Response to the MEN story about The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust – 8 August 2016

Sir David Dalton
Response to the MEN story about The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust – 8 August 2016
08 August 2016

In April 2016, the Chair and Chief Executive, Jim Potter and Sir David Dalton, of Salford Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust agreed to provide leadership and support to The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust from 1 April 2016. 

Responding to media coverage and comment in the Manchester Evening News (MEN), today:

Sir David Dalton, Chief Executive at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“We are awaiting publication of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) report following its inspection of hospital and community services run by Pennine Acute Trust in early March this year. We expect this to be published and publicly available in the next few weeks.

“Immediately following the CQC’s inspection, the Trust rightly put in place a number of immediate actions and measures to address some initial concerns that were flagged up by the CQC about inadequate staffing levels and procedures to assure patient safety.  In my view, however, there is a need to accelerate and take further actions to support our staff to ensure our services are as safe as they can be and more reliable, particularly in our pressured services such as A&E, Maternity and children’s services. Staff in these areas are working incredibly hard, but are under immense pressure and are stretched.

“Since I joined the Trust in April, many of the Trust’s clinical and managerial staff across all four hospital sites have been working closely with my colleagues from Salford Royal to better understand the issues and pressures that are affecting staff, the way services are run here, and how patients are cared for and treated. I have led a review which has focused on patient safety and governance arrangements, as well as operational and performance standards. This review, along with the findings of the CQC report when it is published, will help inform what further steps the Board and our senior clinical staff must make to drive improvements and what support is required across Greater Manchester. 

“We have not waited for the publication of the report to put an improvement plan in place to support our staff and patients. Our primary focus, however, is the here and now. Our priority is to keep our busy A&E departments and our maternity services running safely and to ensure patients receive good safe treatment in a timely manner. We will not allow this organisation to run unsafe services. It is recognised that for this Trust to make services safer and more reliable, it requires the support from our health and social care partners to provide over the next six months and to consider longer-term solutions for services across Greater Manchester.

“We are working closely and positively with our four local commissioners, local councils and NHS provider colleagues, as well as our regional partner agencies across GM, through an Improvement Board, to look at ways we can strengthen medical and nurse staffing, strengthen our models of care, and support staff on the frontline.”

Jon Rouse, Chief Officer of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and Chair of the Improvement Board, said:

“Some important services provided by Pennine Acute, particularly at North Manchester General Hospital, are facing severe challenges at the moment, notably A&E, maternity and children’s services. Urgently strengthening and stabilising these, under the leadership of Sir David Dalton, is our top priority and we are working together across Greater Manchester to make this happen.

“However we and others would recognise that some of the issues at Pennine are more long standing. Our new partnership approach under devolution means we now have the opportunity in Greater Manchester – and the means – to tackle these far more effectively than in the past. We’re committed to doing this."


The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (PAT) runs North Manchester and Fairfield General Hospitals, The Royal Oldham Hospital and Rochdale Infirmary. We also provides a range of community integrated health services across North Manchester and Rochdale.

Last year it:

  • saw 320,500 A&E cases, 670,000 outpatients,106,000 inpatients, 73,200 day cases
  • helped women to deliver over 9,700 babies in its two large maternity units
  • made 146,729 visits to patients in their own homes to provide treatment and care

Salford Royal is one of the top performing Foundation Trusts in the country and Sir David Dalton has been chief executive since 2001, leading it to an ‘outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission last year.  Salford Royal is now one of five Trusts in the country to achieve this rating and the first in the North of England.  It is also the first Trust with integrated acute and community services to earn this rating.