The Committee received a power point presentation from Karen Roberts, Deputy Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Quality and Joanne Coleman, Quality Improvement Lead on the Gateshead Health NHS Trust, Quality Accounts 2020-21.
Based on the Committee’s knowledge of the work of the Trust during 2020-21, the Committee were able to comment as follows:
Quality Priorities 2019-21
The OSC is supportive of the Trust’s proposed Quality Priorities for Improvement
Progress Against Quality Priorities for 2020-21
The OSC expressed its thanks to all the Trust’s staff and volunteers for the tremendous work they have carried out during the pandemic and congratulated the Trust on continuing to make some real improvements in quality and safety whilst facing the significant operational challenges as a result of the pandemic e.g. Implementation of Medical Examiner Service, deployment of Family Liaison Officers to patient families involved in patient safety incidents and complex complaints and Volunteer programmes which have played a key role in supporting patients and staff during the pandemic.
The OSC applauded the maternity provision available during the pandemic and the care provided which was considered to be excellent. The OSC was particularly impressed with the Maternity Notes initiative which allows women to access their records on-line and check appointments and the Maternity Voices Partnership which was felt to be a valuable communication tool.
However, OSC also noted the BMJ report indicating that women from minority ethnic and deprived backgrounds are more likely to die in childbirth and sought to understand how the Trust is seeking to tackle this situation. OSC was pleased to learn that the Horizon Continuity of Care team, involving a team of midwives working patwork to tackle health inequalities experienced by specific groups which are likely factors in such deaths.
Making Every Contact Count – Stop Smoking
OSC congratulated the Trust on the work it has been progressing in relation to helping patients to stop smoking, particularly the text messaging service for patients to support them to stop smoking and expressed its support for proposed further improvements outlined.
OSC was pleased to note that during the year the Trust plans to use Volunteers to seek patient feedback on their experience of services which will be input into electronic devices in real time and digital reports produced.
OSC expressed concern that the rate of harm to the number of falls had increased to 22.5% but acknowledged that the Trust’s response to the COVID 19 pandemic had impacted on this area and supported this being a key priority are for the Trust going forwards.
OSC noted that cancer targets are not currently being met and there is concern that the impact of delayed diagnosis is now emerging. OSC sought to understand how this work would be progressed and was pleased to note that protecting cancer pathways is a priority for the Trust and work is ongoing to deal with referrals as quickly as possible.
OSC explored the position in relation to long term mortality rates and noted the work the Trust has carried out to learn from patient deaths and how this learning is being applied.
OSC Inspection Outcomes
OSC noted that the Care Quality Commission has not taken enforcement action against Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust during 2020-21.
RESOLVED – That the information be noted
and the thanks of the OSC be passed on to colleagues in the