Transformation…the wheels are turning

Phil Corrigan, our Chief Executive, talks about how the juggernaut of transformation has started to make progress and her recent national discussions about integrated health and social care.

Although I’ve never had any ambitions of being a driver of a heavy goods vehicle I feel I now have experience of turning the wheels of a juggernaut as we make progress on the Leeds Health and Social Care Transformation Programme.

Just like steering a juggernaut all partners have had to undertake difficult manoeuvres requiring skill, judgement and experience that has now put us on a clearer path (or road I should say). I’m pleased with the recent progress we have made including firmly establishing the project management office and all its key functions.

We have also further developed our plans identifying current and potential future resource implications. Linked to this we have looked at how we will use the Better Care Fund with proposals aligned with our plans.

I’ve also met up with Dean Royles who has joined Leeds Teaching Hospitals as Director of HR and Organisational Development following on from his previous role as Chief Executive for NHS Employers. His experience will be invaluable as we look at shaping the workforce of the future to help achieve our aims in Leeds.

I’m trying not to use traffic related metaphors however I’ll use one more as we look to address the reasons for delayed discharges in the hospital. We have a system delivery group in Leeds which involves chief executives from all they key NHS and Leeds City Council partners involved in planning and funding care or those who provide services. We have been looking at how we help reduce any delays our patients experience when receiving care.

The Leeds Integrated Commissioning Executive has recognised that there is likely to be a shortfall in funding for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and want to ensure we can support some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

To help us understand what we are likely to need in the city we have been finding out more about the current services and any existing issues. We have been listening to feedback from GPs, other health and care professionals, staff working with children and young people and of most importance our young service users. I want to reassure people that we will do all we can to ensure people have access to the best possible CAMHS services.

I’m working with colleagues across the country on developing guidance around safer staffing levels for maternity services. This is linked to my role on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Safer Staffing Advisory Committee.

Sticking to the national picture I have recently been in meetings with the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP as well as Care Minister Norman Lamb MP and I’ve also met up with Simon Stevens, Chief Executive for NHS England.  The main focus for my discussions was to see what support was available for Leeds as we are one of the Department of Health’s pioneer sites for integrated health and social care.

The catch up was really useful as I also learnt more about initiatives taking place nationally that see new roles being developed replacing some of the more traditional approaches and roles relating to delivery of care. I heard about flexible solutions that improve communications between primary care, community care and secondary care.

There were three key initiatives that really made me think about how we can be innovative.

  • Patients in some parts of the Midlands have been issued with smartcards so that they can access their health information online as well as liaise with key healthcare professionals;
  • There’s a scheme in Warrington that has seen the local police force with mental health workers to provide safe havens for people who would normally be put in a police cell; and
  • More closer to home Yorkshire Ambulance Service have recruited a GP to ride along on some calls and offer an assessment of care needs and the most appropriate service for them.

Back in Leeds and I’ve had a chance to return to my nursing roots. I’m proud to undertake some learning with the preceptee practice nurses on an innovative project we have set up to improve recruitment to the vital role of primary care nursing. In my next blog I’ll tell you more about this scheme.

Finally, this weekend I am helping my daughter pack for a round the world trip. The lucky soul will be taking in the sights, sounds and flavours of USA, Fiji, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Burma and India.

That’s all for now, as ever if you have any ideas or just want to make a general comment do get in touch.


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