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

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Logo and Vision

September 2019


Simon Whitehouse

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

This week sees the first submission of our draft Five-Year Plan, although this will continue to evolve until the final version in November. The plan has been shaped by your feedback and input gathered during the listening exercise and also from the work of the STP programmes.

This presents both a real opportunity and also a significant challenge for the partnership as we continue to strive to design a sustainable system – both in terms of the services we deliver and the resources we have available. Although it needs to align to the NHS Long Term Plan we will ensure that our local response works for our system and remains relevant to all of us. It will be a plan that can be delivered and will be owned by all of us working in health and care across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

System partners are committed to implementing the plan and to drive the implementation work required to support it – let’s be clear though, unless the proposals touch or make a difference to our front line staff and support them to improve how they deliver care, then we will have missed the point. A shadow ICS partnership board is launching over the coming months in order to drive our response and oversee the implementation of the Long Term Plan as we transition to an integrated care system.

We have always been challenged with delivery when working beyond the boundaries of single organisations, but together I am confident that we can collectively deliver on our vision to make Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent the healthiest places to live and work.

Simon Whitehouse

STP Director

Health and care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

PCBC Image


Thank you to everyone who attended and supported the events in the recent Together We’re Better 12-week listening exercise. The feedback is now being analysed and a Report of Findings is being produced. The final version will be reviewed by the CCG Governing Bodies in the Autumn.

We are now looking forward to the next stage in the process and would like to invite you to attend one of our workshops, at which you will help us to agree the desirable criteria against which you will evaluate a list of potential solutions to the problems you identified during the listening exercise and to further refine the list of ideas that we will take forwards.  

The dates for these workshops are:

24 October – 1pm until 5pm, Port Vale Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent

28 October – 12pm until 4pm, George Hotel, Lichfield

30 October – 12pm until 4pm, Entrust, Stafford

An additional workshop will be held for the workforce on:-

5 November – 9.30am until 1.30pm, Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre, Stone

If you are interested in attending one of the above workshops, please complete the online registration form, here:

We hope that, by listening to the views of our Local Representatives, service users and patient groups, we will get a balanced view from these workshops, with which to move forward.


Lichfield community CAMHS shortlisted for national award

A team of NHS health care professionals who provide mental health care to children and young people living in Lichfield and Burntwood have been shortlisted for a national award presented by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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New Models of Care for mental health

Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is a member of three new partnerships which will change the way some specialist mental health services are provided in the West Midlands. This alternative approach is called a New Care Model and enables the organisations delivering services to take a much more active role in commissioning and managing the way care is provided.

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New Executive Director of Nursing and Quality appointed by North Staffordshire Combined NHS Trust

An experienced mental health nurse leader, Kenny Laing has a real enthusiasm for improvement and innovation in mental health and community services. He will be joining the Trust from November.

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UHNM rainbow badge scheme supports LGBT+ patients

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust has launched the NHS rainbow badge scheme for its staff to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) patients. The scheme is being rolled out across both sites at Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital in Stafford.

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Care for older people with dementia praised by inspectors

Staff who support older people living with dementia in Stoke-on-Trent have been praised for offering a “positive, person-centred” environment for people by the CQC. Following an unannounced inspection in August 2019, Marrow House care home was rated as ‘good’ overall. Inspectors found that the service protected people and managed medications safely.

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Focus on our clinically-led programmes

Mental Health

Mental Health programme

From Jonathan O'Brien, Programme Director

We have been successful in receiving additional funding to continue with improvements across suicide prevention and awareness. We will be providing training to mental health staff and GP practices to spot the signs and respond. We will be developing local community champions and raising awareness to encourage people to seek help at the earliest opportunity. We will also be providing more support to people who self-harm as they are more likely to attempt suicide.

Building on the success of last year, we are holding another Suicide Prevention Conference on 11 October which will cover key topics such as progress on the Zero Suicide initiative, the latest research, findings on suicide bereavement and an update on the progress made locally.

In response to NHS England’s Mental Health Implementation Plan published in July, we are working with our colleagues across the STP to develop plans to meet the improvements expected of us.

Feedback on mental health services gathered through the recent listening exercise will be used to shape the plans for the next five years. We are hoping for a final version by mid-November, so we can progress with implementing the necessary local changes.

A faster pathway to specialist alcohol services for people arriving at the emergency services at Royal Stoke and Queen’s hospital is helping people get the specialist support that they need more quickly to avoid admission.

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Planned Care

Planned Care and Cancer programme

From Mark Doran, CCG Strategic Commissioning Lead for Cancer

Last year and this year, we have been fortunate to receive transformation funding from the West Midlands Cancer Alliance, including to set up a pilot service for respiratory health checks in certain parts of Stoke-on-Trent. Operated by University Hospitals North Midlands, the pilot includes inviting patients from GP practices for a respiratory health check. This is essentially a lung MOT which may detect a number of things including cardiovascular problems, diabetes or lung cancer – even if symptoms are not yet visible.

Identifying lung cancer patients as early as possible is extremely important, to give people the best possible chance of a good outcome. The pilot ensures the patient gets the most appropriate follow-up care – usually from their own GP. If there are any concerns, a follow-up CT scan is arranged. If the scan suggests cancer (a very small proportion of patients), the patient can be offered the most appropriate care very quickly.

