New Northern Care Alliance NHS Group in Greater Manchester launches, bringing together 17,000 NHS staff to serve 1m people

Sir David Dalton
New Northern Care Alliance NHS Group in Greater Manchester launches, bringing together 17,000 NHS staff to serve 1m people
22 November 2017

TWO of the biggest NHS Trusts in the country have come together to create one of the largest NHS healthcare organisations in Greater Manchester and the North West, in what is being described as an ‘exciting opportunity’ to serve a population of over 1 million people under a new Group arrangement of hospitals and community healthcare services.

The new Northern Care Alliance NHS Group brings together five local hospitals, 2,000 beds, specialist and acute services, a range of community services, and over 17,000 staff from Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (PAT).

The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group is being led by Sir David Dalton who has been Chief Executive of both Trusts since taking charge of Pennine Acute Trust (PAT) in April last year. Since April 2016, Pennine Acute Trust has benefitted from joint working and support from Salford Royal under the leadership of Chairman Mr Jim Potter, and Sir David as Chief Executive.

For the past 15 years The Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust which was formed in April 2002 has run four hospitals of The Royal Oldham Hospital, Rochdale Infirmary, Fairfield General Hospital in Bury and North Manchester General Hospital, and more recently expanded its provision of integrated and community services in North Manchester and Rochdale borough.

Salford Royal is one of the top performing NHS Foundation Trusts in the country where Sir David Dalton has been Chief Executive since 2001, leading it to an ‘outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in 2015 - the first in the North of England. It is also the first Trust with integrated acute and community services to earn this rating.

With an operating budget of £1.3 billion budget, the new Alliance provides the benefits of scale but delivers this locally through multiple hospital sites and local healthcare services.

Combined workforce for Northern Care Alliance NHS Group

  • Just over 17,500 members of staff working across the Alliance
  • Over 5,000 nurses and midwifery staff
  • Approx 1400 doctors
  • Approx 1,000 members of community and district nursing staff 
  • Approx 650 members of staff working in A&E depts/ UCCs across the Alliance
  • Just under 1200 Allied Health Professionals including therapists and diagnostic technicians  

New Local Leadership - Better Care, Locally Delivered

Four Care Organisations for Oldham, Bury/Rochdale, North Manchester and Salford are now responsible for providing healthcare services to local communities under the Alliance.

Each Care Organisation and hospital site now has its own director leadership team led by a Chief Officer and consisting of a Medical Director, Director of Nursing, and Finance Director.

Whilst the Care Organisations provide hospital care, they play a much broader role in each locality and are supporting the establishment of new integrated models of care. Each Care Organisation is working closely with local Councils to develop Integrated Care Organisations (ICOs) to join together health and care services and shift more care into the community. The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group is strongly placed to support the development of ICOs. 

Key Priorities of the Alliance

  1. To develop world-class Accountable Care Organisations in each Locality;
  2. To adopt best clinical practice and standardise this at scale, leading to consolidation of some elements of surgical services;
  3. To continue the delivery of high quality specialist services for Greater Manchester and beyond, e.g, neuro services, trauma centre and stroke services;
  4. To establish Group-wide shared clinical support services
  5. To build strong partnership arrangements with other providers to enable reliable, high quality services to be provided, consistent with changes across Greater Manchester

Jim Potter, Chairman of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, said: 

“These are challenging but also exciting time for our patients and staff in our Northern Care Alliance with much work to do, but we have fantastic, skilled and dedicated staff to deliver the agenda.

“Our new group structure of our Alliance, with individual Care Organisations within it, will deliver a local flavor and feel to healthcare delivery across the North East part of Greater Manchester. The benefits that will flow from Group to patients and staff should not be underestimated, not only for day to day service delivery, but also in areas such as staff recruitment and retention, research and development, and the application of IT digital systems and processes into the NHS.

“The recent establishment of a shadow Council of Governors for the Alliance and our Care Organisations will be of huge value in ensuring that good governance is adhered to and maintained now and into the future.”

Sir David Dalton, Group Chief Executive of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group:  

“These new local arrangements for our Care Organsiations for Oldham, Bury and Rochdale, Salford and North Manchester place the emphasis for operational management of health services where it matters - in each hospital and locality. They strengthen senior leadership support at hospital-level, enabling better engagement with staff and clinical teams. Compared with the previous, more remote Trust HQ they are closer to the ‘shop floor’, understanding the challenges and issues staff are facing.  These teams will build strong relationships with each of our local health and social care partners.

