News in Brief – pandemic institute launched, Chief Executive formally appointed

It’s been a busy couple of weeks at Leading Healthcare. Our Forward Healthcare Awards came to a close last week, and you can catch up on all of the content here.

In the meantime, find out about current healthcare headlines through our latest news round-up… 

New pandemic institute launched

A new organisation that will help prevent pandemics has been set up in the Merseyside region. The Pandemic Institute represents a new partnership between the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, and Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool). 

Initially funded by a £10 million gift from Innova Medical Group, the new institute will seek to improve pandemic response and act as a global research partner, offering leading clinical research.  

Professor Matthew Baylis, Director of the Pandemic Institute, said: “The Pandemic Institute has the potential to help revolutionise how the world responds to pandemics. Uniquely, it will take a holistic view, from looking at future threats through to the response of communities and the healthcare system, as well as treatments such as medicines and vaccines. 

“Liverpool is perfectly placed to be the home for the Pandemic Institute – building on the foundations laid so far in the city, and its significant contributions in this field. Liverpool is a global city with expertise in many fields relevant to pandemics, including medical, tropical and veterinary research. We appreciate Innova’s support of the Pandemic Institute, and recognise the impact and significance of their generous gift for the city of Liverpool and wider global community.”  

New draft mental health care model due to be agreed

A new draft model for mental health care has been introduced by Central and North West London NHS Trust.  

The new model will see dedicated support for young adults moving from Adolescent to Adult Mental Health Services, in-reach services where young people are – eg universities, colleges or local hubs for those not in employment or higher education and further support, pre and post-treatment, providing active communication while on waiting lists. 

Matthew Goodman-Freeman, Chair of NWL Young Adult Ambassador Group, shared the perspectives of young adults at all stakeholder events. He said: “There’s no one way to support someone with their mental health so we can be creative about what we offer young people. There are many brilliant services in the community but we need to make sure young people are hearing about them. It’s been very encouraging talking to so many groups and organisations who are all committed to making a more compassionate and inviting model for our age group.” 

The new model is part of the effort to implement the NHS Long Term Plan at the trust, and the final model design will have to be agreed upon before it is formally introduced. 

Chief Executive formally appointed

Richard Beeken has been appointed as the new Chief Executive at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust. He was previously acting Chief Executive on an interim basis but has now been formally appointed.  

Trust Chair Sir David Nicholson, said: “I am delighted to appoint Richard Beeken into the Chief Executive role for Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust following a thorough recruitment process. Richard has been serving the trust on an interim basis and his experience as a Chief Executive, combined with his personal integrity and passion for the role, mean he is the right person to lead the trust through its next stage of development. 

“We have an exciting future ahead as we prepare for opening our new acute facility, the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital, plus working with partners to improve care for our patients and population, and supporting our staff through recovery and restoration of services. I am looking forward to continuing to work with Richard to deliver our trust’s vision for integrated care.” 

Richard Beeken has been working with the trust on a secondment basis from Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust since February 2021. 

‘Path to Excellence’ updated

A transformation to healthcare services in the North East is set to enter its next phase as healthcare leaders provide an update on plans to reform care in the region. The ‘Path to Excellence’ was initially introduced in 2019 and has seen disruption to progress because of the pandemic, but now an updated draft case has been published.  

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust are behind the plans to create the Path to Excellence, which will see South Tyneside District Hospital provide only planned operations, with all emergency operations and some planned procedures taking place at Sunderland Royal Hospital. 

Dr Shaz Wahid, Executive Medical Director at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “There is no doubt that COVID-19 has increased the pressures on our surgical services and we cannot lose sight of the vital improvements we still need to make. We know that organising surgery with emergency operations at one hospital and planned operations at another is a tried and tested model with lots of national evidence to support it. Many other parts of the NHS have done it with great success.” 

“Most importantly, all other appointments would still take place locally and it is only the surgical procedure that may take place at a different hospital in future, everything else would continue as it is now.” 

New health and wellbeing website hub set up

A new mental health and wellbeing website has been launched by Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust. The website has been created in partnership with the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System. 

John Lawlor, Chief Executive Lead for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System’s Mental Health Programme, said: “We are committed to working with our partners across the Integrated Care System to keep developing this resource. Signpost NENC will never be ‘finished’; it will be constantly reviewed and updated to ensure everyone living in the North East and North Cumbria can quickly and easily access the best, most up-to-date information. 

“If you think there is something missing which we should add, please get in touch (using the contact tab in the top right corner of the site) to let us know, so we can keep improving this resource for everyone.” 

New Director appointed to Dudley Integrated Health & Care NHS Trust Board

The Dudley Integrated Health & Care NHS Trust Board has appointed a new Director of Strategy, People and Partnerships. Stephanie Cartwright will take up the role immediately.  

Paul Assinder, the trust’s Chief Executive, said: “Steph has held this role in an interim capacity since April 2020 and over the past months has provided clear leadership, insight and innovation to the trust.  Steph is an extremely talented, committed and hardworking individual and we are delighted that she has accepted our first substantive Board position”.  

“Steph will be a crucial part of the senior team here at DIHC and, importantly for me, clearly cares deeply about the organisation and the communities we serve.  We are very fortunate to have someone of Steph’s calibre on the Board of Directors”.