Agenda and minutes

Health and Social Care Scrutiny Commission - Monday 11 July 2022 7.30 pm

Venue: Ground Floor Meeting Room G02A - 160 Tooley Street, London SE1 2QH. View directions

Contact: Julie Timbrell, Project Manager (scrutiny) 

No. Item



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    To receive any apologies for absence.



    Apologies were received from Councillor Esme Dobson, Councillor Barry Hargrove attended as a substitute.



Notification of any items of business which the chair deems urgent

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    In special circumstances, an item of business may be added to an agenda within five clear working days of the meeting.


    There were none.


Disclosure of Interests and Dispensations

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    Members to declare any interests and dispensations in respect of any item of business to be considered at this meeting.


    There were none.



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    To note the Minutes of the meeting held on 22 March 2022.

    Supporting documents:


    The minutes of the meeting held on 22 March 2022 were noted.


GP appointments

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    The presentation attached will be delivered by:


      Martin Wilkinson full time chief operating officer for Partnership Southwark, who will be leading the local team

      Dr Nancy Kuchemann is co-chair for Partnership Southwark


     They will be joined by Dr Femi Osonuga (Clinical Director of North Southwark PCN), Dr Gavin McColl (Clinical Director of South Southwark ( PCN).

    Supporting documents:


    The chair invited Martin Wilkinson, NHS full time chief operating officer for Partnership Southwark, to provide the presentation enclosed with the agenda. 


    He was joined by Dr Femi Osonuga (Clinical Director of North Southwark PCN), and a little later by Dr Gavin McColl (Clinical Director of South Southwark PCN), who gave apologies for lateness.


    Dr Nancy Kuchemann, co-chair for Partnership Southwark, was unable to attend and sent her apologies.


    The chair then invited questions and the following points were made:


    • Martin Wilkinson said that GP workforce capacity is reducing as there are less doctors and also more working part time as part of a portfolio career. The NHS is creating more specialist frontline roles, such as nurses, pharmacists, social prescribers working as part of the primary care team, and expanding the role of pharmacies to provide additional capacity. 


    • The Primary Care Networks allow practices to work together and specific services which includes offering extended access, providing  weekend and evening appointments.


    • The GP leads said technology is being utilised, such as smart phone applications (e consult) to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions.  They emphasised that there are safeguards in place for people who do not have a smart phone; patients can still come to the practice to book appointments or book using a telephone. 


    • A member reported that dozens of constituents are complaining that they are waiting for hours for an appointment on the telephone, and then they are cut off. People are reporting that the telephone systems tell them they will get a call back, however this might or might not happen. She referred to a recent case where a patient was unable to speak to a doctor about numbness in his feet and was told by a receptionist to take painkillers, and put their feet up – however the patient had diabetes, the toes went black, had to be amputated, and ultimately a fatal infection set in.  She also said another person queued every morning for weeks, as they were unable to navigate the phone system, however despite being first in line they were told by their surgery that appointments had already been allocated by telephone. By the time they were seen they had late stage cancer. She said that sometimes reception advice is not appropriate.


    • In response to the above the NHS leads said that the majority of patients are getting good care, however even one person getting poor care must be addressed. They assured the Commission that there is training with receptionists on interpersonal skills and teamwork, and recommended that the unfortunate patient outcomes of gangrene/ sepsis and the late stage diagnosis of cancer be reported as a significant event to the GP practices for learning.  They remarked that there is some learning more generally for the system on patient access.


    • Commission members said that there are people whose first language is not English who are ringing surgeries and are unable to understand the telephone message, nor do they have a smart phone,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


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