Provider bulletin: 31 January 2018

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


For action


Quality accounts 2017/18 requirements letter

All providers are required to publish a quality account by 30 June each year. We have published requirements for 2017/18.

Please ensure your governance team is aware of these requirements, which include the new disclosures on learning from deaths.

Quality reports arrangements for 2017/18

NHS foundation trusts are required to include a quality report in their annual report each year, and obtain assurance from their auditors on aspects of it. We have now published the requirements for 2017/18, including guidance for NHS trusts that may also choose to adopt the same principles.  

We are proposing changes to the indicators selected for assurance – please feed back on these by 16 February (see section 1.4 for details). NHS foundation trusts, your governors need to select the local indicator for assurance as in previous years. Please ensure your governance team is aware of these requirements.


For information


Temporary suspension of undetected oesophageal intubation category of Never Event

The new ‘undetected oesophageal intubation’ category of Never Event has been temporarily suspended from the 2018 Never Events list while a query about it is being resolved.

You will not need to report this category of incident as a Never Event until the suspension has been lifted. We will let you know when this category of Never Event has been reinstated. 

Activity counting on UEC pathways

We wrote to all trust and foundation trust chief executives on Thursday 25 January about variation in the way urgent care activity is captured. 

Following our October 2017 letter, we wanted to clarify that: 

  • there should be no changes to how non-co-located Type 3 data is submitted / reported by local organisations. Instead, you should inform the NHS England data team of any attribution that has been agreed locally, and they will map this activity to the relevant provider in their figures. 
  • any new areas of activity that are already being included in your submission as a result of our October letter should be submitted as a separate return, starting with your January data return.

Planning a return to a full elective care programme

The National Emergency Pressures Panel (NEPP) has decided not to renew the national recommendation for suspension of elective activity beyond 31 January. Please work with regional directors to plan a timely and appropriate return to a full elective care programme, based on local clinical and operational pressures.

Read Pauline Philip’s 26 January letter to trust chief executives and CCG accountable officers for more information.

Five safe, sustainable and productive staffing improvement resources

We’ve published five safe, sustainable and productive staffing improvement resources in the areas of maternity services, adult inpatients in acute care, district nursing services, learning disability services and mental health.

Ruth May, our Executive Director of Nursing and national SRO for the safer staffing programme, highlights the importance of these resources as they help standardise safe, sustainable and productive staffing decisions. 

The resources have been developed by system leaders for use in all NHS organisations, and for everyone involved in clinical staffing - from ward managers to boards of directors. 

We will publish resources for children and young people’s services, neonatal care, and urgent and emergency care (UEC) in the spring.


Updates from our partners


Department of Health and Social Care

Mental Health Act review: service user and carer surveys now live

The service user and carer surveys for the government-commissioned independent Mental Health Act review are now live.

Please share this information with service users and carers who have directly or indirectly experienced detention under the Mental Health Act. You may wish to run specific events or workshops to facilitate this. 

Royal College of Nursing

Digital skills development consultation for nursing staff

Alongside NHS Digital, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is launching a UK-wide consultation of nursing staff, focusing on digital skills development. Join an online workshop or attend an event to help the RCN identify what support is needed to ensure that, by 2020, every nurse is an e-nurse, and is using technology and data to maximum effect for patients. 

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges report on lay involvement in revalidation

See their report setting out how lay representatives are supporting the medical revalidation process at national, regional and local levels. There is broad support for lay involvement in medical revalidation. 

Please ensure you are familiar with the information in the report and reflect on your systems for recruiting, training and briefing lay representatives to support revalidation.

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