27 April 2018 CEO Blog post

Review of the Year 2017/18

April is a funny month. It is when we find out how we have done financially for the year before (our accounts run to the 31 March), it is when we prepare our annual report and accounts, and this year, it is when we submit our plan for 2018/19 (even though we have already started delivering it).  The ‘year-end’ certainly doesn’t involve the chimes of Big Ben.

Importantly it is a chance to take stock. I want to take the opportunity to outline some of our achievements together over the past year and to provide some information on some issues we are working hard on.

In the last couple of weeks we received our draft CQC report, including the ‘well led’ review. We have commented on for factual accuracy, and returned it so it can be published officially. I cannot go into too much of the detail before that point but I look forward to sharing it with you soon.

It was only 12 months ago (how it has flown!) that we heard we had been taken out of breach of licence by our regulator, NHS Improvement. That was a significant milestone as we had worked so hard to get to that point.

One of the key contributors that had seen the organisation in breach in the first place was the performance in terms of access and waiting times. I am pleased to say we have achieved a continued reduction in 52-week waiters and have also improved steadily against the Referral to Treatment (RTT) standard, with a year-end position of just above 90% against the 92% target.

We also had work to do around culture in the organisation. We took that challenge head-on with the Rebuilding Relationships Programme and by improving behaviours through embedding our values and cultural characteristics. The CQC inspectors commented on the improvements they saw from the previous inspection. As we take this work forwards, we will switch the emphasis a little to talking about what every member of staff can do to help “Make The Difference” and really turn this hospital into an extraordinary place to work.

The improvements we have made were evident in the results of our Staff Survey. This showed we had got better at learning from incidents and we have also made significant strides in improving the communication between senior managers and staff.

Feedback from our patients also shows we have been getting it right. Last June we saw Adult Inpatient Survey results that showed us to be No 1 in the country in terms of overall patient experience. We have to wait until June 2018 for the benchmarking data for the latest results to see if we have retained our No 1 status, I think we can be confident that we will be there or thereabouts.

Just recently we were able to report excellent Patient Recorded Outcome Measures (PROMs). Our PROMs data showed us to be delivering greater health gains for hip and knee replacement patients than any of the other specialist orthopaedic providers. That truly is something to be proud of.

Our record on delivering quality care for our patients is excellent. Importantly for 2017/18 we have had no ‘never events’ and no serious incidents. We have maintained low infection rates, with no MRSA bacteraemia since 2006 and low surgical site infection rates. In addition we have reduced the harm to our patients through focusing on how and where people fall, and continue to work to reduce the delayed transfers of care across the hospital.

The Trust has continued to use the “safety thermometer” to monitor incidents of harm to patients in the course of their hospital treatment and has consistently scored over 98% of patients having received “no new harms” whilst at the Trust, which exceeded the target of 95%. Learning from all patient safety incidents is promoted throughout the Trust with examples of good practice shared at a variety of meetings.

Lastly, but certainly not least, we have also achieved the control total and our other financial targets for 2017/18. Our financial performance continues to be important as if we do not deliver against these targets then we cannot invest in our infrastructure and we cannot make the improvements that we want to make. We do not have to look too far outside our own borders to see other NHS organisations locally who are really struggling because of accumulating debts.

Looking forward, we held our first ever Clinical Leadership Summit recently. We discussed our strategy which in simple terms is about continuing to grow. You will see over the next year a continued expansion of our services, our staff and our facilities as we continue to respond to the needs of our patients and the expectations of our commissioners.

As part of the local health system we will look to continue to develop our services outside the walls of the hospital and with a real focus on preventative care and treatment. The current climate may be a challenging one, but we are confident that we are well equipped to meet those challenges and to thrive.

Finally I wanted to thank you for your support to me personally over the last two years. I do truly believe I work with the best people in the NHS.


Mark Brandreth
Chief Executive


Image of Mark Brandreth, Chief Executive

Do you have any thoughts or comments on this blog entry?

If so, please send to rjah.chief.executive@nhs.net.