Early Help available for Greater Manchester residents with health conditions as new programme goes live

An innovative new programme, providing free specialist support for people with a disability or health condition who are working, absent or newly unemployed in Greater Manchester, went live today (4 March).

Working Well Early Help gives individuals access to a dedicated Vocational Rehabilitation Case Worker and early intervention resources, such as online support, to help them stay in work after a period of absence, or return to work if recently unemployed.

Individuals across ten Greater Manchester boroughs can self-refer to the programme, or via their employer, GP, local authority or community group.

The new programme is commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership. It is delivered by MAXIMUS HealthWorks, Pathways CIC and part funded by the European Social Fund.

Dr Paul Williams, MAXIMUS UK Division President said: “We’re delighted to deliver this innovative new programme, giving individuals rapid access to support that addresses specific barriers and enables them to stay in, or get back into work as quickly as possible. Working Well Early Help allows us to test a new, integrated approach, working with community partners and offering a real focus on health and wellbeing.”

GDE Fast Follower funding agreement announcement – £10m digital health programme for local NHS gets go ahead

Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has been given the go ahead to deliver an exciting new programme of digital health technology and electronic patient pathways by NHS England.

The Trust, which is part of the Northern Care Alliance, is partnering with Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust to become Manchester’s first Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) Fast Follower organisation. The NHS Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) programme is a national initiative which aims to improve digital maturity across the NHS.

A £5million funding boost will be matched by the Trust to invest a total of £10million in digital technology and improved patient care systems across hospitals in Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and North Manchester.

Dr Georges Ng Man Kwong, Consultant Chest Physician and Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO), said: “This is great news for patients and will mean our patient care systems and processes will become more advanced, using new digital technology.

“Being a GDE Fast Follower provides us with a great opportunity to try, implement and, if necessary, modify and improve new technologies to support patient care following ‘blue-print’ principles and processes which have already been tested at Salford.

“Importantly the GDE Fast Follower programme runs alongside our infrastructure improvement and future Electronic Patient Record (EPR) programmes which, as a whole, will enable us to achieve a digital future for healthcare.”

Pennine Acute NHS Trust is committed to change through investment in technology and digital initiatives and over the next few months staff will be reviewing the new technology and standard methodologies.

As part of the GDE Fast Follower approach, Pennine aims to replicate a number of projects deployed at Salford Royal.

For example, in the first phase of the programme they will be exploring how staff can use:

  • Digital task management App on wards –  to improve patient task workflow and ultimately improve bed management with prompt discharge of patients.
  • Virtual consultation including state-of-the-art mobile robotics to help discharge patients
  • New digital clinical decision support forms to support delirium and dementia, dietetics, VTE, stroke and FNOF pathways
  • Online appointment management system for patients – introducing booking and scheduling reminders for patients in the first phase.

The Trust is also setting up two new Digital Experience Centres, based at Royal Oldham and Fairfield Hospitals, to showcase some of the new technology for staff and patients.

The Royal Oldham counts the cost of missed patient appointments

The Royal Oldham Hospital is asking patients who are unable to attend their hospital appointment to do the right thing; cancel or rearrange it and free up the slot for other patients, after recent data highlighted the financial cost of patients not attending.

Recent research has shown that missed appointments cost the hospital at least £2.7million a year, based on figures which show that 13% of patients failed to attend their appointment at The Royal Oldham. Figures show that 22,158 patients missed their appointment from a total of 120,133 available clinic slots.

These figures highlight a waste of resources and clinic appointments, which could be used to reduce waiting times for other patients. That’s why the hospital is urging patients to cancel or rearrange their appointment if they are unable to attend.

Nicola Firth, Director of Nursing and Interim Chief Officer at The Royal Oldham Hospital, said: “There are many reasons why patients might not be able to attend their appointment and we’ll do our very best to help them reschedule their appointment for a more suitable time. It’s incredibly important that we don’t waste the appointment slots that we have available given the pressures our hospitals experience financially and in terms of waiting times for appointments. We’re urging patients to let us know as soon as possible if they are unable to attend their appointment, so that we can offer the slot to another patient. Many slots are often wasted simply because we don’t have enough notice to offer the slot up to other patients.”

