Monthly Meeting, 14th February 2023

Alastair Kennedy
Steve Christie
Brian Irvine
James Wiseman
David Chapman
Graham Jarvis
Hazel Lawson
Katherine Bowditch
Joyce Bremner
Richard Dyce
Councillor Amber Dunbar
Councillor Graham Leadbitter
Councillor John Divers
Councillor Peter Bloomfield
Councillor Sandy Keith
Sean Cody
Dr Robert Lockhart

Alison Stockley
Douglas Clark
Neil Alexander

Councillor Jérémie Fernandes

  1. Welcome & Apologies
  2. Update on GP Practice changes (NHS letter re-upgrade)
    • RL explained the pressures facing primary care:
      • Demographic changes – disproportionally affecing North Scotland
      • On-going recruitment challenges
      • Clinical demand increases
    • Why are Moray practices using electronic triage? Used across the country with our model used across Grampian. It was brought in during Covid. RL recognised that using e-consult could be a frustrating process, and that it wasn’t the best software. Questions shown to patients are sometimes poor, but overall it provides valuable info, and allows for better resource planning.
    • Pre-covid there was no e-triage in Grampian, although it was working in Stonehaven. Triage was previously done using receptionists, but RL claimed that there was up to 6 weeks wait to see a doctor because of this. E-triage allows for better targeting of services.
    • System had great potential, but implementation had by necessity happened too quickly, with no warning to patients.
    • RL then took questions:
      • GJ felt e-consult was not easy to use for older patients. RL was clear that currently it was “the only show in town” . Upgrades were expected over the summer. RL accepted that it was not a well-designed software, and the results could be over-cautious. GJ wanted to highlight that cardiac nurse practitioners at Maryhill are excellent.
      • JW the issue with using e-consult was not knowing what the next question is. JW wondered about “opening hours” for e-consult times does operate? Can it only be submitted between certain times. RL noted that opening times are different for each practice. Practices still encourage people to call up. JW felt that the issue for people who are not up in the morning being able to arrange. Can times be changed? RL explained that there is a lot of admin behind the scenes, preparing details for Doctor. JW asked what the difference between e-consult data collected between 6 & 9, and calling reception in the afternoon, and that benefits were not available to users that can’t use it in the morning. RL noted that it takes 8-10 mins for staff to process each e-consult request. JW asked if this was less labour intensive than processing a phone call? RL explained that Maryhill’s issue is that the telephone system is tied into Dr Gray’s system.
      • PB was concerned that people are expecting patients to be online. He had raised it at the IJB, and had received no answer. RL made it clear that people can phone, or get someone to complete an e-consult on their behalf. PB wanted to note that the Moray Coast practices closing has caused a lot of worry. Pharmacy in Burghead & Hopeman may be closing.
      • GL was worried about the consistency between different practices, and people’s perception of different medical professions. Some people will want their own GP. More work needs to be done to encourage trust in Nurse Practitioners and Pharmacists. RL said that every GP Practice in Moray has different resources – and that capacity was exceeding demand. Surgeries invest a huge amount of time in training practitioners within practices. There is work that can be done in public understanding. GL said one good example was patients not wanting to share details with receptionists. Sean Cody felt that the Scottish Government were doing a lot of work with Television Ads. He wondered if there another way to get this across to the Public locally. GL felt that a leaflet with local names and faces on it might be a good approach.
      • JB said that the changes were not communicated well, and that the skills of different medical professionals not well understood. GJ suggested a campaign explaining what a Nurse Practitioner was. JB felt that the website not good for the people who neede it most. They don’t necessarily need to see a Doctor. RL Agreed. JW said that opticians are another good example.
      • RD wondered why is there not a standardised approach to the software, given the Grampian roll-out e-consult. RL said that only 75% of practices were using e-consult.
      • BI felt that people still did not know that they can still call surgeries, and that the communication wasn’t there. He had not known this was possible until this evenings discussion.
      • DC asked if Highland access Grampian records? RL said that within Scotland, your GP record transfers seamlessly between practices and hospitals
      • AK asked what’s needed to get things working. RL said that more clinical staff were needed, and cohesive recruitment strategy for Moray. Moray was behind in every health professional. Practices have had no time/opportunity to plan.
      • GJ noted that people don’t realise that GP Practices are also businesses.
      • Sean Cody said that Pharmacies, even in Elgin staffed by Locums, and that they are also struggling with staffing.
      • AK – thanked them Dr Lockhart & Mr Cody or coming.
      • JB had one further experience: she blocks unknown numbers and had missed messages from her practice as the practice “Can’t leave a message.” GL also noted that Moray Council numbers are also shown as “unknown”.
  3. Minutes of last meeting (10/01/23)
    1. GJ BI
  4. Matters arising
  5. Parking update
    1. GJ asked if St Giles carpark was being readied for full parking. GL answered it was not.
