Secretary For Scotland's Report for Guild Council Meeting 17.6.2004

Agenda For Change PCT problems meeting 18.5.04
This was a very useful meeting to discuss the problems that the Primary Care Trust Chief Pharmacists see with Agenda for Change.

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Human Resources Forum
A Terms and Conditions Group for Scotland is to be set up, but it’s remit and composition have still to be agreed. It is the first obvious expression that T&C in Scotland may deviate from the rest of the UK. PIN workshops on fixed term contracts and recruitment & selection are to be held soon.

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Amicus Agenda for Change Training Day 1.6.04
There was some discussion about the new Amicus structures and a fairly heated debate about the failure of the union to sanction a meeting of the Scottish NHS Regional Sector Committee. There was some concern over conflicting messages coming from the NEC on both this and the role of the elected NEC members. The group were also concerned that the NEC appear to be completely oblivious to the realities of devolution.

Rumours were circulating that there was a possibility that the implementation date for AfC was likely to slip to 1.12.04, but the official date is still 1.10.04. However the Computer Aided Job Evaluation (CAJE) System was unlikely to be ready for October. The AfC Review was taking place and, although scheduled to report by the end of June, was considered more likely to report by mid-late July. This review would produce the final package of terms and conditions and any changes to the profiles and/or job evaluation package. As this will not be known by the time of the NHS National Conference on 27/28th June, there can be no Conference recommendation on whether to accept or reject the package in the ballot.

It was noted that, despite the confidentiality agreement surrounding the pilot scheme, some results from West Lothian had been published in the Scottish press. At the end of a two tabloid page report a small paragraph stated that the results were still confidential and that no-one would lose out anyway due to the protection arrangements! There is no information on how accurate the report was.

There was discussion on the “Train the Trainers” training. It was agreed it should be accredited. However, accreditation for each of the modules cost £50 (which should be paid by the employer) and the completion of a 2500 word essay per module. The latter came as a surprise to those attending the training and there was concern about the time that would be taken to research and complete these essays.

Local reports from each of the Health Board areas were then given.

Lothian: Not much happening except in West Lothian.

Yorkhill: Steering group up and running since start of the year. Have run 15-16 awareness sessions for staff. Getting job descriptions drawn up and identifying T&Cs that need to be looked at.

Glasgow: A Glasgow-wide exercise. Some concerns over their odd ideas of partnership, the thinking around generic job descriptions, attempts to redesign the service in line with AfC at the same time and understanding of basic parts of AfC. No senior HR people have been involved as yet.

Dumfries: Some structures are in place. A deadline of 1.6.04 for all job descriptions to be updated in line with the template produced by Golden Jubilee National Hospital (GJNH) had been given but was unlikely to have been achieved.

Borders: Much the same as Dumfries. Using GJNH JD template and deadline of end of July for JD update. Roadshows only reached about 5% of staff.

Lanarkshire: Their Pay Modernisation Board is meeting monthly. Amicus has run awareness sessions in each of the three main acute hospitals and is setting up a database of staff reps.

Grampian: Their Pay Modernisation Board (PMB) is looking at all three strands (AfC, GMS and Consultants). The AfC group has run several very successful sessions on JDs

Tayside: They are in the process of populating the subgroups of the PMB. Their biggest problem has been managers with their heads in the sand. Only now are senior managers looking at the resource implications.

Argyll and Clyde: Have a large programme of events. Looking for volunteers for matching panels to be set up by August.

Highland: Have found it very useful to be a virtual EI. Points noted -

The NHS Scotland JD framework was to be launched on 2.6.04. It has been amended slightly from the GJNH one.

Fife: Nothing has been done, or if it has, it has been done without informing Amicus.

Ayrshire & Arran: No updated JDs yet. Awaiting EI review.

Scottish Partnership Forum: The SPF met two weeks before and the main topic was the National Planning Exercise (which will also be under discussion at the NHSScotland Forum on 25th June). What will NHSScotland look like ion 10-20 years time? The Advisory Group is to report within a year and is concentrating on solutions, as the problems have already been identified. In financial year 2003/04, most areas were within budget except Argyll & Clyde, Lanarkshire and Grampian. Five-year recovery plans appear to have been shelved as Health Boards have been told they cannot have a deficit in 2004/05. Some areas have the problems of standard fees e.g. PFI/PPP, which reduces the flexibility for savings. New capital charging rates have also increased costs for most Health Boards.

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Agenda For Change PCT problems meeting 14.6.04
This was another very useful meeting with the Primary Care Chief Pharmacists on Agenda for Change. The output from these discussions should be a job description template of Primary Care Chief Pharmacist duties and responsibilities to be amended as appropriate for individual Chief Pharmacists.

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Amicus National Health Sector Conference - 27/28 June 2004
Unfortunately, due to a clash with holidays, I will be unable to attend this meeting.

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The website has been moved to a new server which allows the site to have members-only pages accessed using the same password and user-id as the site. This move was only made possible with the financial support of the Glasgow & West of Scotland Group which is appreciated. The site itself is getting a makeover both internally and externally. This process will be gradual rather than a “big bang” and some changes will be more visible than others.

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I have responded to several consultations on behalf of the Guild. These are
  • Emergency Workers (Scotland) Bill
  • Modernising NHS Community Pharmacy in Scotland
  • Safer for Patients, Supportive for Professionals: A Framework for Managing Poor Performance of Health Professionals and Teams in NHS Scotland
By the Council meeting, responses to the following consultations/requests should have been completed.
  • Further Measures to Improve the Provision of Primary Care Service
  • NHSScotland Leadership Development Framework
  • Health Committee Call For Written Evidence For Inquiry Into Workforce Planning In Scotland’s National Health Service

My thanks to those colleagues who provided comments for incorporation into my original drafts. All responses are available on the website consultations page. This also details current and future consultations and invites members to provide me with comments for inclusion in future responses.

Colin Rodden
14 June 2004

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