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All the latest from the Trust | January 2023

Intro from the chair

Peter Scott

Hello and welcome to our newsletter for foundation trust members and the wider community.

It has been a busy start to the year with flu, covid, norovirus all circulating. Our teams have done exceptionally well to cope with rising numbers and admissions. Thank you and well done to you all.

A recent recruitment event was a huge success with more than 100 people appointed to health care roles at the Trust. I hope everyone recruited enjoys their new jobs and thanks to the recruitment team for organising such a successful day.

I mentioned in my last bulletin that I will shortly be stepping down from my role as chair. I am pleased to be able to announce that Steven Morgan will be taking over from me. You can read more about Steven and his experience below.

Thank you for your ongoing support and please do not hesitate to get in touch with any thoughts, comments or suggestions for next time.

Peter Scott

Appointment of new Chair 

Steven Morgan has been appointed as Chair of North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC).

The appointment follows a comprehensive recruitment process led by the Trust’s Governors Council after the current interim chair, Peter Scott, announced he was stepping down. 

Steven has been a non-executive director on the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Board of Directors since October 2018 where he served as Chair of the Finance Committee. A dual American and UK citizen, Steven is an independent Copeland Borough Councillor in West Cumbria and member of the Borough Executive.

He is a former director at the UK’s main nuclear site, Sellafield, and was the Executive Director for Capital Programmes and Projects at Heathrow, where he was responsible for the design and construction of Terminal 2. 

He will take on the role as Chair in the coming weeks leading the Board of Directors and Governors’ Council.  He said: “The NHS has saved my life three times so I am more than motivated to help Cumbria’s NHS prosper and do what I can to strengthen the Trust.”

Lyn Simpson, Chief Executive, said: “Firstly, I would like to thank Peter for all his hard work, commitment and positivity over the past three years during his time as interim Chair. Peter has been a pleasure to work alongside and on behalf of the Trust, I’d like to wish him well in the future.

“We are delighted that Steven is joining us as chair. His skills and experience make him incredibly valuable to the Trust at this time and we are looking forward to working with him.”

A new finance director is also joining NCIC next week.

James Drury has 15 years’ experience as an NHS finance director in the regulatory, provider and commissioner sectors. His previous experience includes Chief Finance Officer at Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Director of Operational Finance for North Bristol NHS Trust, Director of Finance of NHS England (South Central), Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust. He said: “I am impressed by the strategy and vision for NCIC and am looking forward to contributing to the improvement and transformation of the services the Trust provide. This is exciting for me but also a personal challenge as I relocate to Cumbria.”

Operational update 

January has been very challenging as we have dealt with the impact of an increase in respiratory illnesses, the impact of industrial action and long standing pressures we with being able to discharge medically optimised patients. 

You will see in the bulletin today some of the things we are implementing to tackle this including; a new intermediate care team, setting up virtual wards, and success in recruiting more Health Care Assistants.  We are now entering a period where various forms of industrial action will be impacting health and social care services. 

We will keep you up to date through this bulletin and on our website and social media feeds of any temporary changes we need to make that may affect patients. We are advising patients that they should still seek urgent and emergency care when needed and that their scheduled appointments will go ahead unless we contact them.  If you have any queries or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Recruitment event success as 100 healthcare assistants appointed 

Our biggest healthcare assistant recruitment day yet took place earlier this month. NCIC appointed more than 100 of the 120 candidates who attended over three sessions throughout the day.

The roles span across the Trust in our hospitals and the community. About 40 colleagues came together to recruit to the vacant healthcare assistant posts. Previous recruitment days have been very successful and this was no different.

Elaine Crooks, Clinical Nurse Improvement Lead - End of Life Care, said: “I have been really impressed by the calibre of candidates. The openness and insight individuals have to caring for patients and families is really brilliant. The future of care in north Cumbria looks very hopeful if we can continue to attract the level of skills and motivation seen today.”

Amanda Dunkley, Associate Director for People Services, said: “I want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped facilitate the event, from senior nurses to people services, everyone had an important part to play.” The structure of the day was well received by those who attended and most said they felt welcomed, at ease and enjoyed the format.

Virtual wards up and running 

Respiratory patients are being referred to a new Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) virtual ward. The virtual ward provides suitable patients with the option of having their acute care delivered at the place they call home instead of being admitted to hospital. We have secured national funding from NHS England to ensure that we have the appropriate staffing and digital technology to enable us to launch this service.

