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

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Logo and Vision

November 2019


Simon Whitehouse

Welcome to the latest newsletter from the Together We’re Better Health and Care Partnership.

As November comes to an end, I can definitely say that the work of the partnership continues at full speed, as we busily prepare for several key milestones.

Our Five Year Plan has now been produced and submitted to NHS England and NHS Improvement and we are awaiting their feedback. It is important to remember though, that this is not a ‘new plan’ – rather, it builds on the work that was detailed in the 2016 system plan and moves that agenda forwards. Over the past few weeks, partners have worked closely together to shape the final submission and to ensure that it makes sense from a clinical and outcomes perspective. The priority areas of focus remain consistent and we know that we have more to do in some key areas, such as cancer, prevention and mental health to list just a few. We are now in the pre-election period also known as 'purdah' and have had to pause on publishing the plan. However, I do want to be clear in stating that this is an evolving plan and one that will continually need to be updated and changed anyway. Obviously, the outcome of the election will inform our next steps in relation to our Five Year Plan, but we are continuing to work on the priority areas, as they are the right things to be working on anyway. 

A part of the plan sets out our ambition as a system to transition from a Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) to an Integrated Care System (ICS). At its core, this is about how partners work together in a more joined up way to support the delivery of improved health and well-being outcomes for local people – blurring the traditional boundaries of organisations, commissioners and providers. The focus of the ‘integration agenda’ is about improving our service offer for local people. We are currently working on forming the building blocks of the Integrated Care System for the areas of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

One of those building blocks is the work that is happening in primary care with local GPs who are developing the 26 Primary Care Networks (PCNs). Ensuring that we support their development will enable them to help drive this local, clinically-led agenda around integration and doing things in a more joined-up manner.

As ever, we are involving the local population to help us deliver care in a different way. This means listening to the views of GPs, community care, voluntary sector organisations, other partners and the general public and we continue to do this in a variety of ways. One of these approaches is the forthcoming launch of our People’s Panel, where we invite members of the community to share their views through regular surveys. We want to create relationships that help us to instigate the real improvements that need to happen.

All our activities are centred on our key goal of making Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent the healthiest places to live and work and I am confident that we can collectively deliver on this.

Simon Whitehouse

STP Director

Health and care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

PCBC Image


Over the past month we have been continuing to progress our system transformation programme, working with patient groups and staff to inform the options appraisal process.

This has involved holding three options appraisal workshops across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent with members of local patient groups, partners and voluntary sector representatives. These sessions took place at the end of October and gave us valuable insight to inform the development of 'desirable criteria', which would be used when weighting any future proposals. A staff workshop was also held for colleagues from across the health and care system at the beginning of November, which was very well attended. 

Our technical experts, including medical directors and clinicians, met again in November to continue to refine the emerging proposals. As part of this process, they listened to the feedback received at our workshops with service users and staff to help inform their work.

At this stage there are still hundreds of potential scenarios, which will be further explored and refined by our technical experts over the coming months.

Following the pre-election period we are planning to hold further workshops with patient representatives and the workforce, where they will use the agreed criteria to score the list of emerging proposals, helping us to refine this further.



Lichfield CAMHS wins national award for excellence

The Lichfield Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) won the Psychiatric Team of the Year Award for the Children and Adolescents category at the high profile Royal College of Psychiatrists’ RCPsych Awards 2019. The team was recognised for the care, innovation and dedication it provides in supporting young people in Lichfield and Burntwood.

Read More >

New stroke technology wins national healthcare award

The Best Use of Technology Award (acute care) was presented to the creators of an innovative device designed to help prevent stroke patients from developing life-threatening blood clots. Developers of the groundbreaking geko™ device – University Hospitals of North Midlands and UK-based Sky Medical Technology (Sky) – were recognised at the national Building Better Healthcare Awards this month.

Read More >

UHNM holds inaugural national critical care rehabilitation conference

Over 100 healthcare professionals attended the new conference, organised by clinicians at UHNM, and saw a variety of speakers such as critical care rehabilitation coordinators and speech and language therapists, showcasing the importance of a multidisciplinary team approach in a patient's recovery. A Staffordshire patient also shared her experience of surviving a critical illness and the care she received at UHNM.

Read More >

Focus on our enabling programmes


Workforce programme

From Mish Irvine, Programme Manager

The past few months have been an exciting period of system-wide collaboration for the Together We're Better Workforce Programme; especially the success of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Workforce Think Tank 2019.

On the 7th November 2019, our STP Workforce Programme hosted a second Workforce Think Tank. We were joined by colleagues from across the system, representing: primary care, social care, the voluntary sector, universities and colleges, trade unions, clinical commissioning groups, Health Education England (HEE), NHS trusts from across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and many more.

A special thank you goes to senior representatives who attended to give talks on the day; these included:

  • Sir David Behan, Chair of HEE, who gave an overview of the Interim People Plan
  • Neil Carr, Senior Responsible Officer who provided information on System Context
  • James McLean, Deputy Chief Nurse for HEE, who discussed ‘Addressing the Staffing Challenge’ across the system
  • Simon Whitehouse, STP Director, shared his support and hopes for what the day would achieve
  • Alex Brett, Workforce Programme Director, and Mish Irvine, Head of Programme – who gave an STP Workforce Programme overview, celebrating the system's successes of the last twelve months (sharing what we’ve achieved together as a system so far; how the STP has supported Long-Term Workforce Planning; STP apprenticeship schemes; the achievement of Cornerstone Employer status; system-wide retention initiatives; and much more)

The afternoon session gave colleagues the opportunity to look to the future and contribute during their chosen workshops which were based on ‘Digital Workforce’, ‘Retention and Staff Experience’ and ‘Supply of Staff’.

Working groups and representatives from the workshops will take forward the feedback and suggestions and create specific work programmes to put the collated ideas and suggestions into action.

The Workforce Think Tank represented a positive example of how collaboration can have a lasting impact on staff and organisations across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent’s health and care system.

On the 23 October, our STP colleagues also attended Keele University’s Annual Careers Fair. Over 100 students provided their thoughts on career aspirations, potential routes into the health and social care sector, and how digital impacts their studies and job hunting.

November 2019 also gives our colleagues across the system the opportunity to engage with the Apprenticeship Levy Sharing Programme and submit applications to help develop themselves and their staff. The programme is also looking to meet with General Practices to discuss the levy opportunity and potential for upskilling new and existing staff.


Estates programme

From Becky Jones, Programme Director

A review of STP Estates strategies was held recently across England, which allowed local systems to demonstrate progress made in developing approaches to strategic estates planning. After ratifications by the NHS England Strategic Estates Planning (SEP) Board, the Together We’re Better Estates Strategy has now been awarded a GOOD banding. Further information about this will be shared in December. For now, the Estates Programme will be focussing on the next steps and actions highlighted during the review.