Report on West Herts Hospitals Trust Board Meeting 16.04.2015
New Chief Executive: A short list is being drawn up from nearly a dozen applicants. Interviews will be held on 7th May. Stakeholders are to be involved in the selection process.
Board performance: According to the improvement board representative, the Board’s performance has improved over the last two years and it is functioning effectively.
Integrated performance in February: There were fewer Clostridium Difficile cases. The Accident & Emergency Department was challenged, as were most A&Es nationally, but it had improved from January.
Improved discharge process: Discharge Matrons have proved effective in the rapid discharge programme and additional Consultant rounds have improved the flow of patients.
Cancer performance: Plans are in place to improve performance in line with targets. Patients who were not treated within 28 days in January are to be reviewed and lessons will be learned.
Unscheduled care: Data on this issue is to be brought to the Board sooner, so that swifter action can be taken to reduce the attendant risks.
Finance: Final submission for 2014-15 will be brought to the next Board Meeting. The month 11 year deficit was £17.5 million (£3.8m worse than planned).
Sexual Health services: These services have been taken on by Chelsea and Westminster Foundation Trust. The transition process is underway.
Staffing levels: Information about staffing levels is now displayed on the wards. Staffing levels are now adjusted to cover levels of patient dependence.
Recruitment and retention of nursing staff: Plans are in place to partner other trusts in a recruitment drive in the Philippines and to increase pastoral care for overseas nurses. Questions were asked about increasing the retention and use of Bank staff. More healthcare support workers have been taken on. Concerns were expressed about the time taken to recruit and train new staff.
Care Quality Commission inspection: The CQC was using the Trust’s Boardroom during its inspection, so the Board was holding its meeting in an unusual venue - apologies were given.
Health watch questions:
a) The Trust’s mortality figures: Why are these worse than national rates? Response: the Trust is in line with similar sized institutions, but further work is being undertaken to learn from the statistics.
b) Ambulance crews waiting to hand over patients: Why are up to ten paramedics having to queue in corridors to transfer their patients to Accident and Emergency Department care? Response: Winter pressures cause difficulties, but the Board will look into this situation.
Questions from the public: A member of the public wished to report that the Board has been more approachable over the last two years, which was much appreciated as previously the atmosphere was very confrontational.