Together We're Better Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Health and Care Partnership Newsletter (December 2018)

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Logo and Vision

December 2018


Sir Neil McKay

Welcome to the latest newsletter from the Together We’re Better health and care partnership.

As the end of 2018 fast approaches, it’s worth reflecting on what has been a busy, challenging, but hugely productive year.

I believe we have come a long way as a partnership over the past 12 months, and this is reflected in the depth of discussion at our monthly Health and Care Transformation Board meetings – which is the forum for partners to oversee and lead the delivery of Together We’re Better’s strategy to transform local health and care.

The announcement this month of new national funding to enable the development of the Outwoods health and care campus in Burton, a crisis care centre and detoxification suite in North Staffordshire and crisis cafes in the county is fantastic news and will make a big difference to the lives of many people. Well done to everyone who has been involved in this success.

I'd like to congratulate everyone who contributed towards the Care Quality Commission's (CQC) report into services for older people in the county. I'm pleased it recognises the progress that has been made by partners as well as the strong commitment that is in place to deliver on TWB's vision. You can read more about this here.

We also await the CQC's follow-up report into services for older people in Stoke-on-Trent. I know there has been a tremendous amount of work from colleagues in Stoke-on-Trent City Council, the Clinical Commissioning Group and other partners to improve services and this partnership working reflects what has been happening across the local health and care system over the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, we look ahead to the new year when we will begin the first phase of public and workforce engagement that will focus on the work of our clinically-led programmes. This is the start of a thorough process to develop proposals for change jointly with local communities, health and care staff and local groups that will form the basis of formal consultation. You can read more information about this below and via our website

Finally, I’d like to say ‘thank you’: to the thousands of dedicated health and care staff who have continued to work tirelessly throughout 2018; to the leadership teams, lay members and non-execs of each of our partners who have inspired me in their determination to tackle the challenges we face as one system; and to our stakeholders who share our resolve in delivering the change we need for the people of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

We hope you enjoy this edition of the newsletter; see you in 2019 and thank you once again.

Sir Neil McKay, Independent Chairman

The Together We're Better partnership

Partners 4

Our journey towards engagement

PCBC Timeline Image

Our clinically-led work programmes have been focussed on developing new models of health and care to achieve our vision.

In Spring 2019 we plan to begin public engagement – this is the start of a thorough process to develop proposals jointly with local communities, health and care staff and local groups that will form the basis of any formal consultation. This will be a discussion with local communities and our stakeholders based around four key areas:

  1. Simplifying urgent and emergency care
  2. Developing a new vision for health and care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
  3. Reviewing Community Hospitals in South Staffordshire
  4. Identifying additional priorities that will deliver clinical and financial stability.

Not all of the work of our programmes will require public engagement or formal consultation – only those areas that will result in significant transformation of our health and care system.

The feedback we receive will help in the development of our Pre-Consultation Business Case – this document takes several months to develop and outlines the clinical evidence, data analysis, financial considerations and feedback from stakeholders. You can find out more information about this and our plans for engagement via our website at


Major new national investment announced for health and care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

The announcement of major new government investment to support the transformation of health and care services in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent has received a warm welcome. The Department of Health and Social Care has approved two separate capital funding bids - the first is a £21.9m bid for the development of a health and care campus on the Outwoods site at Queen’s Hospital in Burton. Plans for the Outwoods site include supported housing, ‘step down’ services for patients to receive further care before returning home, a nursery and residential and keyworker accommodation. A community hub will be the heart of the development and provide a space for residents, service users and visitors to interact and support each other.

In addition, £1.6m has been approved to develop a mental health crisis care centre and detoxification suite at Harplands Hospital in North Staffordshire, as well as four crisis cafes in the county. The crisis care centre will include a crisis lounge and three places of calm for people experiencing mental health issues. The urgent care and detoxification centre will allow people experiencing substance misuse issues to recover in safety and for care and support to be planned once they are ready to go home. The crisis cafes will be located in East Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford and Staffordshire Moorlands and support people experiencing mental health problems.

The announcement follows the £8.8m of extra Government money for University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) to fund two new modular wards at Royal Stoke University Hospital.

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CQC review of older people's services in Staffordshire welcomed

Prevention update

The publication by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) of a report into services for older people in the county has been welcomed. The CQC’s Staffordshire System Review follows an inspection carried out in the autumn. You can read more about this by clicking on the link below.

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Focus on our clinically-led programmes

What's Your Emergency

Urgent and Emergency Care programme

Winter resilience arrangements and What's Your Emergency? campaign launched

Over the last few months health and care system partners have been working collaboratively to ensure the local system has robust plans in place to manage increased demand for urgent and emergency care services over the winter period. To support this and its actions partners have been working together to develop an ‘escalation trigger’ tool, which will provide a indication of how the system is coping during winter, as well as where any hot spots occur. Individual organisations will also have indicators, enabling focus to be applied where necessary. 

