The must read stories and debate in health and care
- Today’s must know: Top teaching hospital chief to retire after four decades in the NHS
- Today’s talking point: Doubts over GMC’s handling of manslaughter case revealed
- Today’s risk: Health economy brought to ‘complete operational standstill’
- Today’s analysis: Chair must go for trust to move on from governance disaster
Teaching trust boss to retire
One of the longest serving chief executives in the NHS has announced he will retire this year.
Sir Andrew Cash will step down as chief executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust in July, having led the organisation for 16 years.
He will continue to have a “significant role” in the region’s NHS, working part time as chief executive system leader for the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw integrated care system.
Sir Andrew led one of the biggest trust mergers in 2001, bringing together five acute hospitals in Sheffield to create Sheffield Teaching Hospitals FT. It took on community health services in 2011.
Under Sir Andrew’s leadership it has been recognised as a high performer, and was in 2016 rated good in every domain by the Care Quality Commission.
He has held several national roles, including working on the Patients’ Charter, year 2000 contingency planning, and as director general for provider development at the Department of Health and Social Care, overseeing the FT pipeline.
Sir Andrew was knighted in 2009. In December, he was highly commended as chief executive of the year at the HSJ Awards, and he has been a mainstay of HSJ’s annual top chief executives list.
Regional black alert
The Greater Nottinghamshire health economy has spent the weekend on black alert after bed shortages worsened and rising demand was said to be “worse than it was in January”, according to a trust medical director.
Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, one of the largest acute trusts in the country, was on black alert (OPEL 4) from Monday last week until today.
Staff have been working extra shifts to help maintain patient safety, emails seen by HSJ said.
One consultant said the system had come to a “complete operational standstill”. They said the area lacked sufficient bed capacity. “I think it’s mostly flu and respiratory illness that’s swamping us. We don’t have enough beds across the two hospitals,” they added.
Under the region’s Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, published in 2016, the trust was due to lose 200 beds to help contain costs.
The hospital and the wider system stepped down the alert to red (OPEL 3) status this morning.
It is the second time the Greater Nottinghamshire health economy has declared a system wide black alert, after similar capacity pressures in January.
An extra 120 community beds were opened last month to relieve pressure on the trust but these have already been filled.