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Chairman's Bulletin September 2015

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Welcome to my monthly Bulletin, and I hope everyone is refreshed after the summer break.  September got off to a very exciting start with a Royal visit.  His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester officially opened our new £17 million community hospital in Altrincham on 3rd September.  During his tour of the new facilities, the Duke met staff and patients on the 20-station renal dialysis unit, plus audiology and ophthalmology staff.  He was also shown the new state-of-the-art digital radiography equipment and visited the minor injuries unit before unveiling a plaque to commemorate the occasion.

Our Volunteers played a key role in greeting visitors at the official opening, and I'd like to thank everyone who made the guests feel so welcome.  I was very impressed to hear about all that our Volunteers contribute to CMFT when I attended the annual Volunteers' celebration event last month.  Seeing them in action absolutely reinforced this.

Volunteers will be among the many contributors to our Annual Members' Meeting (AMM).  This is on Tuesday 22nd September 2015 from 1.00pm to 4.00pm in the Postgraduate Centre on the Oxford Road site.  The event has been very widely promoted to staff and public members, and Governors will have an excellent opportunity to engage with constituents at the meeting.  An engagement pack will be circulated to all Governors to support you in doing this.

Voting in our Governor elections closed on 10th September, and the new, re-elected and nominated Governors will be announced at the AMM.  The formal process for electing a new Lead Governor has commenced, with the result being announced at the Council of Governors meeting on 14th October.  As usual, the meeting will have a very wide-ranging agenda, giving our new Governors the chance to get involved in discussion, planning and decision-making straight away.

Service transformation and wider Greater Manchester (GM) devolution remain very high priorities in all our forward planning.  The current focus of devolution is the completion of a strategic plan, which includes demonstrating how GM is going to become financially sustainable.  Health and social care providers have now been asked to submit proposals for savings that can be made across the system. This may include ideas around rationalisation of back-office functions and clinical support, and standardisation of clinical processes.

Governance is another key part of devolution, and a mechanism for taking collective decisions across NHS providers (hospitals, community services, mental health, social care, ambulance services etc) is needed.  The NHS Trust Provider Federation/Association is therefore being set up in collaboration with Monitor and the Trust Development Agency.

The Healthier Together (HT) programme is also going forward as part of devolution.  Local 'sectors' have been created - our sector is made up of CMFT, University Hospital of South Manchester (UHSM) and the three host CCGs (South Manchester, Central Manchester and Trafford).  One of these CCGs will be made the lead, responsible for driving the implementation process.

However, a legal challenge to the HT process is being considered by the Medical Staff Committee (representing the consultants) at UHSM.  Until this has been completed, we don't expect to be able to proceed with any form of implementation.  When it does go ahead, it's likely to begin with achieving agreed standards for acute medicine and A&E, ahead of changes to arrangements for general surgery, which involve changes to patient flows.  We will be assessing where CMFT is currently positioned against the standards in October/November.

Turning to our ongoing performance across CMFT, we are continuing to deliver strongly against the A&E standard, with 96% of our patients being treated, admitted or transferred within four hours.  With the increasing demands on all of the Trust's services, staff are remaining focused on providing high quality of care for all.

Finally, I'd like to congratulate our Non-Executive Director John Amaechi on being awarded the historic freedom of the city of London. This well-deserved honour recognises John's diversity campaigning, something he is also very committed to at CMFT.

Please support our efforts to engage with members at the AMM on 22nd September, and if I can help you with this process at any time do get in touch on 0161 276 8661 or email me at steve.mycio@cmft.nhs.uk.