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The latest edition of the stakeholder newsletter of the NHS Blithering STP is packed with more news than ever

WasteAway contract: Sir Trevor sets the record straight

Sir Trevor Longstay has defended the award of a lucrative clinical waste contract to a company he chairs. In a statement, Sir Trevor said the £20 million deal with WasteAway Plc had been won “fair and square” and accused rivals of “sour grapes”.

As chief executive of the newly formed NHS Blithering Hospitals Consortium, chair of the Blithering and District CCGs Collaborative and lead for the STP Sir Trevor had taken great care to avoid any accusation of impropriety, said Blithering’s new head of communications Charlotte Ditcher. 

“Sir Trevor stepped out of discussions of the contract and voting on this matter at board meetings. If he took a close personal interest in the procurement process it was only to ensure that it was entirely fair and transparent,” she said.

Responding to claims by rivals that WasteAway had undercut them with a bid so far below cost that they were unable to compete, Ditcher said: “It was a perfectly level playing field for any supplier prepared to sustain heavy losses.” She would not comment on speculation that WasteAway would cross-subsidise its unprofitable clinical waste contract from the lucrative refuse collection contract secured last month with Blithering District Council.

Sir Trevor staunchly defended the process for awarding the contract. "Allegations that Lady Longstay's integrity as chair of the procurement committee was compromised are as scurrilous as they are hurtful," he said.

Friends and colleagues of Sir Trevor and Lady Longstay leapt to the couple’s defence, pointing out that they had barely spoken in over 10 years and even occupied separate bedrooms to avoid any suggestion of a conflict of interest.

New strategy takes shape

The Blithering Integrated Care System is set to take another giant leap forward with the publication next week of a completely refreshed and updated strategy document.

Putting Priorities First: Even More Steps: Towards Total Integration: A Health and Care Strategy for All: Beyond the Event Horizon builds on the success of the previous strategy.

As well as a demonstrably comprehensive title, the new strategy includes 57 new ambitions in seven domains: 360-degree engagement, clinically-led co-production, patient-centred scalability, place-based delivery, mindful care, parity of purpose and compassionate efficiency.

Dr David Rummage, clinical director for NHS Blithering, said: “The integrated care vanguard showed us what a difference a few tens of millions of pounds could make. Our unaudited figures show that we managed to cut literally dozens of emergency admissions, while massively increasing digital innovation and media outcomes.

"The challenge now is to roll out these improvements at scale. We’ve shown we can do it. All we need is support from the centre, preferably in the form of a blank cheque.”

Dates for your diary

Meet the Team Day, 2 May, CCG HQ, Station Approach  - Your chance to grab a selfie with Sir Trevor and quiz Dr Rummage, Dr Liz Wanhope and other Blithering health leaders about our plans to consolidate services, reduce deficits and improve local health outcomes. Don’t miss it!

Care Home Fundraiser, 5 June, venue TBC – Tombola, cake stall and karaoke to raise money to stop the closure of Blithering care homes and other social services. A great day out, particularly for older members of the family – and all in a good cause!

Martin Plackard: a footnote

The board of NHS Blithering would like to express its thanks to head of strategic communications, digital delivery and impactfulness, Martin Plackard, who has decided to leave the organisation to pursue other opportunities after nearly a decade at Blithering.

Paying tribute to Plackard, Sir Trevor Longstay said: “It is literally impossible to measure Malcolm's contribution. Suffice to say that he has been instrumental in Blithering’s astronomical rise to become the most challenged health economy in the country. We’d like to thank him for his commitment and wish him well, etc.”

News editor: Julian Patterson

@jtweeterson
julian.patterson@networks.nhs,uk  

Reproduced at TrainingPrimaryCare.com by kind permission of Julian Patterson.