Board Matters - February 2014

Board Matters
Welcome to Board Matters
Welcome to our February edition of Board Matters. This month’s Board meeting highlighted  some key agenda items including our £9.9m plans for our maternity services. I would like to remind everyone that our meetings are held in public and everyone – including all staff - are welcome to attend. I would also like to welcome two councillors who have joined the Board as observers from Islington and Haringey Borough Councils: Cllr Paul Convery, full-time executive member responsible for community safety at Islington BC, and Cllr Bernice Vanier, deputy leader of Haringey BC and cabinet member for health and adult services.  

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Steve Hitchins
Chair of Whittington Health
I would like to know 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. We have another vacancy for a non-executive director, so I am also keen to hear from anyone interested in the position. This role is also the chair of our quality committee so a clinical background would be desirable but not essential.
 Patient story….as told by Theo’s mum Helen   1
Neeta Patal explained there had been a sharp rise in childhood allergies in recent years, almost 40 per cent of children have some type of allergy and one in five develop eczema. In six years, Whittington Health’s paediatric allergy clinic has grown from a weekly service to six sessions per week with consultants, dieticians and specialist nurses. Helen Roberts told the story of her son Theo who was born weighing 7lb 3ozs but had struggled with weight gain and eczema since he was one. His GP had prescribed a cream which turned out to be an irritant, and both she and Theo had been advised to avoid many foods. Many perceived Theo as a happy, engaged baby but in reality his eczema made him constantly uncomfortable.  

Eventually a locum health visitor had referred them to Whittington Health’s paediatric allergy clinic. For the first time, Helen said, she was given practical information about how to manage Theo’s condition, describing the allergy nurse as ‘wonderful’. The clinic gave him allergy tests, monitored his weight and a planned programme of care. All issues were dealt with in a joined-up and holistic way, and regular detailed reports were sent both to their GP and to Helen.  They saw the same health professionals and so did not have to repeat their history. Theo, now aged four-years-old, has little memory of the eczema. Helen added, “Thanks to the clinic, I now have an energetic and bright little boy whose questions about what eczema is are music to my ears.” 
Whittington Health's paediatric allergy team
2    Enhanced recovery programme
Getting better sooner
Chief Executive Dr Yi Mien Koh highlighted that Board members had recently taken part in a service improvement walkabout focussing on our enhanced recovery programme, a key element of our clinical strategy. The programme helps patient get better more quickly and safely following illness, so they can go home sooner. The aim is to enable the patient to know what to expect and be an equal partner in their care. Among the initiatives showcased  were multidisciplinary ‘board rounds’ – a review of patients’ progress against their care plan involving the consultant, medical team, ward manager and therapists, and a going home set of standards to ensure a smooth journey and improved experience for patients from their  admission through to discharge from hospital. They were also told about innovations in urology care to reduce the length of stay to 23 hours for prostate resection and kidney stone management. 
Transforming our maternity services   3
We are a step closer to securing a multi-million investment to transform our maternity and neonatal services. The Trust’s Board has approved a £9.9m outline business case to provide improved quality and increased capacity in the Trust’s maternity and neonatal services. The plans include new facilities for The Whittington Hospital’s neonatal intensive care and high dependency units, a second obstetric theatre to increase the capacity and quality of maternity theatre and a refurbished labour ward. We hope to increase the number of babies delivered at the hospital to 4,700 a year, by April 2019.
New mum and baby at our maternity department
4   Whittington Warriors
Mike Coltman from the infection, prevention and control team
Whittington Health is stepping up its fight against healthcare associated infections (HCAI) by launching a new campaign to urge people in the hospital to stop and clean their hands. Under the banner – Join the Whittington Warriors - the campaign encourages staff, visitors and patients to practice quick and easy hand hygiene measures to reduce healthcare associated infections and save lives. Around one third of healthcare associated infections are preventable and good hand hygiene is the main way of reducing infections. Please join the campaign on twitter using the hash-tag #WhittingtonWarriors

Staff flu vaccination target hit   5
Whittington Health was the first NHS Trust in London to achieve the staff flu vaccination target of 75 per cent. A comprehensive vaccination programme was put in action across our hospital and community sites with regular flu clinics and 45 ‘flu champions’ who administered the vaccine to colleagues. Dr Yi Mien Koh thanked Whittington Health occupational health and infection prevention and control teams for their ‘tireless’ work as well as all staff involved in the programme. Together, they had helped the Trust protect staff, patients and families against flu this winter.
Whittington Health doctor receives the flu jab
6   New catering contract
N19 staff restaurant
The Trust Board approved plans to go ahead with a new contract for the Trust’s patient, staff and visitor catering services. The decision followed a lengthy debate and a comprehensive procurement process aimed at continuing to improve the quality of food while delivering efficient services.

A five-year contract is to be awarded to facilities management provider Sodexo – subject to the final stage of the procurement process. Sodexo has a proven track record delivering a wide range of services, including catering and retail, across 17 NHS Trusts. The contract will save the Trust £2.2m over the five years.
The service is currently provided in-house and all the Trust’s 22 catering staff will be entitled to transfer to Sodexo. They will maintain the same NHS pension rights and continue to be paid under NHS Agenda for Change (AfC) pay rates. The Trust will also look to ensure that all new staff joining Sodexo to work at Whittington Health will be paid either the London Living Wage or AfC rates. The Trust has carried out a staff engagement programme throughout the tendering process to keep our catering staff and unions fully informed.
Working on it!