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Delivering for patients, service users and their families

Hi all...

It's continues to be a really challenging time for everyone in the local NHS. It appears that not a day passes without some article on the national or local news about the stresses we are having to cope with and the amazing lengths the staff of the NHS are going to to deliver for patients, service users and their families. Whilst it's great to get public recognition and support for all our efforts and appreciation of how we go the extra mile and beyond, it doesn't mean it gets any easier. So I simply want to begin by stressing just how much we appreciate everything our staff and our partners across the local health and care system are doing. Our staff have been fantastic in being incredibly responsive to the wider urgent care system – thank you so much.

Statement on Carillion

You will have seen reports in the local and national media about the financial situation at Carillion and no doubt you are aware that they provide a number of services to the Trust. The services provided to our Trust by Carillion are only concerned with facilities management at Harplands Hospital, not direct medical treatment. A number of services, such as catering, cleaning and porters do have an impact on patients and care – we want to assure you that all of the appropriate steps are being taken to make sure that these services will continue and that the staff that are directly affected are supported throughout the process.

Our top priority is to keep services running safely for patients. Alongside NHS Improvement and our local partners, we planned extensively for this scenario with the aim of keeping any disruption to a minimum. We are working with colleagues at NHS Improvement to ensure that there is no disruption to patients, staff or the wider trust community. This announcement does not involve any staff directly employed by North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare. We are well aware of the concerns that staff employed by Carillion will have at this point and we thank them for their continued hard work. We are talking to them via their line management.

Any service user, their family member or carer can in the first instance contact the medical staff responsible for their care, who will be able to provide advice and reassurance. If they have any outstanding questions, they can submit them via a webform on our public website and we will endeavour to provide a full response.

Latest on CQC

We are happy to have received our draft CQC Report which, as you may remember, has to go through a factual accuracy process before it is released by the CQC back to us and can be shared. I will let you know detail as soon as I am able.

Flu - the challenge continues

Far from dissipating, it appears the impact of flu has ramped up over recent weeks and is having a major impact on local health services. So it's even more vital than ever that anyone who has not yet had their flu jab, does so. Our roving team of vaccinators continue to do a great job and last Friday saw an extra flu clinic taking place at Harplands Hospital. We're currently up to 65.1% of our staff being vaccinated, so there's still a job to do to hit the national target of 70% of staff taking up the vaccine.

Meeting with Neil McKay and locality working

I had a really positive meeting last week with Neil McKay, Chair of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent STP. It was really helpful to discuss with Neil our thoughts and plans. We are continuing to progress our thoughts on how we move to integrated locality working. We will soon be sharing thoughts more widely across the organisation. The main principle will be how we can reorganise ourselves to strengthen our interface with wider community teams across primary care, social care and community services.