Alongside this, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust's (UHNM) two new modular wards will be opening at Royal Stoke in the new year and will provide additional bed capacity to the system should it be needed.

Meanwhile, the NHS and social care system in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent has launched its 'What's Your Emergency?' winter campaign (pictured). The six-week campaign led by UHNM spotlights a variety of frontline staff from across the NHS who will be giving a combination of advice about different illness and conditions, how you can be prepared for winter, what you can do for others and the services that are on offer. For more information, visit UHNM’s website here.

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Prevention programme

Warmer homes bid a success while partnership working is continuing to make a difference

We’re delighted to have been successful in securing a £3.8m bid from the Affordable Warmth scheme. This money will help alleviate fuel poverty in 1,000 homes and includes match funding from energy supplier EON. The funding will allow for new boilers, home insulation and home adaptations to enable people to live well and warm at home.

In terms of flu, early figures suggest the uptake of the flu vaccination among frontline staff and school staff has increased on last year.

Other developments include the Supportive Communities Programme focussed on supporting people who are on the cusp of needing our services and building community responses to reduce longer term demand on our services.

Our Air Quality Project is up and running, while all GP practices have now been invited to join the National Diabetic Prevention Programme across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, with referrals increasing.

Suicide prevention skills training for GPs and other primary care staff is continuing to be offered in targeted areas, while the new falls prevention pathway is helping people to stay well and independent and minimise the risk of growing dependency. 

Read More >

Maternity - Dec 2018 Newsletter

Maternity, Children and Young People programme

Perinatal mental health and Maternity Champion recruitment

Following a successful bid to help increase access to perinatal mental health services in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent from the Perinatal Mental Health Community Services Development Fund, a recruitment drive is underway for staff to implement this project. We're looking forward to launching the destigmatising perinatal mental health campaign shortly, for which posters and videos have been developed.

A total of 15 Maternity Champions have now been recruited, with further recruitment ongoing. The champions will begin visiting areas to collect feedback from women and families in the new year.

In partnership with NHS Digital and University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) we are currently working to develop an innovative two-way noting system which will give women the ability to input into their own notes; for example entering medical and pregnancy history information at the start of their pregnancy. We were also delighted to attend the National Digital Leaders forum (pictured).

Finally, as part of the reconfiguration of local maternity services, we are working on developing a sustainable model of continuity of carer. We have also recently been successful in securing additional funding from Health Education England to appoint a full time Midwife for six months to help drive this particular project forward.

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Mental Health programme

Hundreds attend first TWB Suicide Prevention Conference

We were delighted to welcome almost 300 people from health and care services, alongside voluntary and community groups, schools, colleges and other organisations for the Suicide Prevention – Making a Difference Together Conference, held in Stoke-on-Trent. The programme is aiming to reduce the number of suicides across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and a Zero Ambition Suicide Charter setting out this aim was signed at the event by a number of TWB partners.

Click on the image below to view a video of the event; alternatively click here.

Suicide Prevention Conference

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Focus on our enabling programmes

Estates programme

Programme supporting development of new Codsall Community Hub


We’re really pleased that NHS services feature as part of the plans for a new multi-million pound Community Hub in Codsall. The hub will be built in the grounds of the existing South Staffordshire Council offices in Codsall. The present building will be refurbished and extended and it is planned that Russell House GP Surgery will move in, providing the practice with much needed additional space to expand the number of GPs for the community’s growing population. Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s community outreach teams are due to be relocated to the building, which will also encompass a café, library, three tiers of government, retail and the police.

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Organisational Development (OD) and Leadership programme

Videos showcase BAME Leadership Programme 

The second cohort of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Leadership Programme has now concluded and underlined the success of this initiative. Existing and aspiring BAME leaders from across the local health and care system have been speaking about their experiences on the programme. Utilising the NHS Leadership Academy’s Stepping Up programme, it is coordinated by North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust and forms part of the OD programme. As well as supporting the participants to further develop their leadership skills, it has also helped them to enhance their skills to assist with career progression. Click on the image below to view a video about the programme, featuring some of the participants in this latest cohort. A total of 55 people have participated in the programme, with 40 more due to take part in the latest cohort in February.

Separate videos have also been produced for each of these participants – you can view Dillon’s story by clicking here; Baz’s story by clicking here; and Faiza’s story by clicking here.


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Workforce Event

Workforce programme

Invitation to TWB apprenticeships event in January

NHS organisations in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are offering the opportunity for local health and social care sector organisations to apply for funding that will support the apprenticeship training costs for new or existing employees. This funding can therefore be applied for to support both health and care staff locally and staff within voluntary or independent organisations who input into the health, social care and wellbeing of our population. These apprenticeships are an excellent way of training and upskilling employees. You can find out more about the apprenticeships on offer, and how to apply for funding at a Workforce programme event from 10am until 12.30pm on Thursday 17 January 2019 at Newcastle-under-Lyme College. To register your attendance please email, or email to find out more information.

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