To consider the attached report.
Councillor Whetton introduced the item and expressed that he had wanted to consider this at the first meeting of the year due to local concern about the Minor Injuries Unit. The Chair noted that a review was ongoing and more in-depth information would not be available until later in the municipal year.
The Director of Strategy for MFT gave an overview of the report provided to the Committee. The Committee were informed that the Minor Injuries Unit had been closed during the pandemic due to the need to provide safe conditions while dealing with staffing pressures. While the staffing pressures remained within MFT the organisation had reached a point where an options appraisal could be conducted, with support from Trafford CCG, over July and August with the view of reopening the unit as soon as it was safely practicable to do so.
Following the overview Councillor Akinola asked what impact the closure had on other services. The Director of Commissioning for Trafford CCG responded that she would share the exact information after the meeting, although the closure would have impacted Wythenshawe hospital.
Councillor Taylor noted that one of the main reasons listed for the closure was the lack of sufficiently qualified staff to fill roles within the unit and asked whether they had looked at further recruitment. The Director of Strategy for MFT responded that it was difficult to recruit staff to those rolls due to job’s specialised requirements. MFT were in the process of training more staff, but it took two years to gain the required qualifications. Councillor Taylor asked whether MFT had looked at recruiting any other health care professionals to fill positions and The Director of Strategy for MFT responded that he would have to provide the information after the meeting, as he did not have it to hand.
The Corporate Director for Adult Services informed the Committee that the options appraisal would come back to the Committee as part of the larger piece of work around the urgent care strategy and would link into the changes to the Integrated Care System and the demand changes with elective care recovery plans etc.
Councillor Young asked whether it would be possible to have less qualified staff at the Minor Injuries Unit who could take care of lesser injuries and signpost residents if more serious treatment was required. The Councillor spoke of a resident from Stretford who had gone to Trafford General for minor burns and was told that they would have a 7 hour wait and ended up leaving to go to a pharmacist instead. The Director of Strategy for MFT responded that through the options appraisal and urgent care strategy MFT would look at how to re-open the Minor Injuries Unit safely and effectively to ensure that residents had access to the right care in a timely manner.
Councillor Hartley asked about the root cause of the national issues in recruiting EMPs and whether there were any plans which would address those issues. The Director of Strategy for MFT responded that there were multiple factors which had led to a national shortage of EMPs, which included a lack of training. The national shortage had led to additional issues around recruitment as MFT were competing with other trusts and providers for staff. The Director of Commissioning for Trafford CCG added that the locality team would review access to care across the whole system through the urgent care strategy to see how it could be streamlined, as in Trafford there were many access points which many people found it confusing.
Councillor Lloyd asked whether people were using the 111 service and whether that was working to direct people to the correct access point. The Director of Commissioning for Trafford CCG Responded that the 111 services were available through telephone and the internet. The service was directing people to the correct access point or dealing with patients completely over the phone, where appropriate. Good feedback had been received from residents about the effectiveness of the service and there had been a drop in foot traffic since the service was brought in. The Director of Commissioning for Trafford CCG offered to share the exact data with the Committee after the meeting.
The Corporate Director of Adult Services asked if there was a service in place that Councillors or Members of the public could use to communicate any issues to MFT and the Integrated Care System’s attention. The Director of Commissioning for Trafford CCG responded that was not currently in place, but it was something that they would look at offering.
Councillor Hartley asked whether the NHS had access to information about complaints relating to how long people are waiting with minor injuries at Trafford General and Wythenshawe Hospital. The Director of Commissioning for Trafford CCG responded that had access to this information through formal complaints, but none had been received recently. The Director of Commissioning for Trafford CCG added that she would look at utilising the Pals service as it was a more informal process than formal complaints.
The Chair shared that he had experienced walking into Wythenshawe hospital and hearing an announcement of a 9 hour wait to be seen and could understand residents’ concerns and frustrations. The Chair spoke of the importance of keeping the public informed of what was going on to ensure that rumours were not filling in for reliable information and suggested that a press release be provided for residents.
1) That the report be noted.
2) That additional information be sent by the Director of Strategy for MFT and The Director of Commissioning for Trafford CCG.