Together We're Better Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Health and Care Partnership Newsletter (June 2019)

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Logo and Vision

June 2019



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

Over the course of the past few weeks, we have been out and about across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent listening to the views and experiences of hundreds of local people about health and care services.

Each and every person that has taken part in our 12-week public conversation has spoken with passion about how important quality health and care is to them.

This passion not only highlights the importance of getting this right for patients, service users, carers, our workforce and the wider public alike. It also underlines just how invaluable this stage of the process is – involving people in determining how future health and care services can and should be provided.

One of the key themes raised has been the need for our services to be more joined up and to work more effectively together. Health and care integration is a key part of the NHS Long Term Plan and very much reflects our collective ambition to become an Integrated Care System.

One of the priorities of the Long Term Plan is the introduction of Primary Care Networks – groups of GP practices serving populations of approximately 30-70,000 people – and the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), working with partners, are currently working to establish these across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. It is essential we support our local practices as this new way of working develops and we create the space to really maximise on this opportunity.

We’ve also previously spoken about the work that partners are doing to roll out Integrated Care Teams – as a reminder, these are teams of health and care professionals from primary, community and mental health services, alongside social care professionals and the voluntary and independent sector to enable a more coordinated approach to improving the health of the community they serve. These teams align perfectly with the thinking that is articulated in both the NHS Long Term Plan and with new GP contract.

Our local 12-week public conversation continues until midnight on 25 August and there are many more opportunities for you to get involved and express your views about what is important to you about health and care locally, what works well and what you think should be improved. More information on this can be found in the Health and Care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent section below, as well as via our website -

It’s important to stress that no proposals have been developed at this stage – we want to listen to what people have to say about any aspect of health and care locally as we will use this feedback to develop our proposals for change which the CCGs will ultimately consult the public about.

This feedback will also support the continued development of our Five-Year Plan in response to the Long Term Plan, while the ideas, experiences and feedback provided will be shared with our partners delivering these services.

Following its Board meeting on 27 June 2019, NHS England has announced its implementation framework for STPs to provide their Five Year Plans and this can be found on the Long Term Plan website at

There will be a clear need for all partner boards/bodies to be involved in the development and subsequent sign off of our Five Year Plan and we will work closely together to ensure this takes place.

We look forward to continuing to receive your views – please continue to make your voice count in this important first stage in developing proposals for change. Thank you.

Sir Neil McKay, STP Chair

Health and care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

Issues Paper

As outlined above, we are keen to listen to views on any aspect of health and care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, but are particularly welcoming feedback on:

  • Simplifying the local urgent and emergency care system
  • Developing a new vision for health and care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent that is focussed on high quality community based care centred on the individual – this will include maternity services, mental health services and planned care (surgery and outpatients)
  • How the local health and care system can embrace and fully utilise new technology and ensure the buildings we deliver services from are fit for purpose
  • Reviewing the use and function of the community hospitals in South Staffordshire
  • Exploring what ‘integration of health and care services’ really means for local people
  • Identifying additional priorities that will deliver clinical and financial stability.

More information about the 12-week public conversation can be found on Together We’re Better’s website at There you will be able to:

  • Read our Health and Care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent document, and Summary document, that goes into more detail about what this is about, why change is needed, the challenges and opportunities locally and the areas we need to talk about
  • Complete an online survey that seeks your views. Hard copies of the survey, including an Easy Read version can also be provided by getting in touch through our Contact Us page
  • Book a place a place for one of our listening events, taking place across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
  • Drop in to one of our roadshows being held across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent in busy public areas such as shopping centres, supermarkets, leisure centres and libraries.

We are also meeting with a diverse range of voluntary and community sector organisations, patient groups and stakeholders to talk about the public conversation and receive their feedback.


UHDB achieves 'Good' CQC rating following merger

Congratulations to University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, which has been rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following its first inspection.

The CQC recognised significant improvements in several areas, including ‘End of Life’, which was rated as ‘Outstanding’ for Responsive, a first for the Trust.

Gavin Boyle, UHDB Chief Executive, said: “We’re pleased with the rating, it’s a testament to the hard work of our 12,500 staff across all five of our hospitals. Since we merged the two trusts in July 2018 there has been an incredible amount of work done behind the scenes to change the way we care for patients and it is pleasing to see this has been recognised in the CQC report."