An average appointment costs at least £120 and every time an appointment is missed, the costs of DNAs or ‘Did Not Attends’ adds up. Figures at The Royal Oldham show that 12% of patients fail to show up for their first appointment and almost 13% for follow up appointments. Unfortunately, this figure reflects a similar trend in hospitals across England. Figures from the NHS Confederation suggest that 5.8million appointments were missed in the year to September 2018, which cost the NHS around £700million.

The Royal Oldham Hospital is undertaking more research to understand the reasons why patients don’t attend their appointment and is looking at ways it can better support patients to cancel or reschedule their appointment.

In the meantime, the Trust is urging patients to help the NHS to make the best use of available resources by cancelling or rearranging any appointments they can’t attend. They can do this by calling the Trust’s Booking and Scheduling team on: 0161 778 2233.

For any media enquiries, please contact Josie Neil, Communications and Engagement Lead on: 0161 6278703 or by e-mail: josie.neil@pat.nhs.uk

The Royal Oldham Hospital welcomes new Nursing Associates

The Royal Oldham Hospital and other local hospitals managed by the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group are set to welcome the first wave of new Nursing Associates, with 13 new Nursing Associates due to start work on wards at the Royal Oldham this month.

The new staff will join teams across the group’s five hospitals in Oldham, Salford, Bury, Rochdale and North Manchester, after successfully qualifying from a new two-year foundation degree course at The University of Salford.

The Nursing Associate role is a new national role that has been launched in a bid to bridge the gap between Healthcare Assistants and Qualified Nurses, and to supplement existing nurse recruitment.

The Royal Oldham Hospital, which is part of the Northern Care Alliance NHS group, is one of the first hospital groups in the country to be involved with the initial nursing associate pilot project set up in 2017 and the new Nursing Associates are amongst the first wave of new trainees to graduate the course.

A total of 31 new Nursing Associates have been trained across the NCA group, with 13 of those graduates set to start work in Oldham. Hospitals at Bury and Rochdale will benefit from 14 of the Nursing Associates, eight will be based at North Manchester General Hospital, and eight will be based at Salford Royal. They will enter the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register before embarking on their new roles on wards across the Trust.

Nicola Firth, Director of Nursing and Interim Chief Officer at The Royal Oldham Hospital, said: “We are thrilled to welcome our new Nursing Associates as they embark on their new careers in nursing and begin their new roles supporting the patients and staff on our wards.  This is an exciting development and we are proud to have been part of their journey towards a new and exciting career in nursing.”

The new Nursing Associates will add to a growing number of clinical staff being recruited across the hospital. Over the past year, The Royal Oldham Hospital has recruited 133 qualified nurses, 26 midwives, 94 doctors and 21 Allied Health Professionals (AHPs), all of which have helped the hospital to improve the care and treatment offered to patients in Oldham.

Suzanne Drury, Lead for Clinical Workforce Transformation, explains more about the new nursing associate role and how it will help transform patient safety and care on hospital wards: “The new Nursing Associates will play a key role within nursing teams throughout the hospital. They will work with our healthcare assistants and registered nurses to deliver first class care to patients. Their role will provide vital support to registered nurses, with their duties including a variety of clinical tasks. They will also perform and record key clinical observations such as blood pressure, temperature, respirations and pulse checks, all of which will help to improve the care patients receive on wards and departments.

“Their training has been rigorous and they have gained a range of experience across all fields of nursing, which can only benefit the care and treatment we provide to patients. I’m sure they will be a very welcome addition to our wards.”

One of the first new Nursing Associates to qualify and start work at The Royal Oldham includes Mike Lee, 31 from Mossley, who will be joining the Theatres Team.

