This month I begin my blog addressing some of the improvements recently identified in our system for which my team and the ICB will be supporting the trusts involved through implementing recommendations and action plans.
Last week the ICB, together with Suffolk and North East Essex ICB published an independent report on Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s (NSFT) recording, processing and reporting of mortality data. NSFT will now work towards strengthening and improving the quality of its data reporting and management.
I know that this report will have been distressing to families and friends and that some of those people maybe reading this blog. I want to send my thoughts and assurance that we will support the Trust in any way that we can to improve governance for the future.
The James Paget Hospital received a CQC inspection in January and as a result a regulation Section 29A warning notice has been issued for maternity services. This warning notice identified concerns and the need for significant improvements in the quality of healthcare, downgrading services to ‘inadequate’.
Since receiving the warning notice, the Trust has been supporting maternity colleagues in addressing the detail of the warning notice and planning the hospital’s response to the issues raised. Progress will be monitored as the trust improves care for local patients and I have confidence that the necessary improvements will be made by the Trust.
I recently attended the opening of the James Paget Hospital’s new Concept Ward which provides an opportunity for staff and patients to experience a modern healthcare environment ahead of a new hospital being built in Gorleston by 2030.
Photo caption (L-R): Carole Fuller – Site Reconfiguration Programme Manager for United Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Mark Flynn – JPUH’s Director of Strategic Projects, Tricia D’Orsi and Valerie O’Brien – RAF Lakenheath Medical at the opening of the James Paget’s new concept ward.
Our urgent emergency services have been under the national spotlight and as part of the NHS England Urgent and Emergency Care Recovery Plan our system as a ‘tier 1’ area will receive additional support in the form of specialist advice and guidance from the national team to help plan ahead for winter. This support will assist teams in improving performance and ultimately the patient experience, which should be welcomed.
Planning for the future is key for our workforce and I believe that flexible working is key to staff maintaining a work-life balance, feeling happy in their work and avoiding burnout. There is no doubt that at ward level this presents challenges but I’m keen to explore how we can make this happen for everyone. I recently chaired a workshop bringing together senior nursing and midwifery leaders from across the Integrated Care System to discuss a pilot rostering at ward level this year. We saw excellent presentations from three Trusts from across the country who have already implemented these changes with amazing impact on turnover and retention.
This month we also supported Cervical Screening Awareness week in collaboration with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, debunking myths and reminding people to book their screening in. If you have been invited for a cervical screening, I would encourage you to book at your earliest opportunity. Look after yourself as well as your patients. Last week, I was on annual leave and took the time to attend several screening appointments which were overdue, putting my wellbeing at the forefront which is something I sometimes neglect.
Looking ahead, the NHS celebrates its 75th birthday in July and despite the challenges we face we must celebrate the impact our work has for our patients, people and communities. This year, we will of course recognise the significant strides the NHS has made over the last 75 years, but we will also look to the future.
Our Joint Forward Plan is about to be published, which includes a system wide focus across health and social care on improvement and transformation. It’s vital that all four pillars of our ICS – the NHS, Local Authorities, our Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector and our people and communities work together to continually improve outcomes for our people and communities of Norfolk and Waveney. Stay tuned for this later this week!
Executive Director of Nursing NHS Norfolk and Waveney ICB and ICS