TWO of the biggest NHS Trusts in the country have come together to create one of the largest NHS healthcare organisations in Greater Manchester and the North West, in what is being described as an ‘exciting opportunity’ to serve a population of over 1 million people under a new Group arrangement of hospitals and community healthcare services.
The new Northern Care Alliance NHS Group brings together five local hospitals, 2,000 beds, specialist and acute services, a range of community services, and over 17,000 staff from Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (PAT).
The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group is being led by Sir David Dalton who has been Chief Executive of both Trusts since taking charge of Pennine Acute Trust (PAT) in April last year. Since April 2016, Pennine Acute Trust has benefitted from joint working and support from Salford Royal under the leadership of Chairman Mr Jim Potter, and Sir David as Chief Executive.
For the past 15 years The Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust which was formed in April 2002 has run four hospitals of The Royal Oldham Hospital, Rochdale Infirmary, Fairfield General Hospital in Bury and North Manchester General Hospital, and more recently expanded its provision of integrated and community services in North Manchester and Rochdale borough.
Salford Royal is one of the top performing NHS Foundation Trusts in the country where Sir David Dalton has been Chief Executive since 2001, leading it to an ‘outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in 2015 – the first in the North of England. It is also the first Trust with integrated acute and community services to earn this rating.
With an operating budget of £1.3 billion budget, the new Alliance provides the benefits of scale but delivers this locally through multiple hospital sites and local healthcare services.
Jim Potter, Chairman of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, said:
“These are challenging but also exciting time for our patients and staff in our Northern Care Alliance with much work to do, but we have fantastic, skilled and dedicated staff to deliver the agenda.
“Our new group structure of our Alliance, with individual Care Organisations within it, will deliver a local flavor and feel to healthcare delivery across the North East part of Greater Manchester. The benefits that will flow from Group to patients and staff should not be underestimated, not only for day to day service delivery, but also in areas such as staff recruitment and retention, research and development, and the application of IT digital systems and processes into the NHS.
“The recent establishment of a shadow Council of Governors for the Alliance and our Care Organisations will be of huge value in ensuring that good governance is adhered to and maintained now and into the future.”
Sir David Dalton, Group Chief Executive of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group:
“These new local arrangements for our Care Organsiations for Oldham, Bury and Rochdale, Salford and North Manchester place the emphasis for operational management of health services where it matters – in each hospital and locality. They strengthen senior leadership support at hospital-level, enabling better engagement with staff and clinical teams. Compared with the previous, more remote Trust HQ they are closer to the ‘shop floor’, understanding the challenges and issues staff are facing. These teams will build strong relationships with each of our local health and social care partners.