Tonight, well I guess technically last night as it has gone past midnight, I attended the new Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee. First of all a scrutiny committee is a committee that scrutinise an area, in this case the Health and Social Care. So we, as a Committee, can get to the bottom of health and social care issues.
At first I wasn't sure I knew what to expect but I have to say out of the 7 years as a Cllr this was one of the best scrutiny committees that I have every attended. The main reason why I liked this one so much was because the Council have now taken over from the former Primary Care Trust, which oversees GP's and Hospital Wards etc and we had a presentation from the New Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group, the group set up to monitor this area. This was given by the Accountable Officer and the Clinical Chair of the Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group. This report and presentation allowed us to start, note the word start, to understand the new group and what they do. A copy of their report presented is here. One of the main issues that they want to understand is patients comments, both positive and negative, of what is going on at your GP or the hospital. This data will allow them to understand the picture on the ground and where things are going well and where things are wrong. So if you are asked by the Hospital or your GP after a visit whether you will give some feedback, please do so as we can get to know and understand what is going on. If we don't get the info then we don't know what is going on.
I put forward that GP's will already have your email address, should you have one, and if you go to hospital they may collect it there too, if they don't have it, and then email a customer survey after your visit. This will save on cost and time and the information can be fed back into the database. Other Cllrs said that older people will not use the Internet so we will miss their views and I agree but we need to use a number of different ways of reaching to patients but overtime as people use the Internet more and more this is the way MI (Management Information) will be collected by a number of different companies and organisations. I hope my comments are taken on board because I mentioned a recent visit a family member had at the hospital, which was good and at the end of the visit that person was given leaflets about the condition they had and how to cope with it. Then we where asked if we could receive an email where we could give feedback. My point here is if the doctor knows that you will get an email to ask for feedback the level of treatment will probably be higher because they want positive feedback.
The Chair Cllr Nigel Ash, didn't do a bad job of chairing the meeting, which is a big help as I have sat on committees where the chair is useless and you don't get much done or questions asked.
I don't claim to know much about this new area but I hope to get to learn more and more as my time on the committee and I will keep you posted on issues being discussed and don't forget to leave feedback, negative or positive so we can understand what is going on.