Monday, 24 April 2017

Update from the Acting Chief Executive

The blog has proven to be popular with staff and so the Executive Director team have taken it over and will be posting regular updates.  Here is an update on some of the most important things happening within the Trust a the moment:

Strategic plan

The Trust’s five year Strategic Plan has now been approved by the Board. Overall, the strategy is working towards the delivery of whole person, place-based care. This broadly means we want all of our patients, carers and families to receive care that meets all of their mental, physical and social needs, but that this is arranged according to the needs of each town we serve. 

Where it makes sense, plans will be drawn up on a Trust-wide level and applied universally across all divisions but much of the work and innovation will be carried out locally in each town and may differ from place to place. The strategy also identifies what priority work needs to happen in order to support the delivery of the offer to the people and the place. Again these will apply both Trust-wide and locally as appropriate.

Whilst this is a five year strategy, the strategic objectives will be reviewed each year to ensure we are making progress and our approach still makes sense in the context of the everchanging environment in which we operate. The objectives for 2017/18 are currently being worked up and will be published when ready.

Ultimately the Strategic Plan describes how Pennine Care will ensure the services we deliver are safe and high in quality, whilst thinking about the whole person and the place in which they live.

A summary version of the strategic plan can be viewed on the Trust website.

Second CQC inspection announced 

Following the inspection outcome in December in which we were rated as 'requires improvement' overall, the Trust has now developed a detailed improvement action plan and revised Quality Strategy so we can move forward with the recommendations set out by the CQC.  

A joint Improvement and Transformation Board has been established to oversee progress. Many of the recommendations set out by the CQC require additional investment or a change in working practices that would need support from commissioners and other parties. Therefore, the Board includes representatives from the Trust and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), who have joint responsibility for the action plan.

The Trust has now also received notification that the CQC will be conducting a further round of announced and unannounced inspections, ahead of a well-led review of the Trust, which is planned for the week commencing 3 July 2017.  This is part of the new inspection regime for all trusts and Pennine Care is being included in the first phase.

It is anticipated that inspections could take place at any time up until that date, so we ask all services to be vigilant.  So much preparation took place last year for the full inspection, we are confident that most services will still be inspection-ready.  But if you have any concerns or queries, please do email 

Financial position 

The financial plight of the NHS is nothing new; the NHS nationally is predicted to have a deficit of £30 billion by 2020 and at a Greater Manchester level it is expected to reach a £2 billion deficit. All health and social care organisations are therefore required to find savings to close this £30 billion gap.

Staff will be aware by now that we find our required savings through cost improvement
plans (CIPs). In 2016/17 the Trust’s CIP target was £9 million, which we were able to achieve.  I know that it is incredibly difficult to find these savings within services, so thank you to the hard work and dedication of teams who have been through a CIP this year.

NHS Improvement also asked all NHS trusts to deliver a ‘control total’, which is a financial stretch target to try and reduce the national deficit. To achieve the control total for 2016/17, Pennine Care had to deliver additional savings of £0.9 million, which we have been able to do as a one-off without impacting on frontline budgets. For this, NHS Improvement provided the Trust with a financial incentive of £1.3 million to bring the control total to £2.3 million.

The financial plan we submit to NHS Improvement every year takes into account the amount of income we have, compared to our running costs (eg. pay, medicines and estates) which increase every year due to inflation. Because of this, we have to reduce our overall running costs to achieve financial balance, which we do through CIPs. However, Pennine Care already has some of the lowest running costs in the country, which means our services are already very lean and efficient.

Therefore, for the first time ever, the Trust has submitted a deficit plan for 2017/18 – we expect to only achieve £6.1 million of the required £8.5 million CIP and we are not planning to achieve a surplus control total of £2.3 million. The Board took the view that further savings could not be achieved in 2017/18 without compromising service quality and safety. It is important that we continue to work as efficiently as possible and where it is safe to make a CIP we will still do it.

The Trust is in discussions with commissioners, the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and NHS Improvement about the financial position moving forward. We are in a better place than most trusts, the majority are already in considerable financial deficit and we are confident that we will be able to find a solution to prevent further financial problems in the future.

Thank you for taking the time to read the blog, if you want to hear about anything in particular, please email suggestions to 

Martin Roe
Chief Executive (Acting)  

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