“Together as a new Alliance, and working closely with our partners, we will use this scale to deliver better services that are safe, reliable and high quality, leading to improved outcomes for our patients and other benefits. Our Mission Statement that binds us all together is: ‘Saving lives, Improving lives’.  We will deliver highly reliable care and services, at scale, which are trusted, connected and pioneering.

“Over the past year we have been working closely and positively with some of the fantastic staff at Pennine Acute Trust and using Salford Royal’s experience and great track record of patient safety, operational performance and staff engagement to support the hospitals and services provided across Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and North Manchester as part of their to improvement journey.  We generally feel we have made a positive difference for patients and for staff in the 12 months that we’ve been making improvement. We still have a lot of work to do and there’s still years to come to keep on at this, but we’re doing this because it’s worthwhile - and to be able to see staff saying it feels better, that the data we collect sees it moving in the right direction, it feels good.

“With our local commissioners we are identifying options for high quality, sustainable service portfolios for each hospital site.  We are designing a single ‘shared hospital serviceacross Bury, Rochdale and Oldham – associated with Salford Royal and/or where appropriate, with other partner organisations.

“We are working with our partners in the City of Manchester to develop a positive, strong and vibrant future for the North Manchester Hospital site. We are developing a shared vision for North Manchester General, ensuring that the proposed changes create the Manchester Single Hospital Service and the Manchester Local Care Organisation, as well as support the continued provision of services for people in the North East Sector of Greater Manchester.

“These are exciting times: a new name for our Alliance, a new sense of purpose, and new investment alongside a commitment to continue to work closely with our staff, our communities and our partners to provide high quality care to our patients.  All of this, together with the spirit of teamwork and can do attitude which exists in all of our Care Organisations and services, will enable us to fulfil our crucial mission of Saving Lives, Improving Lives.”

The Northern Care Alliance NHS group will work with its partners in supporting all of the strategies of the GM Health & Social Care Partnership and the priorities of the elected Mayor for Greater Manchester.

The planned transfer of North Manchester General Hospital from PAHT to become part of the newly formed Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) over the next 12-18 months is part of the strategy to establish a single hospital service for the City of Manchester.  This is consistent with the objectives of local commissioners and other stakeholders, as expressed through the Healthier Manchester Locality Plan. These plans have demonstrated clear benefits for patients and staff.

Governance Arrangements – Group Committees in Common (CiC)

Although Salford Royal has a ‘management agreement’ to manage the Pennine Acute, both Trust Boards have delegated their functions to a Group ‘Committees in Common’ (CiC) which operates the new Alliance. While the two Trusts remain statutory bodies, the CiC effectively manage both Trusts. The Committees in Common meets monthly in public.

In March 2017, Salford Royal's Council of Governors approved bold changes to its own composition. It agreed to establish a subcommittee of the Salford Royal Council of Governors, to be known as the Shadow Group Council of Governors Committee. This committee comprise of all Salford Royal Governors and newly elected Shadow Governors (public and staff) from the Pennine Acute Trust constituencies.

Dave Pike, Lead Governor for Salford Royal Council of Governors, said:

"I am really excited to have been involved with the creation of our Shadow Group Council of Governors Committee which will help represent our service users, staff, public and Trust members of what will be one the largest NHS organisations in the region. This coming together of the two Trusts and the formation of a Shadow Council will help ensure the public voice is represented at the highest level whilst being assured the performance of all our Care Organisations and the healthcare services they provide is the very best it can be.

“Having been a Salford Royal Governor since 2012, I'm really looking forward to meeting and working more closely Trust members and staff at the Pennine Acute Trust and working together to ensure service users, staff and the public have every opportunity to have their say and get involved in shaping the way we deliver healthcare in the future.

“These are very exciting times for the NHS in the North West and being a member of your NHS Trust gives you the ability to be a part of it. The Council of Governors will be working extremely hard going forward to involve our members and we are confident that the creation of this new Alliance will have huge benefits for everyone involved."

The Alliance is building on the digital innovation at Salford Royal - with the Global Digital Centre status and £10m funding being used to spread new digital systems across the Care Organisations. NHS England is supporting Salford Royal through funding and international partnership opportunities to become one of the Global Digital Exemplar sites (Global Digital Exemplars) over the next two to three and a half years.  As part of the benefits of creating the new Alliance, Salford Royal has selected The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust as a ‘Fast Follower’ to accelerate digital maturity by sharing software, methodologies and standardizing clinical processes. Deployment aims to begin in 2018. 

The Alliance is also implementing a number of Greater Manchester service changes, such as Major Trauma at Salford Royal and high acuity centres at The Royal Oldham and Salford Royal. The Alliance has received confirmation of £48m for a new clinical building at Salford and £25m for a new clinical building at The Royal Oldham Hospital.