News & Events

2023 - The Year Ahead for your NHS

NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (HNY ICB) and Northern Lincolnshire & Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLAG) – the organisation which runs Grimsby hospital - came together to hold our first virtual event of 2023 – the agenda for which was developed by the Accord Steering Group.

More than 40 members of the public, representatives of local organisations, and Accord members joined us for ‘2023 – The Year Ahead for Your NHS’, which was hosted by Helen Kenyon, North East Lincolnshire Place Director for the HNY ICB. The agenda included updates on how the local health system is managing the pressures of winter, work to transform acute hospital services in the Humber, and the recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) report which has shown many improvements at NLAG. You can view a full recording of the event by clicking here

Dr Ekta Elston, a local GP and Clinical Lead for the North East Lincolnshire Health and Care Partnership, gave an overview of where you can access health and care advice in North East Lincolnshire, including the Single Point of Access (256256) and NHS111, for when you have an urgent health or care need, but it’s not life threatening, and local Pharmacies who can provide advice about minor ailments and illnesses. Ekta also explained the significant pressures that the NHS is under, and the impact this is having on patients accessing services.

Chief Executive at NLAG, Dr Peter Reading, discussed the Trust’s recent CQC report, which was published before Christmas and highlighted many improvements; therefore, they have now achieved the standards required to move out of ‘quality special measures.’ Peter went on to discuss the Trusts’ performance which has seen them perform well across many areas of planned care and now helping other Trusts; however, he did highlight an increase in the number of patients being admitted into hospitals through it’s Emergency and Urgent Care services. At Diana Princess of Wales Hospital, a new Emergency Department opened in October 2022 which Peter explained is twice the size of the previous department and was designed in conjunction with clinical teams at the Trust.

For several years, the Humber Acute Services Programme has been looking at how hospital services in the Humber region could be delivered in the future, and patient and public involvement has been essential throughout. Ivan McConnell, Programme Director; and Linsay Cunningham, Associate Director of Communications and Engagement for the Humber Acute Services programme, attended to provide an update on the work so far and the next steps for the review. Ivan and Linsay gave an overview of the challenges which our hospitals face around workforce shortages and infrastructure such as buildings and equipment; the Programme aims to develop services which have an improved quality of care and are more efficient, with more care being provided closer to home. Engagement has taken place over several years, with over 900 people attending workshops, and over 4000 people responding to the first ‘What Matters to You’ public survey. Linsay gave an overview of what people have told the programme team, and the actions which have been taken in response; one of the key issues highlighted is transport, and a transport newsletter has been produced to update local people.

As always, the event closed with a question-and-answer session, giving people the opportunity to quiz our local health and care leaders; the presenters were joined by Dr Kate Wood, Medical Director and Shaun Stacey, Chief Operating Officer at NLAG. A wide range of topics were covered in the questions, including the Urgent Care Service at Grimsby hospital, transport and accessibility to health settings, and the ‘Union’ between North East Lincolnshire Council and the NHS.

The full question-and-answer session is included in the event recording, and responses to any individual’s medical circumstances will be followed up directly with those concerned. Helen received one question during the event, which she promised to take away and respond to in this report:

‘Why has it been made so difficult for people to receive Continuing Healthcare funding for loved ones, even when their conditions have got worse. The support tool has changed, making it so difficult to receive funding for people who are struggling as it is.’

Thank you for your question regarding Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding, which I have asked our lead for CHC to pick up and answer for me.

Some people who have a long-term, complex medical condition, qualify for free care arranged and funded by the NHS; this is known as Continuing Healthcare funding. CHC can be provided in a variety of settings including, private residences and care homes; it is provided when someone has a ‘primary health need’ and needs help which cannot be provided by a local authority alone as part of a social care package.

Continuing Healthcare funding is assessed using the National Framework. Individuals are first assessed using a screening tool which looks at a person’s needs across a number of domains such as breathing, mobility, and communication, to determine whether their primary need for support is health or social care. Then, if necessary, a multidisciplinary team meeting (MDT) will take place to further assess their eligibility. The MDT meeting will include health and social care staff, the patient, family, and other professionals when necessary. The framework was updated in 2022, however the key characteristics remain the same but with some rewording to try and give further clarity in some of the domains.

The criteria for eligibility is if a person has been assessed as having a ‘primary health need’ - it is not about a diagnosis. It is about the level and type of their actual day-to-day care needs taken in their totality. Consideration is also given to the extent and severity of needs, how needs present and interact, the degree in which they fluctuate and their frequency; alongside the levels of skill, knowledge, and experience required to meet their needs successfully.

I would like to give assurance that in North East Lincolnshire, people are assessed by professionals looking at all of the persons individual needs in totality when eligibility assessments are undertaken. We do not take into account a person’s financial circumstance, ask questions, or make decisions in regard to a person’s finances, as financial consideration is not part of a Continuing Healthcare assessment.

Thank you to everyone who joined us and submitted questions to the panel, and to all our presenters who took the time to participate in the session.

We have received some brilliant feedback following this event, and we are looking at holding more events in the future – once we have more information, it will be included in our ‘According to…’ newsletter.

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