Secretary For Scotland's Report for Guild Council Meeting 12.6.2002

Launch of College of Pharmacy Practice in Scotland 30.5.02

I was invited to attend the launch of CPPiS in Glasgow on behalf of the Guild and was delighted to be able to do so. The launch was well attended and it was useful for networking. I had a discussion with Ian Simpson and Angela Alexander, Chief Executive and Chair of CPP respectively, about the Effectiveness of Hospital Pharmacy project and whether the CD-ROM version had yet been issued as neither Ian nor I had actually been sent a copy.

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Scottish NHS Committee 22.5.02
There was some discussion over the appearance of staff members’ address and National Insurance number on the new style pay slips and noted that requests to remove them had been successful in some areas. It was agreed that a standard MSF letter should be sent to all reps to request the removal of these details.

Lobby on Stress: Each delegate was asked to assess the staff survey results from their own trust for information on stress, highlight it and send it to Sharon Duncan, Secretary of the Committee. The information will be discussed at the next meeting of the Scottish Executive Group (SEG).

Part time workers: Considerable discussion took place on the entitlement of part time workers to the Jubilee holiday and the definition of the term “pro-rata”. Although Whitley may say that they are not entitled to it unless they are supposed to work the day, current legislation states that there must be no discrimination against part time workers. Whitley cannot be used to defend something which is illegal. Morally, everyone should get an extra days holiday. It was agreed that the committee send a letter to the Scottish Partnership Forum asking them to define the term “pro-rata” centrally for the whole of NHS Scotland. Michael Fuller will issue a press statement on the subject on behalf of the committee.

Covert surveillance: A model policy and procedure has been imposed on each trust. This is the consequence of a court case on European Human Rights legislation. An Act of Parliament had to be passed to provide a structured response to the ruling. It was agreed that guidance should be sought from the legal office.

Recruitment: The Recruitment Committee of Regional Council is looking into provision of area specific recruitment literature. It was noted that Amicus-MSF Glasgow office can produce as many or as few specialised leaflets as required. They are useful if a specific target group of workers has been identified. A sample will be available at the September meeting, but the Secretary will email a copy of the leaflet to everyone for comment.

Michael Fuller

Internal: In some internal Amicus-MSF reshuffling, Michael Fuller will once again be responsible for Forth Valley and Fife NHS areas.

Merger: A meeting on May 8th between the senior management teams was described as positive. A logo for the new union as been agreed but will not be revealed until Conference. Membership lapses: There was some concern over head office clearance of member records. Michael Fuller was trying to find out which (ex-?)members were being removed and would circulate a list when it was available. This could have serious repercussions for staff relying on membership for professional indemnity cover.

Partnership: The Director of HR is convening a meeting of Chief Executives and HR directors on 6th June around the Scottish Partnership Forum (SPF) and the HR Forum (HRF) arrangements. This should ensure everyone is aware of the remits of the two groups and what items will be dealt with centrally. A meeting of the Joint Chairs before the end of May should decide the constitutions of the SPF and HRF.

Staff Governance: This needs to be revisited in the light of the staff surveys, the results of which are beginning to be available. The Staff Governance Standard has been completed and published. Action plans now need to be developed on the basis of the surveys. It was disappointing that no local health plans (LHPs) included a financial strategy for staff governance and even more disappointing that some LHPs did not even mention staff governance. There are major implications in the equal opportunities and family friendly policies to be introduced by the end of the year. There are also other financial pressures such as training, facilities, Working Time Directive etc. Staff development cannot be funded from existing monies.

Agenda For Change: The publication of the job ranking order has been postponed. Some confirmation work is being done on the job evaluation system. A substantial amount of information should be made available in June and July as some of the areas will require a degree of consultation. The process should be complete by mid-September and there will then be a 2 month consultation period with a workplace ballot in mid-November. A series of professional meetings are to be arranged in addition to the multidisciplinary meetings. A full time officer will attempt to attend local meetings at hospital/departmental level. Theses meetings must be open to other staff as they are information meetings and a great recruitment opportunity. In addition, NHS Scotland will organise joint roadshows.

