Thank you to everyone who attended our 2021 Annual Members’ Meeting (AMM) on Wednesday 10 November 2021 via MS Teams.
Access the Annual Report 2021/2021
Questions were sent in advance of the meeting, which you can read below. No questions were asked on the night.
- Why is the Annual Report so long? I appreciate that there are many issues to be covered and boxes to be ticked but I question whether it needs to be so long and how many people will have read it all? Remember that verbosity invariably leads to obfuscation.
As a Foundation Trust we are required to comply with the Department of Health & Social Care Group Accounting Manual which is published at the beginning of each year and sets out what must be included in annual reports and how they should be laid out. However, we acknowledge that the report is lengthy and therefore when we publish on our website we will split it into sections, which will allow staff, governors and members of the public to select the most relevant parts.
- Would the Executive Board of the Trust please advise the meeting what steps are being taken for this Trust to be incorporated into the future Integrated Care System for the Wirral Area and beyond given that the Bill to establish this new system is currently in progress through the Houses of Parliament.
We have been working with our partners across Wirral to ensure that this Trust is represented well in discussions on the Integrated Care System, in terms of what we do and what we contribute to Wirral. In many areas we are leading the way and working well with partners from the NHS, local authority and others. We all have a common goal to work on behalf of the people of Wirral to take a Population Health based approach to the development of this work and bring a collaborative approach to tackling health inequalities on Wirral.
The Bill is not published yet but is pretty certain to go through and more details on how it will work are emerging every week, including how money will flow from the centre into local organisations.
- The Trust’s chief executive is a member of the Wirral Health and Wellbeing Board, which is blithely colluding in the implementation of a so-called integrated care system (ICS) in Cheshire and Merseyside. Will the Trust be content to tell its patients and other Wirral residents that they are supporting the introduction of a system which replaces the NHS with 42 of these ICS and involves the following?
- Barriers to accessing A&E because of protocols around postcode.
- Shrinking the capacity of GPs and hospitals – and thereby providing a gap to be filled by private for-profit providers and forcing people to consider paying to get treatment they need.
- The reduction of hospitals and beds which has been part of this plan over the past eleven years.
- Substandard equipment being used by providers, due to cost.
- Putting NHS and social care at risk of being provided through profiteering Social Impact bonds in deprived areas.
- A general move to closing ambulance stations, the latest being 68 in London.
- Lack of mental health support and treatment for children and adults.
- Poorer outcomes for patients.
- Worries about corporate use of private health data.
- GPs and other services, including support to commissioners, increasingly provided by for-profit providers – some of which have parent companies based in the US. There’s no need to include the NHS in a trade deal when the US is already here.
- The way that ICSs are to be internally managed will also increase privatisation. NHSE has accredited 83 companies to provide support for developing and managing ICSs through what’s known as the Health Systems Support Framework (HSSF). As, in the words of NHSE: “The Health Systems Support (HSS) Framework provides a quick and easy route to access support services from innovative third-party suppliers at the leading edge of health and care system reform” is the chief executive content that these companies include McKinsey, Deloitte, Optum, IBM, Ernst and Young, Centene, and other global corporations, along with some UK and European companies, and only a handful of NHS Commissioning Support Units?
This is the way the NHS is restructuring itself and we need to make sure it is formed in a way that is most useful for us and others to provide the best health provision for the people of Wirral and beyond.
KH: It is certainly not a replacement for the NHS but I understand why there is confusion and anxiety. We are working as this policy evolves through the House, but I can absolutely advise with confidence that it is not replacing the NHS but rather it is a restructuring of the NHS and how it works with its partners to ensure that it can deal with some of the major Population Health challenges of the future and those created as a result of the pandemic, including Long Covid.
- Please could someone explain why is the suspension of Chiropody/Podiatry services, (“since the onset of the Pandemic”) still ongoing? I remain waiting for help and continue to be denied it because I am not a Diabetic Patient? Is the CCG/ICS scaling down services deliberately to put it into private hands? Who makes these decisions? I can think of other long-term medical conditions that would more than justify being considered an outpatient priority! In the meantime, the Audiology Dept has been operating to help legacy patients without medical discrimination! Don’t you agree that these Auditory professionals are just as much at risk (if not more) of cross-infection than your ‘Toe Doctors’? Your thoughts on this would be very much appreciated.
