Chief Executive of Nottingham University Hospitals Trust Steps Down

The chief executive of Nottingham University Hospitals Trust has stepped down from his dual role as chief of Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust, just four months after accepting the role.

Peter Homa took on the shared role in June ahead of plans for the two trusts to merge in the autumn. However, in September the merger was pushed back until 2017.

Louise Scull, who has been chair for both trusts since June, is also standing down from Sherwood Forest, as is joint chief nurse Mandie Sunderland.

They decided to leave their roles at Sherwood Forest as the merger is taking longer originally expected.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust is the UK’s fourth largest acute teaching trust.

It was established on 1st April 2006 following the merger of Nottingham City Hospital and the Queen’s Medical Centre.

Despite the departures, NHS Improvement has said that forming a “strategic partnership” is still the best way forward for both trusts and NUH has said it is still committed to the merger.

Earlier this year Sherwood Forest, which was put in special measures in 2013, said it had no future as an independent provider and that joining with Nottingham University Hospitals was a “clear strategic fit”.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust provides acute and specialist services to 2.5 million people within Nottingham and surrounding communities from the Queen’s Medical Centre and the City Hospital campuses.

The trust employs over 12,000 staff and also relies on 1,500 volunteers.

Peter Herring, managing director at Sherwood Forest will take on the chief executive’s responsibilities in early November.

Vice chair Peter Marks will become chair.

A spokeswoman from NHS Improvement noted that organisational challenges had impacted on the current situation at the trust.

“While both organisations remain fully committed to the process, as winter approaches, both organisations need dedicated leaders to concentrate on operational challenges, such as finance and waiting times in accident and emergency at Nottingham. While the formal process of creating a strategic partnership has been paused, there will still be cooperation and joint working between the two trusts where it is in the best interests of patients.”

Homa outlined the reasons for his decision.

“We agreed to take on these additional responsibilities for a short-term period. Now that the timings have moved beyond 2016, we believe it is in the best interests of patients and staff at NUH and Sherwood Forest Hospital that the chair, chief nurse and chief executive can dedicate themselves to each trust, their patients and staff through this next period.”

A merger with Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is still in the pipeline.

But the hierarchy of the organisation remains sceptical about the trust’s £2.5 billion private finance initiative contract.

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Total NHS Managers Rises by 6% in 12 Months

The number of managers employed by the NHS has risen by in excess of 6% in the last 12 months, according to new figures.

NHS workforce figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show that between 2014 and 2015 the number of managers increased by 6.5% to 20,300.

And it is notable that this is a significantly higher rate than the increase in the overall health service workforce, which Expanded at a rate of less than 2%.

The number of senior managers increased by 5.3% to 9,260.

Dr Mark Porter, chair of council at the British Medical Association, suggested that the way that the increase in workforce has been distributed can be considered somewhat inappropriate and puzzling.

“Many NHS managers do a good job for the NHS in difficult circumstances, but it is surprising that when many areas of the NHS are suffering from unfilled posts and staff shortages, the number of managers is beginning to increase again. These figures show little evidence of the huge expansion in the workforce that is needed to deliver the Government’s current uncosted and vague plan to increase the NHS’s capacity.”

And Porter also believes that the lack of investment in rank-and-file staffing will have a massive impact on the ability of the NHS to deliver cultural change and an adequate service to patients.

“The reported rise in staffing levels of barely 2% is insignificant given what the NHS needs when it is facing rapidly increasing patient demand, especially from an ageing population with complex health needs that requires expanding support in the community and in hospitals.”

Porter pointed out that numerous authoritative organisations have previously indicated that their levels of staffing are inadequate, and that this is ultimately impacting on the end customer of the NHS.

“Many bodies, including the Royal College of Nursing and Royal College of Midwives, have reported under staffing in their specialities that is already having a damaging impact on patient care. These figures show little evidence of the huge expansion in the workforce that is needed to deliver the Government’s current uncosted and vague plan to increase the NHS’s capacity through its so-called seven-day service proposal.”

