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Chairman's Bulletin February 2014

Banner Feb 14

Welcome to February's e-bulletin - communication and engagement are key topics for this month.  Governors have asked for guidance on using social media as part of their engagement with members, and we are producing a guidance document to assist you.

The membership team is also working on materials to support Governors in implementing the forthcoming membership engagement programme.  My thanks go to the Membership Working Group for all the hard work they are putting into developing and growing our Trust membership. A number of key actions were agreed at the recent Membership Working Group, and I would like to encourage Group members to respond on these actions to Donna Beddows as quickly as possible.

There was excellent attendance at the Performance Review Meeting, and the robust and detailed debate was a very positive reflection of how effectively Governors are engaging with the performance agenda.  A further update on the Accident and Emergency (A & E) position will be provided at the forthcoming Council of Governors Meeting by Julia Bridgewater.

Of course, our Trust's performance needs to be seen in the wider local and national context.  Locally, the Living Longer Living Better Programme is seeking to improve our offer to patients and their carers by integrating services across partner organisations, so that care is focused on their needs and not those of separate institutions.

The priorities for the programme are in those areas where we see some of the most vulnerable patients: end of life care; long term conditions; frail older people/dementia and early years.  This work will see the wider system moving to a more primary based model of care, which will hopefully go a long way to alleviating some of the pressures we have experienced coming through our Accident and Emergency Departments.

Nationally, you will have seen the recent media coverage around the issue of sharing medical records data across the NHS.  The information will be used for monitoring the quality of hospital care, planning NHS services and conducting research into new treatments. The introduction of the care.data programme has been delayed by NHS England until the autumn, to allow for wider public information and engagement.  Our Trust supports the introduction of the programme, to help enhance the quality of patient care and contribute to the wider research agenda.

Financial pressures were highlighted in Monitor's quarterly report on NHS Foundation Trust performance in England.  The number of trusts in financial trouble has nearly doubled in a year from 21 to 39. The combined deficit of those trusts was £180m, higher than the £168m expected, with 60% concentrated in five organisations. Overall, foundation trusts made a surplus of £135m in the nine months ended 31st December 2013, which is £38m behind plan.

Monitor also reported that 18 trusts missed the target of 85% of suspected cancer patients starting treatment within 62 days. However, it said most accident and emergency departments were coping well.

While CMFT is subject to the same pressures as other foundation trusts, at Month 10 of the financial year the bottom line surplus was £721k .  Whilst this is positive news, the level of surplus compared to our overall turnover is insignificant.  The Divisions are working extremely hard to ensure that the shortfall on some of the trading gap plans is addressed so that the Trust can keep our financial position on trajectory.

I look forward to seeing you at the next Council of Governors Meeting on the 5th March 2014, but in the meantime if you have any questions do please contact me on 0161 276 8661 or at peter.mount@cmft.nhs.uk.