Agenda item

Review of Current Community Outpatient Services

Report of the Harrow Borough Director, North West London Integrated Care Board.


Members received a presentation on the report fromIsha Coombs,Harrow Borough Director, North West London Integrated Care Board, which described the purpose and the approach to the North West London Integrated Care Board’s review of community outpatient services within the context of all outpatient services in Harrow with the following highlights:


·                 A key priority for the review and provision of future services was to ensure that all patients/residents in Harrow had access to an equitable provision of service, no matter where they lived in the borough, or which GP practice they were registered with.


·                 Harrow CCG had become part of NHS North West London during the duration of a 10 year contract with Harrow Health Community Interest Company (HHCIC) for the provision of outpatient services.  As part of the forward planning for these services, some were being reviewed and would be procured across North West London while others would be reviewed locally.  The services being reviewed were detailed in the report.


·                 NHS NW London was committed to ensuring that the quality and waiting times for all services, in hospitals and the community, were equally scrutinised and inequitable waiting times were addressed.  This review was to ensure that access to services was simplified for GPs to use and provides the same level of access and provision for all patients in Harrow and NW London.


·                 A public survey was open until 25 February (four weeks) for feedback on ENT, gastroenterology, paediatrics and neurology services and as at 9 February, approximately 182 survey responses/comments had been received


·                 The survey was to ensure people had an opportunity to share their views on the current services and to gather their feedback on future service provision.  The feedback would be used to inform the service reviews and would form part of the recommendations.


·                 For each community outpatient service, the review would assess several options for the future provision of services to patients and a final decision on the preferred option would be made by the NWL ICB Executive by the 31 March 2023.


Members asked the following questions:


·                 A member asked if the on the response to the consultation was specific to Harrow residents, if it showed if they were services users and the success (or lack) of the various engagement channels used.  The Borough Director, NWL ICB explained that it was agreed that the consultation and methodology used, should not be analysed until after the closing date 25 February 2023 so as not to unduly influence the outcome of the consultation.


A Member asked why the consultation response (182 responses) was low given the size of the borough.  The officer explained that the services being reviewed had only 2000 appointments in the last year and the response was considered one of the highest received on surveys undertaken across North West London.


A Member asked if the results of the two reviews would be merged and brought to the committee and given that the contract for the provision of outpatient services would be expiring in the next six months if there was time to draft a new contract before it went to the providers.  The Director confirmed that, the consultation results where services were unique to Harrow would be brought back to the committee and that as the NWLICB Executive’s decision was expected by 31 March 2023, there was enough time to ensure the recommendations and the preferred options were brought back to the committee as appropriate.


The Chair asked about patients and public engagement, if focus groups with service users had been conducted by HealthWatch or the current service providers.  The Director explained that the current service providers had been instrumental in supporting the public engagement and had proactively contacted service users to provide feedback.  The Council’s team had been conducting focus groups, but it was not certain that Healthwatch had been invited to do more than share information in that bulletin.  The Chair suggested that officers should ensure that this had been actioned by Healthwatch.


A Member asked about what actions would be taken to reduce waiting times in the new contracts.  The Director explained that in all contracts ideal waiting times would normally be stipulated and monitored thereafter.  She explained that despite this, waiting times may still increase if demand exceeded capacity.


A Member asked about the duration of the review.  The Director explained that the review would be completed within the next 4 weeks.  She also explained that new contracts would be for a duration of three years with an option of extension for a further two years.


A Member asked if the expressions of interest had been invited from service providers.  The Director explained that no expressions of interests were invited as the results expected by 31 March would determine the service needed.


The chair suggested and the Director agreed that the results of contract reviews be circulated to Members and further future reviews be presented formally to the sub-committee.


RESOLVED:  That the purpose and approach of the North West London Integrated Care Board’s review of community outpatient services be noted.

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