GP & Partner Bulletin - February 2017

Pulse 2

February 2017

Welcome to the February issue of Pulse The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust's GP and partner bulletin. Each issue will round up the latest news from inside the Trust and present it in this e-newsletter. If you would like to make any comments about this issue or if you have any suggestions for future content then please email the editor


“Building a positive future”: £30m of new investment in frontline services to support Pennine Acute’s staff on improvement journey

Sir David Dalton, Chief Executive of the Trust, has announced to staff this week that over £30mofnewfundinghasbeensecuredtoinvestinfrontline services, to support staff and to help pay for hundreds more doctors and nurses.

In a positive message to Trust staff, Sir David confirmed that £20.5m of new additional money has been secured for 2017/18 to be used to support frontline staff in the Trust’s improvement journey at its four hospitals at Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and North Manchester.

The money will be used to pay for over 300 more nursing and midwifery staff over the next three years, 35 more doctors, 35 more Allied Health Professionals including clinical therapists, new medical equipment, £1m of investment in new IT and information systems, and £2.5m of investment in developing hospital site-based operational infrastructures.   

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Update on our care organisations and improvement plan

To date, our priority and focus has been on the urgent need to stabilise our services, particularly our key fragile areas, including urgent care, maternity, paediatrics and critical care. 

The implementation of our new site-based leadership teams for our Care Organisations is critical to our improvement journey where operational decisions, ownership and accountability for managing our services will be strengthened through this new structure. The additional leadership of a medical, nursing, finance and managing director at Care Organisation level will drive quality improvement on a local site basis at a more impactful pace.

Pennine’s overall Improvement Plan is now being disaggregated into site-based project plans to enable a more focused, site-specific transformation strategy, in addition to providing clearer ownership and accountability for delivering project tasks.

Our Care Organisations will be supported by clinical leadership and management capacity who will be able to more easily listen and involve staff in the planning and decision making. We want staff in each Care Organisation to help us find solutions to problems which will work in your wards and departments.

We are now working up plans of how best to align existing divisional and directorate structures to Care Organisations, and developing proposed new structures which will be in place from 1 April 2017. Work is also underway to design how corporate functions (finance, HR, etc) support and interface with our Care Organisations.  The current shared corporate services review across Salford Royal and Pennine Acute is part of this work.

The development of Care Organisations forms part of the wider move towards a Group arrangement encompassing Pennine Acute Trust and Salford Royal. In the first instance, by 31 March 2017, the Trust Boards of both organisations will delegate their functions to a “Committee in Common”. While the two Trusts will remain statutory bodies, the Committee in Common will effectively manage both Trusts. The Committee in Common will meet monthly, minimum 10 meetings a year, and comprise the Chairman and six Non-Executive Directors along with a number of Executive leadership roles spanning both Trusts – Chief Executive, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Delivery Officer. We will share more details in coming weeks.


Workforce recruitment and retention remains the most important factor within our Improvement Plan not only to stabilise services, but to support the transformation needed to ensure our services are safer, more reliable, more efficient and sustainable. We have made some steady progress and towards the end of last year we welcomed over fifty new midwives across our maternity services and made a number of important appointments in paediatrics and critical care.  But despite our efforts, we continue to face real challenges in recruiting to vacant nursing and medical posts within our four fragile services at the rate at which we would wish.

Work continues with colleagues from Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in respect of maternity at North Manchester and on the creation of separate leadership teams at NMGH and Royal Oldham. An intensive recruitment programme is underway to strengthen our nursing establishment and nurse leadership for all wards including Band 6 nurses. Over the next few months we will be stepping up our plans to look overseas for qualified nurses to join our teams from countries such as India. We have also been working alongside GM colleagues to recruit and strengthen our medical workforce including targeting doctors in various specialties.    

It is without doubt that a major factor in workforce recruitment and retention is around certainty and reputation of our sites and services. We must ensure we can attract good high calibre clinical staff to join us, but also to retain staff. This requires a clear demonstration that the Trust Board is committed to investing in our staff here and investing in services, the facilities and estates at each of our sites as part of our improvement journey and transformation plans.  

Joint statement to refute rumours about Fairfield A&E department

In a robust response to some recent press reports, social media comments and rumours following a speculative article in the HSJ, the Trust has issued a joint statement with Bury CCG refuting the suggestion that there are plans to downgrade or close our A&E department at Fairfield. 

In the joint statement Chief Executive Sir David Dalton and Stuart North, chief officer at NHS Bury CCG, said:

“Recent rumours of changing the status of the A&E Department at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury are false. There are no plans to downgrade the service. It will continue to provide its local emergency department service 24/7, seven days a week. Fairfield will continue its essential role as part of the larger network of urgent care systems across Greater Manchester.

“The key to the future success of the Pennine Acute Trust is having clear and distinct plans for each of our hospital sites at Bury, Rochdale, Oldham and North Manchester. With specific reference to Fairfield General, our plans are to build on our clinical services, including the specialist Stroke Centre, for which an onsite Emergency Department is essential.”

The statement has been issued to local media and is available on the Trust website, here, and on Twitter.

