The big news last week was that the Boards at the George Eliot and NHS Trust Development Authority (NHS TDA) have decided that the procurement process to identify a strategic partner will not continue further.
This decision was taken in recognition of the recent improvements in performance, clinical services and quality of care at the Trust which led both Boards to re-evaluate the process to secure a sustainable future for the Trust.
This was a big decision for the George Eliot and I am pleased to see that it has been welcomed and that the achievements of our staff over the past year have been recognised. Every member of staff should take a great deal of credit for getting the Trust to where it is today, as they have worked tirelessly to deliver real benefits to patient care
That said there is still much to be done and with less than a month to go until we undergo a major inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) it is vital we maintain focus. This inspection will be critically important as another vital stage in the Trust’s journey to providing a clinically sustainable service.
While there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes for the CQC inspection, my key message to staff is ‘keep doing what you are doing and keep taking every opportunity to further improve the care we are providing to patients’. It is important that we focus on maintaining the good work and improvements achieved so far. The CQC will ultimately decide whether the improvements we have made will allow us to exit special measures.
We will continue to focus on achieving a sustainable future. We have recently approved a quality strategy that aims to maintain the momentum created by the Keogh Review and ensure that continuous improvement to quality remains the central focus of the organisation. We will also be looking to address our financial sustainability and review the benefits of our investments in capacity management and resources as we approach the end of the financial year.
We look forward to welcoming the CQC inspection team and receiving their feedback. I am confident they will see how the improvements delivered are an excellent example of what can be achieved when the right package of support is in place and staff work together to deliver real benefits to our patients. We will continue to work closely with the NHS TDA and colleagues at University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) to drive further improvements. The ‘buddying’ arrangement put in place with UHB following the Keogh Review has proved invaluable, and we will work closely to continue improving operational performance and the care of patients at George Eliot.