A new community project in Dundee aimed at supporting people who are receiving end of life care at home, is seeking volunteers.
As reported in tonight’s Evening Telegraph, NHS Tayside is considering permanently closing James Arrott Drive in the Ninewells Hospital grounds to through traffic, following the completion of work on two major developments that have closed the road temporarily – the new nuclear medicine unit building project and a new extension to the assisted conception unit.
As I said in the Tele, I appreciate the problems of irresponsible speeding on this stretch of road but I hope NHS Tayside will consider all options, including traffic calming.
Today, I had a very productive meeting with Chief Superintendent Gavin Robertson, Detective Chief Inspector Shaun McKillop and Inspector Dave Scott from Tayside Police, following concerns about break-ins in parts of the West End.
The police representatives emphasised that the police are giving high priority to the break-ins situation across the Dundee Division of Tayside Police. Specifically, in terms of Beat 26 in the West End Ward, which covers the east part of the ward (excluding the Perth Road corridor) from the river up to Pentland, there has been significant targeted police resource being put in and in terms of detection and prevention this is showing signs of improvement with a detection rate above the city average (covering both theft and reset). Use of proactive patrols and intelligence-led stop and search is proving helpful.
The police are keen to ensure that residents are given good security advice and we had a very useful discussion about promoting and extending controlled entry systems for tenement/flatted properties. They are also keen to meet with local residents’ groups to update them on what action is being taken both to prevent and detect thefts from houses, garages and sheds in the area.
A new crime prevention advice book is also being published and I have asked for copies for constituents.
I am pleased that the police are taking very proactive and positive steps to tackle this serious issue.
Given the concerns we all have about thesuicides of young people in the city over the summer, this was an important event to discuss suicide prevention measures being taken locally, multi-agency working, and support for people and their families.
I asked questions about support and about awareness training. A full report on the outcomes from today’s meeting will go to the council’s Social Work and Health Commitee. Full details of the Scottish Government’s Choose Life campaign is available athttp://www.chooselife.net/.
As reported in today’s Courier, the issues have been resolved and I pay tribute to NHS Tayside for its willingness to discuss my concerns and react positively to the points I made. Here is the letter that I have received from the NHS Tayside Chief Executive :
Dear Councillor Macpherson
I had raised concerns with Professor Tony Wells and have received the following response :“Thank you for your e-mail of 27 May 2010 regarding the transportation of controlled drugs via the Service 333 Hospital Link Bus.
I wish to advise you that following the recent extension of the bus route to include Royal Victoria Hospital, ad hoc pharmacy requests for items required outwith the scheduled delivery service are being transported via this method. Controlled drugs are not included in the items that are to be sent via this method of transport. I do however understand that when this service commenced there was one occasion when a controlled drug was sent to Royal Victoria Hospital along with a number of other pharmacy items. This was an error and measures have been put in place to ensure this will not occur in the future. The use of the bus to transport goods is seen as good use of an existing resource and a way of avoiding unnecessary expenditure. Any goods placed on and removed from the bus are carried out by NHS Tayside staff, with the goods being transported in a locked compartment.”
I have responded as follows : “I have concerns that any drugs are being transported by public transport and would ask what risk assessment has been carried out in this respect? What guidelines exist within the NHS in Scotland with respect to the transportation of drugs and do these clarify good practice in relation to transportation by public transport? Can I ask if the “locked compartment” is a static and unmovable part of the bus or is it a portable unit? Is it out of reach of a child? Can I also seek assurances that there is a responsible person of staff accompanying the transportation and that there are adequate security arrangements?”
I will update residents when I receive answers to these questions.
I am pleased to say that NHS Tayside has given me an invitation to meet with Gerry Marr, Chief Operating Officer, NHS Tayside, on Tuesday to discuss the issues and the concerns I have raised.
It is clear from medical professionals’ concerns that the proposals in relation to Ward 6 have thrown up very real issues and I therefore welcome the opportunity to meet with NHS Tayside.
It is particularly important that NHS Tayside hears Dundee constituents’ concerns give that Shona Robison, Public Health Minister, has unfortunately washed her hands of the issue.
I felt it was important that the Public Health Minister took action rather than simply listening to the views of NHS Tayside and apparently not hearing the views of patients and senior clinicians. I have been inundated with concerns from constituents about this matter and its all the more disappointing that Shona Robison has chosen not to listen to the concerns.
I do, however, hope for constructive talks on Tuesday with NHS Tayside, when I can highlight the issues raised by many constituents across the West End.
