I would like to begin by thanking you all for your assistance in helping us support colleagues from University Hospital Southampton on Wednesday. They declared a major incident when they had a power failure which resulted in ambulances being diverted to hospitals across the local area, including to QA. Teams responded swiftly to ensure we had enough capacity to manage the extra demand. It was a great example of working together to ensure our patients were kept safe as well as supporting our neighbouring Trust.
After a very busy start to the week, the effect of our winter plans is evident again today, as we head into the weekend. Today the number of patients who are medically fit for discharge (MFFD) and awaiting ongoing care in the community has fallen to 139. I am reliably informed that this is the lowest number we have seen over a number of years and is a good illustration of the work we have undertaken internally to improve the effectiveness of our discharges and importantly, the support we have received from our health and social care partners, in Portsmouth and South East Hampshire. This is great news for our patients, their carers and their families.
We have recently completed a procurement process to purchase a new e-rostering system because it was clear our current system was no longer appropriate for our needs. I’m pleased to let you know that we have appointed Allocate to take this forward with us and roll out of the new system will begin in January. Allocate is the market leader within the NHS for staff rostering. The new system allows us interface with Bank Partners, to enable automatic transfer of bank shifts, saving staff time in re-keying shifts. It also provides an interface with the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) which again avoids duplication of effort. Most importantly for staff it will allow you to be able to access rostering information from work and home, which should make it easier for you to plan your life outside of work and enable easier access to bank shifts. In short, this should streamline a lot of processes and existing systems to support improvements to staffing across the Trust.
At the end of November, we are now more than halfway through the financial year and we remain firmly focused on safely delivering the financial improvement we had planned to achieve by the end of March 2019. A lot of good progress has already been made by many teams to contribute to the delivery our cost improvement plans, but we cannot afford to lose focus or momentum. Our ability to secure the scale of investment we have committed to make in a number of areas across the Trust relies on our ability to exercise good financial discipline and improve some aspects of elective work we do, for the rest of this year
Whilst the focus on delivering our financial plan for this year remains, we are also starting to look to next year. Next Tuesday we will be hosting another ‘Cost Improvement Planning day’ for clinicians and managers across the Trust, to start to generate ideas and draw up plans for how we will meet further financial improvement in 2019/20. These events were very well received when they ran earlier in the year and I’m sure will be embraced with the same enthusiasm this time round.
It is encouraging that our flu vaccination rate has now improved to 61% across the Trust, however our aim is to increase this still further and surpass last year’s uptake of 72%. A number of flu clinics continue to run and ward vaccinators are available to go directly to teams so please ensure you take the opportunity to get vaccinated. I appreciate the message has been reiterated many times, but I cannot emphasise how important it is to make sure we all protect ourselves and our patients by getting the flu jab. If you have received your vaccination elsewhere then please inform your line manager or our vaccinators so that we ensure you are included within the numbers of staff who have been vaccinated.
I am always pleased to highlight the successes of our teams and this week I was delighted to receive incredible feedback about our paediatric team from one of our own staff, whose family member was treated by them recently. Singled out for particular mention for their compassionate approach were the Child Assessment Unit and the nursing team within the paediatric outpatients department. As we know only too well, a simple thank you really does make a difference.
Thank you for the impressive work you all do, every day, for our patients and the community we serve.