This month’s meeting was opened with a farewell to Dr Yi Mien Koh - whose departure was announced after
the last Trust Board - and a thank you for her hard work and the contribution she has made to Whittington
Health. We welcomed the new chief executive, Simon Pleydell, and Siobhan Harrington who's returned to the
Trust as deputy chief executive and director of strategy following a secondment. The Trust medical director,
Martin Kuper, was also congratulated on his appointment as medical director at Homerton University Hospital NHS
Foundation Trust. The Board noted the recruitment process for the non executive director vacancy had been
successful and the NHS Trust Development Authority (NHS TDA) would formally announce this appointment soon.
Since the last meeting, I attended our annual staff excellence awards which recognised four staff and six teams
from across the organisation for their outstanding achievements in 2013.
I am committed to hearing about patient stories - unfortunately this month's story was unable to take place.
As a Board, we would like to hear a range of patient experiences, both negative and positive, so we can review
areas of poor performance, learn and improve.
Recently the Trust received some media attention in relation to a doctor being charged under female genital
mutilation (FGM). We would like to apologise to our staff for the delay in updating them directly on this
Chair of Whittington Health
I would like
to hear your thoughts
If you have any comments or views on
any agenda items, please get in touch by clicking on the ‘email Steve’ button below or give me a
ring on 0780 1106860.
Chief executive Simon Pleydell introduced himself to the Board
and gave a brief account of his experience spanning 15 years as a chief executive with other NHS organisations.
He told the Board he was chief executive at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for nine years where he
led the Trust through financial turnaround to foundation trust status while maintaining high quality
care and safe services. Simon outlined his vision for the future and the importance of working in
partnership with the local community.
Presenting the chief executive's report to the Board, Simon noted the opening of the ambulatory care centre
which offers patients of all ages greater opportunity to have same day treatment. The centre provides a one-stop
consultant led diagnostic service for patients and is a beacon of good practice, successfully demonstrating a
new way of providing high-quality emergency care designed around patients' needs.
Simon told the Board the Care Quality Commission's (CQC) intelligent monitoring report was published on 13
March. The report categorises Trusts into bands of risk (with band one being the highest risk and band six the
best). The report put Whittington Health into band six, an improvement on the CQC's previous report in
October 2013 when we were in band four.
Chief finance officer Simon Wombwell presented the latest
financial position - the Trust remained on target to deliver a break even position for 2013/14. Latest figures
up to the end of February 2014 showed the organisation was on course to achieve financial balance, however,
he emphasised that £8m reserves had been used to achieve this as the Trust had underdelivered on the
2013/14 savings plan.
Like all NHS Trusts, Whittington Health faces a financially challenging year ahead (14/15). Simon told the Board
that the Trust was facing a £15m Cost Improvement Programme (CIP), the same savings target as the previous
year. Details of the savings plans are still being worked through. So far £11m has been identified but
work continues to find a further £4m. The Trust is looking to find significant savings from a reduction in
spending on agency staff and moving to a more sustainable permanent workforce. It is also examining the
efficient use of its estate, but remains committed to the pledges it made after the listening exercise last
year. The Board agreed that details of the full £15m savings plan would be presented at the May Board.
It noted the importance of staff, patient and community engagement as well as communication of the
The results of the national 2013 NHS staff survey and our own
trust wide staff survey were presented to the Board. The Trust is committed to acting on the feedback of
both surveys. Next steps include a webinar for all staff to ask questions on the results, the setting up of a
steering committee to which staff and unions will be invited to design improvements and a workshop for
individual areas to develop their own action plans.
Initial key development areas will focus on:
Improving leader visibility and communication with staff
Clarifying to staff the future direction of the Trust
Changing management behaviours to inspire and motivate staff
Increase staff commitment by seeking and acting on patient feedback
Understanding and acting where staff have reported excessive workloads
The Board noted the results of the staff surveys and the need to develop as well as communicate a clear vision
for Whittington Health. We will be starting work on this over the next few months.
Reflecting on the last financial year (2013/14), the Board
heard the Trust had met some key national targets and there had been a number of other achievements including:
Meeting the four hour target for patients to be seen in our emergency department
Ensuring that 90 per cent of patients admitted and 95 per cent of non admitted patients started
consultant led treatment within 18 weeks of referral
Improvements across the organisation from our enhanced recovery and improvement programme
Winning the contract to provide lifestyle behaviour change training sessions in surgery, cancer
More effective use of operating theatres
The Board also heard that our new £1m tuberculosis (TB) centre which is part
of the new integrated TB Service North Central London, will open on 28 April in partnership with University
College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The Board discussed the mandatory training levels within the
Trust. Our current rate is 76 per cent which is favourable compared to other local trusts but 14 per cent below
Chris Goulding, deputy director of HR, told the Board about the work being undertaken to improve and streamline
the process including a review of the content of courses, making e-learning more user friendly and accessible
and for new starters, transferring the details of completed courses at other NHS organisations across to
The Board reinforced the commitment to ensure staff have
regular appraisals and noted the benefit this had for both employees and the organisation. Latest figures show
the number has dropped in the last couple of months although it is believed that many are not being correctly
A new harmonised single appraisal scheme will be phased in from May with an emphasis on staff
member’s potential and performance over the past year. The organisation will also produce standardised
templates and simplify the recording of appraisals.