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In our latest eagle's eye view of HSJi coverage, Jack Serle turns his attention to how we are covering workforce issues.
He highlights our workforce expert Annabelle Collins' national briefing on “creating a sustainable NHS workforce”. She chronicles how difficult a position the NHS and its almost 1.4 million employees are in, with stress and burnout from the pandemic hammering staff up and down the country. Pressure from the elective recovery effort, and high emergency and acute admissions is compounding this, she writes.
Jack also looks at our investigation on Dartford and Gravesham Trust in the South East. It sees the recovery from covid “as much about staff wellbeing as elective performance,” our expert Alison Moore writes. "The trust will continue to invest in additional wellbeing services, including psychological support, for its staff," she says.
Jack also looks at our deep dive on University Hospitals Sussex Foundation Trust, which "also knows recruiting and retaining the right staff is crucial to meeting future demands as well as improving the quality of its services". It hopes overseas recruitment and working with local education institutions will help it bring in more staff while its hospital sites will focus on improving working conditions to improve retention, he says.
The trust is expected to exceed national targets for elective recovery. The Tees Valley area does not have a large private healthcare sector, so the trust cannot send a great deal of its elective activity to independent providers. However South Tees FT is outsourcing some kidney dialysis to private providers. It is set to integrate governance with the neighbouring North Tees and Hartlepool FT. However, improving on CQC rating is a key barrier to further integration with North Tees and a new leadership structure is seen as vital to improving CQC rating. It has submitted an expression of interest to the government’s Health Infrastructure Plan for a £350m investment to build two new regional centres at James Cook University Hospital. The trust is also investing in digital as clinicians are still using paper records.
The trust is part of Surrey Heartlands integrated care system which was projecting a £143m deficit for 2022-23. It is struggling to meet elective care activity targets which will have an impact on its income. High pressure on beds from accident and emergency admissions and issues with discharge could limit its elective work. The trust’s staffing issues in audiology mean it is contributing 20 per cent of long waiters.
The trust has been lifted out of “special measures” after five years. Serious workforce issues are a major challenge to recovery. Smaller investments in theatre capacity and robotics are expected to bear fruit in the coming months. Emergency, stroke and orthopaedic services are likely to see major reconfigurations in the coming years. The trust has a mixed track record of delivering digital solutions. Funding has been approved for a new ePMA system, with plans to implement an EPR system are on the horizon. The trust wants to invest in digital records solutions.
Last week the following data points were updated:
E-COLI HOSPITAL-ONSET CASES (12-MONTH ENGLAND AVERAGE, 12-MONTH REGIONAL AVERAGE, 12-MONTH ROLLING COUNT) of Acute in March 2022
Online/video GP consultations, Year-plus waiters of ICS in Q1 2022-23
Workforce, Link to Quality Accounts, Post-tax Profit, Turnover, Annual Report of Private providers
Leadership of ICS in May 2022
I use HSJ Intelligence every day to inform the strategic advice that I give to our managers, directors and the board. It has enabled us to connect the dots and grasp opportunities in places that we would have missed before.
Jonathan Wedgbury, CEO, Genmed
The benefit of HSJi is all about bringing the data into one place. There are so many trusts and so many providers, and really understanding how the landscape is changing is so important for suppliers to understand their market. They can do so easily in one place with HSJ Intelligence.
Jo Siddles, Project Manager, Prime plc
I use HSJi to ensure I am up to date with current news about our prospect trusts and their senior personnel. The watchlist facility is useful in that it keeps me appraised of my current engagements and any news about them. This keeps me informed as to current issues and ensures that I am on message when engaging with senior execs with a trust.
Paul Barrett, Strategic sales manager, TeleTracking
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With unrivalled access to senior figures, NHS data sources and rigorous primary research, HSJ experts have a unique insight on the NHS, and deep understanding of the strategic issues facing NHS organisations and leadership teams. HSJi offers exclusive, predictive analysis explaining key trends and the specific NHS organisations that are likely to be affected.
Senior insights correspondent