Agenda item


The Monitoring Officer to report on the receipt of any questions, petitions, or statements of case in accordance with the Council’s procedures.


The following questions have been received:


From Jean Burbridge:

·         Following the Building Better Hospitals for the Future consultation, who are the patient representatives who were involved in reviewing the public feedback? In what ways are they representative?


From Giuliana Foster:

1)    You set out the estimated capital costs of the various parts of the proposals on pages 23 and 113 of the DMBC but these do not include the estimated capital costs for the freestanding midwife led unit on the site of Leicester General Hospital.  What are the estimated costs for both the trial and the ongoing existence of the unit and where will these funds come from?


2)    What are the estimated costs of the primary care urgent treatment centre and other community services planned for the site of the Leicester General Hospital and where will these funds come from?


From Brenda Worrall:

·         Why has a target of births of 500 been set when this is larger than all other Free Standing Midwife led units (FMUs) in the country. Is the FMU being set up to fail?


From Godfrey Jennings:

·         If adequate additional Public Dividend Capital (PDC) is not forthcoming, which elements of the scheme are you likely to alter? (p25 of the DMBC “Whilst the original funding of £450m PDC has been identified, in the event that further PDC funding is not made available to fund the additional national policy changes such as the requirement for New Zero Caron and Digital, then the scope of the scheme will be reviewed again in order to fit the budget available.”)


From Sarah Patel:

·         How does the profile of respondents in terms of a) ethnicity and b) deprivation match that of the population as a whole, taking Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland each in turn?


From Kathy Reynolds on behalf of Rutland Health & Social Care Policy Consortium:


1.    We are told approximately £260,000 was spent on consultation by LLR CCGs. The people of Rutland submitted many comments and proposals to mitigate the impact of moving acute services from East to West and consequent increased complexity of journeys and increased travel times making access to services more difficult. The summary of decisions published on 26th June offers no clarity on how services will be delivered closer to home to mitigate these problems. Can the CCG explain why there are none?


2.    The CCGs have refused to say how alternative services will be funded where patients are unable to access the new facilities (They estimated this to be about 30% of patients in the PCBC). The consequences of this will result in more patients accessing services outside Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. As the CCGs will have to meet these costs can they supply the cash flow estimates for this work which will relocate elsewhere as a result of Reconfiguration?


3.    Any attempt to clarify with the CCGs how much capital and revenue has been allocated to community services has not been answered on the grounds that only UHL acute capital is being considered. We were, therefore pleased the June CCGs Extraordinary Board Meeting approved “creating a primary care urgent treatment centre at Leicester General Hospital site and scope further detail on proposals for developing services at the centre based upon feedback and further engagement with the public.” Can the CCG explain why proposals did not also included community services for residents across LLR which are needed as a consequence of reconfiguration?


4.    The introduction to the Report of Findings tells us "Long gone are the days when any one of the hospitals would cater exclusively for the needs of patients in their own distinct geographic area. Instead, patients are already used to visiting any one of the three city hospitals depending on the required specialism, clinical staff and bed availability.” Do the CCGs have patient flows to back up this statement? Do Rutland & East Leicestershire patients (as a percentage of population) use proportionally more of the specialities delivered from the General Hospital site compared with the other sites?


From Lorraine Shilcock:

1.    What is the meaning of the following statement on p25 of the Decision-Making Business Case? “However , work is ongoing with the New Hospital Programme to agree the scope of inclusion in the programme, and the potential sources of capital.”


2.    Which proposals/services do you plan to cut if the necessary finances are not forthcoming?


From Sally Ruane:

·         What changes have been made to the Building Better Hospitals for the Future proposals following public – not clinical- feedback?

·        I wish to raise concerns about the use of an "impartiality clause" used by the CCGs during the consultation process which would have had the effect of stifling the expression of points of view at odds with those of the CCGs.

Via a Service level agreement with an impartiality clause, the CCGs commissioned and remunerated organisations to undertake engagement with people as “supporters” of the consultation exercise. However, the impartiality clause obstructed the ability of these organisations to inform their members (or those they engaged with) of any concerns they had about the proposals and it obstructed the ability of these organisations to draw on independent sources or their own body of knowledge in responding to members’/followers’ questions.


The Impartiality clause stated “Organisations are not expected to express views or opinions on the consultation when engaging with their communities … and all queries and questions should be signposted to official literature or NHS leads”.

It appears, therefore, that these organisations far from being impartial, could be said to be the voice of the CCGs, able only to point people to the official literature so providing them with a single, very particular narrative.

1.    I would like to know if this practice is legal.

2.    I would like to know if this is seen as good practice and what dangers were considered in deciding to proceed with these agreements.

3.    Are the CCGs able to tell us what steps they took to ensure that organisations under contract informed their members/followers in any engagement they (the organisations) had with their members/followers that they were working under a service level agreement which contained an ‘impartiality clause’.

4.    How many of the 5,675 responses to the consultation were as a result of these contracts? 


These questions will be considered in accordance with Rule 10 of the Scrutiny Procedure Rules of the Council’s Constitution.


The Monitoring Officer reported that several questions had been submitted by members of the public as set out on the agenda.


The Chair outlined the procedure for the meeting and advised that these questions would be taken and responded to within the main item 10 on the agenda “Analysis of UHL Acute and Maternity Reconfiguration Consultation Results.” Where a full response was not available at the meeting a written response would be provided outside the meeting and appended to the minutes.