Councillors and committees
To consider questions from the gallery on items which are not on the agenda
Councillor Rowena Bass explained the role of Health Scrutiny and that question time provides a brief opportunity for people to ask questions about topics which are not on the agenda. She added that the Panel would not accept any questions which have previously been asked at Health Overview Panel meetings. Councillor Bass explained that the Panel is a committee of the council but it is not a public forum and there are a number of other health forums which may be better placed to receive detailed questions from the public. She added that the Panel would take steps to help ensure future forum events are better known locally.
Councillor Bass requested that questioners keep their questions concise.
Mr Carl Kember asked the following questions:
1. Air Quality - will the Panel write to the Mayor of London requesting the introduction of cleaner buses in Kingston and could notices be displayed at the bus station to inform the public about the poor air quality?
Chair stated that these requests would be consider as part of the work programme.
2. Bereavement counselling - could the panel look into the provision for bereavement counselling for new widows who need to wait for considerable time for help? He added that a number of councillors are young student councillors from NESCOT who are counselling people who are much older than themselves.
Tonia Michaelides stated that if there is a particular case of a bereaved person experiencing a long delay in accessing counselling then this could be raised in writing to the CCG although this is not something that has been identified by GPs. Tonia Michaelides also agreed to look into trainee counsellors if details can be provided of who the trainees are working for.
3. Mr Kember asked whether the Panel will agree to continue to monitor the proposed changes to assessments for Autism.
The Chair agreed to add this topic to the list of items to be considered for the work programme.
4. Mr Kember pointed out that the Panel was poorly attended by the public and could more be done to encourage better attendance?
The Chair responded that if people find that the work programme is of interest to them then they will come along. The Chair added that she had recently phoned Mr Kember and offered to meet him outside of the Panel meeting.
5. Mr Kember requested the Panel to look at the way nearby London Boroughs of Wandsworth, Richmond and Merton run their HOSCs.
The Chair and the Vice Chair stated that they had attended a recent Centre for Public Scrutiny Conference for Health Scrutiny where they had met colleagues from other Boroughs. The Vice Chair added that she had been on a CfPS Scrutiny Course earlier today and assured Mr Kember that they will be looking at best practice and find better ways of making HOP more applicable. The Chair added that she had a professional background in scrutiny but not in health and very keen to make this worthwhile.
James Giles asked the following questions:
6. Why Choosing Wisely was not included on the agenda this evening?
It was explained that this is still undergoing consultation.
7. Why the electronic screens were not working?
The Democratic Services Officer explained that unfortunately the equipment had been disassembled prior to the meeting in error and whilst officers had done their best to provide the audio system and webcasting it was not possible to reconnect the screens and electronic voting would not be possible on this occasion.