Community Forum Newsletter - Jul/Aug 2017

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Welcome to the Whittington Health Community Forum July / August Newsletter

This newsletter is covering two months for a few reasons. We know a lot of people will be taking a break in August including the Whittington Health Board and we were delaying as long as we could so we could announce the details of the new Chief Executive. More information on that below.

Your support matters to us and more important than telling you our news is for us to hear from you.  If you have queries, comments or suggestions Ė and we really would like to hear from you - please contact us via our website

Spread the word and encourage your friends, family and neighbours to join

We want as many people as possible to sign up and become involved.  We encourage you to ask your family and friends to sign up by visiting so they too can find out more about our plans, services, activities and events.

Events in London

2017 has been a busy year for emergency events. Westminster, London Bridge, Finsbury Park and Grenfell Tower raised major issues for all the emergency services. Although only geographically close to the Finsbury Park incident all had an impact on our emergency department.
When there is a major incident and local hospitals have to deal with larger numbers other ambulance services are diverted. We also had a number of direct referrals from Finsbury Park.
A number of colleagues in the Trust were also affected and both our Occupational Health team and our Spiritual & Pastoral Care Team provided support and counselling.

Chief Executive

Simon Pleydell our Chief Executive leaves the Trust in September after three and a half years that have seen greater stability and excellent progress on a number of fronts. We scored a GOOD result from the CQC inspection. The finances are stronger. We are working in clinical collaboration with UCLH. We remain the safest hospital in England with the lowest summary hospital mortality index (SHMI). It is a record to be proud of.

We have appointed Simonís successor who takes office on 16 September after a process which involved staff, patients and the Forum. I am very grateful to all those who participated. Unfortunately no announcement is possible before certain Department of Health procedures are followed. This does not mean that there is any doubt about the appointment.

Forum Meeting

Thank you to everyone who came along to the Community Forum June meeting. Even though we were getting together during a heatwave local community members and staff came along and filled the room, keeping the lively discussion going on into extra time. We hope to learn from this first meeting to make our next even better. The date of our next meeting is 28 September 2pm to 3:30pm in the N17 meeting room, level 1, Whittington Hospital.

Volunteering at Whittington Healthís Community Sites

Whittington Health services extend to other 30 + sites throughout Haringey, Islington, Camden and the local area. Currently, our Trust volunteer team are primarily based at the acute hospital site. We are very keen to expand our wonderful volunteer team across our community. Whether you would like to support your local health centre as a patient feedback volunteer, or offer your skills as an administrator, we have a wide range of roles available and would love your support.
If you are interested in volunteering at Whittington Hospital or one of our 30 + community sites, please contact the Voluntary Services team
Telephone: 0207 288 3282 / 3974

The Future

We recruited our new Chief Executive on the basis of finding a leader who would take the Whittington through the next stage of our journey. The next five years are full of opportunity and challenge. The economic constraints on the NHS, the continuing increase in the numbers attending Accident and Emergency and the longer life expectancy are factors behind the Sustainability & Transformation Plan for North Central London (Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington). 

Within that the Whittington has signed up with both Haringey and Islington Councils and other key partners to form a wellbeing partnership that may develop into an Accountable Care Organisation. It is expected that this will deliver population-based health care, which means we look after everybody and not just those people who are ill or having babies. 

The wellbeing partnership brings public health, mental health, community health, primary health and acute health under one banner, working closely together and also developing closer integration with social care.

Board Meeting and AGM

The next Board meeting will be on 6 September 2pm to 5pm in the Whittington Education Centre.
On the same day from 6pm the Trustís Annual General Meeting will be held in the same location. Please come along and hear Simonís report on the Trust and mine on the Forum. There will also be plenty of time for questions and discussion with all those who attend.
Please come along.

Our growing Community Services

The Whittington Health Community Dentistry earlier this year won a large contract for their services to now be delivered across 1/3rd of London. We have delivered this service, which is a referral service from High Street dentists and GPs to Haringey, Islington, Camden and Enfield. To these four boroughs have been added Brent, Harrow, Barnet, Hounslow, Ealing and next year Hillingdon. This service is now delivered by the Whittington Health team.
We have also recently learnt that we have won a contract from UCLH to provide their Hospital at Home service across Camden and Westminster extending our existing Islington service.

Emergency Department

The number of people presenting at the Emergency Department continues to rise and new records (over 340 people in one day) have been set in July, which is most unusual. Nevertheless great efforts that we have been making to improve patient flow has seen us on target to get to the 95% seen within four hours by the end of this financial year. This is of course an example of how hard our colleagues in Emergency Department are working but in this case the efforts of everyone in the Trust contribute.

Whittington Health has a remarkable record in this area. Whilst all Emergency Departments have experienced rising attendances of around 6% per annum, Whittington is possibly the only Trust to see no rise in the number of admissions to hospital beds. We have through better community services, the rapid response service, good co-ordination with both councilís social services and the much-praised Ambulatory Care Centre held this at the same level of almost four years.

Peabody - Archway Campus

Peabody Housing Association some time ago purchased this site from Middlesex University and is now engaging in the planning process. They recently hired space at the trust for a public consultation on their plans. These may represent an opportunity for the Trust in new affordable accommodation for some of our nursing and other staff. 

There is some controversy locally about this development because a number of people have understandable reservations about the increasing density. These are matters that will be resolved through Islington Council.
More information can be found on the Peabody website -

Community Forum Art Competition

Thank you to everyone who entered the Community Forum Art Competition which closed on 31 July.
We will be awarding the winners on Saturday 16 September at our Open Day where you will also be able to see an exhibition of the winning artwork.

Staff recruitment and retention

It is a matter of concern that the considerable numbers of Whittington Health staff who are non-British EU nationals are still facing uncertainty about their future. The same issue is also having an impact on recruitment particularly of nurses.

We have taken two initiatives to address this. We have recently recruited over 60 nurses from the Philippines. We are working hard with both our local councils and Further Education Colleges to build a pipeline for local people to make careers in the NHS. This will involve apprenticeships and similar.

On a much more positive note we held our first Annual Staff awards event at the Royal College of Surgeons with over 250 staff. All the winders were nominated by their colleagues save for the award made by our patients. It was a hugely enjoyable event and all those nominated deserved praise for their outstanding work.
Whittington Hospital, Magdala Avenue, N19 5NF     

Summer Holidays

There is no board meeting in August and our next newsletter will be in September. I hope you all enjoy the summer and get a break but donít get sunburnt!!
Page last updated: 06 Sep 2017
Working on it!