Job Vacancy: Healthwatch Knowsley Administration Officer (Signposting) (Closing 5pm on Wednesday 12th December)

Knowsley Healthwatch is looking to appoint an experienced Administrator to provide a range of administrative and clerical support services to the Healthwatch team, whilst the postholder is on maternity leave for nine months.

Meet your new Locality Representatives

Healthwatch Sefton can announce that its members have now decided who they want to represent the consumer champion in the borough to ensure local decision makers and health and social care services hear the views of people throughout Sefton.

Each of the new locality representatives will serve a three-year term of office and their responsibilities involve: acting as a point of contact for residents living in their local area; letting Healthwatch Sefton know of any issues local residents have when using health and social care services; and supporting Healthwatch Sefton with engagement activities.

Among other specific duties, the representatives are also expected to attend steering group and community champion network meetings, promote Healthwatch Sefton’s aims and objectives, and help build effective relationships with their CCG locality counterpart to streamline communications between the two organisations.

Voting for the role of locality representative began last November with Healthwatch Sefton’s community membership of more than 1,000 choosing their preferred candidates to uphold the aims and objectives of Healthwatch Sefton.

Healthwatch Sefton has a number of statutory functions which include: gathering the views and experiences of Sefton patients and residents, as well as promoting and supporting the involvement of people in the commissioning and provision of local health and social care services.

The four representatives in the NHS Southport and Formby CCG locality are:
North Southport – Brian Clark (OBE)
Central Southport – Anne Major
South Southport – Ken Lowe
Formby – Nigel Booth

The four representatives in the NHS South Sefton CCG locality are:
Bootle – vacant
Maghull – Maurice Byrne
Crosby (including Hightown, Waterloo and Thornton) – Diane Foulston
Seaforth, Litherland and Netherton – vacant

If you live in any of the localities mentioned above and want to contact the Healthwatch Sefton locality representative, then you contact them via 0151 920 0726 ext 240 or email: info@healthwatchsefton.co.uk

Also, as there are two localities with a vacant role, Healthwatch Sefton would like to hear from any of their other members interested in taking on the position. Alternatively, anyone living in either the Bootle, or Seaforth,R Litherland and Netherton localities (or has a good knowledge of those areas), and would like more information on how to become a member of Healthwatch in order to be considered for a role, should email: info@healthwatchsefton.co.uk, or call 0151 920 0726 ext 240.

Hospital told to make further improvements to A&E by watchdog

SOUTHPORT and Ormskirk Hospital requires considerable improvements to make both sites safer, more effective, responsive and an improvement in leadership – according to a care watchdog report.

Inspectors from the Care and Qualities Commission visited the Trust in April of this year to see how much improvement had been made since its previous report in May 2015.

Some postives could be taken from the report, which was released on Tuesday (November 15), as the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Unit at Southport hospital improved two levels from Inadequate to Good with some aspects of outstanding practice.

Inspectors also noted improvements the maternity service had made at Ormskirk hospital, rating it Requires Improvement. It was previously rated Inadequate.

Yet overall improvements still need to be made to raise the hospital’s rating further. Perhaps most damningly the CQC has rated  the accident and emergency department and the surgical services at Southport and Formby District General Hospital as Inadequate.

Inspectors found that the hospital did not give sufficient priority to safety in urgent care.

Patients needing urgent care were waiting too long to be seen and assessed, with some patients remaining in the department under the supervision of ambulance staff for periods of up to 11 hours.

In surgery at Southport and Formby District General Hospital, staff did not always assess, monitor or manage risks to people who use the services and opportunities to prevent or minimise harm were missed.

Medically deteriorating patients were not always identified promptly and there could be a delay before medical assessment was undertaken.

The recruitment of suitable medical staff was challenging with vacancies for junior doctors and consultants.

Recruitment and retention of nursing and midwifery had been a longstanding issue.

However, the inspectors found there had been a notable improvement in both the maternity services and the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre which had both received Inadequate ratings at the last inspection. The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said: “Two years ago we identified a number of problems at Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust.

“I am disappointed that overall the progress has been limited and that we have found a deterioration in the safety and quality of some of the trust’s services, particularly in the emergency department at Southport and Formby Hospital.

“I note with concern the delays in patients being assessed in the accident and emergency department, and the risks to safety in surgery which must be addressed.

“Since our inspection earlier this year the trust has taken steps to improve – and we are monitoring that on a monthly basis.

“On the other hand, there have been significant improvements in all aspects of patient care and treatment at the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Unit that we had previously rated as inadequate for safety. It is now rated as Good with some aspects of outstanding practice.

“We have also found improvements within the maternity service although there is room for further progress.

“Until recently, the trust was led by an interim executive team, which limited the ability to demonstrate a clear strategy for the future.

“It is important now that the new executive team focusses on the areas where we have identified continuing shortfalls.”

Rob Gillies, executive medical director, said: “The inspection they said the Trust possessed ‘committed, compassionate, and passionate staff who are willing to go above and beyond to do their best for patients’.

“We are delighted to see this confirmed.”

Responding to the rating of A&E and surgical services at Southport, Mr Gillies said significant progress had been made on the issues the inspectors raised seven months ago.

“A&E is now a very different department. We have benefited from external support and put in resources of our own, including an extra £600,000 for nurses staffing.

“This has contributed to a major improvement with the department regularly the best performer in Cheshire and Merseyside and consistently among the top performers in the country,” he said.

Healthwatch England Chair update: Letter from Anna Bradley…

A letter from Anna Bradley, Chair of Healthwatch England – 

“I wanted to let you know that since I am coming to the end of my extended term as Chair of Healthwatch England, the Department of Health have begun the process of recruiting my successor.

Ministers intend to appoint a new Chair for the next phase of Healthwatch England’s development and therefore an advert will appear shortly as part of the standard process for making public appointments. We will keep you all posted as we know more about the process and when an appointment has been made.

My term concludes on 31 March 2016, with the new Chair set to take up the reins from 1 April.

At the last Healthwatch England Committee meeting, Jane Mordue was appointed as the organisation’s first Vice Chair. As well as supporting me and my successor, the Vice Chair will play a vital role in ensuring continuity in leadership for the organisation during this time of transition.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to update you regarding the recruitment of the new CEO. In order for the new Chair to be able to play a role in the recruitment of the new CEO we have decided to recruit someone on a fixed term basis to lead the organisation during the transition. 

As you know, Katherine announced in September that she would be leaving Healthwatch. She will cease her full-time employment at Christmas but has said she can be available on a part-time basis in the New Year to aid the handover.

I appreciate that this represents a substantial amount of change for Healthwatch England and that this may feel unsettling. However, I believe we have together built very strong foundations for Healthwatch. I am very proud of the many examples of the value that Healthwatch is adding to health and social care across the country and it is a pleasure to see the rewards of all the efforts we have all put into building a strong and effective network over the past three years.

We will continue to keep you updated on both recruitment processes over the months ahead. In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact myself or Katherine or your Development Officer if you have any queries.

Kind regards,

Anna Bradley
Healthwatch Sefton”