Jan Sobieraj: Improvements in our hospitals for 2018

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With a new year comes fresh opportunities to look at where we are and where we want to be. After a challenging year, the plan for 2018 is to continue with our work around fire improvements, quality and safety, cancer, urgent care and our financial recovery – all within the context of our 2021 ambitions and our five work programmes.

Our full, detailed 2021 strategy is expected to be published in the spring, and over the next few years, these changes will lead to better healthcare, quicker access to tests and treatments, fewer cancellations and better hospitals for the people of Lincolnshire and ULHT staff.

Within these detailed programmes, here are just a few highlights we will focus on:

Improve the safety culture of the organisation

In 2017, we made lots of small scale improvements but in 2018 we want to see a  big shift in our safety culture. This was never going to be achieved in less than a year but we have developed new systems and processes and now the focus will be on bedding these in and sustaining changes.

We’ll do this by following through on our staff charter. The charter sets out clear expectations. It gives us all a clear picture of what is expected of all of us so that we can continue to deliver safe, high quality services, day in, day out, for all our patients.

Deliver our finance plans

ULHT has a history of overspending, mainly due to the very dispersed nature of our services. Everyone now agrees that this is unacceptable and we need to now deliver 2017-2018 and plan for a lower deficit in 2018-2019.

ULHT will transform our services and redesign our clinical services.  This will focus on:

  • Increasing productivity and quality of our services.
  • Reconfiguring some of our services.
  • Reviewing what services we can carry out safely away from our three main sites.
  • Working with partners to ensure services are sustainable and meet all national standards

Strengthen our workforce

We will continue to put our efforts into recruiting even higher numbers to achieve a better balance between our permanent and temporary workforce.

We need to create more reasons why people will want to join and stay with ULHT. Lincolnshire is a great place to live, but we want to make ULHT a career destination for people. There are plans next year to create clearer talent and development pathways, for nurses, doctors and other groups, with a real focus on training and development opportunities.

We know that as well as focusing on the staff groups we already have, we need to make more progress on changing the professional make-up of teams, exploring new ways to deliver care in our hospitals, which will have huge benefits both to our staff and patients.

In the next six months we should see 12 occupational therapists/physio apprenticeships and up to 10 physician associates and physician administrators start at ULHT.

It is about ensuring that we have got the right type of staff in the right place to deliver the right care, but it doesn’t mean we necessarily have to stick to the historic way of doing things.

Work together with community, primary care and social care partners

As part of our 2021 plan and the sustainability and transformation plan, we’ll work with all our partners in the best interests of all our patients. This means we’ll wrap care around the patient, so they get joined up and better care. Our services will be less fragmented and fewer people will come into ULHT for planned care and in an emergency, as they’ll get the right support out of hospital.

We need to play our part to make this happen.

We’ll also keep the focus on urgent care and cancer improvements.

All of these programmes are going to take time, but by having a great team in place and by working with our partners I am certain that by this time next year we will have seen the rewards of all of our hard work.

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