Secretary For Scotland's Report for Guild Council Meeting 8.5.2008

Group Meetings
I am not aware of any group meetings having taken place since my last report. Once again some activity is going on within Edinburgh to see if the Edinburgh and South East Scotland Group can be revived.

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In the Press
01.04.08 - On 1st April, prescription charges were reduced from £6.85 to £5.00, a cut of 25 per cent. There was also an immediate cut of 51 per cent in the cost of prescription pre-payment certificates (PPCs).

29.03.08 - Community Pharmacy Scotland, the body that negotiates on behalf of community pharmacy contractors in Scotland, is opposing plans for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society to take on the regulation and registration of pharmacy technicians. The CPS also questions the need for technicians working in the community to face statutory regulation at all.

10.04.08 - The RPSGB and the Care Commission have signed an agreement to work more closely on ensuring medicines are managed safely in Scotlandís care sector. The two organisations have agreed how best to work together to achieve their respective aims, while ensuring the health, safety and well-being of the public, with experts from both groups exchanging information, and co-ordinating areas of joint interest.

12.04.08 - Community pharmacists in the Forth Valley have become the first in Scotland to provide patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) a tailored pharmacy-based service.

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NHS capital funding allocations
Capital funding of £525 million for NHS facilities and the upgrade of equipment and IT systems was announced on 10/03/2008. Health boards across Scotland will share £324 million for 2008-09 to build new fit-for-purpose facilities and to improve existing facilities. The rest of the £525 million will be spent on specific projects in areas such as e-health, primary care and primary and community care premises. The Scottish Ambulance Service will buy new ambulances and defibrillators. Boards' formula allocations are planned to rise to £329 million in 2009-10 and £334 million in 2010-11, while the overall capital resource is planned to increase to £553 million and £598 million respectively over the same period. The total investment over the three-year period is £1.6 billion.

Among the projects to benefit are two in NHS Highland - a new 24-bed community hospital at Bonar Bridge in Sutherland and a new day surgery centre at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, work on both of which will start next year.

Health BoardFunding/£m
Ayrshire and Arran21.451
Dumfries & Galloway9.023
Forth Valley14.534
Greater Glasgow and Clyde97.417
Western Isles1.902
National Services Scotland5.75
Scottish Ambulance Service15.18
NHS 241.608
Golden Jubilee National Hospital9.678
State Hospital20.263
Quality Improvement Scotland1.790

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Scottish Health Service Senior Reps Committee 25.4.07 & 25.1.08
Scottish Partnership Forum : 3 issues in front of the SPF.
  • Better Health Better Care mentions mutuality instead of partnership where there is a common ownership by patients and staff.
  • Health Board elections. A major debate has to be had on the election process. Who are the candidates representing?
  • National Resource Allocation Committee. Discussing how to divide up the resources and looking at the impact of changes to the Arbuthnot Formula.
Scottish Workforce and Governance Committee : 4 issues
  • The review of PIN Policies over the next year. Some boards have better policies; some haven't implemented them at all. The schedule has been circulated on the SEG list. The priority has been decided as Dignity at Work (or bullying and harassment) as there have been major difficulties in implementing it. The PDP policy is urgent too. As each process is defined, info will be fed out to reps.
  • Staff Survey which will run next year
  • Equality and diversity will be looked at again. There is to be a major drive to encourage efficiency and productivity
  • Uniforms for everyone (white, green and blue!) These have been tested in Tayside and Ayrshire. This is meant to be a single procurement exercise. The attempt is to move to blue for clinical staff and green for non-clinical staff. Only Chief Executives have been excluded. Protective clothing will also be excluded and there is a suggestion to exempt administration staff. They want to go out to tender in the Autumn. There will be separate reviews for changing facilities and laundry. There are currently about 200 uniforms and it should be possible to reduce it, but 2 is probably too far.
Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee:
  • Annex R : The next meeting is 30/4/08 and it is hoped to reach agreement and get the circular out early next month. Back pay and superannuable status all have to be sorted. Management are currently saying no to any other protections. The Western Isles put in for an RRP for building trades. This was stopped as it is currently under consideration by the Staff Council.
  • Generic nursing in the Community is causing a bit of heat in the system and the timetable appears to be slipping
  • Regulation of Healthcare Support Workers : still awaiting feedback from the pilots in Lothian, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire & Arran.

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Review of NHS Production in Scotland
The national review of Pharmacy Production continues. Staff in both Tayside and Glasgow have been briefed about the work done so far.

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Agreement has been reached at STAC about paying RRP to those staff listed in Annex R of the Terms and conditions Handbook. Some wording remains to be tidied up, but a letter should be going out to the service very shortly.

Colin Rodden
6 May 2008

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