Agenda and minutes

Health Policy and Performance Board
Monday, 28th March, 2011 6.30 p.m.

Venue: Council Chamber, Runcorn Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Lynn Derbyshire on 0151 471 7389 or e-mail 

No. Item

(Note: Councillor M Lloyd Jones declared a Personal Interest in the following item of business due to her husband being a Non Executive Director of Halton & St Helens Primary Care Trust.)



Additional documents:


The Board considered a report from the NHS in Cheshire and Merseyside who were considering how they could improve the organisation of vascular services.


The Board was advised that vascular services were for people with disorders of the arteries and veins. These included narrowing or widening of arteries, blocked vessels and varicose veins, but not diseases of the heart and vessels in the chest. A document was attached to the report which explained what was proposed and why.


The Board was further advised that there was mounting evidence that patients who had their vascular operations in hospitals had fewer complications and lower death rates.  The NHS Cheshire and Merseyside were currently engaging with the public and other stakeholders about the way they proposed to change services in Cheshire and Merseyside. It was reported that they would like to achieve a balance between continuing to have more routine vascular services available locally and centralising major vascular operations to get the best outcomes for patients. The hospital consultants who delivered the service were fully supportive of the changes. 


It was reported that a meeting had been organised for NHS stakeholders and a public meeting had taken place in February 2011. In addition, joint meetings with several Merseyside oversight and scrutiny committees would also be taking place. Once this process had been completed, it was reported that the quality standards that arterial centres would need to deliver and the approximate number of such centres in Cheshire and Merseyside would be determined. In addition, it was anticipated that the work would be completed by May 2011.


The report advised that the engagement provided a valuable opportunity to learn more about stakeholders’ reactions to these changes. The main purpose of the change was to improve safety by ensuring that patients only had higher risk arterial surgery at sites able to achieve the best results. The change in the service was limited, however, for many patients using vascular services there would be no change, and for others the change would be confined to where their admission took place, with the rest of their care as it was now. For these reasons, it was highlighted that this did not represent a substantive change of service and a formal consultation process was unlikely to be required, but this was also a matter for the Board to determine.


In conclusion, it was reported that the recommendation would be announced in May 2011 and then from May to October 2011 preparation for reconfiguration would commence.  Reconfiguration would begin in November 2011 in phases and an update report would be presented to a future meeting of the Board.


The following comments arose from the discussion:-


·        It was noted that some areas of Halton had high levels of deprivation and travelling to hospital services further away would create financial problems. It was suggested that the service changes were being made to save money and clarity was sought on whether there would be any job losses as a result of the changes.  In  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.