Trust has plans in place for winter

Dr Jeremy Rushmer, executive medical director at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
Dr Jeremy Rushmer, executive medical director at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Health bosses have assured patients that plans are in place to handle winter demands on services.

At a Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust board meeting last week, members were told about big strides being made in winter planning.

Although the winter places a significant extra demand on services, the trust is determined that residents continue to receive the best possible care.

Helen Ray, operational lead for winter planning, said: “Last winter our staff moved heaven and earth to ensure our patients got the care they deserve in some exceptionally hard conditions.

“We were hit hard by both flu and norovirus so for 2018/19 we are taking what we have learned and redoubling our infection control efforts. Equally, we are putting in place robust mechanisms for handling surges in demand.”

The board also welcomed reports showcasing the work of staff to provide high quality care.

And despite receiving a 98 per cent good or higher rating for patient experience, the trust believes it still has more to do.

Northumbria Healthcare’s HIP QIP programme – long recognised as setting the gold standard in hip fracture care – has now ‘scaled up’ to include six trusts nationally.

Dr Jeremy Rushmer, executive medical director at the trust, said: ““I know the team has big plans to take this project even further and cannot wait to see how far it gets.

“I imagine that saving 100 lives will only be the beginning.”

Chief executive Jim Mackey said: “I am exceptionally proud of the efforts made each and every day by all of our staff. Their commitment to providing high quality care, no matter what’s thrown at them, is inspiring.

“It is great to also see our trust supporting other NHS organisations across the country to improve the quality of the care they provide. This work is proving to save lives and the more collaboration across hospitals that can take place the better.

“There’s work still to do, most notably around cancer care, but we are well on our way.”