Mike said: “I was inspired to train as a Nursing Associate, as it was a great opportunity to train for a career in healthcare. The fact I could learn skills in a range of different placement settings across the trust, whilst gaining hands-on experience and clinical skills on the job really appealed to me.

My training as a Nursing Associate has been very interesting and rewarding. I’ve experienced a variety of different placements, which has given me a great insight into the care we provide to patients in both the hospital and community. Although the workload can be challenging, I’ve been fully supported by trust clinical educators and my colleagues, which has been great. My first placement was two years ago on the theatres team at The Royal Oldham and I’m really excited to be joining the team as a permanent member of staff.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about career opportunities in nursing at the Northern Care Alliance, should contact:https://www.pat.nhs.uk/working-for-us/ or http://www.srft.nhs.uk/jobs-careers/. You can also follow our recruitment team on Twitter at: @NCAlliance_Jobs.

For more information on the new nursing associate role and what it involves, please visit: www.healthcareers.nhs.uk

For any media enquiries, please contact Josie Neil, Communications and Engagement Lead on: 0161 6278703 or by e-mail:josie.neil@pat.nhs.uk

CQC survey of new mums’ experiences of maternity care at Royal Oldham and North Manchester hospitals shows significant improvement

A Care Quality Commission (CQC) survey of women who gave birth at The Royal Oldham Hospital and North Manchester General Hospital in 2018 reveals a marked improvement in their experience when compared to the same survey carried out in 2017.

In 2017/18, staff at both hospitals have supported women to give birth to 8,711 babies, serving the communities of Oldham, Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton, Bury and North Manchester.

The CQC is the the national regulatory body for all health and social care services in England. Overall, the CQC survey which is undertaken at every maternity service in England, shows 12 questions with improved scores when compared to 2017’s results; this is in three categories.

The three broad categories are ‘Labour and birth,’ ‘Staff,’ and ‘Care in hospital after birth.’ Each question is awarded a score out of ten, with a ten representing the best possible response.

Of the three categories, the category showing most improvement at the hospitals is the ‘care women received in hospital after the birth of their child’ category. Within that category, the new data shows the care mums received in 2018 was ‘significantly higher’ quality in four areas.

In summary, the four areas of ‘significant improvement’ include, the time it takes mums to be seen by a staff member after birth; the kindness and understanding of staff; the length of time partners and others can stay with mum after birth; and the cleanliness of the wards and rooms in the hospital.

Simon Mehigan, Divisional Director of Midwifery and Gynaecology at The Royal Oldham and North Manchester General hospitals said:

“We are delighted with the findings of the new CQC maternity report for 2018, which shows our maternity services at both The Royal Oldham and North Manchester General hospitals continue to make improvements. I would personally like to thank our midwives, doctors and all the other staff involved in providing maternity services in our hospitals and in the community for all the hard work they have put in to make this happen. The teams have worked diligently and with passion to deliver great services.”

Mums also highly rated the information they were given after their birth, and in this area, The Pennine Acute Trust is one of the best performing in the country.

The Royal Oldham has benefitted over the last 18 months from new senior and operational management and from significant investment in strengthening its maternity workforce including employing 26 new midwives in 2018.

The CQC data is based on the survey responses of 152 women who gave birth at The Royal Oldham and North Manchester General in 2018. The response rate to the survey was 26 percent.

The Royal Oldham Hospital and North Manchester General Hospital are managed by The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which is now part of a group arrangement of hospitals and healthcare services with Salford Royal NHS Trust called the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group. Together the Northern Care Alliance oversees five hospitals and community services in Salford, Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and North Manchester.

The CQC report can be found on its website at https://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RW6.

Case study

New mum Natasha Ratcliff from Middleton gave birth to baby Maya-Rose on Wednesday 6 February 2019. Baby Maya-Rose weighs 6lb 13oz and she is doing well.

Natasha is pictured here with baby Maya-Rose and mum Tracy. Natasha was due to return home with baby on Thursday 07 February 2019.

