The new executive medical director at the trust which runs King’s Mill Hospital says the organisation has made significant progress to improve the issues which sent it into special measures last year. Dr Andy Haynes has been apppointed as the new substantial executive medical director at Sherwood Forest Hospitals’ NHS Trust. This week we publish part one of his interview with Chad in which he outlines what he can bring to the troubled hospital as it looks to flourish after it was placed in special measures last summer.
Dr Haynes, who has been working at the Trust on an interim basis since October 2013, will begin his substantial role in the near future.
He joined Sherwood Forest Hospitals from Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH), where he was a senior consultant for 20 years – eventually becoming the lead for cancer services at the trust.
Father-of-three Dr Haynes, said: “I’ve been in the region for many years, I came to Nottingham in 1986. I have a very busy clinical practice which has grown up since I became a consultant in 1996 looking after blood cancers.
“If you cut me you would see patient focus right through like a stick of rock.
“For the last 14 years I’ve been involved in service improvement looking at how clinical processes are organised to deliver safest, best possible, best value care and the patient the best possible experience.
He described Sherwood Forest as a crucial part of the East Midlands ‘health economy’, adding: “It has a particular local population. All populations are ageing but there is a raft of chronic disease in North Notts, “It is a population with significant health needs.
“I think it’s important for people like me coming to the end of their clinical career to use all their experience and expertise to start looking at how hospitals are designed and the processes in them.”
He said it was particularly important now with the NHS facing changes with budgets and an ageing population.
“Pulling all that together needs people like me to step into these higher management roles to help deliver the best possible care,” he said.
“The medical director is responsible for all the doctors at the trust and the consultants and the junior doctors to make sure that they are working properly, to make sure that they are trained properly to link them into the trust’s objectives and the direction of travel.”
The trust was placed in ‘special measures’ last July following a review triggered by its higher than expected mortality rates. It was one of 14 trusts that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt ordered to improve after their failings were highlighted by Prof Sir Bruce Keogh in his report.
Dr Haynes said: “Whilst I’ve been here as an interim since October it’s clear to me the trust has made significant progress to improve the issues that were raised as part of the Keogh review and there are some excellent clinical teams and services here that deliver very good healthcare.
He said there was a need to make sure the progress was standardised across the trust and across all possible services.
The trust had to make itself ‘fit for the future’ as there were currently quite a lot of big changes taking place in the NHS.
“There is a move to look after more chronic diseases in the community.
“We have a role with our commissioning partners and GPs to try and make those pathways work to deliver care as effectively nearer to home for people.
“The 24/7 Agenda for instance, is about trying to provide the same level of service out of hours at weekends and after five on a week day as we provide Monday to Friday.
“There are some new changes around accident and emergency departments , pathways that get people with serious illness to the best possible care first time .
“Part of what we are trying to do now with the services improvement programme here is to link in to the one the commissioners are doing with GPs and pool all that into a service delivery which is fit for the future.”
The Keogh review, he said, was triggered by mortality and there had been a lot of dialogue around mortality figures.
He said: “No mortality figure is perfect it is only a flag, an indicator there may be a problem with avoidable deaths at a trust.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean the numbers are raised because there clearly is.
“I think the review that followed from that mortality flag did highlight some problems with clinical processes, particularly around recognising sick people or people who have deteriorated and become very sick quickly and getting the right treatment in the right place to them quickly.
“The trust has done a lot of work around that and the mortality rate has consistently fallen since January 2013 and continues to fall.
The fall reflected work around infection, pneumonia, heart attacks and kidney problems.
Dr Haynes added: “We need to continue that - it is a journey that is never finished.
“Once you get things going in the right direction you have to keep looking at the processes and the outcomes to make sure they are still on track.
“It is clear to me having been here three months already there has been a considerable amount of progress
“We still have some issues about organising our processes in the most efficient way so patients get as timely appointments as possible, get everything done in as few appointments as possible and the right prognosis and right treatment as quickly as possible - and in the process of doing that feel that this is a great place to be.”
See part two of the interview with Dr Haynes in next week’s Chad.