Staff worked continuously hard throughout the year and achieved most of our key performance targets for 2016/2017 which was, undoubtedly, a tough but great year for the organisation in terms of laying the foundation for the sustainable turnaround of the Trust.
Some highlights of our performance last year and in the first quarter of this financial year, and some of the challenges ahead, are listed below:
Care Quality Commission. In year, our overarching success was the upgrading of our CQC rating from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’ with several areas of outstanding practice identified.
A&E performance. In terms of our A&E performance we ended the year at 95.33% against the target of 95%. We hit 96% for Quarter One of this financial year and are now consistently rated as one of the top performing Trusts in the country.
18 week Referral to Treat (RTT) performance. Our year end 18-week Referral to Treat (RTT) performance was 92.2% against a target of 92% and following the implementation of our RTT turnaround plan in September last year we have seen sustainable improvement in our performance.
Cancer 62 day target. Since March 2017, and for the first time in two years, we have been compliant against the Cancer 62-day target following the implementation of a cancer turnaround action plan in February. We continue to see month on month improvements in this area.
C.difficile. We had 43 cases of C.difficile against an upper threshold of 55 (a 30% improvement on the previous year’s position of 61 cases) which given we had one of the busiest years the Trust has ever seen in terms of activity, and the high burden of C.difficile we continue to see in the Community, this was a significant achievement. We do however need to remain focused on this area as this year.
Sickness absence rates. In terms of our people our sickness absence rate has fallen to 3.87% from 4.44% which is the lowest in the region and our lowest since records began. (our overall average sickness absence rate for the financial year was 4.35%)
Finances. Over the last three years we have delivered £87.9M of productivity and efficiency savings and at the end of the last financial year we declared a break-even position. Whilst we did not hit our savings (‘control’) target of £8.5M this still represented a strong financial performance by the organisation and one which we now need to continue to build on in order to ensure our longer term financial sustainability. 2017/18 sees us facing further system wide cost pressures which we need to absorb and to this end we will need to deliver a further £28.6M of productivity and efficiency gains in year
Looking ahead. In addition to delivering a £28.6M productivity and efficiency programme in 17/18, our key priorities this year will be:
- the development of a long-term strategy for the Friarage hospital
- increased collaboration with Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the development of a Specialist Care Business Plan
- the development of a Primary and Community Care strategy
- the development of a Trust-wide Critical Care strategy
- a review and consolidation of our back office, support service functions and the right sizing of our admin, clerical and managerial workforce