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Celebrating WWL Performance and Investment for 2013/14

Newsdate: 14 April 2014

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) is delighted to announce that over the previous year we have consistently been one of the highest performing Trusts in the region. Despite uncertain times for the NHS, WWL is still one of the best in the North West. The health regulators CQC and Monitor have rated us as one of the least at financial and quality risk in the region. 

As well as having one of the best performing Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments in the region, WWL is also pleased to confirm, we are on a sound financial footing. . WWL is also part way through a £50m investment programme across all three of our hospital sites which include Wigan Infirmary, Wrightington Hospital and Leigh Infirmary. 

Andrew Foster, Chief Executive says: "WWL continues to work hard to improve the quality of care provided to patients. We define our strategy for quality as being safe, effective and caring with patient safety always remaining our highest priority. We also focus on managing our finances so we generate a financial surplus that allows us to continue to make investments to improve our facilities.” 

Umesh Prabhu, Medical Director says: “From a safety perspective, WWL only had one MRSA bloodstream infection over the last year.  Although we have struggled to reduce the incidence of Clostridium Difficile infections having had 32 during 2013/14, which is a reduction on the previous year and we are hoping to reduce these infections in the coming year. WWL has however managed to reduce the number of serious patient falls in hospital and cases of ventilator associated pneumonia. One of the nationally acknowledged measures of effectiveness is the ratio of the actual number of deaths that occur in hospital compared with the number expected to die due to their illnesses. This measure is known as Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR) and the Trust's figure for the year-to-date during 2013/14 is 87.9 which is much better than the national average of 100.”

Fiona Noden, Director of Operations says: “In terms of the performance of the A&E department our staff have worked really hard to achieve success. WWL has one of the best A&E departments in the country.  For the year to Christmas our A&E was the best performing department in Greater Manchester and second in the whole North West with a performance of 96.1 per cent in achieving the national four-hour target.”

Fiona continues: “However, from January to March A&E was significantly challenged and our performance dipped to 92% with a year-end performance of 95.7%. We are doing all we can to improve on this performance and have had at our request two external reviews.  We would like to apologise to any patients who experienced any delays to their treatment."

Pauline Jones, Director of Nursing says: “The caring approach in WWL is evident from the regular feedback we get from a real-time patient survey. Although patients report an average 84.5 per cent positive response, this is slightly behind the 90 per cent target the Trust has set to ensure it is performing in the top 10 per cent. We have also seen a preview of the latest national patient survey which shows improvement in four measures and no reductions in any of the other 81 questions. More than 80 per cent of patients in the national survey have rated their care as seven or more out 10.”

Pauline adds: "I was really pleased with the results in the national patient survey and in particular to see the measure regarding hospital cleanliness where zero per cent of patients reported that their room or ward area was 'not very clean' or 'not at all clean'.  "We've been told that this is the best performing general hospital from the 76 trusts that used the same organisation to conduct their survey. This is a credit to the dedication of our domestic staff who constantly clean all areas throughout the trust. We will know how our cleanliness compares nationally later in the year once the Care Quality Commission releases all the national data.”

From a staff engagement and opinion point of view WWL is really ahead of the game. Jon Lenney Director of Human Resources says: “We are really pleased with our latest staff survey results where it was highlighted that there were no areas where staff experience had deteriorated since the 2012 survey.  This is extremely positive feedback.  It was also very encouraging to note that we also ranked highly in staff believing that we provide equal opportunities for career progression.  It is also pleasing that the feedback shows that staff felt less work pressure and the necessity to work extra hours were both much less than the national average.”

Jon adds: “We are also delighted to be recognised nationally on our staff engagement work both in winning a HSJ award and being held as an exemplar across the NHS for our work in this area. We have recently held an event promoting best practice which was attended other Trusts who are asking us to work with them in developing their staff engagement programmes.”

Financially the trust is also in a healthy position. Rob Forster, Director of Finance and Informatics: "A significant challenge WWL continues to face is finance. Trust turnover is £253million 2013/I4 and we had a huge savings target of £13.6m to achieve. We have similar savings to achieve for 2014/15 and thereafter the challenge is set to get even tougher. This means that the programme to deliver more patient care in the community and closer to home to allow a reduction in the range of care that needs to be delivered in hospitals is very important. This joint approach along with others involved in providing health and social care will allow us to further reduce our costs safely over time.”

Rob continues: "The reason that managing its finances is so important to us is to allow us to continue to make investments in our facilities. By the end of March 2014, we will have already spent or committed £30million out of a £50million investment plan which runs through to 2020.”

Silas Nicholls, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Strategy and Planning says: "This investment is already significantly enhancing quality and experience for our patients, visitors and staff. We have now completed a number of high-profile developments such as the Education Centre, car parking and a second MRI scanner at Wigan and an additional two new modular theatres at Wrightington. We also have the award-winning Hanover Diagnostic and Treatment Centre at Leigh that now houses the Leigh Endoscopy Department, Richmond Urology Unit, Women's Health care Unit and an Endoscope Re-processing Unit. Work on a Cancer Care Centre in Wigan is also currently underway and should be operational later in 2014.

Andrew Foster concludes: "We feel we are making strong progress on quality, performance measures and our investment strategy. We are delighted to have won ten regional and national awards over the last year. Winning such awards means we are being recognised by others for the progress we are making. One that really stands out for me is the Health Service Journal national award for our entry in the 'Staff Engagement' category. I congratulate all our staff who are making such a positive difference for the public we serve.”