Natasha said: “The birth centre staff have all been fantastic. They have been very supportive and go the extra mile for you. I think I’ve had the best experience that I could possibly have had. It was very relaxing; the staff listened to me and really supported me throughout the birth.”

Oldham women invited to celebrate Valentine’s weekend by promising to ‘Love themselves’

It’s a lyric made famous by global pop phenomenon Justin Bieber, but one Oldham GP Practice team are promoting the ‘love yourself’ message to a number of female patients on her list, in a bid to improve screening rates and overall health outcomes.

In the week that usually sees us celebrating our loved ones with hearts and flowers, NHS Oldham CCG’s Governing Body Nurse Irene Shepherd, who is also Practice Nurse at Hopwood House Practice on Lees Road, is urging women to attend an event to highlight their health and the importance of taking care of themselves, to prevent diseases including cervical cancer and diabetes.

She explains: “This time of year is often all about prioritising our nearest and dearest with cute cards and gifts, but I want to highlight to women in Oldham the need to love themselves first, by looking after their own health and ensuring they are up to date with any screening appointments and that they are informed about the best way to prevent health problems from occurring in the first place.”

The event will be hosted at Hopwood House on Saturday 16 February from 9am until 1pm with attendance from local providers including Oldham Community Leisure have provided vouchers for the Gym Membership, the NHS health check will also be offered team and locally commissioned weight management schemes.

There will be language interpreters available for women whose first language isn’t English, and there will also be tea and coffee provided as well as healthy fruit on offer to attendees.

Irene adds: “We’ve identified and invited a number of women from our practice list who may not have been able to attend their screening appointments for a number of reasons, and we’re also opening the invitation to other women who want to know more about womens’ healthcare and wellbeing.

“The idea is to get women thinking about themselves first for once, because we all know that as busy mums, working hard to look after our families and homes, our own health and wellbeing often falls to the bottom of our to do list. We want women to love themselves first, so that they can be here, happy and healthy for many Valentine’s Days to come.”

Oldham’s Lady Mayoress, Tasleem Akhtar, has also been invited to attend the event to show her support for women’s health awareness.

Oldham is thriving with nearly 70 fast grants awarded to benefit communities

More than 70 community organisations have been awarded Fast Grants to improve the areas where they live.

Fast Grants are small amounts of money, awarded to an individual resident or a community group with a great idea and requires a small pot of money to deliver something in their community.

The successful projects include an East meets West dress making course run by the Fatima Women’s Group and the building of a Chinese dragon for Spotlight theatre’s next production – Aladdin.

Breathe Easy a support and advice group for people with breathing difficulties was awarded a grant to continue to communicate with their members.

And it was time for tea and celebration for Chadderton Together after they were awarded a Fast Grant to continue running tea dances at Chadderton Town Hall – a lifeline for residents who enjoy socialising with new friends.;

Fulwood Community Garden is buzzing after being awarded a Fast Grant to improve their bee hives and protect the bees during the cold winter. This will increase the bees’ productivity. Once the work has been carried out the garden will be open to the community and local schools for educational activities.

Social prescribing

This news comes as the NHS announces plans to increase the prescribing of social activities to patients who don’t need pills.  Social prescribing as it’s known is already well established in Oldham. Nearly 10 per cent of Oldham residents self-identify as being lonely.  That is why Oldham Cares has been working with communities in Chadderton and Westwood and to date has helped 115 people by connecting them to 78 different community groups and organisations.

One such case is Rani. She came to Oldham from India three years ago, is recently widowed with a one year old daughter. Her GP referred her for social prescribing due to mild depression. She made contact with Action Together – the organisation that runs social prescribing in Oldham – and after conversations with her community connector about her interests – was put in contact with a knitting group at her local community centre. Her connector also found a play and stay session for her daughter where both mother and child made new friends.

After developing in confidence, Rani went on to further education with Oldham Lifelong Learning Service and is now looking to find employment.

