no minor injuries unit! There was an issue of a lack of public transport from the eastern area of the coalfield zone to the PCC in the evening.

Jackie informed members that the Commissioning Group was prioritising areas to enable the transition from a Trust-led service to be manageable. There was a Practice Manager role on the Board and this position would be undertaken by Gloria Middleton of Westbourne Practice. There was, as yet, no decision as to lay input on the Board. It might be possible for a ‘sub Board’ with lay involvement to inform the Commissioning Board. Forum members wanted ‘effective involvement.’



A support structure would be needed e.g. legal and accounting services to enable the Commissioning Board to function (the PCT ends in 2013). We do not know if this would be done within Sunderland or regionally.
Members were thanked for their attendance and Jackie and Julie for their input. The next meeting would be in January 2012. Malcolm would liaise with Brian and Jackie.


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