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Annual General Meeting / Annual Members' Meeting 2016

The East Kent Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust Annual Members’ Meeting took place on 6 October 2016.  There were around 130 in attendance, made up of Foundation Trust members, members of the public, members of the Council of Governors and Board of Directors, representatives from partner organisations and members of the Trust’s staff. 

The Trust’s Chief Executive and Finance Director provided an overview of the Trust’s business over the last year and a report on the Council of Governors was given by the Lead Governor and Governor Chair of the Council’s Membership Engagement and Communication Committee. A short film was shown, ‘A Great Place to Work’, which captured staff experiences. There was an opportunity for questions from the public answered by an expert panel.  Prior to the meeting, attendees were able to view a number of Trust exhibitions from various departments within the organisation.  

 A copy of the 2015/16 Annual Report and Financial Statements was made available at the meeting. 

 A copy of all the presentations given at the meeting can be accessed HERE

View our annual Report 2015/2016

Notes of the meeting:

Chair’s welcome and notes of the previous meeting

Nikki Cole, introduced herself as Chair of EKHUFT and welcomed attendees to the meeting, especially as the date had had to be changed at short notice.  She summarised the order of proceedings for the event as outlined on the agenda and took a short time to thank staff and governors for their contributions over the year.  She acknowledged also the contribution made by Non-Executive Director, Richard Earland, who was attending his last Annual Members Meeting as his term of office would end in December.

Members of the public endorsed the notes of the previous Annual Members meeting as an accurate record of proceedings.

A review of the previous year and a look into the future

Matthew Kershaw, Chief Executive, provided a presentation outlining the Trust’s key headlines for 2015/16, achievements in the first six months of 2016/17 focussing on the Trust’s Improvement journey.  

Financial Performance Overview including presentation of Annual Report and Accounts

Nick Gerrard, Director of Finance and Performance, provided a presentation outlining the Trust’s financial position during 2015/16. 

‘A Great Place to Work’

A short film was shown of staff from across the Trust sharing their experiences of working as part of the organisation.

Report from the Council of Governors 

Lead Governor, Michèle Low (Public Governor for Dover), and Matt Williams (Public Governor for Swale), Chair of the Council’s Membership Engagement and Communication Committee gave a summary of the work of the Council over 2015/16.

Panel discussion

The following questions were asked by members of the Trust and members of the public. The responses were noted.  

The first questioner commented how important it was to have continuity on the Board and hoped to see the same Board members at the next Annual Members Meeting.  The subject of the question was the six week wait for an MRI scan with the NH; the Spencer Wing was able to offer this far more quickly.  Was this right?

Matthew Kershaw responded that it was factually correct.  The standards were set in the NHS for access to diagnostic tests and this was within those.  The Trust would always strive to improve services.

A&E specialist services seemed to be lacking; was access to specialist services timed?

Matthew Kershaw confirmed that there were standards applied; patients should be triaged within 15” of arrival, be assessed by a doctor within one hour, referred to a specialist if required within the next hour and admitted for treatment or discharged within four hours. 

He added that a new model of care was being used at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (QEQM) Hospital which was streamlining the patient pathway through A&E.  Dr Paul Stevens spoke about the work being done with the Clinical Care Commissioning Groups to change how services were delivered.   For example, providing GP services at the A&E sites as many patients attending A&E did not need emergency care.

There should be consistency in the care which can be provided by GPs and they should all be aware of what can be done.

Matthew Kershaw spoke about the work of the East Kent Strategic Board, which allowed the local NHS organisation to work together to develop the strategic direction for health care to provide the best services for the people of East Kent.  Sarah Philips, a Faversham GP, acknowledged that there was variation in the services provided by GPs; a network was being developed to help address this issue.

The nursing staff in the Trust were caring and compassionate; why should the good staff be labelled with the bad?

Matthew Kershaw said that the CQC report in 2014 had identified areas of concern, including leadership, and had also noted areas of good practice.  Being in special measures had helped the Trust to focus on the areas of concern and good progress had been made.  There was momentum now and the pride and enthusiasm to continue the improvement journey.  He added that the Trust employed over 8000 staff so there would always be some problems; there was a lot of work being undertaken to support culture change and strengthen leadership across the organisation.

Michèle Low confirmed that the Governors had seen an improvement in the Trust’s culture over the last year and there was a greater confidence moving forward.  She commented that whilst being in special measures had supported change, there was a point at which it would begin to hold the Trust back with respect to attracting high quality staff.

It was recognised that it could be difficult to make improvements when the Trust was financially in deficit? Were there other income streams which could be used, such as selling off estate. 

Nick Gerrard confirmed that the Trust considered all possible alternate income streams, although these were often on the margins and for relatively small amounts.    

Three points were raised in relation to the Sustainability and Transformation Programme (STP): a) has the Government indicated the proportion of Trusts which will receive the planned extra funding; b) were patients discharged early as a result of bed blocking – was there proper intermediate care; and c) will there be a consultation planned in 2017?

Matthew Kershaw said that extra funding was part of a bidding process.  The aim of the STP was to support change to make best use of funding to deliver sustainable, quality services.  Having a focus on intermediate care would be key to success as this would allow the Trust to concentrate on the patients who needed acute care.  He confirmed that there would be a full consultation process for the STP which would be lead by the CCGs.

A number of attendees raised questions relating to the care of an individual patient, which could not be fully answered in a public arena.  These included:

  • Care for a stroke patient.  Dr Paul Stevens assured members that the Trust was committed to ensuring that patients who had had strokes were identified and placed on the specialist pathway for their care as soon as possible.

  • A patient being sent home from day surgery without adequate pain relief.  Dr Stevens agreed that it was essential that patients be provided with the correct pain relief after surgery and that this should happen in all cases.

Nikki Cole encouraged anyone with a personal issue they wished to raise to speak with a member of the Trust staff after the meeting or to contact the Trust’s patient experience team.  Their concerns would be fully investigated and an answer provided.

Two attendees at the meeting noted their thanks for the care they had received.

Nikki Cole, Chair, thanked all members of the public, staff and representatives from key stakeholder organisations for attending the meeting.  


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