Provider bulletin: 6 July 2016

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

Inspiring improvement: join the conversation using #improve365

Our event on 14 July is fully booked but there are still lots of ways that you can get involved. We’ll be live streaming the plenary sessions from the event via a platform called Slido. Why not get a team together to watch in a meeting room? 

From Monday 11 July you’ll be able to check that you can access the site from your workplace, using the code improve365.  If possible, view using browsers other than Internet Explorer, for example Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari, and speak to your IT department if necessary. You’ll also be able to start posting questions for the Faculty members on Slido.

On the day, you can also join us on the platform to vote on key themes and discussions that come out of the different sessions. 

This is a day of interaction and active learning, and so whether you’re in the room or watching from elsewhere, you can be involved in this great opportunity to work together and spread the message of improvement across the NHS. 

Our Faculty of Improvement has started to describe what improvement means to them and you can also share your ideas and join in the conversation online by using our hashtag #improve365.

Dr Don Berwick, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, spoke to us about how the NHS can enourage the sharing of best practice, improvement methods and approaches as widely as possible.

Seven Day Services Self-Assessment Tool: survey update

We’re now working with NHS England on the next round of the Seven Day Services Self-Assessment Tool (7DSAT). You previously told us that you’d like more advance notice of surveys so here are the future dates and deadlines for the next three surveys. 

Latest data collection period Data collation time Data submission date Analysis available
Wednesday 21 September to Wednesday 28 September 2016 3 weeks 19 October 2016 28 October 2016
Wednesday 29 March to Wednesday 5 Apr 2017 3 weeks 26 April 2017 5 May 2017
Wednesday 20 September to Wednesday 27 September 2017 3 weeks 18 October 2017 27 October 2017

We’ve also considered your feedback from March’s survey and will update you with final amendments; in summary these will mean that:

  • you’ll have the option to carry out the survey retrospectively
  • you’ll be able to select the seven day period from which case notes are to be reviewed from within a defined period (eg August and September 2016 for the next survey)
  • the sample size will vary according to the number of emergency admissions in each trust
  • the sample will be randomised so that patients are selected throughout the day
All providers that receive emergency admissions for physical health problems are required to complete the survey.

Have your say: draft Single Oversight Framework

We’re consulting on our proposed approach to overseeing and supporting NHS trusts and foundation trusts through a Single Oversight Framework which will replace Monitor’s risk assessment framework and the Trust Development Authority’s (TDA) accountability framework.

The framework will help us identify where trusts may benefit from, or require, support to improve in five areas: quality of care; finance and use of resources; operational performance; strategic change; and leadership and improvement capability.

Where possible we’ll combine and build on Monitor and TDA’s approaches, adapting them to reflect and enable our primary improvement role and we intend for most changes to be incremental and to reflect provider challenges and initiatives to support them.

The draft framework sets out our main areas of focus in overseeing trusts, as well as how we will:

  • collect information from trusts
  • identify potential concerns with a trust’s performance
  • segment the trust sector according to the level of challenge each trust faces

Help us to shape the framework by telling us your views. Please respond using the online survey by 5pm on Thursday 4 August 2016.

During the consultation period we’ll also run a series of engagement events to answer queries and get more detailed input from the sector - we’ll release details on these soon. 

If you have any trouble accessing the survey, or have any questions regarding the framework or consultation, please email  

Transformational change through system leadership (TCSL) – deadline for application 19 August

Are you part of a senior team, within a healthcare system, that is actively engaged in delivering system-wide transformational change?

You still have time to apply to our TCSL programme which offers teams the opportunity to build personal and team capabilities in transformational change and is based on proven concepts, tools and techniques you need when working within complex healthcare environments. It covers a wide range of topics and allows you to put theory into practice.

The programme involves five interactive workshop days over four months, supported by weekly online learning activities. 

National Quality Board’s (NQB) updated safe staffing improvement resource

We’re one of the organisations that make up the NQB and have helped to develop an updated safe staffing resource for NHS provider boards to assure the delivery of compassionate, effective, safe, sustainable high quality patient care.

This resource sets out the NQB’s expectations for nursing and midwifery care staffing and the broader, multi-professional workforce. It has been designed to support boards with making local staffing decisions to achieve the best possible care for patients within the available staffing resource. The resource will help you to co-ordinate delivering the right staff and skills, in the right time and place. 

Our findings from the 2014/15 patient-level cost collection

We’ve published our findings from the voluntary 2014/15 Patient Level Information and Costing Systems (PLICS) data collection which will be useful for all NHS staff who are involved in the production of cost information.

Other healthcare updates

From the Department of Health (DH): End of life care – government commitments

Following an independent review into end of life care, the government has made six commitments with the aim of ending variation in treatment across the health system by 2020. The commitments are:

  • honest discussions between care professionals and dying people
  • dying people making informed choices about their care
  • personalised care plans for all
  • the discussion of personalised care plans with care professionals
  • the involvement of family and carers in dying people’s care
  • a key contact so dying people know who to contact at any time of day

DH will share more details on these and what they mean for you and your organisation. 

From DH: Central Alerting System (CAS) guidance on the use of antiviral medicines

Medical directors, please share this CAS alert on the use of antivirals with your chief pharmacists. Recent surveillance data from Public Health England indicates that circulation of influenza in the community has returned to baseline levels. GPs and other prescribers working in primary care should no longer prescribe antiviral medicines for the prophylaxis and treatment of influenza on an FP10 prescription form.

From DH: guidelines for government buyers sourcing steel

In April 2016 the government announced plans to help enable British steel companies to compete more fairly for public sector contracts. This follows new guidelines which were published to address barriers that may prevent suppliers of steel from competing effectively for public sector contracts. Central government has now started to follow the guidelines and soon they will be rolled out across the wider public sector.

DH is interested in hearing from you and particularly would like your views on how they can adapt the current steel guidance to make it more useful and applicable to your procurement activities.

If you have any questions or feedback on the guidance then please email

From DH: regularisation of leases

Patrick Mills, Commercial Director, DH, has outlined the work that has been undertaken to validate occupations within the LIFT Estate. His letter emphasises the importance that DH now places on having formal occupation agreements, and the risks of failing to do so. 

A lease regularisation programme is now in place - if you have any questions or need help to resolve any disputes, please email

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