Provider bulletin: 12 July 2017

This weekly newsletter is sent to NHS providers' chairs, chief executives, finance, medical and nursing directors, HR directors, and board secretaries.

For action

Development Programme for NHS communications professionals

Working with NHS England we've designed this programme to support NHS communications professionals to increase capability. The three elements include:

  • mentoring scheme: we're currently looking for senior NHS communications, engagement and marketing professionals to mentor those in their local area or region
  • regional communications and engagement workshops: covering key topics of interest to NHS communicators with the aim of supporting communications teams and increasing capability (the next workshop takes place in Newcastle on 25 July)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Health Communications: a part-time post-graduate course that would benefit staff currently in Band 7 and 8 roles who wish to develop their knowledge and who aspire to positions of leadership in NHS communications

Find out more and get involved.

Please forward this information to your director of communications.

Patient Safety Alert: risk of death and severe harm from ingestion of superabsorbent polymer gel granules

Superabsorbent polymer gel granules are widely used in health and social care, typically as small sachets placed in urine and vomit bowls. On contact with liquid, the sachet opens and the granules absorb the liquid, expand and solidify which can protect patients’ bedding and clothing, and reduce the risk of slips.

If the gel granules are put in the mouth they expand on contact with saliva risking airway obstruction. This has happened where patients have mistaken the sachets for sweets, or sugar or salt packets, but some incident reports also describe attempts of deliberate self-harm.

Please read the alert and follow our recommended actions to review your approach.

Data submission requirements for private patient activity

NHS hospitals taking private patients are expected to comply  with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Private Healthcare Market Investigation Order (2014), and supply detailed episode records to the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN).

Some providers have raised information governance concerns; in particular about the use of the NHS Number which PHIN uses to link their data with NHS datasets and enable the publication of three  performance measures in the Order. PHIN only collects the NHS Number where patients have given their explicit consent. If a patient does not consent, you still need to submit episode activity data to PHIN, withholding their NHS Number and postcode. 

We're working with PHIN, the CMA and the Information Governance Alliance (IGA) to ensure that any issues raised have been addressed and PHIN has produced an FAQ answering all questions raised through members of the IGA.

Providers already collecting episode level data should now be seeking consent for all private patients admitted from 1 July using PHIN’s consent model. 

Providers that haven’t started data collection and submission, you have until 31 July to seek consent and begin collecting the required data. 

You can download PHIN’s consent model here, and the accompanying privacy notice from their website.

If you have any queries please email or call 020 7307 2864.

For information

First Sir Peter Carr Award - winners announced

With over 90 applications, Dr Rachel Pilling, a Consultant Ophthalmologist, and Daniel Wadsworth, Deputy Head of Access at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, have won our £30,000 award to invest in their professional development.

Their project idea encourages NHS staff to complete a small task today, that might take 15 seconds but may save colleagues 30 minutes by avoiding further tasks down the line. The initiative aims to reduce frustration at work, increase job satisfaction and as a result improve patient experience.


Nutrition and hydration masterclass: Thursday 27 July

Our Nursing directorate is hosting this masterclass to support NHS acute providers improve the provision of nutrition and hydration for the benefit of patient experience and outcomes.

You'll hear from experts with experience of delivering improved nutrition and hydration programmes.

Regional updates

Midlands and East update

Executive talent pool

We've designed this scheme to develop a diverse talent pool of individuals who can be appointed into executive-level posts in providers across the Midlands and East region, on either a stretch assignment or secondment basis.

Providers can submit an interim vacancy to fill and if you're already working at an executive-level or ready to step up to executive-level, you can apply to join the pool. 

Chairs networking event: Wednesday 19 July, Leicester

This event is for chairs to discuss issues and challenges and network. Dale Bywater, our Midlands & East Executive Regional Managing Director, will provide an update followed by a Q&A session.

To register or find out more please email

Resource efficiency workshop - pathology: Wednesday 26 July, central London

This event is for directors of finance and clinical pathology leads.

North update

Directors of nursing developing talent programme: 2pm to 4.30pm, Tuesday 18 July, Warrington, Cheshire

We've developed this programme in collaboration with NHS England, Health Education England (HEE) and the NHS Leadership Academy.

This briefing session is for directors of nursing and aspiring directors of nursing and will provide the opportunity to:

  • learn about the talent programme that will commence September 2017

  • discuss known challenges for  developing senior nurse and midwifery leaders and how we can address them

If you'd like to attend the briefing session or nominate someone to attend please email by 5pm, Friday 14 July 2017

Chairs networking event: Thursday 14 September, Leeds

This event is for chairs to discuss issues and challenges and network. Lyn Simpson, our North Executive Regional Managing Director, will provide a regional update followed by a Q&A session.

To register or find out more please email

Seven day hospital services regional event: Friday 15 September, Manchester

The event is for medical directors, managerial and clinical leads for seven day services, and workforce leads.

This letter provides an overview of the event and requests that you:

  • think about successes and challenges to share at the event
  • identify which of your colleagues you would like to attend, and email details of their name, designation and contact details to by Tuesday 15 August 2017

London update

Chairs networking event: Friday 29 September, central London

This event is for chairs to discuss issues and challenges and network. Steve Russell, our London Executive Regional Managing Director, will provide a regional update followed by a Q&A session.

To register or find out more please email

South update

Chairs networking event: Wednesday 11 October, central London

This event is for chairs to discuss issues and challenges and network. Anne Eden, our South Executive Regional Managing Director, will provide a regional update followed by a Q&A session.

To register or find out more please email

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