Provider bulletin: 23 November

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

For action

What do you think of our tariff proposals?

You’ve still got time to tell us what you think of our 2017/18 and 2018/19 national tariff proposals.

Please read the documents and share your feedback on the online response form.

The consultation closes at midnight on 6 December 2016.

Daily winter situation report (sitrep) and collection for acute trusts: first submission due 11am, Friday 2 December

During winter all acute trusts are required to submit a daily situation report to indicate any pressures on services such as impact on A&E, cancelled operations and bed pressures.  

The first winter sitrep is for 1 December 2016 and you’ll need to submit it by 11am on Friday 2 December 2016 via our new web portal.  

Please test the portal link to ensure it isn’t blocked by your internal firewalls, but note you cannot access the return template without a username and password which we will issue shortly.   

There are a number of differences to the collection this year, so please read the guidance before you send through your first submission. 

Help reduce the risk of Mycobacterium Chimaera infection associated with heater cooler units used in cardio pulmonary bypass

Following an international alert in early 2015, Public Health England, NHS England and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency conducted an investigation into the risk of infections associated with heater cooler units and found that the risk was substantiated but low. Subsequently they published guidance to help providers mitigate risks of infection and to improve diagnosis and management of patients at risk of infection.

Further investigations are taking place which will improve our understanding of the infection and transmission risk and lead to new guidance. In the meantime, please continue to ensure you are following the current guidance.

Deadlines for accounts and monthly monitoring for 2016/17

Last week we wrote to finance directors setting out the timetable for annual reports and accounts for 2016/17 and monthly monitoring for the rest of 2016/17. We issued separate letters to NHS trusts and foundation trusts to reflect the different finance systems and submission routes for 2016/17. The processes will be fully aligned for all providers for 2017/18.

Please ensure that your finance teams are aware of these important dates for the rest of this financial year.

For information

First full provider segmentation will be published in December

Following publication of the Single Oversight framework in September, we published a ‘shadow segmentation’ in October reflecting our views of the level of support each provider needs across quality of care, finance and use of resources, operational performance, strategic change and leadership and improvement capability. 

By Christmas we will publish the first full segmentation on our website and will keep you updated via your NHS Improvement regional lead and this bulletin.

Capital regime, investment and property business case approval guidance

We’ve published guidance for NHS trusts and foundation trusts setting out how to seek approval from us for capital investments and property transactions. The capital regime is applicable to all. The delegated limits and business case approval process for capital investment and property transactions apply to any foundation trust in financial distress and to all NHS trusts. 

Updates from our Operational Productivity team

Pathology services

Over 190 trusts returned their pathology services data template to us - so many thanks. Our Engagement Support team has been working closely with you to validate your data and help us start identifying consolidation solutions and national benchmarks.

We’ll shortly be sending your updated data template and the first draft of anonymised, national analysis so you can see how you are performing against the national benchmarks. We’ll also ask for each trust to validate and agree the updated templates by mid-December so we can share the final full national analysis before the end of the year. 

This data will help us to look at opportunities that already exist and the value of further consolidation across STPs, geographical regions and clinical networks. 

Please email any questions to

Nationally contracted products

The Nationally Contracted Products Programme was launched in September to achieve better value from suppliers for everyday healthcare products and it is an essential first step towards achieving £700 million of savings for the NHS over the next 3-5 years. The first tranche of products is due to come online early next year.

We wrote to all chief executives on 21 September seeking their support for the programme and we are very grateful to the more than 80 trusts that have already confirmed their commitment. However, we still need responses from over 100 trusts so we’ll be writing to you again this week emphasising the importance of your written commitment.

All trusts will soon receive a request to explain how you order the first tranche of products and what volumes you order by Friday 2 December, ahead of the products being made available through NHS Supply Chain in the new year.

Please email any questions to

Corporate services

Thank you to the 220 trusts that returned their corporate services data template. Many finance directors have been in touch for an update on this and we’re validating the data so we can get national analysis back to you as soon as possible.  

In December you’ll receive your updated data template and the first cut of anonymised national analysis so you can see how you’re performing against others in the seven corporate service functions for which we collected data.  

We’ll be asking all finance directors to agree with each of the seven corporate service function leads to ensure they are confident with the data and discuss how your trust compares to the national benchmarks. We intend to finalise that second wave of validation by the end of 2016 and we’ll share full analysis with all trusts by the end of January.  

Please email any questions to

Update on the role of nursing associate

Nursing associates play an important role in a multi-disciplinary workforce, meeting the needs of a changing population and the Five Year Forward View. The nursing associate will be given the training and skills to bridge the gap between what a healthcare assistant can do and what a registered nurse is now needed to do.

Find out more about the entry requirement and duties of the nursing associate and how the role fits alongside other posts. 

Event: Towards seven day services - a learning event for early implementers – Leeds, 9 December 2016

We’re hosting this sharing and learning event for NHS trusts and foundation trusts who are early implementers in rolling out seven day services in the NHS. The day is aimed at medical directors and others involved in the implementation process.

Find out more and sign up.

Regional updates

North update

Action on A&E

The North region is holding sessions on different approaches to tackling the challenges experienced by A&E departments. 

Find out more and book your place by emailing

System-wide leadership seminar: Thursday 8 December, Leeds Town Hall, 10am to 5pm

Find out how leaders in the North can collaborate to help address the challenges and concerns currently facing all leaders in the NHS. 

Lyn Simpson, our North Executive Regional Managing Director, will lead the seminar at which a number of keynote speakers will present interactive sessions on topics including: the role of boards in developing sustainable plans; working within the STP framework; and financial and cultural turnaround.

To register, please email your full name, job role, organisation, phone number and dietary requirements to

Chairs Networking Event: 19 January, Leeds

Midlands and East update

Chairs Networking Event: 8 December, Leicester

London update

Chairs networking event: 16 February, London

Updates from our partners

From NHS Digital: Consultation on new information standards open until 9 December

The Standardisation Committee for Care Information (SCCI) has received a request for a new information standard which will lay the foundations for in-scope patient-level data sets to be anonymised. 

As part of the development and assurance process, SCCI is asking for your feedback on the proposal. Any comments you provide will be included in the submission to SCCI for its meeting in February 2017. 

Find out more and take part. 

From NHS England’s Sustainable Improvement team: Webinar - Measuring improvement: using metrics and data to evaluate seven day services

This webinar will explore how metrics and data are used to drive improvement in the delivery of seven day services. Showcasing examples from North West London, Devon and NHS Digital, the webinar aims to help trusts develop and apply practical measurement and analysis plans.

Find out more and register.

From Healthcare Conferences UK: Pressure ulcers summit, Wednesday 7 December, Manchester

This summit aims to bring together tissue viability, wound care leads and senior nurses to discuss the important issue of eliminating avoidable pressure ulcers. 

Find out more and sign up.

From the NHS Leadership Academy: Director programme

The latest leadership development programme is now open for applications from executive directors and those in equivalent roles. The programme will help you to address the complex challenges you face and provide an opportunity for you to work in partnership with other senior leaders across health and care.

Find out more and apply

From HFMA: Annual chairs’ conference, Tuesday 17 January 2017

This conference is exclusively for chairs and offers the opportunity for networking across NHS commissioning and provider organisations, as well as arm’s length bodies. 

Find out more and sign up.

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