Tracy Bullock – Chief Executive Officer, Royal Stoke Hospital, provided a presentation, which covered the following topics:-
· University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) in Numbers
· Services at UHNM
· Chief Executives Perspective
The Panel was advised that the Royal Stoke Hospital was rated in the top ten of the largest hospitals in the county and also had one of the busiest A&E Departments in the country. The wait times for patients was too long, but once admitted, patients received a good level of care. The Hospital had the second best major trauma outcomes in the country but not all services were being delivered at this level. The 4 hour A&E target was not being met, along with the 18 week cancer referral target.
Due to this, a Quality Improvement Programme was being introduced. Staffing levels had been increased in the A&E Department and a new Executive Team, with an aspiration to improve performance, had been created.
The Trust was currently seeking approval to come out of financial special measures and expected to reduce the deficit considerably by the end of March 2020. Recruitment was still a challenge and work to mitigate this included, new training programmes with universities.
Members asked questions and commented on the following:-
Stress and workload – To help to understand these issues the CEO regularly spent time in the A&E Department. Wellbeing Programmes, relaxation pods, Employment Support Advisors and Specialist Mental Health Champions were available to staff.
Re-instatement of the 24 hour A&E at Stafford – There were no aspirations at this time to re-instate this service.
Break facilities for Ambulance staff at the Royal Stoke Hospital – This would be looked into.
Long travel distances for patients from the Moorlands to Stafford Hospital – The specific number of patients affected by this were not known. There would always be a need for patients to travel to receive specialist services.
Improvement of the financial position and the impact to patients – The deficit had already reduced, the rate at which this was going to reduce had now accelerated. The Hospital would take a patient centred approach, be run by front line clinicians and there would be a focus around staff ownership. The reduction in costs would not have an impact on services or patients. Theatre productivity would increase, and outpatient clinics needed to be filled to capacity. Joint procurement and back office/support functions would be seen.
Brexit and staffing – The extent of the numbers of European staff who had returned home due to this was not at the level expected. The NHS had stopped recruitment from Europe and was now recruiting from further afield. New apprenticeship schemes had been introduced, visits to schools and career fayres had taken place.
Increased admittance to hospital/bed blocking due to reduced number of community beds & how these beds were financed – The RSUH had not seen an increase in admittance of patients from care homes. However, work needed to be done, nursing/care home staff required more support and these jobs should be made more attractive. It was confirmed that the UHNM shared the costs of the beds at the Haywood and Bradwell Hospital with the MPFT last winter, but this wouldn’t be the case this year.
Coronavirus – The Hospital received guidance from Public Health England, emergency procedures and a plan was in place.
Discussion also took place around the fire in the new building, children’s hospital status, staff retention, provision of mental health assessment rooms within A&E and family accommodation. A member of the Panel thought that the appointment system and transfer of patients between wards required improvement.
Following the fire in one of the hospital buildings, Members were assured that appropriate measures had now been put in place.
Members complimented the front line staff for their excellent work at the Hospital, and the Chair passed on her thanks to Tracy Bullock for the informative presentation.
DECIDED: That the presentation be NOTED.