Rani said “The social prescribing service is excellent, five stars. I am really happy and I have enjoyed going to the sewing classes and MIND. I feel like they will really help me. I feel like someone is looking out for me.  I will be continuing to attend the activities”.

Councillor Zahid Chauhan, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said “Often the best medicine is to enjoy community facilities and activities such as walking, gardening and support groups.

Social isolation and loneliness is on the increase and that’s why we are making a real commitment to tackling this in Oldham with a community-led approach.”

“I would encourage everyone to find out what is happening in their community and enjoy everything it has to offer.“

To find out more about the Thriving Communities work in Oldham vist www.oldhamcares.com/thriving-communities.

Salford, Oldham, Rochdale and North Manchester hospitals raise and display the rainbow flag on behalf of NCA to celebrate LGBT History Month

The flagpoles at Salford Royal, The Royal Oldham and Rochdale Infirmary and a bespoke staff designed notice board at North Manchester General Hospital are proudly displaying rainbow flags to help raise awareness of LBGT History Month this February, and to show the Northern Care Alliance’s (NCA) support for this important event.

The theme for LGBT History Month 2019 is ‘peace, activism and reconciliation.’ All of the NCA’s hospitals and community services in Salford, Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and North Manchester, are showing their support.

The first hospital to raise the rainbow flag in support of LGBT History Month is The Royal Oldham on 4 February, North Manchester (display board) on 5 February, closely followed by Salford Royal on 6 February, and Rochdale Infirmary on 7 February. Each flag raising ceremony will be attended by staff including hospital senior management teams.

With North Manchester General not having a flagpole a bespoke staff designed notice board has been created incorporating a large rainbow flag display that will include resources for patients, visitors and staff, to find out more about LGBT History. Similarly Fairfield General Hospital in Bury is celebrating with a poster display and stalls providing LGBT information and resources for staff and patients.

The NCA has an amazing programme of activities organised throughout the month to support LGBT History Month, including coffee mornings, pop-up exhibitions, poster displays and marketing stalls, cake sales, a LGBT film show and music. These events are all open to staff, patients, visitors and the public in February.

Naheed Nazir, Head of Equality and Engagement at The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group said:

“Flying the rainbow flag is symbolic of our staff, patients and visitors all coming together to support LGBT History Month. Flying the flag shows The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group’s commitment to celebrating and supporting the diverse communities we have within our workforce and patient care. Seeing the flags flying is a great symbol of support and togetherness for everyone, especially the LGBT communities across our group of hospitals and community services.”

Doctors, nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, porters, back office and other staff groups will be given rainbow NHS fobs and lanyards (limited amount) which they will wear with pride to signal their support for the LGBT community.

Staff, patients, visitors and the public are all being encouraged to get involved in our activities and share images and posts on social media by tweeting #NCApride19.

To find out more about the events we have planned at each of our hospitals download the LGBT History Month activities sheet PDF on our website in the Equality and Diversity section here: https://www.pat.nhs.uk/working-for-us/Equality/Activities%20Programme.pdf

Alternatively email: shain.miah@pat.nhs.uk.

Go to the LGBT History Month website for more information about the national campaign here:https://lgbthistorymonth.org.uk/

Oldham people invited to apply to be a governor of their local hospital Group

The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group is inviting members of the public in Oldham who are interested in health to apply to become a local governor for the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group.

The Alliance is made up of two Trusts, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. Together they manage five hospitals and community services in Salford, Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and North Manchester.

There are three vacancies for Oldham governors and the general public can apply to fill these posts and contribute ideas and opinions about how their local NHS is run.

Governor’s responsibilities include representing the interests of members and the public as a whole, contributing to the Group’s future plans, holding Non-executive Directors to account for the performance of the Board and appointing the Chairman and Non-executive Directors.

Local residents who are interested in applying to become a governor should email membership@pat.nhs.uk to request more information. The closing date for nominations is 1 February 2019 at 5pm.