The aim of a virtual ward is to offer patients an alternative to hospital admission by providing care, treatment and monitoring in their own home using clearly defined pathways. Research has shown that keeping people in their familiar home surroundings with care and support from healthcare teams is likely to support recovery and reduce hospital acquired risks (such as infection, falls, deconditioning) associated with in-hospital stays. Transferring patients onto a virtual ward may also help make more beds available for those patients who do need acute clinical care delivered in a hospital setting.  The virtual wards will be rolled out in phases, starting with small numbers of respiratory patients then moving to frailty and cardiology pathways at a later date. 

New intermediate care team 

A new multi-disciplinary team has started work to coordinate and deliver rehabilitation care for patients across residential care homes in north Cumbria.

Previously, intermediate care beds were managed by community nursing and therapy teams. Now, one team will manage all of the beds which will make the service more streamlined and improve the focus on flow.

Steve Atkinson is the Intermediate Care Service Coordinator. He explains: “The new team will provide wraparound care for the patient and includes a lead occupational therapist, physiotherapist, rehabilitation assistants, discharge navigator and social worker. There will also be input from the third sector including Age UK, West Cumbria Carers and iCan Health & Fitness.

“The beds we will manage include new beds at Parkside care home in Maryport which have recently re-opened following refurbishment. We will have 10 beds there when our full team is in place. We will be working closely with the Transfer of Care hub and wards at CIC, WCH and community hospitals to identify patients who no longer need to be in hospital and are suitable for the intermediate care beds.”

​​Mums receive top praise in CQC survey 

Mums in north Cumbria are experiencing good care according to the results of a national maternity survey published this month. 

In 2022, the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) national bi-annual Maternity Survey was sent to all women who gave birth in January and February last year.

The survey asked women about their experiences of care across the pregnancy pathway from antenatal care, labour and birth and postnatal care. 

We were one of only six Trusts which saw an improvement in its results.   Responses were received from 172 patients – a response rate of 57.91%.  Our results were much better than most trusts for 8 questions and were better than most trust’s for 17 questions. We were somewhat better than most trust’s for four questions and were the same as other trust’s for 22 questions.  This is fantastic news for our patients and our maternity teams, well done!

New domestic and sexual violence advisor

The Trust has welcomed our first Health based Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Advisor (IDSVA).

It means that patients who are victims of sexual or domestic abuse will have dedicated support with specialist advice when they need it most.  We recently appointed to the role thanks to funding secured through the Ministry of Justice and will be working alongside safeguarding team to provide critical support for victims of Domestic Abuse (DA) and Sexual Violence (SV) across the Trust’s services.

The IDSVA is called Clare. Her role is supported by Victim Support.

Organisational change underway 

Work is underway to make changes to our organisational structure so that our operating model is clinically led and enables the delivery of safe high quality patient care every time.  Our services are currently grouped into four care groups.  We have now entered consultation within the organisation to move to eight collaboratives.  The first stage of the process will focus on agreeing the senior leadership model and grouping of operational services. The next stage of the proposal will be to review how the Trust’s corporate support services can best align with the new approach and, where possible, release resources which can be re-invested to help improve patient care.   If you have any questions about this, please contact us. 

Listening into Action 

We have been taking part in 10 staff led change projects over the last 20 weeks as part of a staff engagement programme.  Listening into Action gives power to staff to transform their workplace and make the changes that matter most to them.  Last week, the teams met to share their progress at a ‘pass it on’ celebration event to share learning.  Examples of projects that have been undertaken include introducing self monitoring of blood pressure during pregnancy, improving communication between patients in hospital and their family, and improving staff wellbeing.

Keep right up to date

You can keep right up to date with our news on our public website or follow us on facebook or twitter @ncicnhs. On our website you can also see a full version of NCIC news with images included.

Member and Governor update from Jacqueline Nicol, Lead Governor and William Miskelly, Deputy Lead Governor

Hello everyone, over the past month everything as restarted again after the Christmas break. As you will have seen the Governors Council here at NCIC have led the way to appoint a new permanent chair in collaboration with NHS England.
Congratulations on your appointment Steven Morgan we look forward to working with you for the benefit of everyone.

On the other hand it is time to say goodbye and thank you to Peter Scott who has carried out his role as interim chair with the highest amount of professionalism even though his tenure started at the beginning of one of the toughest periods in the proud history of the NHS.

Also in January our Trust along with others around the region and Country asked you to choose the services you need wisely to help everyone including our staff. We would like to say thank you for your help. We would also like to say a massive thank you to our dedicated and hard working staff. We know January has been a tough month and that times feel like they are getting tougher but we are all doing our best with what we have and we all want the best especially when times are hard.

If you have a question for us or a comment please use ask your governor. We love to hear from you.

Until next month keep yourselves safe and if you want to get in touch email us at

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