Single Hospital Service update – Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) process begins

Progress continues to create a new, city-wide hospital Trust for Manchester. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) this week opened a Phase 1 investigation into the anticipated merger between Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) and University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM). The Trusts have requested that the CMA fast track its investigation to an in-depth Phase 2 review so that it can take full account of how patients will benefit from this merger alongside its assessment of the merger’s effect on competition. If the CMA proceeds with using its fast track procedure, it is likely to make a decision on referral to Phase 2 within the next two weeks. Project 1 of the Single Hospital Service Programme is for CMFT and UHSM to merge and this is what the CMA is now investigating. At this stage, the CMA is not looking at Project 2, which involves North Manchester General Hospital (NMGH). The plan is then for NMGH to join the new organisation 12-18 months following the CMFT/UHSM merger process. 

The web link to the CMA announcement can be found at:

Rochdale Infirmary’s Urgent Care Centre is meeting the needs of patients and a new joint pilot is set to improve things further

The local NHS in Rochdale is bucking the trend in urgent care waiting times by collaborating and providing innovative services, helping patients access the care they need across the borough.

While pressures are evident in accident and emergency departments up and down the country, the Urgent Care Centre at Rochdale Infirmary is offering an alternative approach to A&E and has been able to achieve 98% of patients seen, treated and either admitted or discharged in under four hours in November 2016, beating the government standard by three percent.  In Nov there were 3,975 attendances.  This has been achieved by working in partnership with its new and innovative community services.

Sky News and BBC News both broadcast from Rochdale Infirmary on Thurs 9 Feb. Watch some of the Sky footage here

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Swan end of life care model launches at Trust

The Swan end of life care model has launched at the Trust. Swan offers dedicated support to patients in the last days of life and to their families into bereavement and beyond.

The Swan scheme is a national scheme which is present in 47 Trusts up and down the country. It was set up by the Trust’s new Assistant Director of Nursing, Fiona Murphy MBE.

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TfGM announces new transport links from Littleborough, Milnrow and Middleton to our local hospitals

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has launched two new transport services making it easier for residents in Littleborough, Milnrow and Middleton to attend hospital appointments and visit relatives.

Pennine Local Link now offers convenient and affordable transport links to popular destinations, including Littleborough, Milnrow, Small Bridge and the Royal Oldham Hospital.

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The Royal Oldham Hospital League of Friends makes a generous donation to hospital's acute medical unit

The Royal Oldham Hospital League of Friends has set the scene to improve the experience of staying in hospital with a generous donation.

The group which has been in action since 1960 donated 16 drip stands, furniture including settees and side tables for the relatives’ room and £500 for the purchase of pictures for the 16 side wards on the acute medical unit (AMU) at The Royal Oldham Hospital.

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Kids broadcast over Roch Valley hospital radio at Trust

Children from Pike Fold Community Primary School near North Manchester General Hospital sent out a live broadcast over Roch Valley hospital radio on Wednesday 15 February.

Pupils participated and worked with Pennine Acute and Roch Valley Hospital Radio (which is based in Fairfield General Hospital, Bury) volunteers and broadcast the first children’s live radio show at the Trust.

This work is part of the Trust’s Children’s and Young Person’s Experience Committee and its partnership with local schools.

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Trust launches its Nursing Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS)

A key aspect in our Improvement Plan is the development and roll out of core nursing standards and ward improvement goals for all wards and departments, supported by the implementation of the Nursing Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS). All inpatient wards will eventually be assessed against this framework designed around 13 standards with each standard subdivided into environment, care and leadership. The NAAS is designed to support nurses in practice to understand how they deliver care, identify what works well, and where further improvements are needed for patients. A NAAS team at Pennine has been formed to implement the Salford model here. Two members of staff; Helen Carter, Lead Nurse (seconded from SRFT in August 2016) and Jane Garforth, Senior Sister at Pennine, are supporting wards. The aim is to have conducted an assessment of all 59 wards by 12th June 2017; this will include a re-assessment of the pilot wards using the final NAAS documentation. When this phase has been completed, consideration will be given to expand to cover all specialties including Maternity with a total of 93 clinical areas. So far the NAAS has been rolled out across 25 wards. The latest area to be assessed was AMU at Fairfield. Congratulations to all staff on the unit for achieving a green assessment!

Community Intermediate Care Unit – North Manchester

Our new Intermediate care unit at North Manchester is progressing well, with the steel frame now in place. The unit which is made up of 24 single en-suite bedrooms is a key part of our Community Health Services and aims to provide rehabilitation and support independence. The unit is due to be completed in September 2017. Staff are being encouraged to send in suggestions for a name.   


“Inflammatory Bowel Disease 2017: Where we are and where we are going”– a patient and public event

01 March 2017

14:00 to 15:00

Education Centre, Fairfield General Hospital

Reserve your place by emailing us or calling the membership office on 01706-517302

'Field to Plate', Catering Event

19 April 2017

10:00 to 12:00

The Cafe Royal, The Royal Oldham Hospital

Reserve your place by emailing us or calling the membership office on 01706-517302

Neuro-Rehabilitation talk

27 April 2017

14:00 to 15:00

Floyd Unit, Birch Hill Hospital, Rochdale

Reserve your place by emailing us or calling the membership office on 01706-517302

Learning Disability & Autism Talk

22 May 2017

14:00 to 15:00

Education Centre, Fairfield General Hospital

Reserve your place by emailing us or calling the membership office on 01706-517302

Have you read the latest issue of Pennine News, the Trust's monthly magazine for staff and stakeholders?