Christmas already is a distant memory as the first five weeks of the new year have sailed by however there has been some excellent progress on a number of fronts.
As we gear up to becoming a single CCG covering the city of Leeds from 1 April 2018, there’s been some significant developments. By the end of this month we will have confirmed the lay members for our Governing Body and then we’ll be looking to finalise our clinical lead appointments during March.
I know that the merger will mean a number of changes for my colleagues across the organisation and I want to support them as much as possible. We will be holding an organisational time out in April, with the programme coming out very soon (if you work for the CCG Partnership keep an eye out for this).
Our CCG Partnership received positive feedback from our checkpoint three (covering the third quarter of 2017-2018) meeting with NHS England’s regional team. They are satisfied with the progress we are making in readiness for becoming a single CCG.
We accept the feedback from the area team that we need to get our performance for A&E waiting times and referral to treatment times back on track. Nationally there has been an acknowledgment about the significant pressures affecting the health and care system and there has been action taken to support acute trusts so that they can make improvements to their performance (up until 31 January 2018).
This brings me on to the topic of winter pressures and the exceptional work that has gone on in Leeds involving all our partners. We’ve had teams going into the hospital supporting colleagues in A&E, helping to facilitate quicker discharges and preparing a package of support for patients so they can be cared for within the community.
I’d like to highlight that this winter has seen an increase in cases of flu and other winter-related illnesses resulting in the pressure we have seen. We can all do our bit to help so remembers it’s not too late to have your flu jab!
That partnership working ethos resulted in our first ever time out involving commissioners from the CCG and colleagues from adult social care. We had the opportunity to share our individual areas of work before developing a 10 point plan for collective working.
Our organisation has a real commitment to engage with staff, clinicians and patients and this was recently demonstrated at an extraordinary meeting of our Primary Care Commissioning Committee.
We’ve had a great response from the local community about a proposed plan affecting Swillington Surgery. The meeting resulted in some challenging yet positive contributions from members of the community. I’m really pleased that our outcome is based on the feedback we have received from the local community.
In the current financial climate it does mean having to make difficult decisions however we can do so in a way that we engage with our communities to look at alternative solutions. They may not always be the exact solution that the community feels they need but we can look at a suitable compromise.
This brings me on to our efforts to ensure we have a sustainable financial footing for the organisation. We have asked all our teams to look at how we can further improve quality working in different ways that allow us to make efficiency savings.
I know the term efficiency savings is seen as managerial speak but by looking at everything we do I know there are opportunities to make our budget go further. I’m pleased that the planning guidance that has recently been published by NHS England gives us greater surety. You can also view the CCG allocations including details of how the funding formula is calculated.
While the planning guidance has given me reasons to be optimistic, there’s no denying that we are facing financial challenges just like any other area in the country. This is a challenge for all of us and I’d welcome any suggestions you may have to help us build a stronger health and care system in Leeds that also eliminates any unnecessary costs.
Finally I wanted to end with an update from a meeting for the project board for the Leeds Health and Care Academy. Some of you may be aware that the Academy has been mentioned a while back and progress could appear to be slow going. However this is because we need to ensure that the Academy caters for our 57,000 strong health and care workforce in Leeds.
One of the areas we are looking at is how we can centralise some functions such as organisational development as part of our one system approach to get the most for the Leeds pound. Over the coming months you’ll hear more about the work of the Academy as we are now in a position to deliver.
I know it has been a while since my previous update so if there’s anything you wanted to know more about, please do get in touch.
Philomena Corrigan, Chief Executive for the NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups Partnership