On drier ground

After the stormy and wet weather over Christmas it’s been nice to come back to a warm and dry office. There’s been plenty to get on with as we start a new year but firstly I want to quickly talk about recent weather events.

My thoughts go out to anyone who was affected by the Boxing Day floods as I experienced first-hand the power of nature. Unfortunately I got caught up in the floods and managed to write off my husband’s car.

In a previous blog I spoke about the generosity of strangers as well as the importance of collaboration and this was most certainly on show whilst I’d broken down. I was taking my daughter to the airport and in the time we were waiting for a recovery vehicle a man approached as he was lost on his way to the airport.

Thanks to his kindness he was able to take my daughter to the airport (that’s the generosity of strangers) and Hannah was able to direct him through the back roads of Ilkley (that’s collaboration). Suffice to say both of them got to the airport safely, sadly the same cannot be said of my husband’s car which has been written off by the insurers.

In non-weather related news, I’ve continued to work on two wards at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT). I do these clinical sessions to ensure I continue to be a registered nurse and to see first-hand the quality of the care we commission. My recent experiences have been on wards 16 and 30. I wanted to say how impressed I was by the approach of the nursing staff to their patients. They were kind, caring and full of humour when dealing with patients.

I was part of a team of CCG staff, who are also registered nurses, who supported LTHT during a period of sustained pressure. I’d like to say thanks to CCG colleagues and above all LTHT staff who helped pull us through a difficult period without the need for a major emergency to be called.

We recently held a really good and informative senior management team meeting as part of our work on a revised strategy for the CCG. I was pleased to see that some of our patient leaders also attended the meeting as we cannot deliver the best possible services without patient and public input.

The meeting was the first part of a much wider engagement and consultation process that will help us develop our revised strategy. Some of the key drivers for us include developing integrated teams, responding to the NHS Five Year Forward View and in particular developing new models of care by working with our 37 member GP practices. We’ll need everyone’s views to help us with this so please do keep an eye out as we’ll be asking you to get involved.

We’ve been working with all our partners to develop a sustainability and transformation plan for the city. This is in direct response to NHS England’s planning guidance for 2016-2017. To support this, NHS England has set up a new, dedicated Sustainability and Transformation Fund worth £2.1 billion in 2016/17 and rising to £3.4 billion in 2020/21.

This is the latest example of our citywide approach to future plans. This collaboration is also seen within our Leeds CCGs. We are pulling together a leadership group which will be independently chaired. This means we can ensure that we maintain a focus on citywide targets as well as continuing to deliver local neighbourhood plans to reflect the diversity of our population and communities.

We recently held a meeting with all our providers and leaders of the city’s universities to see how we can work together to increase nursing numbers in the city. This is part of a wider plan to recruit and retain nurses across all specialisms in response to a local and national skills shortage within nursing.

I want to end my blog by saying I’m honoured to be asked to attend the opening of the new look extended Manor Park GP Practice. The practice has involved its patients through the development and I look forward to seeing the results.


Philomena Corrigan is the Chief Executive for NHS Leeds West Clinical Commissioning Group