GP & Partner Bulletin - February 2018

Pulse 2


February 2018

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


Clinical Service Strategy & future of The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Work continues to develop a Group Service Strategy for the Northern Care Alliance with work streams aligned to the NE and NW sectors’ strategic service plans. An Outline Strategy will be completed by 31 March 2018, with the final strategy produced by the end of June 2018, aligned with the timeframe of the “Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust Transaction”. This will set out the proposals for Salford Royal to acquire Oldham, Bury and Rochdale sites under the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group. The plan is then for Manchester Foundation NHS Trust (MFT) to acquire the North Manchester General site and integrate services at the same time as part of the Single Hospital Service for the City of Manchester.

A successful engagement event was held with our local GPs and commissioner/CCG colleagues recently, with strong support for the shared hospital service models for Oldham, Bury and Rochdale, working closely with each of the Local Care Organisations (LCOs) which are being developed for the provision of out of hospital community services. The first draft of our shared hospital service clinical strategy for Oldham, Bury and Rochdale is being developed and will be refined and tested with our commissioners and our senior clinicians and staff teams in our Care Organisations. Our CCGs have confirmed to the GM Health and Social Care Partnership that they will be setting out their commissioning intentions for all of our sites (in terms of what services they wish to commission) based on this work. The future provision and location of these services will be considered as part of this Clinical Service Strategy and also as part of a programme of work across Greater Manchester looking at standardising acute and specialist services. No decisions have yet been made.

The future of services, patient pathways and models of care will be driven by and dependent on the clear overall benefits to patients, co-dependencies with other services, and in meeting clinical standards. As such, decisions will be taken in agreement with other healthcare partner organisations from the City of Manchester, Greater Manchester, NHSI and NHS England. As the NES Acute Clinical Service Sector Strategy is further developed, commissioners will confirm their intentions for each of these services, including future location and organisational governance.

Pennine Acute financial update

In setting the financial plan last year for 2017/18, Pennine Acute committed to delivering a challenging £24.5m cost efficiency and productivity saving. The Trust is currently on plan to deliver this target by a combination of recurrent and non-recurrent means. This includes savings of £6.5m in consolidating and centralising corporate functions and £2m identified in procurement savings which have only been possible by joining with Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust as the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group.

However, Pennine will be reporting a year end deficit. Part of the reason is the fact that we are treating more patients than originally planned and under the terms of a block contract we will receive no additional income to cover the costs of treating these patients. Also, we have continued to rely heavily on expensive premium rate locum/agency medical staffing to fill gaps in rotas. We have been significantly more successful in attracting agency staff to fill these vacancies than previously which has greatly improved the safety and reliability of services, but this has come at a cost. Spending on medical agency staff is now £10m a year more than previous.

We need to control our agency and locum costs and some of the actions will be taken in Care Organisations. These will include job planning reviews, re-rostering, and ensuring compliance to rules for annual leave/study leave approval etc.

Oldham Care Organisation – change to director leadership team

As part of Greater Manchester devolution, Oldham as a health and social care system has received £22m transformation fund to redesign and further integrate our local systems and models of care. This is an exciting time for The Royal Oldham and our Oldham Care Organisation as part of our Northern Care Alliance. It gives us the opportunity to be involved in building new relationships with other healthcare providers in Oldham to join up health and social care.

From 1st April 2018, Chief Officer Donna McLaughlin has been asked to lead the development of an ‘alliance of providers’ across Oldham and to embed the improvements we are making within a new, collaborative local health and social care system. The ‘Oldham Alliance’ begins the development of an Integrated Care Organisation (ICO) for Oldham. This is a key element of the Oldham Locality Plan that will benefit our patients, service users and the communities we serve. In order to do this, Donna has accepted a secondment which will be on a full time basis. She will have benefit of carrying forward the interests of The Royal Oldham and the services we provide, marrying these with the wider interests of others across Oldham to build a stronger, integrated care organisation for the future.

To continue with supportive and strong leadership of the Oldham Care Organisation, Nicola Firth, Director of Nursing, will take on the additional responsibility of Chief Officer. She will be supported by a new interim appointment of Matthew Powls, who will be joining the Oldham director leadership team as Interim Managing Director working with the divisions.

Technical problem with some GP maternity letters

We recently experienced a technical problem with a number of letters sent to GPs concerning, Antenatal bookings, Antenatal discharges, Postnatal transfers to the community, and transfers to the community for babies. This has now been rectified and the letters have all been resent.

The letters were the type generated via the E3 maternity system after mum/baby have been to a unit. The letters are sent to the GPs electronically and as a hard copy. On 25 Sept 2017 the hard copy function was turned off for some letters due to a system error and we discovered that some GPs may not have received letters as a result. This technical problem has now been resolved and all missing letters have been resent either electronically or as a paper copy in the post.

