As you may have seen from my message this morning, we are delighted with the news that the Department of Health and Social Care has allocated the Trust £58million to transform our urgent care services. This was part of a significant amount of capital invested in the NHS and we received the second highest sum of money for our redevelopment. To support the announcement we had the pleasure of welcoming Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt MP, and Alan Mak MP who visited the hospital to meet with staff and patients and learn more about how we intend to use the money. I have no doubt many of you will share my excitement about the potential the funding has to make a real difference to our patients and improve the working environment for our staff.
This morning I met with local MP Caroline Dineage to provide an update on key developments within the Trust. As you might expect, the funding announcement and our preparations for winter were top of the list for our discussion and I was delighted to be able to talk about our new discharge lounge at the East entrance which opened this week and the preparations underway to open our new Frailty Unit. As well as being a local MP, Caroline is also Minister of State for Health and so we are very grateful for her taking time to come to the hospital, meet with staff and hear more about our work.
As I mentioned last week, Tuesday was the first in our latest series of ‘Cost Improvement Planning’ days. Staff from across the four clinical Divisions joined corporate teams to share details of where savings schemes had been successful this year as well as pull together ideas for how we can continue these savings next financial year, starting in April 2019. In just one afternoon really good progress was made and it was great to see such collaboration among our teams and I look forward to the next instalments over the coming months.
This week was Delayed Transfers of Care (DToC) week for our Hampshire patients, where Hampshire County Council provided extra staff here in the hospital to support an increase in discharges into the community. This is part of the ‘Home for Christmas’ drive, to reduce our numbers of medically fit patients still further in preparation for the Christmas and New Year period. Activity on site included patients being assessed for the extra winter capacity beds and senior representation from the Joint Hospital Prevention Scheme (HCC) who joined the frailty board rounds to promote awareness of the service and understand how best to improve referrals and efficiency. The impact of DToC week has been a 42% increase in discharges from the QA site, which has helped to decompress the hospital leading up to the holiday period.
I have spoken on numerous occasions about our ongoing focus to improve and sustain our performance in the area of cancer. Awaiting the results of a possible cancer diagnosis can be an uncertain and distressing time for our patients and their families and any additional delay to their diagnosis or treatment is something we need to work hard to avoid. There are eight national standards for cancer which underpin the key stages of the pathway, from referral to diagnosis and treatment. I’m sure you’ll be delighted to know that we have now delivered on all eight of these for the first two quarters of the year. This is fantastic news for our patients and is the result of a huge amount of hard work from everyone in our cancer team and those who provide care for cancer patients in many specialties across the Trust. To put this in context, there are 19 Trusts in the South region and in October, we were one of only seven Trusts to deliver 62 day performance. We must now continue to focus on delivering all of these standards, in particular ensuring no patient has to wait over 62 days for their treatment.
And finally, you may have seen or heard some of the fantastic community choirs who have been visiting the hospital recently to perform for patients and staff. There are many more performances planned in the week’s leading up to Christmas so if you can, please come along and lend them your support if you are free. Further information will be available in Trust Talk each week.
As ever, thank you for all you do, to provide the very best care, to each of patients.
Have a good weekend.