WATCH New Chair of Tameside & Glossop NHS says she’s excited by the challenge of integrated care
Wednesday 10th January 2018 @ 14:41 by Tom Greggan
News Tameside

The new Chair of the Tameside & Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust has expressed her delight at being appointed in the role and says the patient experience is her number one priority.

Jane McCall was named the Trust’s new Chair last week, a role she says she’s excited to get stuck into. “The fact that the Trust wants to do more than just be an acute hospital; integrated care, the neighbourhood element to the work and the prevention element to the work, that really, really excites me so I’m delighted to be here,” she said.

Mrs McCall joins Tameside & Glossop from Wythenshawe Hospital where she was Deputy Chair. An interest in healthcare came from her work as the director of a housing association. “I really saw the profound difference that good quality housing, health and social care can have on people’s well-being and on their lives,” she said.

“Then there was an opportunity to become a non-executive director on the board of Wythenshawe Hospital, which is my local hospital; I live just a mile up the road from there. I was really keen to do that. Health and the NHS is something close to everyone’s hearts because it’s the universal service that we all use. It’s really important to me that that functions well.”

It’s been a positive five years for the Trust, which was placed into special measures in 2013. The measures were removed in September 2015 and the Trust was then given a ‘Good’ rating in February of last year.

Just a few months later, it became one of the first Trusts in the country- and the first in Greater Manchester- to launch integrated care, bringing the hospital, community healthcare, social services, local councils and the voluntary sector together for the first time.

As Chair of the Trust, Mrs McCall’s is responsible for ensuring the strategy agreed by the organisation is delivered. She praised the work done over the past few years to improve the hospital and said her number one priority is to ensure the patient experience doesn’t decline as integrated care is introduced.

Speaking about integrated care, Mrs McCall said: “It is a challenge because you’ve got different organisations all working together who have previously had different ways of operating, different people, different cultures etc.

“The thing I’ve been really impressed with in Tameside is that there is an absolute will and a belief to try and make this integrated care work, and that the patients and their families are at the heart of what we’re trying to do.”

She continued: “My most important priority is to make sure we maintain that focus on the patient experience, on patient care and on patient quality.

“I also want to make sure this is a really good place to work as well because we don’t want to be spending money on interims. We want permanent staff who are engaged, really want to work here and therefore provide a good experience for the patient. That is quite challenging in the financial environment we’ve got at the moment.

“The primary focus of integrated care is to make the journey better and more effective for the patient, so they’re only telling their story once and they’re getting care in the right place. Clearly, if we do that and we can reduce the number of hand-offs between different organisations and agencies, then that makes us more effective. Efficiency within the NHS is something that is really important so that we can use the resources that we’ve got more wisely and more effectively to be able to care appropriately for people.”

While only a few days into the job, Mrs McCall says her first impressions have been strong. When questioned on where improvements could be made, she had one area in particular in mind.

“I think the NHS generally and I’m sure this organisation as well does have some further focus I’m sure we could put in around innovation and technology,” she said. “The use of that in order to help patients manage long-term conditions, for example, and to make sure again that we are effective as we can.”

“Those are issues I will be looking at over the coming weeks but my early impression of the hospital, the community and our partners has been overwhelmingly positive.”