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Improvement Partnership with Northumberland Tyne and Wear

Posted on the 11th September 2019

An improvement partnership that has been established between Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust (LCFT) and Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW) is well underway and the first transformation programme is ready to launch.

Building on the positive work to date and the supportive relationship that has been formed between the two Trusts, the strategic partnership will enable joint working with a specific focus on improving access and the delivery of mental health services.

The first piece of transformation work will focus on developing a more robust bed management system with the intention of making current processes more effective and identifying alternatives to admission to improve patient flow. On a broader basis, engagement will be undertaken with staff, patients, GPs, social care and wider stakeholders to co-produce and re-design the secondary mental health model. Key focuses will be on maximising the contact time that clinicians have with patients and patient experience. Once the transformation in Pennine Lancashire has been completed, the plan is to then roll it out across the Trust’s other localities.

Caroline Donovan, Chief Executive said: “We are really proud and positive about the formation of this partnership. Over recent months we have established a strong working relationship with NTW and as an outstanding Trust they have a lot of good practice and a willingness to share, which is supportive of our improvement journey. We also share a commonality in terms of key programmes of work that are progressing and there are opportunities for us to come together and share our learning and expertise drawing from our experiences.”

The Trusts have worked closely on a number of projects over the last year including the independent review carried out by NTW of the Lancashire and South Cumbria mental health system and more recently the on-going transfer of Cumbria mental health services into NTW and LCFT. Opportunities for further collaboration are also presented by the participation of both Trusts in work at national level, such as the Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) programme, the roll out of the electronic patient record along with active participation in national benchmarking and improvement work.

Lisa Quinn, Executive Director of Commissioning and Quality Assurance at NTW, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to further develop our existing strong relationship, whilst sharing learning, best practice and developing new opportunities.  By working together in such a collaborative and productive way we will be able to improve mental health services across the region for those who we serve.”

Wider Potential Project Areas include:

  • Implementing the recommendations from the Lancashire and South Cumbria Mental Health System review carried out by NTW
  • Sharing of best practice with a particular focus on mental health pathway design and demand modelling/management
  • Quality improvement initiatives
  • Delivering the transfer of South Cumbria services consistently throughout and after the process
  • Development opportunities for senior employees including mentoring and support
  • Sharing best practice in organisational development and learning to increase employee engagement
  • Sharing learning from participation in the GDE programme
  • Benchmarking and sharing of information to compare relative performance

The Partnership agreement will operate for a minimum period of 12 months.