News in brief – new ICS chair for Humber and Vale, UHD chief exec to retire, South West trust introduces new ultrasound

How can it be mid-October already? At Leading Healthcare, we’re not quite sure. But one thing we do know is that there have been bundles of newsworthy headlines in healthcare across the past week or so.

So, as ever, in our news in brief weekly round up, we provide you with the latest appointments, retirement, workforce and innovation updates…

Humber Coast and Vale appoints ICS Chair

Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership has appointed Sue Symington as its Designate Integrated Care System (ICS) Chair.

Sue will be Designate Chair of both the anticipated NHS Integrated Care Board (ICB) and the Integrated Care Partnership (ICP). 

All ICSs are required to appoint a Chair and a Chief Executive by April 2022, subject to legislation approval.

Chair of York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, formerly known as York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, since 2015, Sue has worked across the public, private and voluntary sectors, and is also currently also the Senior Independent Director at the Beverley Building Society.

Richard Barker, North East and Yorkshire Regional Director, NHS England and NHS Improvement, said: “We are extremely pleased to appoint Sue as our first ICS Chair in Humber, Coast and Vale. The role of ICS Chair is an extremely important one as our integrated care systems move towards legislative standing as part of the changes outlined on the Health and Care Bill.”

Morecambe Bay NHS FT to host online talk for members

Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) will host an online talk for its members on Tuesday 26 October at 6pm.

Held through Microsoft Teams, the session is called ‘Our Services of the Future’ and will include a range of speakers from across the trust’s staff, such as Suzanne Hargreaves, Associate Director of Strategy and Transformation for UHMBT.

Work discussed in the talk will focus on the trust’s main priority areas for the year, including providing high quality and safe care for patients, service improvement and how to support staff wellbeing.

Suzanne said: “This talk is a great opportunity for us to talk to Foundation Trust members about the work we have undertaken to restore and recover services following the pandemic.

“We also look forward to talking about our journey of transformation to ensure we develop services that are fit for the future. In redesigning services, we are putting patients at the centre of all we do, co-designing and enabling partnerships – creating responsive services at individual and population health level towards better outcomes for all.”

To attend the session, interested parties can sign up to become a trust member.

Work starts on new outpatient assessment clinic in Poole

Development has begun on the top floor of Beales department store in the Dolphin Centre, Poole, to transform the site into a new outpatient assessment clinic.

The move is part of University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust’s ‘Think Big’ initiative to help tackle waiting lists and also ‘bring diagnostic services closer to the community’.

It’s planned that the new unit will initially cover areas such as dermatology, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, and breast and abdominal aortic aneurysm screening.

Basic infrastructure for the clinic is already in place and many of the team on the project were also involved with the building of the first Nightingale hospital in London.

Chief Executive announces retirement

In more University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust (UHD) news, Debbie Fleming, Chief Executive, has announced her plans to retire.

Debbie has worked as a chief executive for over 20 years with previous roles at organisations such as Poole Hospital, the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals, Bournemouth and Poole Primary Care Trust (PCT), and Hampshire PCT. She has also been Area Director for Wessex at NHS England.

Set to step down from her post at the end of March 2022, Debbie said: “I feel incredibly privileged to be chief executive of such a fantastic organisation, made up of so many talented, skilled and dedicated people.  I am confident that having successfully achieved our merger and established a strong platform for our new organisation, our trust is now well-placed to appoint a new chief executive, who will take UHD through the next important phase of its development as it continues to go from strength to strength.”

David Moss, Chairman of UHD, added: “Debbie has been a phenomenal leader, managing our hospitals through the COVID pandemic, our merger with the creation of UHD, and a very ambitious transformation programme to help improve our hospitals for the future care of the people of our region. We will now be seeking a new chief executive to take on this important role while Debbie continues to lead our organisation for the next six months.”

New ultrasound model for Torbay and South Devon NHS FT

The South Devon Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) Unit at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust has acquired a new ultrasound model which will help to train surgeons across the UK.

Thanks to a donation from from Torbay Hospital’s League of Friends, the laparoscopic bile duct ultrasound model will deliver realistic training due to its ability to replicate body tissue.

Stuart Andrews, Clinical Director of Surgery at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This ultrasound model is an extremely valuable resource for training biliary surgeons in a new and effective technique, so the addition of this equipment will help surgeons improve patient care. We are extremely grateful for to Torbay Hospital League of Friends for making this possible with their kind donation.”

Study reveals that talking therapy reduces loneliness

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) has announced that results of a new study show that talking therapy helped to reduce loneliness in older people who were left isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The therapy, delivered by trained support workers via the telephone, was delivered weekly and participants were encouraged to maintain their social contacts and to stick to a daily schedule of activities.

The intervention was developed in the BASIL-C19 (Behavioural Activation in Social Isolation) study and lasted for eight weeks.

Designed in partnership with older people who had ‘direct experience of social isolation, loneliness and depression during the pandemic’, the study was conducted by a research team with members from the trust, as well as academics from Hull York Medical School, and the universities of York, Leeds, Keele, and Manchester.

Also developed in partnership with AgeUK, the work was funded by a £2.6M grant from the National Institute for Health Research.

Professor David Ekers, Clinical Director for research and development at TEWV NHS Foundation Trust and Honorary Professor at the University of York, said: “We have been researching in this area for the past 10 years, and we are ideally placed to help establish ‘what works’ in maintaining good mental health during the lockdown.

“This represents a great alliance between the Universities and the NHS to address the major challenges posed by COVID. Even as restrictions are lifted, many people remain socially isolated. The results of our research programme will be useful in the future in tacking the epidemic of loneliness.’’