This is a summary of the actions, achievements and events which are taking place across health and care services to help us meet our Long Term Plan.
West Cornwall Urgent Treatment Centre – it was great to read the positive feedback from patients who have attended West Cornwall Hospital’s Urgent Treatment Centre in this year’s Care Quality Commission’s annual survey of emergency and urgent care services. The results showed the team at West Cornwall UTC is doing really well when it comes to allaying patients’ fears and anxieties.
The 420 people who came to the centre from October 2018 to March 2019 (one of the most demanding times of the year for emergency teams) were asked for their views. In response to questions about how well staff caring for them discussed any anxieties or fears they had about their condition, people rated West Cornwall Hospital as better than the average for similar services across England. They were also better at making sure people knew who to contact if they were worried about their condition or treatment after they left the department.
In all other aspects of the survey the Urgent Treatment Centre and the Emergency Department at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, where 1,250 people were asked for their feedback, rated their care similarly to patients around the country. You can read the full results of the surveys on the CQC website: Urgent Treatment Centre and RCHT Emergency Department
We are developing Urgent Treatment Centres, which provide care for people with less urgent conditions and minor injuries, as well as seeing appropriate referrals from local GPs or brought in by ambulance, as part of our focus on transforming care provided in the community. The West Cornwall UTC is run by a team of emergency nurse practitioners, doctors, GPs, nurses and support staff and is open around the clock. It is good to see where we are doing well, and where we need to improve.
We will be encouraging people to make the most of our urgent treatment centre and the network of minor injury units across Cornwall as part of this coming winter’s #HelpUsHelpYou campaign so it is great for people to know they’ll get brilliant care when they go there for help.
Service planning: following recent advice from NHS England to pause planning mitigation for a ‘no deal’ Brexit as the ‘unknowns’ will remain in place until or if ‘no deal’ actually occurs, our focus has moved to ensuring we have robust plans to cover winter pressures and severe weather as well as any specific Brexit-related problems.
All health and care partners have Brexit ‘no deal’ continuity plans in place which have been regularly reviewed and updated as required, however, one specific concern relates to the potential impact on RCHT as a result of nursing staff from overseas leaving their jobs in care homes and residents then coming to the hospital as a place of safety. This would inevitably add to the pressure on acute beds. RCHT has confirmed it will look to provide nursing staff for these homes if it helps them to stay open. Cornwall Council also has plans in place to respond to workforce challenges.
In the meantime all partners are continuing to work together to ensure that we have the resources needed to provide services during the coming months.
Public support for rapid access to emergency care treatment– a new national survey commissioned by Healthwatch England has found huge public support for early initial assessment on arrival at the emergency department for everyone, allowing staff to prioritise people with the greatest need, and ensuring that people with critical conditions get the right standard of care quickly. These priorities are mirrored in new standards now being trialled across the NHS, as part of a review led by NHS National Medical Director, Professor Stephen Powis, supported by leading staff and patient groups.
Experts believe updating the 15-year old target regime for emergency department teams with these new measures, combined with an average waiting time target to bring down long waits, may help NHS teams save more lives and prevent long term disability for thousands more people.
We are already working with partners to improve our hospital services and will be looking forward to seeing the results of the trials which are taking place in 14 hospital trusts with major emergency departments. You can find out more here
Homeopathy concerns: we are working hard to increase vaccination rates in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as part of our focus on supporting people to live a healthier life. Last week NHS England announced it would be bringing GP groups and other health professionals together to agree joint action to reverse falling vaccination rates.
Now NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens has written to the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), urging it to de-list the Society of Homeopaths from its official register of professional organisations. The PSA is the official regulator of healthcare and oversees bodies including the General Medical Council, for doctors, and the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
In his letter Mr Stevens says the body’s inclusion sends a message to patients that homeopathic remedies are as safe and effective as clinically-tested medicines. He also raises concerns that some practitioners are promoting misinformation about vaccines which, he says, poses ‘a significant danger to human health’. He argues that accreditation would give a ‘false impression’ to patients that homeopathic remedies are as trusted as the treatments used by doctors, nurses and other professionals on the register.
The letter has received extensive coverage in the national media : https://www.businesstelegraph.co.uk/nhs-chief-simon-stevens-blasts-homeopathy-as-dangerous/ https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7619805/NHS-chief-blasts-homeopathy-dangerous-blames-industry-fuelling-antivaxx-myths.html
Award-winning midwifery services: huge congratulations to RCHT’s Teyluva midwifery team who have won an award for their work with traveller community. The team was presented with a National BAME Health and Care Award for its innovative work to improve care for, and engagement with, pregnant women and new parents from the traveller community in Cornwall.
Announcing the winners of the Integration Innovator award, the judges said: “Teyluva Midwifery are inspirational leaders in supporting women from the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community in Cornwall. Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people experience severe health inequalities due to discrimination and poor access to health care. Teyluva midwives have changed the way maternity services are offered to pregnant women from this community at the Wheal Jewell traveller site in Cornwall. They also work closely with health professionals and agencies to streamline services, improve the attendance of appointments and improve maternity outcomes”.
This was the first year of the National BAME Health and Care Awards which recognise achievements to improve services for black and minority ethnic communities and in areas of multiple discrimination where people are often very marginalised. Eight individuals and programmes were recognised during the ceremony, hosted by coach, speaker and author, Rasheed Ogunlaru, for being exceptional leaders, change drivers or initiatives. The winners will now have access to on-going peer support and a professional development programme to encourage their further development towards significant leadership roles in health and care.
