October update from Andrew

Dear all

Following the all staff briefing on Tuesday I wanted to send a note round to everyone, so whether you were able to attend or not you all had the latest information from me and our Chair, Rob.  Apologies in advance for this being slightly longer than usual, but I wanted to make sure you have all the information we shared.

Organisation update

The meeting’s primary aim was to update you on some big decisions that have been taken recently, or will be considered soon.  For this note I will break things down into four main pieces of work:

  • Financial contract with Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust (PAHT)
  • One Health and Care Partnership
  • Single Accountable Officer (AO)
  • How all these will affect you

Financial contract with PAHT

Working with both finance teams we have agreed a new contractual arrangement with PAHT that will take us through until the end of the financial year 20/21.

Historically we have operated with PAHT under a payment by results (PBR) system. This will now change to a ‘block contract’ agreement for the rest of the current financial year.  The new arrangement was agreed by both our board and the PAHT board in September and the sum involved is £123.96m.

The respective boards also agreed that for the following two financial years (20/21 and 21/22) we will operate what we are calling an ‘allocative contract’.  The values we will all work to have also been agreed by both boards.

We will now look at how we structure our contracts with the other service providers and any variations to contracts we can make with them.

One Health and Care Partnership

Looking wider, the next item that has been provisionally agreed, with formal agreement due from boards in November 2019, is the nature of the contracting system.

This includes transferring control of the Addenbrookes and Barts contracts to PAHT as the host organisation for the One Health and Care Partnership.

One thing I and the board are keen to stress here is this is not a case of the hospital taking over. They are the legal entity that the One Health and Care Partnership needs to exist under current legislation. This is also something that the PAHT board concurs with us on.

Questions were raised during the meeting over what wasn’t included.  The areas still to be looked at in depth are:

  • The delegated primary care budget
  • Mental health commissioning (including children)
  • Continuing Health Care (CHC)

As soon as more information is available on these, I will share it with you.

Single Accountable Officer

As mentioned at earlier staff briefings, and further to Rob’s note to you all last week, all three CCG boards which form our STP agreed to advertise for and recruit a single AO.

One proviso we asked for which was also agreed is that this AO lead the STP as well.

We have a provisional date of 18 November for the interviews for this post, and we anticipate the successful applicant’s initial three to six months in the role will be focused on looking at the three CCGs as sovereign organisations.

As and when we make a confirmed appointment we will let you know more.

How all these will affect you

So, as you can see there is plenty of change either already happening or on the near horizon.  Shortly we will need to work out which existing CCG functions will work with the One Health and Care Partnership, and those that will work closer with our CCG colleagues in Hertfordshire.

Like most people one of the first questions you may have is how will this affect me, my role and what work I will be doing?

At present there are no structure charts, job matching or plans in place.

What is starting to happen now are conversations between the organisations and functions involved as to how we can all work closer.  I see this as a real opportunity to make some fundamental positive changes, all of which have the end goal of better supporting those we serve, the population of west Essex.

My promise to you is to keep you informed as soon as I know more. For that reason we will now hold monthly staff briefings to keep you up to date.

Other business updates

As Ian Tompkins highlighted, there are a number of key updates and other things going on around the CCG.

You cannot fail to notice we are on the next march towards another key Brexit date, the 31 October.  The CCG is taking an active part in Operation Yellowhammer and supporting our key partners and GP surgeries with actions primarily around medicines supplies.

We are also part of a group looking at the siting of a Common Transit Convention facility at North Weald airfield.  This is essentially an additional customs checkpoint for outbound freight traffic, which can handle around 700 HGVs per day.  As you can imagine this could have some significant impact on local transport and traffic.  We will keep you posted on this.

There have been some updates on our intranet, AskHUE particularly around the HR and Pay sections.  Do have a look and if anything is unclear or a link doesn’t work please inform the Communications team.

It’s the time of year for the staff survey again.  You should all have received your initial email inviting you to take part.  If you haven’t please let Ian Tompkins know.

As part of our 12 months of healthiness campaign we are supporting the recent Every Mind Matters national campaign looking at supporting our mental health.  Jess Thom is holding a lunch and learn session on Thursday 10 October at 12.30 in the Oak Room.  Please do bring your lunch and join her.

You may have seen the posters up around the buildings about the NHS Health check sessions taking place next Friday 18 October.  Alongside these posters are the criteria for having one of these free checks as well as the number to call to book yourself in.

Recent news announced the six projects receiving capital funding for their hospital project bids, of which PAHT’s is one.  There has been a little confusion over the amounts being given and how this will affect their plans but it is a very positive step for our local acute trust.

Finally, Kamal Bishai is stepping down from the CCG board.  There will now be an election in the southern part of Epping and once a new board member is elected we will let you know who was successful.

So lots going on and more to come as we move through towards the end of 2019 and into 2020.  If you have any questions for me about the subjects I’ve raised, or anything else you want to talk to me about please just get in touch with Sharon Church.

That’s all from me for now.  Thank you all for all your hard work over the summer, stay safe and well over the upcoming winter months


Chief Officer

NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group


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