The Committee received a power point from Paul Sams, Feedback and Outcomes Lead, Commissioning and Quality Assurance Team on the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Quality Accounts 2021-22.
Based on the OSC’s knowledge of the work of the Trust during 2021-22 the Committee were able to comment as follows:
Quality Priorities for 2022-23
OSC is supportive of the Trust’s proposed Quality Priorities for Improvement.
Progress Against Quality Priorities for 2021-22
OSC expressed its thanks to all the Trust’s staff and volunteers for its excellent work in continuing to make some real improvements in quality and safety whilst still facing significant operational challenges as the Trust recovers from the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic e.g. Positive and Safe Strategy – Impact -there have been significant improvements in reducing restrictive practices within the Trust such as restraint, prone and seclusion which is particularly noteworthy given the pressures that Teams and clinician have been working under. The Trust has ALSO retained the Better Health at Work Maintaining Excellence Award and the NHS Improvement Single Oversight Framework which identifies NHS providers potential support needs across 5 themes and trusts are “segmented” according to the level of support each Trust needs identifies CNTW is segmented as 1 – maximum autonomy. In addition, in the area of Adult ASD – there has been a reduction in those waiting over 18 weeks in spite of an increase in referrals.
OSC was concerned to see that waiting times were rising and service users were waiting over 18 weeks in a number of areas and sought to understand what plan were in place to address the situation. OSC was informed that as demand had increased significantly work was being carried out within the new ICS to actively engage with partners such as local authorities, CCGs and the third sector to better sign post individuals to the support they need and put in place earlier access to help within communities such as mental health nurses in GP surgeries. OSC was assured that Gateshead was not an outlier in terms of numbers and all areas had seen an increased number of referrals. OSC considered that it would be important for the Trust to ensure that the third sector continues to be robust enough to take on the signposting role outlined and that it works with partners to help ensure social prescribing initiatives they are working with are adequately resourced.
It was also queried whether there have been any work carried out to understand why demand was increasing and whether this was a consequence of the pandemic or some section of unmet needs. OSC was advised that it was likely to be a combination of both, however, overall, there was a correlation with the Covid 19 pandemic. In response the Trust’s offer had changed and the Trust had embraced the provision of digital services which many service users had found valuable and meant some individuals were accessing services they had not accessed before.
CQC Inspection Outcomes
OSC noted that the Care Quality Commission has not taken enforcement action against CNTW NHS Foundation Trust during 2021-22.