The meeting scheduled for 10th October 2005 was postponed until 11th November and I was able to attend.
It was agreed that details of elected delegates attendance at Committee meetings should be reported back to the next Scottish NHS Sector Conference in March.
AfC : Two big issues were reported. The first is that the Health Department is now performance managing Health Boards implementation of AfC. SPRIG have done this over the last few years in a "hands-off" way and have tried to facilitate progress. SEHD will now manage it in the same way they manage other targets.
The second was the direct intervention of the Minister. At each of the Accountability Reviews, he was apparently given absolute assurances that the bulk of assimilation would be done by the end of the year. He has sent a letter to all the Board Chairs to say he is unhappy that it has not happened. Now, Nursing, ancillary, admin & clerical and AHP staff are to be assimilated by the end of the year or Boards have to tell him why not. The Employee Directors present at this meeting each refuted the claim of a specific date being set.
It is expected that the majority of the work will be done by March. The volume of job descriptions and the matching capacity are the main problems in the system. The assimilation letters will then be issued and back pay is likely to be paid about three months later. Local evaluations will take place only after matching has been completed and only once these have been finished will there be any reviews.
Greater Glasgow have permission to assimilate ancillary staff and will probably do so in January, possibly December. However, SPRIG must approve assimilation requests before any assimilation can take place.
There was some concern about reports that the GRAMPAA system to be used for assimilation could only cope with 2-2,500 staff per month. It was explained that this was the data entry capacity for Grampian. The system could assimilate as many as were entered, but the data entry capacity of each Board was the rate limiting step. Highland said they could probably only manage 800 per month.
It was noted that Speech & Language Therapists have similar problems to pharmacists south of the border. Inconsistent matching is a feature of the results. There was also concern that short cuts might be taken after the Minister's intervention. It is known that the Minister wants this off the table in 6 months. It was appreciated that the letters had put on some pressure and eased some of the difficulties in getting staff released for AfC work.
KSF : Apparently there is no sum of money allocated for this work. It was suggested that perhaps SPRIG should take a lead in organising different Boards to tackle different staff group profiles on a national level. Chief Executives are now asking where the money is to be found 1-2 years down the line when this is in operation and has to be sustained.
Benefits Realisation : Boards will be required to submit quarterly reports on benefits realisation - effectively AfC mkII. This is likely to be top of the agenda next year.
Pensions : Discussions really only restarted in the last month when the Government conceded totally that the NPA should remain at the current age of 60. The protocol which mentioned no detriment hasn't been agreed by staff side, who thought it applied to all provisions, whilst the Government thought it applied only to the NPA. It is hoped this will be resolved fairly quickly at a meeting later this month. The target is to have new pension proposals by next March and agreement by next June. A lot of discussion has still to take place, but everything is on hold until resolution of the above.
Partnership Review : The review has recommended the work be apportioned to three groups -
Scottish Partnership Forum (SPF) : Looking at strategic issues in a systematic way, starting with the Kerr Report. Tripartite with unions, service and Health Department
Scottish Workforce and Staff Governance Committee (SWAG) : Pulling together the Workforce Strategy Group, PIN Board, Occupational Health etc. Tripartite.
Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee (STAC) : for hard negotiations. Only two sides with the Health Department sitting with the service as the management side vs staff side.
There are two issues - the numbers and composition of each and the office bearers. The Staff Side Office Bearers have been agreed as:-
||James Kennedy (RCN)|
||John Gallagher (Unison)
||Michael Fuller (Amicus)|
||Anne Thomson (RCN)
||John Gallagher (Unison)
||Glyn Hawker (Unison)|
||Gillian Lenaghan (RCM)
Staff side will have 15 seats on the SPF and 18 seats on both STAC and SWAG. In addition, the Chair of the Employee Directors Group will have a seat on SWAG. Amicus will have two seats on each committee. Michael Fuller will sit on all three committees and be joined by Fiona Farmer on the SPF and Billy Parker on STAC and SWAG.
Workforce Strategy : The Framework has been published and the National Workforce Committee has been disbanded. The question of how to take the work forward has still to be addressed.
AOCB : At some point the situation surrounding Argyll and Clyde will need to be considered.
There was some discussion about pursuing a legal claim against Greater Glasgow Health Board over their refusal to implement paid parental leave. As PIN guidelines are no part of the contract of employment, GGHB are in breach of contract. It is also important as several other health boards are waiting to see what happens in Glasgow before proceeding themselves.
Pharmacy Postgraduate Advisory Group Meeting 22/11/05
I will be able to update Council on this meeting on Thursday.
Association of Scottish Chief Pharmacists
I have attended one meeting of the Acute Group since the last Council meeting.
Scottish NHS Sector Conference
The 2006 conference has been arranged for 3rd March 2006 and will be attended by Gail Cartmail.
There There have been no consultations since the last council meeting that I am aware of, but a couple of reports have been issued.
18 November 2005