This workstream is supporting the co-ordination of initiatives across the ICS to find sustainable, high quality solutions for those health services under the greatest pressure. It provides clinical oversight and has a key role to play in understanding the dependencies between service improvement and any proposals to change how services are delivered, as plans are firmed up by local organisations and systems.
Although services in our ICS are performing well in comparison to the rest of the country, we face some performance and resourcing challenges in several key areas. These are often exacerbated by both rising demand and clinical workforce pressures and many have the potential to be addressed through collaborative working across the region.
These issues are informing our strategic workforce development, recruitment and training priorities (and the implementation of shared rotas in areas such as haematology), as well as the work we are doing through our digital work stream; for example, on remote image sharing and reporting to support sustainability of radiology services.
Ken Bremner, chief executive of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, is the senior responsible officer for this work stream, supported by Professor Chris Gray, medical director for system improvement at NHS England and NHS Improvement in the north east and Yorkshire.
The workstream also helps co-ordinate the input and priorities of clinical networks, including the Northern Cancer Alliance, as well as developing primary care networks and community pharmacy. Ken and Chris are continuing to work with clinicians from across the patch to firm up sustainable solutions for those services under the greatest pressure, which will then be considered by system leaders for implementation.
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