Victoria Infirmary News

A NEW voice has joined the campaign to maintain services at Northwich’s infirmary.

A doctor spoke to Northwich Town Council at its latest meeting about proposals to cut the GP out of hours service at Victoria Infirmary Northwich (VIN).  Dr Adrian Heald stressed that he was speaking as a private citizen when he addressed town councilors about the service, which has been under consultation because it is under-used.

A decision about reducing the service at VIN and moving the resources to Leighton Hospital was expected to be made in April but health bosses from East Cheshire NHS Trust decided to look into it further after public outcry in the initial consultation.

Speaking to town councillors, Dr Heald emphasised the difficulties for mid Cheshire patients travelling to Crewe if they did not own a car and said the current service should be advertised.

He said: “What I would propose is that the public of Vale Royal are made fully aware of the GP out of hours provision at VIN in evenings and weekends.

“There should be advertising on relevant websites – Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire East Council and the hospital website – so the public are fully aware such provision exists.

“Following a public awareness campaign we could see if there’s increased uptake at VIN.”

He added: “VIN itself makes a very important contribution to the health of people in this area and it should be built on.

East Cheshire NHS Trust is expected to update Cheshire West and Chester councillors on its plans in July.

Extracts from BMJ: June 14 2012

Srividya Seshadri, Pippa Oakeshott, Catherine Nelson-Piercy, and Lucy C Chappell

New leadership and management development programme

Skills for Health

The need for effective leadership and management skills has never been more crucial within the healthcare sector. However, organisations have traditionally focused on strategic and senior leadership development. Given the current challenges facing healthcare organisations at an operational level, it is essential that leadership skills are developed in service level staff, both to help resolve the current challenges, but also to provide a continuity of leadership development for staff who may progress to more senior roles.

Skills for Health are supporting healthcare sector employers by providing a leadership and management development programme primarily aimed at staff equivalent to Agenda for Change Bands 5-7. The programme focuses on an introduction to leadership and the associated skills. It aims to develop a cohort of enthusiastic and motivated staff who are relatively new to leadership responsibilities or are highly likely to move into a more formal leadership role.

The programme, which is mapped to the NHS Leadership Framework and the Leadership and Management National Occupational Standards, is delivered via three intensive workshop days. It explores key elements of leadership and management including leadership styles, change management and communication skills through a combination of presentation, facilitated discussion, practical exercises, reflective learning, and group work. A key element is the application of the learning from the programme to current service challenges faced by the individuals.

Investing in leadership is recognised as essential by all good organisations. If you are interested in exploring how Skills for Health’s Leadership and Management programme could help your organisation please contact your regional / country representative at for further information.

NHS Evidence Updates – Cancer

The following updates are available from NHS Evidence


via Evidence Updates – NHS Evidence – Search Engine for Evidence in Health and Social Care.

End of life care qualifications

Skills for Care has developed end of life care qualifications in conjunction with a wide range of employers including Marie Curie Cancer Care, the UK Home Care Association and Barchester Care, in addition to a number of hospices.

The qualifications will help adult social care employers support the national end of life strategy. They also build on the work of common core competences and principles for end of life care.


The Mental Health Act 2007: a review of its implementation

This report examines key issues in the operation of the Mental Health Act five years on. It finds that while there have been some improvements in the treatment of people detained under the Act there remain major concerns about the use of compulsory powers and the availability of advocacy and support for the most vulnerable people. It argues that CCGs and local authorities must ensure that they uphold the rights of people detained under the Mental Health Act as they take up their new responsibilities.


Healthcare Associated Infection (HCAI) Surveillance computer system


A new web based Healthcare Associated Infection (HCAI) Surveillance computer system is being developed which will replace the existing MESS system used to collect the patient level mandatory surveillance data on MRSA, MSSA and E. coli bloodstream infections, and C.difficile infections. Expected to go live in April 2013, the new computer system will be faster and have new features which will give users improved facilities to input and manipulate the data more easily. It will also allow users to produce customised tabulated and graphical reports of local, regional and national HCAI data.

Read more of this letter at dh_134577.pdf (application/pdf).

Evaluating palliative care ward staffing using bed occupancy, patient dependency, staff activity, service quality and cost data

Evaluating palliative care ward staffing using bed occupancy, patient dependency, staff activity, service quality and cost data

Dai Roberts

St. Ann’s Hospice, UK, Keith Hurst, Independent Researcher and Analyst, Nottinghamshire, UK


Background: Palliative care staffing has remained unchallenged for decades while service provision has changed markedly, bringing new workforce demands. There is little evidence to inform hospice workforce structures, which strive to deliver the highest-quality holistic care.

Aim: The study had three main aims, to: (i) adapt the acuity-quality workforce planning method used extensively in the UK National Health Service (NHS) for use in hospices; (ii) compare hospice and NHS palliative care staffing establishments and their implications; and (iii) create ward staffing benchmarks and formulae for hospice managers.

via Evaluating palliative care ward staffing using bed occupancy, patient dependency, staff activity, service quality and cost data.

Don’t forget Barnaby

The Barnaby Festival 2012 is almost upon us!

Carole Keeling from the Staff Library has been very busy this week cataloging all the fantastic art pieces due for display at Waters Green Medical Centre.  She has been inundated with canvasses large and small, covering all sorts of themes from flowers to modern abstracts.  At the last count there were over 60 pieces created by our obviously very talented East Cheshire Trust staff.

To see what’s on during the festival please visit  – you’re sure to be impressed.