Responding to the figures, a spokeswoman from the Department of Health suggested that the taxpayer was in fact receiving value for money, and that there is a coherent staffing strategy in place in the health service.

“There are 5,000 fewer managers in the NHS since 2010, saving the taxpayer £300 million. At the same time, there are 10,600 more nurses on our wards, 50,000 nurses currently in training and our changes to student funding will create up to 10,000 more training places by the end of this parliament.”

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South West Yorkshire NHS Chief Executive to Retire

In news that will lead to a reorganisation of NHS services in Yorkshire, a major health figure has announced that he will step down from his existing position.

Steven Michael, Chief Executive of South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust, has announced he will retire at the end of March next year.

Michael is also currently employed as chair of the NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network, and he has announced that he will similarly step down from this position as part of his retirement.

The retirement of Mr Michael represents something of the end of an era for the NHS in south west Yorkshire.

Michael has worked within the health service since 1985, and has been an extremely successful Chief Executive in the decade in which he has been in charge of the mental health trust.

The supremo was appointed to the position of Chief Executive at the South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust back in 2006, and has presided over a successful nine years for the organisation.

However, despite the fact that Michael has signalled his intention to stand down, he still has one particularly important duty to carry out before annulling his relationship with the NHS.

Michael will oversee a forthcoming Care Quality Commission inspection in March 2016, indeed just weeks before his final retirement.

Just days after the Care Quality Commission has assessed the efficacy of the South West Yorkshire Trust, Michael will hand over the reigns to a successor.

As Michael has only just made his retirement known to the trust, this successor has yet to be identified.

Commenting on his career within the NHS, Michael was extremely positive about his role as a Chief Executive in particular.

“It’s been a great privilege to occupy this position for nearly a decade. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here and I’m extremely proud of the organisation that it has become. I will leave next year with many happy memories to look back on, particularly of working with fantastic service users, carers, partner organisations, and an excellent group of staff,” Michael commented.

Stephen Dalton, Chief Executive of the MHN, was effusive about the contribution that Michael had made to healthcare in the south west Yorkshire region.

“Steven has made an important and sustained contribution over a long period of time, not only to his own trust and community, but also to the wider community across the country. He will be greatly missed by his colleagues, who will hope that he hasn’t left the stage completely.”

The South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust was first established back in 2002, and thus Michael has filled this critical role within the organisation for the majority of its existence.

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Chief Executive of NHS Improvement Appointed and Revealed

The Chief Executive of the newly formed NHS Improvement has been announced.

Jim Mackey, Chief Executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, will fill the role going forward.

Earlier this year it was indicated that NHS Improvement will play a major role in the healthcare sector in the foreseeable future.

Back in July, the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, announced the creation of NHS Improvement.

The organisation will be tasked with the job of driving and supporting urgent improvements at the NHS frontline, and delivering long-term sustainability of the healthcare system as a whole.

NHS Improvement will also play a major role in health sector regulation, alongside existing bodies such as Monitor.

Speaking about the appointment, Ed Smith, Chairman-designate of NHS Improvement, was keen to emphasise the qualities of Mackey which have made him ideal for the role.

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Jim Mackey as the Chief Executive of NHS Improvement. He was the unanimous choice of the appointments panel. He has an exceptional track record in delivering change in the health sector, with 25 years’ experience in the NHS. He joins us from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust where he has been Chief Executive for the last 10 years.”

Smith also expanded on the role he expects Mackey to play in the future, and how the NHS hierarchy would deliver a structure in order to support his aims.

“Jim will draw on this extensive experience of improving services for patients in leading NHS Improvement and will build both a great team around him and strong collaborations across the NHS and care systems.”

Mackey himself was naturally extremely grateful for the opportunity to fill this new position, and also spoke fondly of his previous duties working in Northumbria.

