Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Recap of 2015 and thoughts for the New Year

As 2015 draws to a close, I thought it would be a good opportunity for some reflection over the last year and a look ahead to what’s to come in 2016.

Nationally, 2015 brought some major developments for the NHS, with NHS England starting to implement changes outlined in the Five Year Forward View.  This saw new ‘vanguard’ models of care being set up across the country to test out new ways of delivering care.  Pennine Care is a partner within the Stockport Together vanguard programme and we are keeping a close eye on developments around the country to see what models are proving to improve quality and reduce costs.  It’s likely that more test sites will be set up in 2016 as the first wave of vanguards start to produce the goods.  

This year, Greater Manchester was the first ‘city-region’ to be given greater decision making and budgetary controls over health and social care through the devolution agreement.  This has been a major programme of work since February and I personally have invested a great deal of time working with the central devolution team and Chief Executive colleagues within the NHS and Local Authorities to develop plans to radically redesign health and social care services.  This has culminated in the publication of a Strategic Plan for health and social care across Greater Manchester. 

Devolution will continue to be a key focus throughout 2016 and will inevitably result in considerable change for providers of health and care services, such as Pennine Care.  I will continue to be involved in GM devolution with the aim of ensuring community and mental health care has as much prominence as the acute sector in addressing future challenges and solutions.  This is recognised as part of the strategic plan, but it is part of my job to keep it high on the agenda.

We have had some major successes this year which we should be proud of.  At times of considerable challenge and change it can be easy to overlook all the good work that happens each and every day.  Of course I can’t mention them all, but would like to say a genuine thank you to all of our staff and supporters for their continued hard work and contributions.   

Significant highlights include:

We promote the good work of our staff and services throughout the year, so please take some time to look over the range of good new stories posted on the Trust website.

That’s not to say things aren’t difficult out in services, I know that staff are working tirelessly to deliver high quality patient care and at the same time resources are being squeezed as we have to make financial savings year on year.  I can’t promise that things are going to be easier in 2016, we still have savings to make and demands to meet, but as a Trust we will endeavour to listen to and support staff through these challenging times.

Looking forward to 2016, there are going to be some key priority areas we need to focus on as a Trust, these include:

  • Preparing ourselves for a CQC inspection, likely to be late Spring or early summer.
  • Making sure our services are safe and sustainable, with a major new programme being launched in the year.  It includes developing a new 5-year strategy for the Trust.
  • Focusing on integration and partnership working within our towns.
  • Continuing to support patients to avoid hospital wherever possible and helping them to take more responsibility for their own health and care.
  • Being a key player within Greater Manchester Devolution.
  • Continuing to implement the Paris clinical information system (Emis for Trafford).  
  • Improving the quality of data and reporting for all services.
  • Responding to tenders for existing and new services.
  • Continuing to campaign for parity of esteem and improved investment in mental health services.

I will continue to provide you with updates on these priority areas at key times throughout the year, using my blog, twitter account and staff communications channels.  But if you have any feedback for me please email: 

I’d like to thank you again for your support throughout 2015 and wish you well for the festive season and New Year.