“Further to your letter of 11th May to me, I have continued to receive numerous concerns from constituents about the proposals relative to Ward 6 at Royal Victoria Hospital and these concerns have clearly been recognised by the senior clinicians who I understand have written to you to also voice their concerns.
I would be grateful if you would now consider reconsideration of the proposals that will give reassurance to my constituents who are most concerned about the effect on the quality of care for elderly people. “
Tonight, after a busy surgery at Blackness Primary School, I attended the West End Local Community Planning Partnership meeting that was kindly hosted (at short notice) by Tayside Police at the Lochee Police Station. There was a very useful update from Social Work on protecting vulnerable adults and children and on social work caseloads in the West End post code areas.
Lastly for today – following a letter inMonday’s Tele about an apparent mis-spelling in the quote from William McGonagall’s poem about the Tay Bridge rail disaster that is carved along the footway in Riverside Drive, the City Council advises me : “In response to the letter about the word ‘beatiful’ in McGonagall’s poem at Riverside, we would like to point out that the quote uses the poet’s own unique spelling.
In the spirit of historical accuracy, and in a nod to his idiosyncrasies, it was decided his version of the word would be retained.”
Following a flurry of concerns about the situation from constituents, earlier this month, I wrote to Professor Tony Wells, Chief Executive of NHS Tayside to voice concerns. His response is pasted below.
During the recent general election, Ms Robison’s colleagues in the SNP had made much of a “community charter” they had launched that First Minister Alex Salmond said was a ‘contract with the community’. This document committed SNP parliamentarians to campaign against cuts to our local services and in this case actions speak louder than words and I hope Shona Robison will stand up for Ward 6 at Royal Victoria Hospital.
It is clear from the medical professionals’ concerns that the proposals in relation to Ward 6 that there are very real issues here and it is important that the Public Health Minister takes action here. I have been inundated with concerns from constituents about this matter and I hope NHS Tayside listens carefully to concerns raised by senior doctors and by the wider community.
LETTER RECEIVED FROM THE NHS TAYSIDE CHIEF EXECUTIVE :
“Dear Cllr Macpherson
I refer to your email addressed to both myself and Tony Wells regarding the concerns of one of your constituents around the changes to Family Planning Services in Dundee.
Sexual and Reproductive Health Services (SRHS) is a unified service hosted within Dundee Community Health Partnership (CHP). Until recently there were two sites in Dundee, Ryehill Health Centre which focused mainly on reproductive health and contraceptive advice (family planning) and the Ninewells clinic which focused on specialist sexual health screening (genitourinary medicine). The new integrated model based in Ninewells Hospital combines both family planning and genitourinary medicine.
The move to integrate the two parts of the service is in line with both local NHS Tayside and national Scottish Government policy and is planned for all Health Boards in Scotland. During 2005 NHS Tayside and the community planning partners developed the Tayside Sexual Health and Relationships Strategy, which was endorsed by the Board of NHS Tayside in November 2005. One of the strategic aims contained in the action plan was “to build capacity across the clinical services and increase access to specialist sexual health services.”
The first phase of this integrated service model has brought together genitourinary medicine and family planning onto one site at Ninewells to provide “a one stop shop” for patients and to make best use of resources. The ability to have these services on one site has undoubtedly improved the patient journey. The clinical team are able to provide enhanced services, work out of hours and expand the range of services available to patients at their clinic visit.
The service is currently based in an out-patient clinical area on Level 7 at Ninewells Hospital. The Ninewells site was chosen as the base for Dundee as an interim measure as this site has the clinical accommodation and support services required (eg laboratory services) to offer patients all aspects of a specialist sexual and reproductive health service.
The ultimate aim is to move the unified SRHS to a more central community based site, and to offer a specialist service with strong links into Dundee’s localities utilising a hub and spoke model. This model is supported by the staff in SRHS and our colleagues in primary and secondary care, the voluntary sector and local authority.
This new service offers a full range of care and specialist interventions which include Contraception, Psychosexual Counselling, Menopause Clinics, Nurse Led Counselling Services, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) screening, Health Advisory Services, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Clinics and Specialist Genital Skin Clinics. A specialised young people’s service is offered in conjunction with colleagues from child protection and there are plans to develop generic young people’s services.
As a service we are trying to target the vulnerable and hard to reach groups and tackle some of Tayside’s unenviable sexual health statistics. The Ninewells site has already attracted more young people and is accessible through many of the main bus routes throughout the city.
I hope this has given an insight into some of the decisions taken to improve the patient journey and the resultant changes to service delivery in Dundee and how as a specialist service we plan to move forward.
Chair, NHS Tayside”