CQC data submitted in full and on time – Caroline Donovan – CEO @CombinedNHS

Caroline Donovan CEO Web

It’s been another hectic but productive week, with the Trust once again proving its quality.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) data submitted in full and on time 

A significant amount of time last week was taken up in finalising the CQC data return that required over 220 information requests, not only for data but often requiring an explanation of our approach to a particular area of quality or even financial management. We were also required to assess what CQC ratings we would give for all our core services – we have assessed all 11 as either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ – a major accolade to the work that each of our staff do day in and day out!

We did manage to complete and submit in full and on time the requested data sets and evidence to the CQC as the first stage in the new process. We are amongst the first trusts in the country to be trialling the new CQC inspection regime and the first and most notable difference has been a significant increase in the breadth and amount of data requested at this early stage. Many thanks to every one of our staff for their massive efforts in enabling us to get the job done.

REACH team award, retirements and other discussions at the Trust Board meeting

At our latest Trust Board meeting on Thursday, we were delighted to present the latest REACH Team award to Ward 3. The values of the Trust underpin all the work undertaken by the team. They deliver person centred care which supports the needs of each individual in a compassionate and caring manner.

There have been a number of key staffing changes over the past year with the appointment of Laura Jones as Ward Manager, and a permanent consultant post, presently held by Dr Chris Link. A number of vacancies have also been filled which has strengthened the skills mix on the ward.

As part of their presentation to the Board, the ward team set out how they have achieved a reduced length of stay through the purposeful admission process. A clear admission pathway is set out and a robust assessment carried out within 72 hours of a person’s stay. This way of working has resulted in an increased number of service users being discharged back to the community with Home Treatment Team/care coordinator support. For those needing a longer stay, evidence based therapeutic interventions promoting recovery are offered dependent on their assessed need. Well done!

We were also joined by staff who are sadly retiring from the Trust. Jane Blagg has been with us since beginning her career as a Care Assistant in 1980. We also wished a Happy Retirement to husband and wife Steve and Maureen Profitt. Steve is a Support, Time and Recovery Worker who has given 19 years of service, while Healthcare Support Worker Maureen is leaving us after 17 years. We wish them all the very best with the next chapter of their lives.

Our Board also spent some time considering the Capped Expenditure Process (CEP). Some of you may have read about this in local and national press recently but it’s not been widely discussed. The CEP is one of many ways we are encouraged to work together with partners (commissioners and NHS providers) across Staffordshire to prioritise how we best spend the financial resources we have on behalf of the populations we serve. Staffordshire is one of the STPs that face a significant challenge in relation to its finances so it’s important we look together at any areas where there may be opportunities to help us live within our budgets. It is also equally important that we safeguard against patient safety and quality – a principle enshrined within our SPAR quality priorities.

Jim Mackey, CEO of NHS Improvement, wrote to me and other CEOs of provider trusts involved in the CEP asking for Boards involved in the CEP to review proposals to understand a number of factors, including patient safety, quality and the time people wait for NHS care. This is an approach very much welcomed by our Board and allowed us time to discuss some of the proposals and understand the impact on our services from a patient and quality perspective. It is still of paramount importance that we focus on our own cost improvement plans through our ongoing improvement and approaches to transformation which continues to be a challenge for 2017-18.

Flu fighter campaign

Following our excellent flu fighter performance in 2016/17 which saw us become the top performing mental health trust in the country and highly commended in the national Flu Fighter Awards, we are now gearing up for this year’s campaign. One of the most successful aspects of our last campaign was our dedicated team of flu vaccinators, who were on hand to administer the vaccine to staff across the organisation. The flu team are in the process of recruiting vaccinators for this year’s campaign. Our vaccinators are integral to helping us to deliver a hugely successful flu fighter campaign.

Mental health STP

I was pleased to chair the Staffordshire mental health Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) Programme Board last week. What is becoming apparent is the requirement for the Board to oversee the delivery of the Five Year Forward View mental health ambitions. Whilst it is really fantastic there is a national expectation that mental health services need to receive more investment, it is a significant challenge to release funding from other areas to be able to invest in mental health as we are part of a very challenged health economy financially. We have, however developed a plan with our commissioners to use the funding we currently spend differently.

A big part of this is supporting service users closer to home, improving their experience and releasing money that is being spent outside of Staffordshire. There are some areas of mental health we have already received new funding for and need to make sure we deliver high quality services. Some examples of this where we are doing really well are IAPT services and Early Intervention Psychosis services. We want to see more investment in crisis services and children’s services and community services, e.g. personality disorder pathways. I will continue to keep you updated.

Keep your REACH Award nominations coming in!

Thank you to everyone who has submitted a REACH Award nomination so far – we’re already seeing many great submissions from people who wish to celebrate the contribution made by a colleague, team, service user or volunteer.

As a reminder, you can make a nomination online at www.reachawards.org/nscht or download a nomination form here (Word version) or here (PDF). If you’ve downloaded your form, you can either drop it into any of our Trust locations (please mark it ‘REACH Awards 2017 – Communications Team, Lawton House’), email it to communications@combined.nhs.uk or post it to REACH Co-ordinator, Communications Team, Lawton House, Bellringer Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 8HH.