Well what a week in politics! The appointment of a new Prime Minister brings new priorities. The reappointment of Jeremy Hunt will bring consistency, but what is clear is that the financial challenges across the NHS are significant. A recently published report by the King’s Fund showed that NHS providers and commissioners ended 2015/16 with a combined deficit of £1.85bn (unaudited) – a threefold increase on the previous year. This is the largest combined deficit in NHS history. It was positive to hear our Prime Minister Theresa May highlight that there is not enough “help to hand” for those suffering from mental health problems, but how and where this help will come from is yet to be determined.
Our CQC preparations continue – all our core services have repeated their self-assessments against the CQC domains of safe, effective, caring, responsiveness and well-led. We are continuing to improve and gain assurance against our must and should do requirements and have set our RAG (red, amber, green) rate ambitions for the end of August.
We have published our annual Quality Account, which describes our great achievements in improving quality during 2015/16. Please click here to view the document. A big thank you to Laurie Wrench, Associate Director of Governance, and her team for all their hard work in putting the document together.
Each year we have a requirement to deliver a series of CQUINS (Commissioning for Quality and Innovation), some of which are a national requirement, some of which are agreed locally with our commissioners. The CQUIN payment framework makes a proportion of our total potential income from commissioners conditional on the achievement of ambitious quality improvement goals and innovations.
This year, a national CQUIN is requiring healthcare staff to receive a flu vaccine as part of the national Flu Fighters campaign. Recent studies show that the vaccine reduces the risk of developing the flu virus by about 50-60%. We will be building on the success of last year’s flu campaign with a series of clinics offering the vaccination to our staff, as well as a number of out-of-hours clinics delivered by trained volunteer vaccinators. It’s really important that our staff receive their vaccination in order to keep themselves and patients flu safe, as well as colleagues, family and friends.