In my first message of 2019 I’m delighted to begin with some extremely positive news. We have been informed by CQC that all five of the enforcement actions they had put in place following their inspections of the Trust over the past two years, have been lifted. This means that the only remaining formal requirement from the CQC is ensuring we correctly apply Deprivation of Liberty safeguards in line with the Mental Capacity Act. Colleagues will be aware that we have a very active programme of work in place to address this specific requirement.
The lifting of these conditions is the result of a huge amount of hard work from teams right across the Trust and I would like to thank you all for your contribution in making this happen. It is important that we continue our persistence and focus on quality improvement and patient safety across all areas, but this positive step forward symbolises the progress we are making. Importantly it provides reassurance to our patients, their families and carers about the steps we are taking to ensure all of our services provide the highest possible quality of care.
As expected, after an 8-day run at OPEL 1 over the Christmas period, we have been increasingly busy over the past week as the colder weather has arrived. After a period of time at OPEL 3, we managed to de-escalate to OPEL 2 on Friday and have remained at OPEL 2 so far this weekend, following a sterling effort by all, including the response from our partners in the community. We know we will experience further surges over the coming weeks, due to the weather and other seasonal illnesses such as flu and diarrhoea and vomiting, so we cannot afford to be complacent. We should however reflect on the effectiveness of the teamwork evident across the site, which has allowed us to de-escalate over the past weeks, providing a better experience for our patients.
Preparations for the country’s withdrawal from the European Union have been hard to avoid in the media in recent weeks and months and as you would expect, the NHS has been putting plans in place to ensure there is no disruption to services in the event of ‘no deal’. Chief Operating Officer Paul Bytheway is leading the Trust’s local preparations and yesterday he provided an update to Trust Board outlining details of contingency measures being put in place. Some of the key areas include our procurement supply chain, the supply of medicines and possible impact on research and clinical trials. Paul will be chairing a weekly task and finish group to keep the Trust Leadership Team informed of any potential risks and will recommend any necessary actions. Our key aim is to ensure there is minimal impact on our patients and staff, should the ‘no deal’ scenario arise.
We have received notification that the long awaited 10 year plan for the NHS will be published tomorrow. While I do not yet know the full detail of the plan, this presents a big opportunity for us to play a significant role, working in partnership with other NHS and local authority partners in Portsmouth and SE Hampshire to support improvements in the health of our local community. Once I have read it and digested it, I will ensure we attach a special briefing with next weeks weekly message setting out what this may mean for us at PHT.
Thank you for the great work you do, every day.