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Weekly Message - 6th October 2017

Weekly Message - 6th October 2017
09 October 2017

Hello and welcome to my weekly message.


Every single NHS Trust is preparing for winter and we are taking measured and proactive steps to ensure we’re in the best possible shape for the months ahead. The full details of our plan will be confirmed in the next few weeks, setting out what we are doing and how we will be working with our key partners throughout this period.  I recognise the plans we are putting in place are against a backdrop of the significant financial challenges we face, but it is important we plan ahead for the additional seasonal pressures we are likely to see. I’d like to say a huge thank you to staff from the Orthopaedic Department and D1 and D5 wards whom Theresa Murphy, Interim Director of Nursing and I, met on Wednesday for their support in developing and implementing some of our early winter preparations. 


In advance of the more detailed plans which will be shared, there are three key developments which will  be implemented :


  • There will be temporary changes to the amount of elective inpatient orthopaedic work we do, to create additional short term bed capacity on the site. We are not stopping inpatient elective orthopaedic  work, but we will be doing less than we normally do for a short period of time. This is a planned development to support the delivery of sustainable changes to our urgent care pathway.


  • Monday sees the launch of a new frailty unit which will help us make sure we have enough elderly care capacity to meet the anticipated increase in demand from our frail elderly population. Our Acute Frailty Unit (AFU) will require a very close relationship with our partners and will help us provide even better care for some of our most vulnerable patients.  The unit will build on the great service provided by our Frailty Interface Team and there’s lots of evidence that says this sort of unit can significantly reduce the need for a prolonged hospital stay and the reliance on on-going services following a hospital admission. Thank you to the MOPRS CSC and our key partners, for the efforts which have gone into preparing for this development in a relatively short period of time.
  • We have identified additional CT scanning capacity to be provided on the PHT site throughout the winter months, which will increase the availability of urgent scans for our patients.


Our Red2Green campaign has launched and it is fantastic to see so many staff now adopting this approach each day.  All Renal wards are using it and we’ve started seeing it adopted by D8, MOPRS and some medical and MSK wards. On the 10th October Red2Green will go live on Bedview which will support the remaining wards adopting the approach. Red2Green allows visibility of all delays to patient care and/or their discharge home. When we can see where the problems are and we can quantify them, we are much better placed to tackling them.


Over the last month we have seen an increase in the number of patients going home via the Discharge Lounge. This is great news as it frees up beds earlier in the day for patients coming into hospital and we’ve seen an increase in the number elderly frail patients being discharged in less than 72 hours up from 40% to 57%. While this is encouraging, there is still more to do. Your efforts are, without doubt, delivering improvements. As I am writing this, we have reduced our bed state escalation level to Green again.


One of the best parts of my role, is reading the compliments we receive from patients and colleagues about staff and I have really enjoyed starting to review the nominations for this year’s Best People awards. Many of the citations are truly inspirational and I am looking forward to the awards ceremony and celebrating with you, all that is great about our staff here at Portsmouth.


You will be aware that I am still recruiting to a number of posts within the refreshed Executive team. The interviews for the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nurse posts took place this week and I hope to be in a position to announce the successful candidates in the next couple of weeks. Sadly however, Dr Rob Haigh, Director of Emergency Care, who joined us in July 2016 will be leaving the Trust on Friday 13th October, to join Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, as their Medical Director. This is a wonderful opportunity for Rob and I wish him every success for the future. The responsibilities of the Director of Emergency Care will be incorporated into the portfolio of the Chief Operating Officer once Rob leaves.

I would like to extend a big thank you to colleagues for organising the Freedom to Speak Up roadshow, I know how important this is to you, because of the number of conversations I have had with staff at my Meet Mark sessions.  This is an important initiative to encourage us all to speak up when we feel something isn’t quite right.  I know many line managers are taking this topic seriously, and I am encouraged by the honest conversations going on.  If you feel you’ve tried to raise a concern and it has not been heard, please get in touch with one of our Freedom to Speak Up advocates.


Finally, I wish you all a good weekend and I send a big thank you to those who will be working throughout.


Many thanks,




Mark Cubbon

Chief Executive

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust





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