We are working hard to improve our maternity services as part of the LTP and it is great to see this work recognised nationally. The Teyluva Midwifery team works with the TravellerSpace charity, attending the women’s and children’s group run by the charity each week. As well as offering support with preconception care and health education and promotion within a safe and trusted space, the midwives also provide antenatal and postnatal care for these women, with the hope to be able to provide support in labour. You can find out more about the awards ceremony here
Cornwall Healthwatch hospital drop-ins : one of the key priorities in our LTP is improving hospital services. A very important element of this work is finding out what people who use and those who deliver the services think is going well and what needs improvement. Healthwatch Cornwall will be holding their regular drop in sessions at community hospitals across Cornwall during the next few weeks to enable people, visitors and staff to have their say and provide feedback on the services they have received. Next week they will be visiting Bodmin, St Austell and St Michael’s hospitals, with visits scheduled to the remaining community hospitals during the coming weeks.
Transforming day services: All parts of the health and care system are looking at ways to support people to live healthier lives and transform services in local communities. As part of this work Cornwall Council has launched the next phase of its consultation on day services for people who need support.
The council is working in partnership with StayatHome Cornwall, part of The Chaos Group, to ensure that the consultation captures what people really want from the service, and is calling for people who care about daytime support to get involved in the next phase of the work.
So far the council has received more than 500 completed surveys from people who currently use day services, and talked to hundreds of people face to face across the county. Responses have identified the importance of day services in helping people overcome isolation and boredom, learn new things, and provide their families and carers with some time for themselves.
Engagement events took place in St Austell, Gweek and Liskeard this week, with further events being held in Redruth, Falmouth and Penzance and Penhallow next week. Once all the feedback has been gathered more detailed plans will be developed with service users, carers and organisations. Formal consultation on these plans are expected to begin early to mid-2020.
Penlee Unit: the newly named Penlee Unit has been unveiled at West Cornwall Hospital. The aim of the new name is to make a clearer distinction between the hospital’s treatment centre and recently designated Urgent Treatment Centre (formerly the Urgent Care Unit). The new name was the winner in a vote among hospital staff and celebrates the long-standing community links with the lifeboat. Hospital staff were joined by current and former Penlee Lifeboat crew, along with members of the League of Friends at the special unveiling event. You can read more here.
There is still time to help promote the LTP online survey. If you haven’t already done so already, we’d be grateful if you would – www.shapingourfuture.info/get-involved/long-term-plan/ .
We are also asking the public to complete our draft mental health strategy online survey. The development of the new adult mental health strategy is a key part of our work to improve mental health services in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and we are asking all our partners to help promote the survey. You can read copies of the full draft Mental Health Strategy and the summary document on the NHS Kernow website.
Staff are continuing to support flu clinics, one of the opportunities people have to live healthier lives. This week there were clinics at the surgeries in Wheal Northey, Newquay Health Centre and Harris Memorial. It is important that NHS staff have the flu vaccination so please take up this offer and encourage your colleagues, families and friends to follow your example.
Don’t forget you can keep up with news and information about the Long Term Plan on the LTP website https://cioshealthandcare.nhs.uk/get-involved/long-term-plan/
Reports and briefings:
30 October: Meeting of Cornwall Council’s Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee: items included an update from Cabinet Member Cllr Rob Rotchell on the second phase of consultation over the future of day services for the elderly and people with learning disabilities and meetings with local members over the provision of extra care in their areas; the Safeguarding Adults Peer Review ; a report from SWAST and Suicide Prevention
1 November: System Leadership Team meeting
RCHT: Papers for the 7 November meeting of RCHT’s Board are now available on the RCHT website
Articles / media releases: (about or related to LTP)
Healthwatch Cornwall welcome new staff https://www.healthwatchcornwall.co.uk/news/2019-10-16/welcoming-new-staff-healthwatch-cornwall
24 October : lifeboat links celebrated in Penlee Unit’s new name https://www.royalcornwall.nhs.uk/lifeboat-links-celebrated-in-penlee-units-new-name/ LTP Priority 10 Improve hospital services )
25 October : Have your say on day services in the next phase of engagement https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/council-news-room/media-releases/news-from-2019/news-from-october-2019/have-your-say-on-day-services-in-the-next-phase-of-engagement/ (LTP Priority 5 : transform care provided in the community that can keep people at home )
28 October: survey reveals urgent treatment centre team is good at allaying patients fears https://www.royalcornwall.nhs.uk/survey-reveals-urgent-treatment-centre-team-is-good-at-allaying-patients-fears/ LTP Priority 10 Improve hospital services )
31 October: Healthwatch Cornwall appointed to help protect adults in Cornwall from abuse and neglect https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/council-news-room/media-releases/news-from-2019/news-from-october-2019/healthwatch-cornwall-appointed-to-help-protect-adults-in-cornwall-from-abuse-and-neglect/ (LTP Priority 3 increase support for people to live a healthier life )
NHS England briefings / news releases: (about or related to LTP)
29 October: Making essential and effective integrated care an always event https://www.england.nhs.uk/blog/making-essential-and-effective-integrated-care-an-always-event/ (LTP Priority 5 : transform care provided in the community that can keep people at home )
31 October: Welcome to team transformation – a blog from a social prescriber https://www.england.nhs.uk/blog/welcome-to-team-transformation/ (LTP Priority 5 : transform care provided in the community that can keep people at home
31 October: Public back NHS plans for new rapid care measures https://www.england.nhs.uk/2019/10/public-back-nhs-plans-for-new-rapid-care-measures/ LTP Priority 10 Improve hospital services )
31 October: Clinically-led review of NHS access standards: https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/clinically-led-review-of-nhs-access-standards/ LTP Priority 10 Improve hospital services )