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Northumbria board welcomes progress in Cumbria and CQC report

Wednesday, 09 July, 2014
Northumbria board welcomes progress in Cumbria and CQC report

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has today welcomed the progress being made by colleagues in North Cumbria under the direction of interim chief executive Ann Farrar.

Ann, previously chief operating officer at Northumbria Healthcare joined North Cumbria in September 2012 and her leadership over the past 12 months has already helped drive forward significant improvements in the quality and safety of patient care being delivered.

Last month, Northumbria Healthcare was officially partnered with North Cumbria to help deliver improvements after being named by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt as one of the best performing NHS Foundation Trusts in England, widely recognised as having the very highest standards of patient care and safety.

The new ‘buddying’ arrangements mean Northumbria Healthcare will now have more power to influence further positive change.  It has also been confirmed by Monitor – the regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts, that there are no restrictions on the level of support Northumbria Healthcare can provide to North Cumbria, and no restrictions on the extent to which both trusts can now integrate as an interim step toward full acquisition.

As part of ongoing work towards the acquisition, Northumbria Healthcare has already helped introduce its award winning patient experience programme in North Cumbria with over 4000 patients now participating in a scheme designed to continuously improve care.

At a meeting of Northumbria Healthcare’s board held in public today, the Trust also welcomed publication of the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC’s) first intelligence reports for all NHS Trusts across England which will now form an integral part of the healthcare regulator’s new inspection regime.

The new CQC report looks at a range of information including patient experience, staff experience, as well as statistical measures of performance and will be used to help the CQC prioritise its inspections under the direction of the new national Chief Inspector of Hospitals.

Members of Northumbria Healthcare’s board also praised work being led by the Trust to advise national colleagues on the development of more comprehensive methods of measuring mortality ratios.

Birju Rana, director of performance and governance at Northumbria Healthcare, has been working with the national Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) to share the Trust’s experience of running several community hospital sites – all of which care for hundreds of patients who are often elderly.  This inevitably impacts on the Trust’s overall hospital mortality ratios and is something which has never been accurately reflected to date.  

Northumbria Healthcare, which recently won a national data quality award, is leading this national work to ensure that other Trusts across England, with a similar make up of several dispersed community hospitals, have their data represented fairly in the standardised hospital mortality indicator ratio (SHMI) – the Department of Health’s key mortality measure for the NHS.

Commenting on the progress reported at the Trust board meeting, chairman Brian Flood said: “Providing high quality, safe and effective care for the thousands of patients who use our services every single day is our absolute priority and it is really good to see such progress now starting to be made in Cumbria.

“Safety will always be at the very heart of everything we do here at Northumbria Healthcare and as we work towards acquisition of North Cumbria, our focus will be on making sure that safety is also be at the forefront of all care being delivered in Carlisle and Whitehaven.

“As an organisation we are very much focussed on clinical leadership and looking at where we can continuously improve.  To do this, we regularly look at all data and welcome all possible evidence, including  the CQC’s new intelligence reporting and our important work on mortality, that can help us ensure we are continually delivering the very best possible quality of care for patients.”