Our IAPT services get national recognition

This was a week where we celebrated achievement by our IAPT and our progress on staff survey and flu fighting went from strength to strength.


It was a true pleasure to see the success of our IAPT team highlighted at last week’s Senior Leadership Team meeting. Our Annual Report had already celebrated their achievement in delivering the best IAPT recovery rates in England and it was great to hear how they are continuing to go from strength to further strength, ensuring that Stoke-on-Trent gets national recognition.

A recent report on the BBC website analysed data across all of England and reported

 NHS England said the programme – called Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) – was one of the most ambitious of its kind in the world and had helped hundreds of thousands of people overcome depression and anxiety. If you look at the April to June period there was a threefold difference between the best and worst. In Luton, fewer than one in four patients were successfully treated. In Wirral, part of Merseyside, it was only one in three. By comparison, more than two-thirds of patients in Stoke were no longer ill by the time they were discharged.”

Stephanie Woodall, Clinical Lead/Psychotherapist for the Healthy Minds Psychological Therapy Service, presented to the meeting and explained how the service has been selected as a national IAPT Pathfinder by NHS England. She explained that their success was built on a number of factors:

  • System Redesign of the Front End Service
  • Leadership, Accountability and Governance
  • Pathway Design to scope the clinical demand
  • Workforce Strategy, with evidence-based Training, Recruitment & Retention
  • Building a ‘vote of confidence’ amongst local stakeholders

Stephanie also shared some fantastic outcome data with us, including:

  • monthly referrals smashing their targets, with October running at 670 against a target of 451
  • 99 per cent of clients assessed within 14 days of referral
  • 99 per cent of clients entering into treatment within six weeks against a national waiting standard of 75 per cent

Well done to all concerned for this continuing fabulous performance!


We continue to make steady progress with the NHS Staff Survey with staff in three areas now hitting a response rate of 80 per cent or above and all but three at 40 per cent or above.

There’s still a little way to go for staff working in NOAP and in Adult Mental Health In-patient – although these staff, as well as in every area have increased their numbers of responses over the past week.

We continue to urge anyone who hasn’t yet done so to complete their survey.  It’s really important that we hear from as many staff as possible from as many different parts of our operations and activities.

Don’t forget about the £250 prize draw for teams with a high response rate, which can be spent on a team-focused priority, so rally up your team to take part, too.

A reminder that your feedback and responses are completely anonymous, so please be honest with us in your responses. It will only take 10 minutes or so to finish, so please dig out the email from survey@quality-health.co.uk with the subject line:

North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust 2018 NHS Staff Survey: Invitation


A huge thank you to everyone who has had their flu vaccination.  The latest figures show that, as of 15th November,  59.87% of our 75% target for patient facing / frontline staff have been vaccinated.  This means we have vaccinated 761 patient facing / frontline staff amongst an overall total of just under 900 staff.

Our Flu Fighters Team have been busy vaccinating across the Trust since our campaign started on Friday 5 October, and these results are really important, as we are ensuring we are safer for our patients, ourselves and our relatives.

However, there is still work to be done. Our peer vaccinators are working relentlessly but staff need to be seriously considering having the vaccines.

A further Jabathon has been organised for 20th December, to coincide with giving out star prizes open to anyone who has had the vaccination, including the opportunity to win an iPad mini.

Our Executive Directors continue to play their part, including Jonathan O’Brien, our Executive Director of Operations, pictured below.


Our programme of visits to frontline staff is a regular opportunity for our Executive Team and Non-Executive Directors to learn first hand from the frontline on the challenges they face and the successes they deliver.

Jonathan O’Brien, Executive Director of Operations and Gan Mahadea, Non-Executive Director, recently visited the Adult Community Mental Health Team at the Ashcombe Centre in the Moorlands. They would like to thank the team for giving them such a warm welcome and having such an open discussion with them on issues such as the impact of the loss of Section 75 staff, the potential for co-locating with other services within the locality and also explaining how the centre’s staff work as a multi-disciplinary team. Jonathan and Gan have fed back how impressed they were at the resilience of the team despite some of the challenges faced with recruitment.

Maria Nelligan, Executive Director for Nursing and Quality and Patrick Sullivan, Non-Executive Director went to Broom Street where there was a celebration for OT week.   They met staff and services users saw videos of the work Occupational Therapists do.   You can watch one of our staff from our LD Team talking about their role via our Combined Twitter account by clicking here.


The trip to Leicester at the end of the week last week, although a long journey , was really worth making the effort. The mental health across the large regions of Midlands and the East of England meet on a regular basis. Clare Murdoch , the National Director for Mental Health, joined us and talked about the development of the mental health priorities within the 10 year NHS plan, seeking our views. Clare has done a superb job in raising the profile of mental health and it is so positive that more funding will follow. The main priorities are likely to be supporting people in a crisis, supporting children and young people from 0 – 25 and community mental health teams in the broadest sense. All these are such important priorities and ones I would fully support. I really want us to have a home treatment service for children and young people and am hopeful that will happen soon. Our crisis services are continuing to improve with the liaison service at UHNM becoming all age from December 1st – really well done to everyone who has worked so hard to make that a reality and challenged historical ways of thinking. Community service developments need to include more support for people with a personality disorder and people with dual diagnosis – we have more to do with this.

Our PICU has been open now for four weeks – well done to the team for getting the unit up and running and supporting service users so quickly – a much appreciated and needed service for people living in stoke – on Trent and north Staffordshire.


I was pleased to meet with Jan Ditheridge – the CEO of Shropshire Community NHS Trust on Friday afternoon. We have developed a partnership with the Trust in supporting health services within Stoke Heath prison and are exploring other opportunities for working together.