NHS Kernow’s annual report and accounts for 2017/18 have been formally published.
The report provides an overview of our achievements, challenges and performance during the past 12 months and details how we've used our resources.
Dr Iain Chorlton, Chairman of NHS Kernow said: “Everything we do is focused on making sure that everyone in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly receives excellent health and care services. This means working with our partners to use our joint resources more effectively to improve the care and services we commission.
“This year’s report highlights our work of the past 12 months to improve health services. It also identifies the challenges we face and describes how we are working closely with our health and social care partners to make sure people receive safe, high quality care, when and where they need it, as well as providing information on our financial performance and governance arrangements.”
Key achievements highlighted in the report include:
- Launching a new GP out of hours and 111 service: the new service, a collaboration between GP provider organisation Kernow CiC and Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, is the first step to creating a joined-up system of GP surgeries, community pharmacies, minor injury services, out of hours clinics, community hospitals, urgent treatment centres, emergency departments and self-help advice services such as NHS 111.
- Addressing pressures in acute and emergency care: A system-wide incident control command centre was set up in March to addresscontinuing increases in the numbers of people arriving at the emergency department, winter pressures and delays in arranging care packages for people ready to leave hospital. Actions included providing an enhanced crisis response to keep people safe and healthy at home; more GP support for nursing homes and patients at home to assess medical conditions quickly and provide care out of hospital; increased support for teams discharging patients from acute and community hospitals and increased senior clinical review in the Emergency Department to avoid admissions. Extra support vehicles were also used to free up ambulance crews, with additional drivers from the voluntary sector getting people home from hospital in the evening and at weekends.
- Reducing delayed transfers of care: closer working between health and social care partners to improve performance in the emergency department helped reduce the number of people waiting in hospital for health and social care support, falling from a daily average of 174 in January 2017 to 95 in February 2018.
- Transforming mental health services: closer working with Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and people using services and their families led to a significant reduction in the numbers requiring a hospital bed outside Cornwall. Specific improvements included the opening of Cove Ward, in Redruth – a new 12 bedded rehabilitation and step down unit to support people with complex needs to safely and confidently return back into the community; the development of the Crisis Café pilot which helped to reduce crisis, avert admissions and build community resilience, and the successful delivery of CORE24 , a transformation programme providing round the clock specialist mental health provision across both the emergency department and wards at RCHT.
- Perinatal services: The development of awide range of services offered by the specialist perinatal team, with support provided closer to where people live. Successful projects include working with volunteers with lived experience to set up three Untangled craft-based peer support groups, and recruiting additional staff to offer more people various therapies and treatment closer to home.
- Improving services for children and young people: an extra £1 million was invested in services, including support for children and young people with eating disorders and grants to voluntary sector organisations, including the Intercom Trust which helps people with gender identity and sexual orientation.
- Learning Disabilities Charter: a new Charter aimed at ensuring the voices of people with learning disabilities and their families and carers are heard by people who commission and provide services was produced through a collaboration with the Transforming Care Partnership Family Carer group.
- Spinal service: a new lumbar spine pathway is helping people to get help quicker and reduce waiting times for people who need surgery.
A key challenge of the past 12 months has been how to meet the growing demand for health services at the same time as managing increasing pressures on budgets. NHS Kernow has worked closely with providers, councils, NHS England and others to strengthen its management, governance and financial arrangements. As a result it has ended this financial year with a reduced deficit of £33.2 million, which is in line with the agreed financial plan. Work will now take place to deliver further improvements in spending control to help produce a balanced budget by 2020/21.
The report also highlights the work which has been taking place to deliver these aims, which includes developing an Integrated Care System to ensure care is more joined up, better coordinated and efficient.
Dr Chorlton said: “During the past 12 months we have been working with people working in health and social care, the voluntary sector and people who use services to develop plans to help us to meet these changing needs and improve care, at the same time as managing our resources. We are committed to delivering health and care services in a more joined-up way
“We are putting in checkpoints, or gateways, at each important step to make sure everything we do remains in people’s best interests. This will give us time to understand if our proposals are the right ones and change our plans if something isn’t working before we agree on any proposed business case.”
The annual report and accounts for 2017/2018 will be formally considered at the meeting of the Governing Body in September.
Watch Iain give a summary of the annual report