The service is not suspended but like many services which were stood down during Covid we do have waiting lists. The team are reviewing all the patients on the list and appointments are being offered.
In addition we are still adhering to social distancing guidance and we need to consider the number of staff and patients in clinical areas. We will review this as the guidance changes and adjust service delivery accordingly.
We are commissioned to be the provider of the service and any future plans on the commissioning of the service would be led by local commissioners and not this Trust.
- What steps have you taken and are planning to take to increase the diversity and representation of the Governing body to reflect the Wirral population, specifically people from a Black Asian and Minority Ethnic background?
Assuming this refers to the Board of Directors, I recognise the commitment of the Board and also the Trust at large in respect of future recruitment and opportunities at board level for underrepresented groups. As part of our search for any future board level appointments (Executive and Non-Executive) engagement with underrepresented groups will be an important part of the recruitment process. Any applicants who meet the essential criteria would always be invited to interview.
We are also involved in two schemes. Firstly, a reciprocal mentoring programme facilitated by Liverpool John Moores University between our Executive Directors and our BAME staff network. This is helping to ensure that views are understood, and experiences shared including in respect to career progression. We are also embarking upon an Insights Programme with Gatenby Sanderson providing aspirant Non-Executive Directors from underrepresented groups with the opportunity to gain valuable experience through a programme of shadowing and coaching to prepare for future board level roles.
- What steps have you taken and are planning to take to increase the diversity and representation of the Trust membership to reflect the Wirral population, specifically people from a Black Asian and Minority Ethnic background?
We do have the ability to provide various reports on our membership in terms of representation and our membership is largely representative of our local community. However, we know there is more that we can do and therefore as we reinvigorate our membership recruitment and engagement post-pandemic we will be engaging with our staff network groups, including our BAME staff network to understand their local networks and how they might help us increase our membership representation from under-represented groups.
- How do you intent to encourage greater utilisation of Wirral’s advanced digital position i.e. use of the Wirral Care Record, Healthy Intent and various population health data platforms to enhance outcomes for patients and residents?
The Wirral Strategy and Operational Digital groups have a strong focus on integration and how organisations can take a proactive approach to addressing Population Health issues.
The collation of multiple platforms such as the Wirral Care Record, Healthy Intent, and CIPHA (Combined Intelligence for Population Health Action) allows an opportunity to create a Single source of the truth.
Using data platforms will be key in the build of the Trust’s Digital Strategy and we are extremely proud to announce that as of the 1 November GP partners have had access to view our Electronic Patient Record (SystmOne) and we in the Trust have access to view GP electronic records (EMIS). This will help in the management of people’s care with greater access to care records and treatment histories.
Our staff are out ‘on the ground’ and not in the hospital so they need access to good information systems and the Trust has invested in this. We will invest more and more in digital, but we are also aware that not everyone has access to digital systems and alternatives also need to be used.
Annual Members’ Meeting Recording
We live streamed the event, but if you missed it, don’t worry – you can either watch the video in full or choose a section from the table below (we’ve added timestamps for each part).
Click play to watch the recording of the Annual Members’ Meeting 2021:
|Chairman, Professor Michael Brown||Welcome||N/A|
|Chief Executive, Karen Howell||Review of the year||0:00 – 15:00|
|Chief Financial Officer, Mark Greatrex||Financial Review||15:01 – 30:30|
|Chief Nurse, Paula Simpson||Quality Account||30:31 – 45:10|
|Director of Corporate Affairs, Alison Hughes||Report from the|
Council of Governors
|45:11 – 55:15|
|Chief Executive, Karen Howell||Looking ahead||55:16 – 1:03:17|
|Chairman, Professor Michael Brown||Questions & Answers||1:03:18 – 1:20:11|