Provider bulletin: 21 December

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


For action


Share your views on the new use of resources and well-led assessments

NHS Improvement and CQC continue to align our approaches to overseeing providers and understanding where support is needed. To help with this, we are consulting on a new use of resources assessment and the new well-led framework.

If you would like to share your views, please complete our survey by 5pm on 14 February 2017.

CQC has also published a consultation on its next phase of regulation and we encourage trusts to read both consultations before responding.

What do you think of our new safe staffing improvement resources?

Together with our national partners, we are leading the national programme to develop setting-specific safe, sustainable and productive staffing improvement resources to support you to deliver the right staff, with the right skills, in the right place at the right time.

Following the publication of the National Quality Board’s Safe Sustainable Productive Staffing, we’re now seeking your views on the first of the setting-specific resources - adult inpatient in acute care and learning disability services

If you would like to help shape the final versions of these resources then please provide feedback by COP, Friday 3 February 2017 here: 

Seven Day Hospitals Self-Assessment Survey

An update from Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s National Medical Director, and Dr Kathy McLean, NHS Improvement’s Executive Medical Director

Thank you for taking part in the latest 7DS self-assessment survey – your responses will help us to measure the sector’s overall progress against the four priority clinical standards. 

The survey results and further analysis will also be published shortly on the NHS England website and on the MyNHS website. 

This should help you identify other organisations you feel you might learn from, or work more closely with, to implement the standards in a sustainable way. 

Here are some important changes to the next survey which will be taking place in spring 2017:

  • we’re amending the timing of the survey to provide progress taken from between mid-March to mid-April 2017 with the results being available by 7 June 2017
  • we’re shortening the data collection period to a seven day consecutive period within a four week window (15 March to 12 April) - to allow you enough time to complete this work, we propose increasing the data collation time from three to six weeks

This timetable will apply to the next 7DS self-assessment survey.

Data collection period (one consecutive seven day period within this window) Data collection time Data submission date Analysis available
Wednesday 15 March - Wednesday 12 April 2017 6 weeks 24 May 2017 7 June 2017

We’ve also provided guidance with clarification of the clinical standards. Please read this to help with your submission and share these updates with anyone involved in the 7DS self-assessment survey.

Very Senior Manager (VSM) update

Engaging VSM staff on an off-payroll basis

HMRC has recently updated its guidance relating to the use of off-payroll interims in board-officer positions. Our guidance has now been updated to reflect this, and details can be found here.

These guidelines highlight the need to change the way you engage some off-payroll interims, and will require immediate action to be taken in some cases. We’ll work with you to minimise any disruption this causes. 

Please send any queries to our Head of Interim People Solutions mark.bailey15@nhs.net.

VSM pay approval process

A VSM pay approval process is in place (pending the development of a national VSM pay framework in early 2017) which requires: 

  • NHS trusts to seek approval from NHS Improvement via nhsi.vsmcases@nhs.net, DH, the Minister of State for Health, and HMT before confirming appointments
  • NHS foundation trusts to seek views from NHS Improvement via nhsi.vsmcases@nhs.net, DH and the Minister of State for Health before confirming appointments

This process covers: 

  • all on-payroll appointments for VSM roles in NHS ambulance and community trusts
  • on-payroll VSM appointments in all other NHS trusts and in all NHS foundation trusts where the annual salary is £142,500 or more
  • as well as new appointments, this includes cases relating to acting up arrangements, promotions/pay rises for individuals already in post and earning above £142,500, and NHS secondments and conversion of off-payroll interims into on-payroll arrangements

Please start the VSM pay approval process at the start of the recruitment process so that expectations can be well managed at the outset, acceptable pay ranges/conditions agreed in advance and delays whilst views/ approvals are sought after appointment minimised.  

If you are intending to recruit VSM staff, please email nhsi.vsmcases@nhs.net as soon as possible so that we can support you through the process. 

National Maternal and Neonatal Safety Health Collaborative

We’re launching a new three-year National Maternal and Neonatal Safety Health Collaborative early next year to enable providers of maternity services to work collaboratively to improve clinical practices and reduce unwarranted clinical variation.

We’ve written to all providers of maternity services to introduce the collaborative, request a range of information about how they intend to participate and ask that they identify local improvement leads to engage with the initiative.  

Please respond by COP, Friday 13 January 2017 via our online survey.

For information


Costing submissions for 2016/17

Our Costing team has emailed all finance directors with the provisional timetable for the submission of costing information for 2016/17.

This is the next phase of the rollout of patient level costing (PLICS). Timescales for submissions will depend on whether a provider has signed up to be an early implementer of PLICS.

Acute early implementers of PLICS Ambulance PLICS road map partners (RMPs) Mental health PLICS RMPs All other providers
Costing Transformation Programme (CTP) PLICS submission. 31/07/17 31/07/17 31/07/17 N/A
Reference cost submission net of education and training. 15/09/17 15/09/17 15/09/17 31/07/17
The integrated reference cost submission (reference cost net of education and training costs and income). 15/09/17 15/09/17 15/09/17 31/07/17

Event: Cultural change and leadership, 31 January 2017, London

This event will focus on the leadership role that non-executive directors (within NHS trusts), lay members and local authority elected members play in changing the culture of organisations across our health and social care system.

Help us to stop the pressure

In our 16 November edition of the provider bulletin, we updated you on the latest progress of the national ‘Stop the Pressure’ campaign to reduce the instances of pressure ulcers. 

Over the next 4 months the programme will focus on supporting the implementation of a single data capture and reporting systems in 2017/18 to improve our understanding of pressure ulcer incidence – our regional teams will be asking all providers to develop improvement plans relating to pressure damage during this period.

This is part of a wider programme to deliver an ambitious level of improvement in the incidence of avoidable grade 3 and 4 pressure ulcers in 2017/18.     

Thanks to those of you who have already been in touch to get involved in this campaign – we’re still keen to hear from anyone who wants to volunteer to support the programme. 

How you can get involved:


Regional updates


North update

Chairs networking event: 19 January, Leeds

London update

Chairs networking event: 16 February, London

South update

Chairs networking event: 2 March, Reading


Updates from our partners


From NHS England: demand and capacity training

The Demand and Capacity team is continuing its series of live training events with a revised introductory training offer. The one day training events are intended as an introduction for delegates to ensure the principles and methodological approaches to demand and capacity modelling are understood and recognised by both commissioners and providers.

From The NHS Leadership Academy: fully-funded leadership programme

The ‘Stepping Up’ programme for black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) leaders and aspiring leaders is now open for applications.

Participants will benefit from a blend of learning, including face-to-face, self-directed and workplace-based.

If you work in bands 5-7 and want to develop your skills then find out more and apply.

From NHS England: draft multi-specialty community provider (MCP) contract and supporting documents

The MCP framework describes the MCP care model and introduces the emerging contract and business model that underpins it. NHS England has now published a draft version of the MCP contract and a set of supporting documents for engagement.

NHS England is seeking feedback on these until 20 January 2017.

From The King’s Fund, NHS Improvement and Healthwatch: Better transfers of care for older people, 21 February 2017

Drawing on the findings from recent reports by The King’s Fund and partners, this event will explore new ways of ensuring older people experience a safe, appropriate and timely discharge that is right for them and their health needs.

Use the code ‘NHSI’ when booking to receive a 20% discount.

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