Read More >

UK's first state-of-the-art extended reality training facility opens at UHNM

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) in the first is the country to open an extended reality medical training facility in a new state-of-art training laboratory. The purpose-built Extended Reality Laboratory (ERL) is set to become part of a new Patient Safety Centre in the Postgraduate Medical and Education Centre at County Hospital, Stafford. 

The laboratory was opened by UHNM Chief Executive Tracy Bullock and Jeremy Lefroy, MP for Stafford and has been described as the "future of simulation". It allows any setting to be projected onto blank walls taking away the need for lengthy set up when providing simulated training in a ward, emergency resus area or pre-hospital environment, for example.

Read More >

Focus on our clinically-led programmes


Enhanced Primary and Community Care programme

From Steve Grange, Programme Director

We’re working hard as a partnership to ensure we deliver on setting up Primary Care Networks (PCNs) across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. The creation of PCNs – networks of GP practices – is a key priority in the NHS Long Term Plan. The Long Term Plan describes a chance for practices, no matter their size to work together through PCNs and to support each other while providing improved services to patients, including weekend and evening appointments. Within Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, there will be a total of 26 PCNs covering all practices in the area and the re-contracting of primary care is on course to take place from July.

A big priority for the programme is long term conditions. As a system, we are working closely together to ensure there is a clear pathway in place for all patients with one or more long term condition that wraps primary care services within local communities. This process enables us to ensure there are no inequalities across the patch and no-one is left disenfranchised.

Finally for this month, I’m pleased to say that plans to roll out a Crisis Rapid Intervention Service to support clinicians in assisting patients within a care home are underway. From September, any care home resident who falls unwell can be assessed and triaged by this service to avoid unnecessary admissions to hospitals and ensure the patient gets treatment in the most appropriate place and in a timely manner. The service is being developed jointly by NHS acute and community providers, alongside commissioners in a real spirit of partnership. It is specifically designed to support paramedics and other clinicians in keeping the patient safe and to offer clinical governance to the care home. There will be a single point of access and will cover the whole of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent on a 24/7 basis.

Read More >


Urgent and Emergency Care programme

From Cheryl Hardisty, Programme Director

Following the generally successful management of winter pressures last year, and an improvement in performance we continue to build on this work by developing the next stage of our resilience planning with the development of a predictive trigger tool which will allow for a more proactive approach in order to respond to the demands of the service earlier and which can used across the year. This will be trialled at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) in July and the tool will also be trialled at County Hospital in Stafford and Burton’s Queens Hospital in time for winter 2019/20.

Following a successful pilot in February, which showed that 75% of referrals to existing community services could remain at home for their care, rather than be conveyed to A&E, a further care co-ordination test of change is planned for July.  This initiative, led by Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will determine the proportion of patients coming through NHS111 who could be directly booked and treated by community services - potentially in their own homes - rather than the patient attending their local A&E or their GP practice.

We are preparing for the launch of the Red Bag Scheme in August. This is a national initiative which supports the transfer of patients from care/residential homes to hospital and facilitates their return in a timely manner. The scheme, which will initially be launched across UHNM, with University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust’s Queen’s Hospital in Burton to follow, will see each care/residential home taking ownership of red bags which, on transfer of the patient to the acute trust, will contain their belongings required for an inpatient stay and subsequent discharge.

Traditionally, the bank holiday periods can be extremely challenging; this year there were three bank holidays in quick succession due to the lateness of Easter, which increased the risk of surges in demand and a potential increase in delays to discharge. However, the number of patients in acute beds who were medically fit for discharge and ‘green to go’ were significantly lower at this point compared to the same point in 2018.

The discharge to assess model (which enables patients to be assessed for continuing care outside of the acute hospitals) is now in its second year and maturing, with a significant increase in hours delivered by the Home First community service and a reduction in the length of stay for patients across all discharge to assess community beds when compared to the previous year, facilitating improved flow across the system.

