Provider bulletin: 20 December 2017

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

For action

Our approach to use of resources: still time to tell us what you think

As announced in the 8 November bulletin, we have launched a consultation with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Please let us know your views on our proposed approach to reporting and rating how efficiently and effectively you’re using your resources, and specifically our proposals on:

  • converting our proposed use of resources rating into a final CQC rating
  • combining CQC’s quality ratings with our use of resources rating to produce an overall trust-level rating

Please share your views by 5pm Wednesday 10 January 2018. 

More information on the proposals and submitting a response can be found here.

Learning from deaths: case studies

This collection of case studies shows the range of activity you’re taking to respond to, review and learn from the deaths of people in your care.

We have also published an additional case study on the Sheffield pilot of the Department of Health Medical Examiner service.

Medical directors, please alert your colleagues to these new resources.

Enabling BME nurse and midwife progression into senior positions

This report sets out the findings following an appreciative enquiry into improving the representation of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) nurses and midwives across the higher ‘agenda for change’ pay bands.

It summarises the learning from the enquiry and includes examples of best practice approaches and a number of suggested actions to support improvement.

For information

New lean transformation programme: application process starts in January

An increasing number of you have expressed an interest in working with us to access lean expertise to help you develop your own in-house capability. 

We’re therefore developing a programme, using what we’ve learned from trusts using a lean based improvement methodology, which will work with up to six providers in the first instance. 

The programme is expected to start by July 2018, and we’re recruiting a small team of in-house lean experts to deliver it. 

If you’re interested in applying, you won't need any prior experience of lean, but will need to commit to using it as your prime QI methodology throughout your organisation.

The application process will launch in the new year and we’ll send you full details, including key dates, in January. If you have any questions in the meantime, please email, Head of NHS Improvement consultancy.

Pathology toolkit documents

To help you implement your pathology network and share best practice, we are developing a toolkit of how to guides and templates. 

We will regularly add to this toolkit as we learn from our exemplar networks and challenges they are facing. We expect executive teams to use these products based on your local needs.

Plan for seasonal surge in respiratory illness

Together with NHS England, we've produced a guide to support local accident and emergency delivery boards manage the seasonal surge in respiratory conditions. 

It also highlights good practice examples from providers about how to reduce avoidable overnight admissions and improve patient flow and outcomes. 

Whistleblowers' support scheme for secondary care: December update

Find out more about how the scheme is working with applicants and employers.


Costing: national sector forums

Directors of finance, informatics and transformation are invited to our January 2018 forums which will highlight:

  • best practice in using patient-level costing (PLICS) to improve performance and patient care
  • ways to improve PLICS data to inform board level discussions and decisions
  • developments between PLICS and the Model Hospital and Getting It Right First Time programmes 
  • opportunities to network with trusts implementing PLICS and using PLICS data

Each of the four forums will focus exclusively on acute, mental health, community or ambulance services.

Regional updates

London update

Chairs networking event

Friday 19 January 2018, 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

North update

Develop internal capability and skills in demand and capacity modelling

This training programme will:

  • support your organisation to achieve delivery of reduced waiting times for patients
  • equip your staff to share demand and capacity knowledge at a local level

Chairs networking event

Friday 2 February 2018, 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

Midlands and East update

Chairs networking event

Wednesday 31 January 2018, Leicester

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

To register or find out more please email

Updates from our partners

From NHS Digital

Maximising the stability of your IT systems over Christmas

This letter from NHS Digital reminds you about maximising the stability of your IT systems over the Christmas period. However well planned, tested and managed, any changes to IT systems and infrastructure carry some risk of service disruptions, degradations or failures. Even small interruptions in service can have significant impacts on patients and staff when demand is high and staffing levels may be lower than usual.

NHS Digital is freezing all changes for its own systems over the Christmas period, to ensure that only critical system changes are introduced, and recommends that you do the same. 

The letter also explains who to call for help: NHS Digital’s national service desk is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and throughout the Christmas period. The number is 0300 303 5035 for logging all routine incidents. In addition, their service bridge is available to support trusts with serious issues and the number is 0113 397 3973. 

From NHS England

Further extension of UNIFY2 early intervention in psychosis (EIP) data collection

Mental health providers are advised that the EIP data collection has been extended from December until March 2018 to:

  • include activity undertaken during this period
  • allow commissioners and providers to undertake further data quality work to reduce disparity between the Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS) and UNIFY2 collections

EIP data submissions are to continue via both MHSDS and UNIFY2 until March 2018. An updated data collection timetable will be provided on UNIFY2.

Supporting research in the NHS: consultation

This sets out proposals to: 

  • manage excess treatment costs better 
  • further improve clinical research set-up and reporting  

Please share your views on these proposals and register interest in attending listening events on:

Wednesday 10 January, London

Monday 15 January, Leeds

The consultation closes on 1 February 2018.  For further information, please email

Personal wheelchair budget masterclasses: January and February 2018

These events are for health, education and social care commissioners and providers with responsibility for services that support adults, children and young people with physical disabilities.

Find out more and sign up.

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