Board Matters - September 2014

Board Matters
Welcome to Board Matters
The meeting was opened with a welcome to Professor Graham Hart who has joined the Board as a UCL nominated non-executive director. Dean of the UCL Faculty of Population Health Scientists, his research interests include sexual risk behaviour and the prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections. He has worked with a wide range of populations at risk, both nationally and internationally, and made major contributions to health policy and promotion. 

The Board also welcomed two new graduate trainees to the meeting, they have both joined the Trust as part of our clinical leadership management programme.
Steve Hitchins
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.
Patient story: complaint review    1
A woman complained to the Trust after problems trying to re-arrange her mother's outpatient appointment. She experienced long waits and having to repeat her mother’s details several times.

Assistant director of cancer and outpatient services Maureen Blunden explained how they investigated and reviewed the complaint and identified a number of improvements including increasing staff within the department, reinforcing customer service standards, creating a new call centre equipped to deal with calls more efficiently and reviewing colleagues' skills. 

She said waiting times for callers were now considerably lower and there has been a reduction in the number of complaints on how long people were waiting to get through to the department. 

Outpatient department
2   Chief executive update 
Simon Pleydell
Simon announced that we were another step closer to transforming our maternity and neonatal department. He said the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) has given initial approval for our investment plans to improve the quality and environment with new neonatal intensive care and high dependency units, a second obstetric theatre and refurbished labour ward. The proposals will increase capacity from 4,000 to 4,700 babies a year. We are starting work on a full business case to secure a £10 million investment towards the £20 million project. The other £10 million is funded through our own capital expenditure money.

He  congratulated Simmons House – our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) inpatient service for receiving an ‘excellent’ accreditation by The Quality Network for Inpatient CAMHS (QNIC) run by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. It is one of only 11 services out of 111 to receive the ‘excellent’ accreditation. Our Emergency Department (ED), he reported, was also continuing to perform well, achieving seeing 95 per cent of patients within the four hour target. On some days last month, he said, it had been the second best performing department in the country.
Infection control annual report   3
The annual report 2013/14 for infection prevention and control was presented to the Board. The key findings were highlighted, including two cases of MRSA bacteraemia reported against an objective of zero. We have a zero tolerance for MRSA and have investigated and implemented action plans. We have had no cases of MRSA so far this year. In 2013/14 we diagnosed 21 cases of C.difficile associated diarrhoea against an objective of 10. We are also slightly over trajectory for this year, which is disappointing and a priority for the Trust. Recently the team launched a 'think diarrohea' campaign. 

The Board were also told about how the infection prevention and control team have spent time in the hospital and the community meeting teams, offering support and building knowledge on infection control. In the past year they have also launched a successful hand hygiene campaign within the hospital and this will be rolled out to the community this year. 
Hand hygiene campaign
4   Our new five year strategy 
Engaging on our strategy
The Board heard how we will be engaging people in the development of our five year clinical strategy. The strategy will support Whittington Health to be a sustainable and innovative organisation into the future. 

Key to this process is listening to staff, stakeholders and the public. We are working with the King's Fund to develop the strategy. We will hold a series of events in October and November across the community.

The Board supported this important piece of work with our local community, staff and other stakeholders. It will give us a clear narrative regarding the vision and strategy for the organisation.
Our financial performance   5
The Board heard how our position four months into the financial year continues to show us significantly behind our plan.

We have an in-month position of £989k deficit against a planned deficit of £102k. The year to date position is a £3.7m deficit against a planned deficit of £1.1m. The Trust is working on a back to balance plan by the end of the financial year. This will be a major challenge for the Trust at this stage of the year. 

Expenditure continues to be high, especially around agency and medical locum spend. This is being reviewed. The Trust is working on a plan to bring the position back to breakeven by the end of the year. This includes both income and cost saving initiatives. We have seen some progress on savings plans, all of which are assessed to ensure there will be no impact on the safety and quality of the services we provide to our patients.

The Board also heard how we are looking at further ways of saving money, including asking for staff ideas and reviewing vacancies.
Finance update
6   Annual General Meeting and Members Meeting
Overview of last year
The Trust's Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Members Meeting was held following the Board meeting. At the meeting, the chief executive presented an overview of the past year, including our key achievements. The Annual Report was also made available. 

Medical Director Richard Jennings gave a talk on tuberculosis (TB) and the new North Central London TB service, which we launched earlier in the year along with a new TB centre based at the hospital.
Working on it!