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Chairman's Bulletin March 2014

Chairman Banner March 14

Welcome to the March e-bulletin, and I'd like to begin by sharing some excellent news with you. Thanks to the hard work of our clinical and management teams, our Trust has been awarded £15 million under the NHS Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUINS) payment framework. CQUINS links part of our payments from commissioners to achieving local and national quality improvements.

I am also very pleased to report that our contract to deliver services in 2014/15 with Central Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) was agreed last month, well before the start of the new financial year. We have built a strong relationship with the CCG and look forward to working with colleagues there in the coming year to deliver excellent care to the people of Manchester.

Alongside our work with NHS colleagues, commercial alliances help us to access new technology, diagnostics and treatments for our patients.  The national Technology Strategy Board (TSB) has a vision for creating a Precision Medicine Catapult.  The aim is to create critical mass between the NHS and commercial investment, with a view to developing diagnostic tools that will mean better and faster care for patients and will help companies to devise new treatments.  The TSB is in the process of identifying an area to house the Catapult and our Trust has put itself forward as a possible site, recognising the importance of this work.

I also had an opportunity see innovation in action when I visited the NHS Health & Care Innovation Expo 2014 held in Manchester on 3rd and 4th March.  Colleagues from Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC), Manchester Informatics, MIDAS, MIMIT, Manchester Science Parks, NorthWest EHealth and TRUSTECH had a joint stand, to highlight Manchester's contribution to the health and wealth of our city region.  In addition to delegates from across the NHS, the stand attracted health experts from Japan, Sweden, the USA and a delegation from St Petersburg, plus major companies including Microsoft and Pfizer. A new breathing monitor for intensive care patients and a computer programme to measure and improve mobility being developed at our Trust were both showcased at Expo.

Continuing the international theme, on 25th March we were very pleased to welcome a group of 15 visitors with an interest in improving healthcare from the UK and Commonwealth countries.  The visit, arranged by the Common Purpose Charitable Trust, was part of a fact-finding trip to Manchester hosted by MAHSC.  MAHSC provided presentations on healthcare improvement and informatics plus public health programmes across our city, and the guests then visited our hospitals and the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine.

You will have seen in the media that Government has rejected the recommendation from the pay review bodies for 1 per cent uplift to all pay scales and has announced an annual increase of at least one per cent for staff through either contractual incremental pay or a non-consolidated payment.  We understand that it is a really tough call for any Government when considering public sector pay increases and having to balance the affordability of pay rises with the overall number of jobs.

We know that our staff have worked incredibly hard, often in some extremely challenging circumstances and also during a period of major change as the Trafford Hospital services were integrated with those on the main Oxford Road site. For many staff a pay increase would have been a welcome recognition for a difficult year and we appreciate how disappointed some of our staff will be.

We will now await the outcome of the on-going national discussions, between NHS Employers and Trades Unions, about a longer term strategy for achieving the right balance between pay and job security across the NHS.