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Chairman's Bulletin April 2015

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Welcome to the April issue of my Bulletin, and I'd like to begin by sharing with you the highlights of the annual We're Proud of You Awards Gala Dinner, which I hosted for the first time this year, alongside Mike Deegan.

The event, on 19th March, was once again held in the beautiful and atmospheric Gorton Monastery and attended by nearly 300 staff from across the Trust. During the evening, we recognised and celebrated the exceptional work our staff do every day to make a difference to our services, patients and their colleagues, despite a backdrop of increasing financial and operational pressures.

Divisional Star and Team winners were joined by the Winners and Highly Commended entrants from the 2014 We're Proud of You Awards, as well as representatives from the wards achieving gold accreditation. Particular congratulations go to Cheetham Hill Health Visitor Angela Kenney, our Unsung Hero category winner, who also received the Chief Executive's Outstanding Achievement Award. A fantastic evening was had by all and it reinforced for me what a dedicated and committed workforce we have at CMFT.

I'd also like to congratulate the team of midwives who run the bereavement service and Rainbow Clinic at Saint Mary's Hospital, who were named as Team of the Year at the 2015 British Journal of Midwifery awards in London on 23rd March.  And Mike Deegan has been recognised for his contribution to our Trust and the wider NHS. He was named as one of the Health Service Journal's Top Chief Executives 2015, in a listing which "celebrates the NHS leaders whose contributions and visions for the future shine bright."

I feel it's important for us to recognise achievement, particularly as health and care services across the country continue to face intense pressure. The financial climate is very difficult at the moment and the foundation trust sector alone has ended 2014 with an in-year deficit five times higher than planned at £375m.

Unfortunately, for the first time since becoming a Foundation Trust, we too are forecasting that we will face a deficit in the new financial year.  A challenging financial plan for 2015/16 has therefore been agreed which will help to minimise any deficit across our services, whilst ensuring the safety of our patients continues to be paramount.  Any improvements made to become more efficient cannot be to the detriment of quality.  Alongside this, the Trust has had discussions with NHS England and Monitor to agree the tariff for 2015/16, to ensure that a safe level of funding is agreed for all NHS providers.

The recently announced 'Devo Manc' plans are a potential solution to some of the challenges faced by health and care providers across Greater Manchester.  We have a unique opportunity to create a radical new model of integrated care delivery, with considerable benefits for the 2.7 million people across our region.   A transitional plan - or roadmap - comes into effect on April 1st. It provides the foundations for joined up business and investment proposals, along with a joint Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Strategy, building up to full devolution of health and care services in place by April 2016.

Looking ahead, I'd like to encourage you all to attend the important Governors Performance Review meeting on 13th May.  It's followed by a networking meeting with Non-Executive Directors, and this will be an excellent opportunity to meet our two new NEDs - John Amaechi and Anil Ruia - if you haven't yet done so.

I also look forward to reporting next month on the annual Trust Equality and Diversity Conference, to be held on 19th May.  It has a very exciting programme and promises to be just as successful and thought-provoking as in previous years.

I'd like to wish all Governors a good Easter break, and if I can assist you in your role at any time please call me on 0161 276 8661 or email me at steve.mycio@cmft.nhs.uk