Review of NHS in Scotland: An advisory panel, chaired by the Health Minister, is being set up to review management and decision making within NHS Scotland. There will be a Project Board and 5 Project Groups –

Nominations are to be sought for the groups. The service is to bring in “the great and the good” and Amicus-MSF has been asked for nominations. Michael Fuller is the only trade unionist on the Project Board. Only two areas are not being considered at the moment
  • Co-terminosity with local authorities etc.
  • How the Health Department develops policy (as this is a cabinet matter)
Everything else will be scrutinised within the 12-15 month timetable on this project. There is also to be an NHS Scotland Forum consisting of about 100 organisations. The Guild is apparently already on the list of members. I would surmise that the group comprises the members of the previous Modernisation Board.

September Meeting: It was noted that the meeting was to be attended by Health Minister Malcolm Chisolm. Any specific questions for the minister should be forwarded to Sharon Duncan.

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Workforce Planning Action Day 15.4.02
I attended this meeting at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh which was addressed by the Director of HR for NHS Scotland and the Minister for Health.
A report of the meeting can be found here.

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Association of Scottish Trust Chief Pharmacists Meeting 26.4.02
New office bearers were elected at the Annual General Meeting. Christine Gilmour takes over from Kate McKean as Secretary, whilst Angela Munday and Susan Bishop are respectively Secretaries for the Acute and Primary Care Committees.

Extended nurse prescribing: It was agreed that the Executive of ASTCP should meet with the Executive of the Directors of Nursing Group to discuss extended nurse prescribing.

"The Right Medicine": There was some discussion over the funding available for implementation of "The Right Medicine" and which submissions had been successful and which not. It was agreed that a database of submissions and responses be created. Some SEHD responses had identified submissions as more appropriate for national rather than local agendas.

Workforce Planning Action Day: I gave a report on the meeting and there was some discussion on the pharmacy manpower problem. It was reported that around 50% of the 4th year students at Strathclyde appeared to be from the Far East and there was some concern over the number who would return there once they had graduated. Large numbers of overseas students help the universities' funding situation but do little to help pharmacy manpower problems. It was agreed that the Chair would write to RPSGB on this subject.

Cancer strategy: There was considerable discussion on what lessons could be learned from the cancer strategy. The models created for acute sector capacity planning were to be used for integrating primary care and public health. SEHD want to have details of how many patients require palliative care for cancer and what they might need from pharmacy services at every level from LHCC to Scotland as a whole. Success requires good communication between all the different groups involved. It was suggested that the plan should be written over the summer.

Pharmacy Specialists: Various requests are received for pharmacists to join different groups. SEHD want to increase the efficiency in responding to these requests. The RPSGB Scottish Executive (RPSGBSE) is a major route for these requests from non-pharmacists. SEHD feels that ASTCP has a role to play in supplying details of specialists. However, this should not take the form of a database needing constant updating. It was agreed that ASTCP should meet regularly with RPSGBSE. There was also a suggestion that a pharmacy forum including ASTCP, RPSGBSE, GHP and SPGC could be created.

New Medicines: It was reported that the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) is asking Health Boards not to use new drugs until they have been considered by SMC. The principle is sound and supported by ASTCP but there were concerns that it has been suggested that the way to achieve this is for pharmacists to refuse to dispense these drugs, despite the fact that it would be more effective to tell doctors not to prescribe them. It was agreed that to act in this way would be illegal and unethical. A position paper is to be prepared.

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GHPScot-Announce mailing list
The mailing list for members in Scotland is gradually expanding. Although the majority of members subscribed are from the west of Scotland, it is hoped that more members from the East and North will join when information starts flowing. Each Trust Chief Pharmacist present at the last ASTCP meeting was given a flier advertising the list to circulate within their Trust.

Colin Rodden
4 June 2002

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