Friday, February 23, 2018

Learning lessons

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt had an article in the telegraph this week on improving patient safety which makes some points we can all take on board about how we can all work together to make the NHS a global leader in learning lessons and removing risks to health.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

February meeting of the Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee - Monday 26th Feb 2018

The next meeting of the Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee will held on Monday 26th February at 10.30 am at Cumbria House, Botchergate, Carlisle, and will be open to the public.

After the usual boilerplate (apologies for absence, minutes of previous meeting, etc) the first major item on the agenda, item six, is the presentation of a report from the Chief Executive of the CCG (The clinical commissioning group) for North Cumbria NHS.

This will include details of the 12 month trial of "Option One" Consultant-led maternity at West Cumberland Hospital as reconfigured following the 2016 Success regime consultation:

Report by the Chief Executive, NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group

The other main items on the morning's agenda are as follows:

To consider a report by the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

To consider a report by Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group.

To consider a report by Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group.

Then after lunch, resuming at about 1.30pm, the main items for consideration are:

To consider a report by the Programme Director for South Cumbria and Lancashire STP.

To consider a report by the North West Ambulance Service.

The full agenda including reports is available here.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Date agreed for 12 month trial for WCH maternity service

The Clinical Commissioning Group has now agreed the dates for the 12 month period to test the sustainability and safety of Consultant-led maternity at West Cumberland Hospital (WCH)

Members of the Governing Body were keen to emphasise that this is not merely a stay of execution for the service. It is a timescale for the sustainability and safety of the service to be considered.

It was agreed by members of NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) Governing Body that the 12 month period for testing the ability to deliver consultant-led maternity services at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven will start in April.

Following the "Healthcare For The Future public consultation" the decision was made by the CCG to support the delivery of consultant-led care at the West Cumberland Hospital with some mothers who may potentially have higher risk babies delivered at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

It was suggested at the time that there would be plans to test the sustainability of the service over a 12 month period, but that period was not started while the outcome of a "call-in" by Cumbria County Council's health scrutiny committee was under consideration. That was finally resolved at the end of 2017.

Over the past year a "Working Together Steering Group" (WTG) and other working groups have been set up involving the community, third sector, frontline health and care staff, as well as system leaders, to support the wider efforts to sustain the service through what has been called "co-production."

An Independent Review Group (IRG) has also been established. This is a panel made up of independent clinical experts chaired by Dr Bill Kirkup, which will assess progress over the 12 months.

Jon Rush, chair of the CCG, said:

“It is already 11 months since we made the decision. There has been considerable work within the service to prepare for the implementation of Option 1 and a huge amount of work by the community to help tackle these long standing recruitment issues.

“But the challenges we faced have not gone away and the uncertainty is not helping this fragile service. The decision to start this 12 month period will allow some certainty.

“The CCG has always been – and remains – committed to doing everything possible to provide consultant-led services at Whitehaven.”

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Rethinking "Did not attend"

The NHS in Nottingham has been encouraging medical professionals to record as "Was not Brought" rather than "Did not attend" when a child does not appear for an appointment - and review whether someone needs to contact the family.

The suggestion has been made to me that we should consider adopting this in Cumbria. Perhaps one to put to the Trusts and CCGs?

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Free WiFi at WCH and North Cumberland Infirmary

Free public WiFi is now available at West Cumberland Hospital and at the North Cumberland Infirmary at Carlisle.

Free public Wi-Fi available to all patients and visitors was launched at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust (NCUH) shortly before Christmas (Monday 18 December).  

The Trust was one of only 16 in the country to take part in the initial phase of NHS Digital’s plans for free Wi-Fi in all NHS healthcare settings and IT staff have been working to introduce the new system before Christmas.

The Wi-Fi now available at both The Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven and means that patients and visitors will be able to browse the internet and use apps while at either hospital. Patients just need to choose ‘NHS Wi-Fi’ on their smart device and follow the registration process to gain access.

Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group will also be using the new system in their hospitals and GP practices, switching from their current supplier in the New Year.

Stephen Harrison, IT manager at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This is fantastic news for our patients and visitors, it is something we have received many requests for and we’re delighted to now be able to offer this service in the Trust’s hospitals.”

Michael Smillie, executive director of IT for NCUH and CPFT, said: “Being in hospital can sometimes be isolating and being able to go online for free, using their own devices, will allow patients to stay up to date with news, access social media, keep in touch with family and friends and browse the web.

“The Trust is always looking to improve services for our patients and visitors, and this will continue as we develop our public Wi-Fi coverage over the coming months.”

Friday, January 05, 2018

PM Thanks NHS staff

The Prime Minister has thanked all NHS staff for the fantastic work they do to keep the service going and care for the sick

Monday, January 01, 2018

A Happy New Year to all NHS Staff

A Happy New Year 2018 to all the wonderful people who make the NHS the service it is: to all the GPs, hospital doctors, Nurse Practitioner's and other nurses and Physician Associations, to all the dentists and midwives, and to all the supporting staff.

A special thanks to all those who work in Cumbria's NHS, whether in hospitals like the West Cumberland Hospital, FGH, Westmorland Hospital, North Cumberland Infirmary, and our community hospitals, or in general practice.