Secretary For Scotland's Report for Guild Council Meeting 29.11.2001

Association of Scottish Trust Chief Pharmacists Meeting 2.11.2001
I was unable to attend this meeting due to pressure of work. However, from the minutes I learned that a group was being set up to prepare a paper on the key issues relating to manpower, including recruitment and retention for presentation to the Chief Pharmacist and the Post Qualification Education Board. I contacted the Secretary and suggested that the Guild should be included in this group. Subsequently I received an invite to the first meeting of the group on 21st December 2001.

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Strategy for Pharmaceutical Care
At the ASTCP meeting it was noted that December 6th was the likely date for the publication of the Scottish equivalent to Pharmacy in the Future. A special meeting of the ASTCP to consider the document has been arranged for 11th January 2002. I hope to be able to attend.

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Organisational Changes
The Scottish Executive has announced the creation of a new Special Health Board to cover education, training and lifelong learning. It is to replace the three current bodies for

From April 2002, the three bodies will be combined and will eventually cater for all NHS staff.

This follows the announced creation of an NHS learning bank for Scotland, providing training and learning packages for all staff.

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Scottish NHS Committee Meeting 7th December 2001
Lee Whitehill, MSF Policy & Communications Officer, & Jeanette Swanson, Legal Officer, facilitated discussion on a previously circulated document entitled "Raising MSF NHS profile with the Scottish Parliament".

LW commented that the document covered a lot of the necessary ground and the three points he wanted to cover in his comments were

The meeting then split into two groups to come up with practical proposals.


Staff governance questionnaire

Michael Fuller had the first draft of the questionnaire which has been funded by the Scottish Executive at £1.50 / member of staff. Split into sections as would be expected and 12 pages at the moment in draft form. It must be completed by March and is not being done in house; each Board is doing it separately. Little will probably come back to Scottish Executive - for use locally by the Area Partnership Forum (APF). Draft survey is a set of minimum questions to which can be added local questions. The questionnaire is being studied by two Partnership Forums and it is planned to test it in two trusts later. The APF will look at the local health plan and decide priorities using the results from the survey.

It was suggested that the MSF survey agreed above could be run at the same time and if the results are different, MSF can argue against things. Survey would increase MSF credibility with Health Committee when we approach them.

Medical Secretaries

There is a Scottish agreement. However, North Glasgow Trust Branch of Unison has a long running campaign preceding the agreement. Industrial action appeared to have ended with a variation on the national agreement but there are different perceptions of what was agreed. Now they are on an all out strike. MSF was offered the same agreement as Unison but now undecided on how to proceed. MSF not involved in negotiations at national or local level. MSF members are entitled to apply for regrading under the new definitions and it is suggested that they do. MSF would prefer that the process goes forward for groups rather than individuals.

Advanced Practitioners

A Whitley Council agreement on cervical cytology has been produced but has not yet been issued in Scotland. It is felt that the only way this would move forward would be at a Scottish Executive level. Michael Fuller has had a meeting with a civil servant to try to get the Scottish Executive to issue the advance letter. MSF also want one such post created for each centre. It needs to be funded from the Scottish Executive and it has been suggested that they run the process of interviewing and appointment. Grading linked to grading definition MLSO4. MSF view that it should be linked on the specialisation rather than the management of a large dept. Need to investigate management responsibility within it. Might be directly to cytologist. However, must be recognised that this fixes only one part of the service. Still a lack of MLSOs and cytology screeners.

Dark Room disease

Certain doctors have done a lot of work on this and the effects of glutaraldehyde. Pathology and pharmacy technicians showing symptoms of Sjogrens disease should get it diagnosed as soon as possible as there is a 5% chance of lymphoma. Sensitivity to chemicals, dry eyes and dry mouth are all symptoms. A lot of people will not know why they are ill and will not connect it with work. Michael Fuller had written to Susan Deacon without reply. MF to chase up.

MSF West of Scotland Senior Reps meeting, 3rd December 2001

It was noted that this would be the last meeting as MSF. From 1.1.02 it will be Amicus. There will be a gradual process of integration. If craft members want to join AEEU and MSF groups into one, it is up to individual groups. But we are two unions for Partnership Fora etc until Jan 2004.

Organisation and Recruitment

Scotland hit the 1% target in October. Full Time Officers met with senior officers at end of October. There is no reason MSF shouldn't be up to 100% membership locally. Charts of members against eligible staff will be sent out next week. The 2 big areas are MTOs generally and A&C staff.

Scottish Partnership Forum (SPF)

The SPF meeting on 23.11 hopes to conclude the new structures around partnership. The SPF will move into more strategic issues - health plan, financial strategy and management of performance of the system. Operational matters should be done at trust level. Should have direct link with management of NHS at that meeting. The SPF is replacing the Modernisation Board and Forum and will be key advisors and have links with those making policy. HR content will be dealt with by a new Scottish HR Forum (HRF) to be set up in January.

Once agreed, MF will circulate details. It is not a Whitley Council. The HRF will be subject to SPF. The HRF will advise what the service issues are but SPF will make the decisions. There is still a lot to be worked out though. Negotiations could be carried out at subgroup level. Consensus agreement on priorities

All 15 Employee Directors of Unified Health Boards have been appointed.

There will be a Partnership conference next year

The Staff Governance Strategy is to be launched and the questionnaire will be out soon.

Agenda For Change

The net effect is that it has been set back until July next year. This is basically because the Govt will not make the financial commitment at this stage. SPRIG due to meet on 16.11. Susan Deacon committed to modernising pay system. Need to take cognisance of the July 2002 spending review. Alan Milburn has said that

If it goes to schedule, it is unlikely that we will be able to agree scale and pace of implementation. Does the MSF member ballot go ahead before the funding position is known or does it wait until July 2002? October 2003 for Scotland now looks precarious for 2 reasons.

  1. delay
  2. Scottish Parliament elections.

There need to be discussions on alignment of pay bands with current pay scales to give ideas of the amount of money involved. However, it is nowhere near that stage. NAC is reconsidering its strategy in light of these proposals. Does MSF try to push for the decision on PRB to be made? If members are not in PRB in 2002/3/4 then there will be major problems if differential pay offers are made. It was agreed that it would be useful to have a series of meetings throughout Scotland for reps to bring them up to date with what is happening.

Organisational Change Policy

It was noted that there have been disputes at local level about interpretation on the policy and about short term protection deals. Michael Fuller is writing a letter to Dumfries & Galloway to say that there can be no compulsory redundancies; no detriment means what it says - on all income and earnings and future increases; local short term protection deals are not allowed even if members and unions want it; but there can be a buyout of leads and allowances in agreement with unions on any organisational change. The letter will be sent to all HR directors. Management saying change is being stifled because of the policy and it was suggested that examples of changes which have been implemented under the OCP be collated.

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Meeting of Scottish Secretary with Chief Pharmacist Bill Scott and Michael Fuller
A meeting has been arranged for December 10th to discuss matters of mutual interest. Don Page will be attending and Jim Bannerman if he is able.

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Emergency Duty Negotiations
I am unaware of any successful negotiations locally to obtain an uplift for 2000/01 for the Emergency Duty Allowance. Attempts to start negotiations appear in the main to have been met with stalling tactics by management.

Colin Rodden
24 November2001

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