New endometriosis support group and open event at The Royal Oldham Hospital

Patients diagnosed with endometriosis can now receive help and support from healthcare professionals and other sufferers thanks to a new patient support group being launched at The Royal Oldham Hospital.

Endometriosis is a common condition where the lining of the womb grows outside the womb.  It is usually diagnosed in women between the ages of 20 to 40 years and affects around 1.5 million women in the UK.  It takes an average of seven years for most women to get diagnosed, and women of any age can be affected by endometriosis, but it is rare for the condition to manifest before a girl has her first period.

Read more

New labour ward bereavement centre opens at The Royal Oldham Hospital

A new Bereavement Centre for the labour ward at The Royal Oldham Hospital has had its official opening. Staff from maternity services and families who have sadly lost babies at the hospital attended the opening on Saturday 10 February 2018.

Located in a room adjacent to the labour ward, the suite offers a place where parents can be alone with their child for reflection, with the aim to provide a safe haven for bereaved families away from the clinical area, in a comfortable, homely setting.

Read more

SWAN Week celebrated across the Care Organisations

Staff, volunteers, patients and their families helped the palliative, end of life care and bereavement teams to celebrate SWAN week from 5 to 9 February. The week marked 12 months of the SWAN model of care being introduced to the Oldham, North Manchester and Bury & Rochdale Care Organisations. Information stands, fundraising events and ward walkabouts by the staff to update resource packs took place. Over £700 was also raised for the SWAN fund which will purchase items for patients and relatives to use.

The Swan scheme is a national scheme which is present in 47 Trusts up and down the country. It was set up Associate Director of Nursing - End of Life, Bereavement, Organ and Tissue Donation, Fiona Murphy MBE. Swan offers dedicated support to patients in the last days of life and to their families into bereavement and beyond. The scheme uses a swan symbol to represent end of life and bereavement care. Where the swan sign is displayed it allows relatives to have open visiting around the clock. The symbol also acts as a reminder to staff to be extra caring and to pay extra attention to relatives and friends whose loved ones are in the last stages of life and in their greatest time of need.

As part of the Swan scheme, bereavement centres were opened at North Manchester General Hospital, The Royal Oldham Hospital and Fairfield General Hospital, with a family room at Rochdale Infirmary.

We want your views on Pennine News

The Group Communication Team is supporting our Care Organisation leadership teams in reviewing and refreshing some of our internal staff communication methods so that we can further improve the way we engage with staff and share key information, positive news, service changes, and things of interest about our staff and services. We first want your views about Pennine News magazine. Please complete this short staff survey, here.

Royal Oldham welcomes Manchester United star Juan Mata

Manchester United midfielder, Juan Mata, surprised children at the Royal Oldham Hospital recently as he delivered Manchester United Foundation toys for the fourth year in a row.

At The Royal Oldham Hospital he visited young fans and families on the children’s ward giving out presents he had personally donated.

Read more

CASS Service Scoops iNetwork Awards ‘Health Innovation Award’ 

The Community Assessment and Support Service (CASS), part of The Northern Care Alliance’s North Manchester Care Organisation, has won the iNetwork Awards ‘Health Innovation’ award.

The award was presented to service manager Carol Kavanagh at a black tie awards evening ceremony and four course dinner in Manchester at the Marriott hotel on 30 January.

Read more


Endometriosis Information Day

07 March 2018 from 17:30 to 19:30  


Education Centre, The Royal Oldham Hospital, OL1 2


Room F16 Education Centre The Royal Oldham Hospital

Speakers include Dr Ahmad (Gynaecology Consultant) Claire Winters (Endometriosis CNS) Jo Brierley (Hormonal Health - Clinical and Reproductive Reflexologist)

17.30-17.40 Arrival/ Housekeeping  

17.40-17.55 Welcome and introduction/launch of patient support group

17.55-18.15 Endometriosis management - medical and surgical

18.15-18.30 Endometriosis and Fertility

18.30-18.45 Coping Strategies for living with endometriosis   

18.450-19.05 Patients Perspective  

19.05-19.20 Opportunity to ask questions

19.20-19.30 Summary/Sign up to support group


Claire Winters


07817 022694


Sepsis Talk

22 March 2018 from 14:00 to 15:00  


Education Centre, The Royal Oldham Hospital, OL1 2


A free talk to learn more about Sepsis, a life threatening condition that causes more deaths in adults per year that prostate cancer, HIV and breast cancer combined.


Angela Greenwood


01706 517302



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