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Chairman's Bulletin July 2014

Bulletin Banner Jul 14

Welcome to the July Bulletin, and patient feedback is a key theme this month. The results of the Annual National In-Patient Survey for 2013, carried out for the Care Quality Commission (CQC), have been published.  The feedback is used to help Trusts improve local services for the benefit of patients and the public.  Our Trust's overall score, based on an average of all question scores, was 7.5 (the same as in 2012), based on a sample of 850 in-patients.

Areas of concern included mixed sex accommodation, having sufficient nurses on duty, involvement in decisions about care and sharing worries/fears with someone, and receiving written advice when leaving hospital. These are being addressed by our newly revised Quality Committee, which holds its first meeting next month.

CMFT also achieved improved scores in several areas, including bathroom cleanliness, medicines management and information at discharge, overall dignity and respect, and patients being asked for their views on the quality of care. Our Trust was highly rated in areas such as privacy during examinations and treatment, confidence and trust in doctors, safety, cleanliness of wards and rooms, and choice of food.

The Board of Directors receives regular updates on how patient complaints and concerns are handled, and an annual report is published on the Trust website. For the year to 31st March 2014, there were 3,444 contacts with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), up 4% from 3,306 in 2012/13. This is a positive demonstration that patients, service users and staff are confident about seeking the advice and/or involvement of PALS.  The main themes of the contacts with PALS were:

  • Consent/communication/confidentiality
  • Treatment/diagnosis
  • Appointment delay/cancellation.

The Trust received 1,192 complaints in 2013/14 in which the complainant requested a response from the Chief Executive, up from 1,084 last year.  A considerable amount of work is underway to improve the speed and quality of responses to all complaints, and all our divisions are sharing the learning that results from complaints, using it to improve services for patients.

Providing high quality, safe and compassionate nursing care for every patient means ensuring we have the right staff with the right skills in the right place at the right time. The National Quality Board 'Safer Staffing' requirements ask all Trusts to provide monthly updates on planned and actual nurse and midwifery staffing for wards. This data is now published on the NHS Choices website (click on each CMFT hospital to see its performance), and Governors can also find out more about how it is collected on our own website.

Alongside practical issues such as staffing levels, the wider culture of our Trust is essential to delivering high quality care. Our values clearly define what is important to us, and our core behaviours describe how we will work together. By carrying out these behaviours consistently we will embed our values in all that we do and support the delivery of the best care, safely, to the highest standards every time.

To help achieve this, we have developed a programme aimed at embedding our values and behaviours in organisational processes, including appraisals, and this will be extended to how we recruit and develop our staff. We have also worked with staff to ensure Trust values and behaviours reflect our commitment to promoting equality and valuing diversity.

Work is ongoing to raise awareness and affirm our values and behaviours, so that staff and patients understand what to expect from, and how to improve their experience of, working and receiving care at CMFT.

The question of how people across Greater Manchester can access the best care 24/7 is at the heart of the 'Healthier Together' proposals. Published earlier this month, they include plans for better access to GPs, better services in the community and hospitals sharing their expert clinicians across boundaries.  Staff, patients and the wider public are being invited to take part in a 12-week consultation process.  Please go to the Healthier Together website to see the detailed proposals, including the option for our Trust to become one of three 'specialist hospitals', and to share your views.

Moving to financial matters, at the end of the first quarter of the 2014/2015 financial year, the Trust had a deficit of just under £2.5 million which is 1% of our income.

Whilst these are frustrating results, coming as they do after all the earlier hard work across our hospitals to develop strong delivery plans for this financial year, the Board's Finance Scrutiny Committee has reviewed the main issues in some depth and will maintain close oversight of the progress made by the Executive Team in tackling all of these over the coming weeks and months.

There is no current or forecast concern over the Trust's regulatory position with Monitor, in relation to financial delivery.

A reminder for your diaries that our Annual Members' Meeting (AMM) is on Tuesday 23rd September, and the theme this year is 'Working Together To Care For You'.  More details about the event will be sent to Governors in the next few weeks. Ahead of the AMM, our annual round of Governor elections is taking place.  Candidates are standing for seven vacancies this year:

  • Manchester constituency (5 Public Governor vacancies)
  • Greater Manchester constituency  (1 Public Governor vacancy)
  • Other Clinical constituency (1 Staff Governor vacancy)

Finally, as many of you may know, I am retiring as Chairman in December and the selection process for my successor has begun.  It has been a huge privilege to work with the Trust since 2001, through some significant changes and challenges, and I look forward to celebrating with Governors, staff and other colleagues later in the year.