Visit the Pennine Acute website for more information: www.pat.nhs.uk

Diabetes Link Nurse Mini helps diabetes patients to avoid health complications in hospital

Sister Mini Jaison is a Diabetes Link Nurse in the hospital’s Acute Medical Unit (AMU) and her role is vital in ensuring that patients with diabetes are identified at the earliest possible stage, to help avoid any complications with their care and treatment during their stay in hospital.

Mini is one of a growing number of nurses at the hospital who are receiving specialist diabetes training, so that they are able to support patients with diabetes. They attend regular link nurse meetings facilitated by the Diabetes Specialist Nursing team, they have received specific training in diabetes management and can attend a full-day DESMOND course (Diabetes Education and Self-Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed), which is a specific structured education course for people with type 2 diabetes. This enhances their knowledge in diabetes management and highlights the importance of self-management skills in patients with diabetes. Each link nurse is able to cascade their knowledge to staff within their clinical area and support any training initiatives. They are a valuable resource to clinical areas in ensuring patients are receiving safe and effective diabetes care.

With one in six patients attending hospital now having diabetes, it is vital that health professionals are able to identify and care for patients with diabetes quickly and effectively. Being poorly can act as a trigger for many patients with diabetes to develop complications including diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which can be a life-threatening condition if not treated quickly. It’s important for staff to identify the symptoms of this condition quickly and commence them onto the inpatient DKA pathway, to ensure they receive appropriate care in a timely manner.

Mini explains more about her role: “The Acute Medical Unit deals with patients who have attended our A&E department. Patients are often triaged in A&E and then sent to the AMU before either being discharged or admitted onto one of our wards.

“A key part of my role is checking a patient’s blood glucose results to see if they indicate conditions like DKA and ensure that the patient is treated safely and effectively and placed on the most appropriate pathway to help them get better quickly.

“Part of my role is to educate other nurses and doctors on the AMU about how to care for patients with diabetes and ensure those patients’ blood glucose levels are monitored regularly. I train them on how to monitor blood glucose levels and ketone meters to help patients manage and/or avoid hyper and hypo-glycaemia. I also work closely with patients to provide advice on how to self-care, monitor their own blood glucose levels and administer their insulin.”

The hospital has identified 25 diabetes link nurses on wards, who can support this vital function within their own clinical area, to ensure the best possible care and treatment for patients with diabetes.

Mini adds: “I’m really passionate about my role as a Diabetes Link Nurse and I would recommend it to all nurses. I’ve undertaken the role now for 3 years and the specialist training I have received has definitely helped me to build my knowledge and confidence in caring for patients with diabetes.”

Patient Case Study

One of the patients to benefit from the specialist knowledge that nurses like Mini have is Stephanie Welch from Limeside in Oldham.

Stephanie was referred to A&E at The Royal Oldham Hospital by NHS Direct after feeling poorly with gastrointestinal symptoms. She was diagnosed with DKA in A&E and transferred to the Acute Medical Unit (AMU). The Diabetes Link Nurse in AMU quickly ensured that she was placed on the right pathway and that her blood glucose and blood ketone level was monitored regularly as per the DKA pathway to ensure this was resolved quickly and to avoid any further complications. Stephanie is now getting better and on her way to a full recovery.

Stephanie said: “The staff in AMU have been fantastic in monitoring my condition and in helping treat the DKA very quickly. They have been really attentive and have given me lots of advice about how to manage my diabetes more effectively. I can’t thank them enough.”

For more information about the Diabetes Link Nurses at The Royal Oldham Hospital, please contact the following team members:

Linda Adams – Lead Nurse Diabetes
Ascia Bibi
Judith Muir
Margaret Idaewor
Abigail Harreld – all Diabetes Specialist Nurses on: 0161 6278268.

  • For any media enquiries, please contact Josie Neil, Communications and Engagement Lead on: 0161 6278703 or by e-mail: josie.neil@pat.nhs.uk.