Read More >


Maternity, Children and Young People programme

Maternity update from Heather Johnstone, Programme Director for the Maternity Transformation Programme

In my last update, I told you about the exciting campaign launched by the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Maternity Transformation Programme aimed at raising awareness and destigmatising perinatal mental health issues. The video has been a huge success with over 500,000 views, helping to signpost people to the most appropriate place to get help when needed. More information about perinatal mental health, support available locally and the wider campaign is available on Together We're Better's perinatal mental health web page here. We are also working alongside our partners in Shropshire to ensure a seamless approach to helping women and their families when experiencing perinatal mental health issues.

The Local Maternity System team is growing steadily with a newly appointed Lead Midwife for Transformation and also a Project Midwife for Continuity of Carer. Ensuring women have continuity of carer during all stages of their pregnancy and birth has been shown to improve outcomes for both mothers and babies.

Across maternity services, work is progressing to enable all women to access their own notes electronically. Currently, most women can access their notes electronically (online) and we are working towards women being able to access and make their own additions to their notes.

Involving women and their families in decisions about maternity services is key to the quality and safety of a service. The Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Maternity Transformation Programme, through the Local Maternity System has developed a Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) and we have successfully recruited 15 Maternity Champions to our MVP.

Read More >

Focus on our enabling programmes


Organisational Development and Leadership programme

From Linda Holland, Programme Director

As the first national pilot site, work on the NHS Leadership Academy High Potential Scheme (HPS) is progressing at a pace within Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Following a review of our programme of work in early June by the National Leadership Academy’s technical partner, it was agreed to amend our timelines and revise the launch date to the end of July. The scheme will have two entry points; with applicants selecting which development stream they wish to apply for during the application process, based on their level of leadership experience.

Development Stream One is for leaders moving towards managing a range of teams. Leaders at this level could also have strong technical expertise.

Development Stream Two is for leaders moving towards leadership of a whole function or service. Roles are likely to be leading part of a complex system, a smaller discrete system, service or complex programme area.

Development Stream Two graduates will be ready to access the Aspiring Chief Executive Programme and regional talent pool.

HPS is a two-year bespoke development programme. According to the experience, skills, competencies and knowledge that are required, participants will plan their own development, in conjunction with an assigned careers coach to enable them to perform successfully at the next level and progress into more senior roles at a faster pace. The scheme is open to all NHS-funded middle level leaders (Agenda for Change bands 8a-d, or equivalent in other pay structures, clinical or non-clinical), based within the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent STP. 

We were also delighted to hold the first Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Conference and Stepping Up Alumni event this month at the Bridge Centre in Stoke-on-Trent. Colleagues came together to celebrate the Stepping Up graduates, plus educate staff and students on personal journeys that current staff have taken.

Each of our brilliant Stepping Up graduates explained the journey they took to where they are now. The conference was about celebrating diversity, but also about addressing deep societal and systemic issues that mean that not all of our NHS colleagues enjoy the same experiences and opportunities as others. The key theme for the #Accelertorevent was personal journeys.

The event featured a number of speakers, including Patrick Nyarumbu, Director of Nursing with North Midlands, NHS England, and Owen Chinembiri, Senior Analytical Manager, Workforce Race Equality (WRES) Team, NHS England, and ended with three focus group discussions.

The Staffordshire Stepping Up Programme has been hugely successful, with scores of existing and aspiring leaders from the BAME community having taken part and developed their skills.

Read More >


Estates programme

From Becky Jones, Programme Director

Following the £21.9m awarded for the development of the health and care campus on the Outwoods site at Queen’s Hospital in Burton, partners have been working on next steps concerning the overall layout. Two workshops have been completed to review the site masterplan, which were supported by a wide range of health, local authority, voluntary sector and private sector stakeholders.

NHS England and Staffordshire County Council continue to work closely to deliver the Greenwood House Health & Wellbeing Centre. The planning application is currently being considered by Lichfield District Council. The outline business case has been submitted to NHS England’s Project Appraisal Unit for approval. 

The first phase of the Longton South scheme is making good progress. A pre-application planning consultation event was held in May to give patients, public and staff a further opportunity to provide feedback. Minor revisions were then made to the site plan and layouts following this feedback. The plans have now been signed-off by the CCG and a planning application has been submitted to Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

Read More >