Agenda and draft minutes

Health Scrutiny Panel - Thursday, 16th December, 2021 1.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Fourth Floor, Civic Centre

Contact: Martin Stevens  Tel: 01902 550947 or Email:


No. Item


Apologies and Substitutions

[To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutions]. 

Additional documents:


There were no apologies or substitutions. 


Declarations of Interest

[To receive any declarations of interest]. 

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There were no declarations of interest. 


Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 491 KB

[To approve the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record.]


Additional documents:


The minutes of the previous Health Scrutiny Panel held on 7 October 2021 were confirmed as a correct record. 


Primary Care pdf icon PDF 327 KB

[To discuss Primary Care in Wolverhampton.  Report from Paul Tulley (Wolverhampton Management Director) of the Black Country and West Birmingham CCG, and Survey Report from Healthwatch Wolverhampton are attached]. 



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The Chair thanked Healthwatch Wolverhampton and the Black Country and West Birmingham CCG for the reports they had provided on Primary Care, included with the agenda for the meeting.  She emphasised that Health Scrutiny was not about criticism it was rather about helping to find solutions. 


The Wolverhampton Managing Director of the Black Country and West Birmingham CCG commented that since the last meeting in October where Primary Care was discussed, there had been the national publication of the Winter Access Fund, which was intended to support Primary Care and the access offer.  Face-to-Face appointments had increased significantly in the most recent two-month period.  The situation in the Black Country was similar to the national position.  


The Wolverhampton Managing Director of the Black Country and West Birmingham CCG remarked that the report included some useful information about the social prescribing model within the Wolverhampton area, which was one of the alternatives to seeing the Primary Care Team.


The Chair asked about the percentage of appointments which had originated with an initial telephone consultation and then had to be escalated to a face-to-face appointment, which could potentially be classed as double counting. The Director of Primary Care of the Black Country and West Birmingham CCG responded that roughly speaking four out of ten telephone appointments ended up being converted to a face-to-face appointment.  He didn’t agree with the term double counting as many people preferred a virtual consultation to a face-to-face appointment.  Many people felt safer with a virtual appointment than having to attend a GP Surgery.  They therefore counted all the activity and it was clear they would be moving to a more blended model in the future. 


The Chair of the Black Country and West Birmingham CCG stated that as a GP if she had 18 telephone calls in the morning she normally converted 4-5 of them into face-to-face consultations for the same day.  These figures would vary from surgery to surgery depending on the demography for the area they served.  She had also noticed that when people did come into the surgery after a telephone appointment they tended to raise other medical issues in addition to the initial issue.  She did not class it as double counting, rather catering to a person’s needs.  Telephone triage was also a useful way of helping to keep people safe from Covid.  She thought the current system was the best at the present time. 


The Vice-Chair asked if there was any statistics for people that were particularly vulnerable to Covid and were therefore safer not coming into the surgery and speaking to them on the telephone would be a better option.  The Chair of the Black Country and West Birmingham CCG responded that the figures would vary from practice to practice depending on the demographics for the area.


A Panel Member commented that she was pleased that the report had highlighted that the access problem was not a unique one to Wolverhampton, that there was a national shortage of GPs and nationally  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Date of Next Meeting

[The date of the next Health Scrutiny Panel is on 10 February 2022 at 1:30pm]. 

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The date of the next confirmed scheduled meeting of the Health Scrutiny Panel was reported as 10 February 2022 at 1:30pm.