“It has been a huge privilege to lead Northumbria Healthcare through its most successful time as an NHS foundation trust. Over the years, I have worked with so many caring and dedicated members of staff and every day have been humbled to see them all go above and beyond the call of duty to provide excellent care to patients.”

In addition, Mackey was also keen to place the existing situation of the NHS in a wider context, making reference to the challenges that the health sector faces.

“This is without doubt a difficult time for the NHS. We collectively need to improve NHS services for patients and the local communities we serve, alongside being more efficient and effective in our use of the NHS pound. The gap between the quality of care provided within the NHS must be reduced, and our grip on managing our business and finance must be improved. This will be my priority and focus for the coming years ahead and I look forward to working with health partners across the NHS and social care to support a more sustainable and integrated service for patients.”

The aforementioned Hunt was also keen to offer support for this appointment.

“Jim Mackey will bring a wealth of experience to NHS Improvement and ensure that patient safety and higher quality care are embedded at the heart of all NHS organisations. He will continue the work to align Monitor and the Trust Development Authority and ensure that all providers are supported to provide excellent care every day of the week.”

Finally, Malcolm Grant, Chairman of NHS England, suggested that the appointment of Mackey will play a major role in the entire organisation of the NHS, with a new, superior structure having been put in place via the creation of NHS Improvement.

“Jim Mackey’s appointment marks the beginning of a new era of national leadership and partnership between NHS Improvement and NHS England. I am delighted that NHS Improvement has succeeded in attracting to the job someone who has a real track record of success already in transforming NHS services, and the ability to work closely with trusts across England to bring the Five Year Forward View to fruition.”

Mackey will start to bring together expert teams to deliver all of NHS Improvement’s responsibilities in due course. He will be in post full time from 1st November 2015.

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Bullying Culture in Worcs NHS Rejected by Independent Adjudicator

An independent report carried out on an NHS trust suggests that it has insufficient policies and procedures in place to deal with bullying.

The investigation carried out by the Good Governance Institute suggests that existing anti-bullying policies at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust (WAHT) are “not fit for purpose”.

During the course of the investigation, more than 700 members of staff across the trust’s three hospitals – in Kidderminster, Worcester and Redditch – were interviewed.

However, it was also found that claims of a so-called “culture of bullying” within the trust were unfounded, and that there was no evidence of “endemic bullying” within the organisation.

The investigation came to light owing to complaints from frontline staff, many of whom stated that morale was exceedingly low.

It was also expressed that employees within the trust had fears about speaking out regarding bullying.

Suggestions that there were problems with a bullying culture within the WAHT were exacerbated by the fact that five A&E consultants within the trust quit simultaneously earlier this year.

Although the more serious accusations regarding the trust were rejected by the Good Governance Institute, the organisation nonetheless highlighted inconsistencies in the way that complaints were dealt with.

Medics were even quoted as stating that the culture in Redditch was one of palpable fear.

According to the final report produced by WAHT, the Dignity at Work policy is not “fit for purpose” either as a document, or with regard to the way it has been administered.

Staff complaints were apparently often dealt with in ways that were inconsistent and confusing.

Speaking on the findings of the investigation,Chris Tidman, interim chief executive at WAHT stated: “We have reflected on the report and approved a comprehensive plan to take immediate action to address the weaknesses identified. This morning we held nine staff sessions, taking the opportunity to talk and listen to our staff.”

This is by no means the first instance of bullying reported within the NHS. Previously, a national survey spanning the entirety of the NHS, published earlier this year, discovered that around 25 per cent of all staff had experience some form of bullying and intimidation.

In February, the entire consultant team running A&E services at the trust’s Alexandra Hospital in Redditch resigned amid claims of a “bullying culture” and a breakdown of the relationship between medical staff and management.

And earlier this year, Lord Prior, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health in the House of Lords, suggested that a ‘toxic’ culture of bullying amongst NHS staff is putting the safety of patients at risk.

Nonetheless, for now the opinion of independent adjudicators is that the suggestion of an endemic bullying culture within the NHS in Worcestershire appears to be wide of the mark.

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