The pilot includes access to stop smoking services through partnership working with the Stoke-on-Trent City Council public health team. This pilot is based on findings of major pieces of international research and is so far replicating the positive findings of pilots in Manchester and Liverpool. The NHS Long Term Plan calls for roll-out nationwide over the next few years. It is a great example of putting clinical evidence into action. We are also supporting another West Midlands STP in developing a similar programme.

Elsewhere in our STP, a cancer awareness group in East Staffordshire is aiming to address communities where uptake of cancer screening services and also HPV vaccination is very low. The group includes local authority and community leaders as well as health professionals and commissioners. It has been focusing on the reasons why certain communities tend to decline screening and why parents in those communities are much less likely to consent to their daughters having the HPV vaccination. 

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Prevention programme

From Andrew Donaldson, Programme Director

We have been working on our chapter of the TWB Five Year Plan, which supports our vision where everyone living in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent is inspired and supported to take personal responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, living within supportive and connected families and communities.

Our approach to prevention is rooted in the community, and our vision for a new model of care is centred around 26 PCNs that will bring care much closer to home and provides the platform for a strong, community and strengths-based approach to prevention.  

Our ambitious programme has several linked dimensions:

  1. A new narrative and behaviour change – a whole system approach that promotes the importance of personal responsibility for health and well-being
  2. Strengths based culture and practice – ensuring our workforce is equipped and empowered to have appropriate conversations i.e. the principle of ‘Making Every Contact Count’ (MECC)
  3. Information, Advice and Guidance – we will develop a modern approach based around an exemplary IAG offer from the health and social care system
  4. Community offer – there is a vibrant and diverse community and voluntary sector
  5. Social Prescribing – when people do come into contact with health and care services, we will ensure a strong and effective social prescribing model
  6. Population Health Management – all of this will be underpinned by embedding population health management.

To support this programme, we have a number of planned deliverables.

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Urgent and Emergency Care programme

From Cheryl Hardisty, Programme Director

In the last month, we have made progress against each of our milestones:

  • Simplified access:
    • The Test of Change for NHS111 / MPFT took place in August and meetings have been held to finalise the pathways and inclusion criteria for NHS111
    • Progress towards the implementation of Direct Booking continues
  • Integrated UEC Model and Consolidation:
    • The PCBC engagement events have now finished and a PCBC inter-dependency workshop was held
    • The Case for Change for the UEC model was presented at Clinical Senate
    • Clinicians were invited to a clinical group to develop hurdle criteria
  • Working Together as One Health and Care System:
    • High level review of Demand and Capacity submissions undertaken, and further iterations requested from orgsanisations where appropriate
    • Draft version of new UEC Dashboard reporting format presented and agreed at UEC Programme Board
    • Plus more
  • Wider System Delivery:
    • Local Enhanced Service discussed with North Staffs LMC Chair
    • Roll-out of new LES specification commenced in South West Staffordshire
    • Admission avoidance CRIS launched across two PCNs
    • Plus more
  • Emergency Department Front Door and Hospital Flow:
    • ED Improvement plan continues and a BC for additional staffing approved and recruitment commenced. 10 Junior Doctors commenced to support overnight
    • Phase 1 of the Urgent Care Model now implemented with a larger Majors template
    • Plus more
  • Hospital Discharge:
    • Plan refreshed to consolidate repetitive actions and articulate at milestone level and to include additional actions in line with PDSA approach to implementing the High Impact Changes. MPFT have refreshed the governance and strengthened the PMO around the Urgent Care Programme to support delivery
    • Plus more

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Focus on our enabling programmes


Workforce programme

From Alex Brett, Programme Director

At the beginning of September, 14 health and social care graduates began their five-year programme. Rotational placements in primary care, social care, mental health, district nursing teams and acute care in a hospital setting will give them a unique experience and insight into many different areas of health and care. Five palliative care apprentices also began their 14-month programme, with rotational placements across UHNM, Douglas Macmillan Hospice, Belong, Katharine House Hospice and MPFT. Both groups will be completing their Healthcare Support Worker Level 2 diploma with Newcastle and Stafford College Group.

Over this summer’s 12-week listening exercise, 1,215 health and care staff have been engaged across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent at a variety of events. Coordinating partners’ submissions and feedback on the Long Term Plan has been a lot of work – this will inform the overall system plan to be submitted at the end of September

We have been working with the STP Digital workstream and partners to develop programmes to support, enable and empower the workforce in digital and technology.

At the end of July, the Apprenticeship Levy Sharing Programme invited applications for funding requests for the second time, receiving seven applications from a variety of organisations across the county. In total, £102,000 of levy share monies have been requested to be shared. Following both funding rounds, a total of 111 apprenticeships have or will be benefitting from the scheme and £672,000 of levy funds have been applied for.

The redeployment service continues to support and guide members of staff at risk of redundancy and seeks suitable alternative employment wherever possible. To date, the service has co-ordinated the successful redeployments of 159 members of staff and has saved the NHS over £4 million in redundancy costs. Recently, the team have been focusing on aiding a large-scale management of change.

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