    2. PB noted that the Police had been issuing large number of parking tickets.
    3. JD said that the Corporate Committee had voted not to increase charges in Car Parks. The Police were not fully manned at the moment, and were only able to go out on parking patrols on an ad hoc basis.
    4. PB had a meeting Graham Mackie. Moray Council are the only council without parking wardens, which was a budgetary decision from Chief executive. AK asked who runs the council? JB asked about the Post Office vans parked in the TK Maxx carpark. JD said that the Post Office were paying Moray Council. GL said this was a result of closing the Lossie Post Office. AD made it clear that Councillors had a responsibility to balance the books. JB noted that it was difficult for prams to travel on Batchen Street. JW asked about the consultation on footpaths. GJ asked why Elgin was the only place in Moray where car parks are charged for. BI was concerned by the dangerous placement of signs by council staff shutting off a lane on the railway bridge. GL will pass this back to the roads department.
  6. Planning: JW said that there was nothing to report.
  7. Media & Engagement strategy: JW said that this was pressing ahead. Current discussions focussed on:
    • What can we talk about.
    • The need for an agreement process, based on full meetings.
    • A theme per month.
    • Engagement with young people. JB described previous experience where pupils produced project work during a placement scheme.
  8. Resilience: BI said that
    • There had been a further meeting the previous night.
    • The initial plan involved various hubs around Elgin. They will set up the main hub – in the Scout hall in Wards Rd – and use it as basic model. They have a container with generator, cooking equipment, etc. Street Pastors, Mens Shed, and Tesco are also keen to be involved.
    • They were working on an Individual Household Plan, with Gordon Rudiman & Moray Council
    • ECC are taking lead on this, and we are quite well forward compared with other areas.
    • Looking at a possible roadshow.
  9. Gulls
    JD – 6 Councillors met with officers, and have agreed the cost for this year, under £15k. They now need 8 sonic devices, in order to cover West End as well. It should all be in place before end of march. AK asked about sponsorship, and success criteria. Councillors were non-committal. JD said that in previous years, lasers and egg-removal had cost £22k. The Council can only look back on areas covered last time. AD thought that we might be able to tell through the reduction in requests from council properties. SK noted that additional companies within Elgin might be looking at sonic devices as well.
  10. Tug o’war – AK was waiting for organisers to get back to him after their meeting last week. AK will keep us updated.
  11. Tyock Burn rubbish: BI – feeding on bins that aren’t cleared. People were also littering directly into the Burn. PB had witnessed rubbish blowing from Robertson’s Retail park. JD said that the Burn was cleaned once a year. BI asked if the Moray Council could write a letter. GJ Positive Action group forming up again. AK asked if anyone could draft letter. GL offered.
  12. Warm Space – Thursdays between 2pm – 4pm. AK asked if committee members could attend.
  13. Transport forum – AK terms of reference had been discussed at the last JCC. The forum will now be under the JCC, and they are looking for people to volunteer.
  14. Committee system: AK said that the proposed committees were Roads & Transportation, Education, Environment, and Planning. After discussions, the following sub-committees were constituted:
    • Planning: BI, JW.
    • Roads & Transportation: DC, Douglas
    • Education: GJ, JB
    • Resilience
  15. Main Post Office hours of opening: BI – there was no main Post Office in Elgin on Saturdays now, only in Forres. PB noted that Lossiemouth has same problem.
  16. Elected members update.
    • PB:
      • Moray Council held a licensing committee meeting – 2 new licences. ‘Click’ whisky auctions, and ‘Deans’ Cocktail Bar. The MacMoray Festival had received 2 objections from Police, but these would be worked through. The festival this year plans to have 2 stages, with 406 stewards. A special meeting of the licensing committee will be held to ensure the re-application viewed in time.
      • PB will be going with Jamie Vardy to Schools to see how Police deal with education surrounding anti-social behaviour. Police had re-started the Community Football on the Plain Stones.
    • AD: The Parking Freeze had already been discussed. The Freeze was in order to allow time to ensure appropriate solutions.
    • SK noted that the gulls had already been discussed.
  17. AOCB
    • GJ noted that Duncan Davidson had died last week.
    • DC noted that The Floor Studio cars were still parking in disable spots outside the Linkwood Co-operative. RD said that the parking bays’ markings were badly worn. AK noted that we had written to them previously. JD pointed out that Springfield have management responsibility. DC will call them.
    • SC: Fife Arms close lighting will be happening in April. Acct #2 will need to be sorted in time. AK & SC to address the issue.
    • AK Cultural Quarter meetings: 16th – Arts; 27th – Grant Lodge.
    • RD raised the re-design of the Moray Council’s recycling calendar. Could it be reverted to a calendrical design.
    • DC discussed noted that applications for Brown bins weren’t processed properly.
    • AK: Regarding the Levelling-up Fund, there were rumours that Michael Gove had been invited to Elgin. PB confirmed this. AK suggested we invite Gary along to next meeting.
  18. Date of next meeting: 14th March