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Chairman's Bulletin November 2015

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I'd like to share with Governors my tremendous pride in all our staff who really did shine during our recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).  The response from colleagues has been tremendous, not only in all the hard work and preparation put in ahead of the inspection, but each and every day in the work they do to make sure the people we serve receive the best possible treatment and care.  My gratitude also goes to Governors for their significant input and support during the inspection.

Early feedback has been generally positive and the inspectors have fed back how impressed they have been with our staff and that they felt that this was a very warm and welcoming organisation.  Unannounced inspections are now taking place and we will receive the CQC's formal report in early 2016.

The CQC visit was just one of many topics discussed at the Board of Directors' Meeting held on 9th November.  Thank you to those Governors who attended, with the dedicated question and answer session proving to be invaluable.  This was also the last meeting for our retiring Non-Executive Directors Lady Rhona Bradley and Brenda Smith.  We are very grateful to them both for their significant contribution to the growth and development of our Trust, and for being a valued source of advice and encouragement to the Board and to Governors.

Thank you to all Governors who attended the Performance Review Meeting (18th November).  Key topics on which Governors sought assurance included never events, the new national policy on whistleblowing, food presentation and quality. There was also a brief update around the current status of the Diabetes Centre.

While the NHS remains under pressure nationally, with data showing increasing demand for services even before the peak winter season, Governors will be pleased to know that CMFT is currently compliant with the Referral to Treatment target and we are hoping to achieve our Cancer targets for Q3. A&E performance is at 93.3% against the 95% target - and we have seen a 3% increase in A&E attendances against the same quarter last year.  The Trust is currently not compliant with the over 6 weeks diagnostic wait target, primarily due to lower capacity and higher demand issues in endoscopy which are being addressed.

We also have robust plans to manage winter demand. CMFT works as part of a System Resilience Group (SRG) with local partners so that as a healthcare system we can continue to provide safe and effective services during this period.  This includes using NHS England's ' Eight High Impact Interventions' as a winter planning framework, so that people are treated and discharged as efficiently as possible to reduce pressure on A&E and other hospital services.

The arrival of our first group of nurses from India (see below) is another key resource to help with winter pressures.  I am pleased that the Prime Minister has responded so positively to my letter urging a rethink on the red tape surrounding recruitment of qualified international nurses.

More immediately, junior doctors across the country are planning a series of three strikes in relation to new contract negotiations, beginning on 1st December.  Our main consideration, as always, is to deliver safe, high quality care.  The first priority is to ensure that patients who come into our hospitals as an emergency or for urgent treatment will be seen and treated as quickly as possible.  However, there is likely to be some impact on our planned services, and we will be contacting patients directly if their care has to be postponed and rescheduled as a result.

Progress continues with devolution across Greater Manchester, and the Manchester Locality Plan has now been put together by the three Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Manchester City Council, with input from Trusts including CMFT.

In the plan, the Commissioners would like to see all of the relevant teams coming together to form one integrated set of services, promoting out-of-hospital care.  This would encompass community care, social care, primary care, mental health, and even some aspects of general hospital care. This is likely to be a phased process, and service provider organisations such as CMFT are working together to agree how best to respond.

The Commissioners also want to improve the organisation of hospital services in Manchester, eliminating duplication and bringing all services up to the standard of the best. This initiative is known as the 'single hospital service' for Manchester, and the next step is to review current hospital services, identify the potential benefits of better alignment, and then consider how hospitals could work together to deliver these improvements.

Finally, I'm looking forward to seeing you at our Governor Development Sessions on 1st or 8th December.  The main purpose of these sessions is to highlight the progress/achievements made against this year's planning priorities as well as inviting Governors to start thinking about the forward planning/quality reporting process for 2016/17.

If you would like to discuss any of the topics I have covered in this bulletin please do get in touch at any time on 0161 276 8661 or email me at steve.mycio@cmft.nhs.uk.