Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Ruthin LL15 1YN
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DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members to declare any personal or prejudicial interests in any business identified to be considered at this meeting.
Councillors Brian Blakeley, Ann Davies, Bobby Feeley, Jeanette Chamberlain Jones, Dewi Owens, Huw Hilditch-Roberts and Cefyn Williams all declared a personal interest
URGENT MATTERS AS AGREED BY THE CHAIR
Notice of items which, in the opinion of the Chair, should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency pursuant to Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972.
The Chair welcomed everyone to the Special Council meeting and extended thanks to the representatives of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) and the North Wales Community Health Council (NWCHC) for their attendance.
The Chair confirmed that the questions submitted by Councillors had previously been circulated to the representatives of BCUHB and NWCHC. The meeting would be held in two sections – first section members’ questions to the BCUHB representatives and second section members’ questions to the NWCHC representative.
CURRENT ISSUES AFFECTING HEALTH SERVICES IN DENBIGHSHIRE AND HOW THESE MAY BE ADDRESSED
To receive verbal reports from representatives of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and the Community Health Council.
SECTION 1 - BCUHB
Question 1 – Councillor Dewi Owens
“Why is your preferred option to make temporary changes to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd (YGC) Obstetric Consultant led services when you intend to open and recruit Consultants to the new sub-regional Neonatal Intensive Care Centre? Why will recruitment challenges be any different?”
The Interim Chief Executive (ICE) of BCUHB expressed his gratitude at being given the opportunity to attend the Council meeting.
The ICE explained to Members he had been in post for a period of just four months and had been impressed by the staff across North Wales, who provided excellent care on a day to day basis. The organisation would need to become more outward facing and were looking forward to working openly and constructively with the Council.
In response to the question put forward by Councillor Dewi Owens, the ICE confirmed the Public Consultation period had recently come to an end. The responses were to be analysed and the review would be available later in the calendar year.
The maternity services had been a complicated issue with immediate problems. There had been approximately a 50% vacancy rate which had presented a risk in that cover had to be provided with short-term Doctors. Discussions had been taking place with clinical staff in each of the services who had informed the Board of the fragility of a majority of services.
The preferred Option had been for deliverability at a practical level. The changes would not be permanent but would be on a temporary basis. The ICE clarified that the consultation had not been driven by either management or money.
One of the focused points in the future planning would be to have neonatal care on the Ysbyty Glan Clwyd site, and recruitment had commenced for the service. This was to be part of the strategy to encourage staff to pursue their career in North Wales.
The Chairman of BCUHB, clarified to Members that the issue of recruitment had not been specific to North Wales but had been a nationwide problem.
Question 2 – Councillor Raymond Bartley
“What assurances can you give us that the abuse and mistreatment of vulnerable older people with Dementia will not happen again, given what occurred at Tawel Fan. What changes have you made as a result of the report by Donna Ochenden? What is the latest position in relation to internal disciplinary processes?”
The ICE agreed that the issues at Tawel Fan had been scandalous. Special measures were now in place so that quality processes would ensure the problems would not arise again in the future. A great deal of work would be required to develop Mental Health Services, work which would also involve the Local Authority. The changes which had already taken place and those which were to take place were linked to the report by Donna Ochenden.
BCUHB had commissioned HASCAS who were extremely experienced in undertaking matters of this kind. HASCAS had been commissioned to undertake a full investigation and to provide indepth responses to concerns raised by the families of those patients affected. The second task for HASCAS would be to, where appropriate, prepare disciplinary cases against individual members of staff. HASCAS would be interviewing families again together with a number of additional families who had come forward since the completion of the Donna Ochenden report. It had been confirmed that a number of staff had been suspended, pending disciplinary action, and a number of staff had been reported to the regulatory bodies. The HASCAS investigation would, hopefully, be completed by early 2016, but at this stage, the exact ... view the full minutes text for item 4.