Ambassadors needed

We are looking to recruit 200 Ambassadors across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to help us spread the word about the Together We’re Better programme by engaging with a wide range of people and organisations, asking questions and gathering views and feedback to help shape the programme delivery going forwards.

What is an Ambassador?

An Ambassador is someone who shares information about the work that the Together We’re Better programme is doing, to create an integrated and sustainable health and social care service across Staffordshire, with colleagues, friends, family, fellow club, community group and organisation members… infact anyone that they come into contact with that might have an interest in the future of health and social care in Staffordshire.

Interim Chair of STP announced

Please be advised that David Pearson, Chair of SSOTP, has today been announced as the interim Chair of the STP. He will cover the role while the recruitment process continues to appoint someone substantively.

He will continue in his role as Chair of our Board and we are very proud of the recognition of his strengths.

New drive to recruit more pharmacists to Staffordshire GP practices

Jointly issued by Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups Staffordshire GPs are being encouraged to recruit more pharmacists to their practice teams to help them improve health outcomes for patients and increase the range of services they can offer.
Created as part of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), a group made up of pharmacists, GPs, clinical commissioning groups and patients from across the county is to offer support and guidance to GP practices to apply for national funding to recruit clinical pharmacists to work in their surgeries.

This would allow GP practices to offer their patients a wider range of services under one roof and expand the clinical expertise available at their surgery. Recruiting pharmacists to GP teams has long-term benefits, as multidisciplinary teams working together offer greater flexibility and have been proven to create better health outcomes for patients. Pharmacists in GP practice teams can be particularly effective in using their skills and knowledge to help manage people with long-term conditions.

Dr Mani Hussain, the STP Chair of the Pharmacy Local Professional Network, said: “Working in practices will give our pharmacists valuable experience which they can then apply when they are working in community pharmacies. “In future we will have an upskilled workforce which could offer patients treatment reviews in places other than their GP surgery, giving us a valuable flexibility over where we can deliver health services. “Currently in Staffordshire we have 20 pharmacists working in GP surgeries. Our challenge is to double that figure by 2018 and the STP gives us the strategic focus and mandate we need to design better services for the future.”

Dr Hussain said that the STP was allowing health and social care workers from a range of disciplines and organisations a chance to come together to design the shape of future services. He said: “This plan gives us the mandate to bring people together from across Staffordshire to tackle the kind of thorny issues which can be solved when you have a wider pool of participants around the table contributing to the solution.

“If we get the transformation right now then in future we will be able to offer a service that is far better for patients.”

STP Transformational Goals

Dr Bill Gowans, Medical Director for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent STP
“The vision for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) is one of helping people to stay well, and to receive the majority of the care they need closer to home. This involves looking at how we can get the right services out into the community and help people live healthier lives. If we can get that right, then a trip to A&E should go back to being for accidents and emergencies only, rather than what it has slowly become, which is the default option for urgent care.

“We know that A&Es across the country are currently under significant pressure to deliver the 95% 4 hour target amid rising demand and the impact of an ageing population with complex health needs, as well as cuts to social care. We want to acknowledge and thank all of the staff who work hard within these departments, day in, day out, during a challenging time.

“The focus on A&Es is premature at this stage in the development of the STP and our priorities in the shorter term will be to concentrate on finding the right solution for our communities based on helping keep people well and out of hospital where we can. We will be doing this work in partnership with stakeholders, staff and the general public and welcome all input and feedback.”

SSSFT and SSOTP announce ‘enhanced partnership’ to ensure improved patient services

The Chairs and Chief Executives of South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (SSSFT) and Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent NHS Partnership Trust (SSOTP) are entering into an ‘enhanced partnership’ arrangement to ensure improved patient care for the people of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

A statement of support between the two trusts sets out a joint commitment to the integration of their social care, community, mental health and learning disability services, and the development of ‘local care hubs’ (a network of GP practices representing a population of 30-50,000, with community services wrapped around them). This can be summarised as a commitment to develop better ways to sustain general practice and enhance primary and community care.

All of this is in line with the emerging priorities of ‘Together We’re Better’. This is the regional transformation programme and involves key partners across the health and social care sector. It makes sense that joining up our social care, community healthcare, mental health and learning disability services, is also the right thing to do for the people of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, who will experience more joined-up provision as a result.

The next stage of the partnership is to create a project board under the leadership of David Pearson, the Chair of SSOTP. This project board will further explore the benefits of a formal alignment between the two organisations.

Martin Gower Chair of SSSFT said: ‘We are delighted to be working closer with SSOTP. Through this partnership, we believe we can put local people at the centre of a system that delivers genuine integrated care. We can learn from each other; and there is a collective leadership commitment to ensure that the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent mental health, community and learning disability services are sustainable into the future’.

David Pearson Chair of SSOTP added:‘The Board of the Partnership Trust is committed to doing the right thing for the people of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Joining up social care with physical and mental health will ensure that a person is supported as an individual and not as a set of conditions. People will have clarity about who provides their services and it will bring seamless services a step closer. It will also deliver better value for money for the tax-payer.