York NHS Foundation Trust
A presentation on the trust’s first year and how you can become a member and what that would mean.
Mike Proctor, deputy chief executive of the York NHS Foundation Trust spoke to encourage membership of the trust and introduced Penny Goff, Membership Manager of the trust and Alan Rose, non-executive director of the trust.
York NHS became a Foundation Trust two years ago, giving the trust more freedom from the Department of Health and, as it is based on having a membership, introducing an element of local democracy into the NHS. So far, York NHS Foundation Trust has around 18,000 members, who play a variety of roles in the trust. They can sit on the board of governors or shape the board of governors, as over 50% of the board is elected by the Foundation Trust. As the hospital is located in Clifton ward, it is one of the most important wards to the trust.
The NHS Foundation Trust employs 5,000, operates on 70,000 people and treats 65,000 people in accident and emergency every year. The hospital affects everyone’s life, either directly or indirectly, so everyone has a vested interest in having a good hospital.
To improve services at the hospital, they are working to involve the local community, focus on patient safety and improve performance. In addition to measuring performance by national standards, they want to consult the community on the criteria they use in measuring performance. One recent important development in healthcare is that patients can now choose to be treated at any hospital in the country. The NHS Foundation Trust would like patients to choose York because it offers the best service rather than because of the location. In efforts to improve services at the hospital they are exploring ways to develop the site. The ward block needs capital investment, and parking facilities need to be developed.
Some of the specific improvements at the hospital involve increasing capacity – they increased bed numbers by 60 this year – and increasing staffing levels; evidence shows that the number and quality of nursing staff is the factor with the single greatest impact on the quality of care that people receive when they are in hospital. Though they have one of the best records in infection control in the country, infection control is a continuing priority for the hospital. Another ongoing priority is a reduction in waiting times for treatment. As a result of investment since 1997, waiting time targets have been reduced from a maximum of 18 months in 1997 to a maximum of 18 weeks at present. York hospital has become a regional leader in the areas of diabetic retinal screening, the treatment of macular degeneration with Lucentis and the delivery of vascular services.
Overall, the Foundation Trust will allow the hospital to listen more to the needs of the community, get more people involved in the Trust as members, governors or electing governors, and help to ease the boundary between different services.
Q. With regard to the development of the site, there will be a perennial problem with parking. Would you consider moving the hospital to a different location?
A. We made a decision 8 or 9 years ago to stay at the current site. This decision was taken because it would have taken 15-20 years to develop a new hospital and in that time the hospital would have deteriorated continually. The new car park planned for in front of the hospital will double parking capacity and should address the problem of traffic queues at the hospital and provide parking for the public.
(Cllr. Scott) The new Park & Ride scheme will also provide alternative transport solutions to people attending the hospital.
Q. (PCSO) The hospital is covered by my microbeat and I would like to take a proactive approach to crime prevention at the hospital.
A. Come and see me and we can arrange to meet with hospital security.
Q. Regarding the development of the site, might it be possible to use Bootham Hospital?
A. Bootham Hospital belongs to the Primary Care Trust and it is not an appropriate location for mental health services in this century. However, there are former nursing residences between York hospital and Bootham hospital and we are exploring the best use of this site. In order to develop the ward block we will have to decamp these wards to another facility, and the residence might be used for this purpose.
As a Foundation Trust we can raise capital we can raise capital ourselves, as long as it is with a clear purpose.
Q. My wife and I use the hospital regularly, and we are very pleased with the service. But we are always confronting smokers on the way into the hospital, especially workers in uniforms. This seems to be unhygienic.
A. We have banned smoking on all sites, which creates this problem, but I agree that this isn’t acceptable.
Q. Can I join the Foundation Trust as an NHS employee?
A. Yes, most staff are members.