Agenda item


To receive a presentation from Jeremy Rushmer, Executive Medical Director, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.


Members received a presentation from Jeremy Rushmer, Executive Medical Director, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.


Members were informed of the following:-


       The Trust was in the middle of a five year strategy ending in 2023.

       The vision remained to be the leader in proving high quality, safe and caring health and care services and to lead collectively with partners, to deliver system wide healthcare.

       Quality Account 2020/21 – safety and quality priorities and figures showing progress in each in Quarter 4.

       Flow - discharge

       Management of acutely unwell patients – improving timeliness of observations of medially unwell patients and continued work via the Deteriorating Patient Board.

       Supply and administration of medicines – best use of Patient Group Directions (PGDs) and training of non-medical prescribers especially in community settings.

       Children and young people’s emotional well-being and mental health – Responsiveness to children and young people emotional wellbeing and mental health issues, improving CAMHS pathways and reducing waiting times.

       End of life car and bereavement – Consolidation of bereavement and Medical Examiner work.  Systematic clinical team review of cases and end of life strategy work.

       Patient experience – supporting those with dementia whilst in patient and improving assessment and management of pain for those with learning difficulties in the emergency department.

       Staff experience – strong link between staff and patient experience. 

       The following Safety and Quality Priorities had been identified for 2021/22:

       Access standards – regaining the standards for patient access.

       Outpatients – embedding the changes in delivering outpatient appointments.

       Deteriorating patient – to continue to improve the management of acutely unwell patients in both hospital and community settings.

       Delirium – improvement of the detection of patients with delirium and the training of staff to improve early detection.

       Patient Group Directors – continue to improve how we supply and administer PGDs to patients.

       Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) – build on the work undertaken this year to improve the timely access to the full range of CAMHS services.

       Patient experience – intention is to get the patient experience back to pre-COVID levels.

       Staff experience – again to build on the successful staff experience programme with the introduction of real time staff experience reporting.


The following comments were made in response to queries by Members:-     


       Long COVID could mean different things to different people.  Patients with severe respiratory illnesses following long stays in intensive care to those experiencing post viral symptoms.  There was support in place for Long COVID patients and the Trust was working with the CCG about extending this offer.  More science and treatments were required to work out the best way to treat these patients.  The Trust currently ran a Long COVID clinic.  All patients with severe respiratory symptoms were followed up and the Trust was also looking at how it could support patients with other persistent post viral symptoms as part of next year’s strategy. 

       There was a difference between prescribing medicine and administering it.  Prescribing medicine had always been done by doctors but there was now a move towards using them just for the assessment of patients.  There was a prescribing crisis which was mostly keenly felt in community settings.  Access to medicines was being improved by the creation of nurse and non medical prescribers.  There was a prescribing course which was quite hard to get through and there were also limited places on the course.  All vaccinations whether in schools, for flu or COVID were administered by Patient Group Directives.

       Regarding the partnership between Northumberland County Council and the Trust, there were technical and governance reasons why it was being dissolved.  From a clinician’s point of view it did not matter who you were employed by but the key factor in making discharge safe was how the staff involved worked together.  The Trust remained 100% committed to integrated care, the clinical care and safe discharge of patients.  If there were governance arrangements which needed to be resolved and bring clarity on, the Trust would be in a much better circumstance having reviewed the working arrangements. 

       It was requested that the matter of the partnership between the Northumberland County Council and the Trust and the implications of its dissolution be added to the Forward Plan for the Committee.                  


Mr. Rushmore added that he would like to thank Members for their help during the last year.  It had all been shared together and the current position could not have been reached without the close working relationship.

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