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Northern Care Alliance demonstrates benefits of Group approach

Staff at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group are being congratulated for their hard work as the CQC rates Salford Royal as Outstanding, making it the only NHS acute and community Trust to achieve an Outstanding rating on two consecutive occasions.


Northern Care Alliance NHS Group comprises Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and brings together more than 17,000 staff across five hospitals and associated community and social care services into one single healthcare group. It is one of the largest NHS organisations in the country.


Salford Royal and Pennine Acute began collaborating in April 2016 when Salford Royal agreed to provide operational and leadership support to its neighbour following a CQC inspection that rated Pennine Acute as Inadequate. 


The creation of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group has facilitated the identification and sharing of best practice. Examples include the roll-out of Salford Royal’s successful Nursing Assessment and Accreditation System across all wards at Pennine Acute’s four hospitals meaning these wards now have clear plans to achieve 13 core standards, and adopting common approaches across the Group for infection prevention and control processes, falls prevention and elimination of pressure ulcers. The Group says new standardised approaches to digital developments are also being implemented.


The progress made has been registered by the CQC, which in March 2018 raised the rating for Pennine Acute to Requires Improvement, with no services rated as Inadequate.


Sir David Dalton, Group Chief Executive of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, praised all staff and said the re-affirmation of Salford Royal’s Outstanding rating is a major milestone in the journey of the Group as well as proof that such collaborative working practices can bring patient benefits. 


In a statement on the Salford Royal’s website he says: “This is an amazing achievement for Salford Royal’s staff and we will celebrate their success across our Group of hospitals and services.


“I must pay tribute to all colleagues across the Northern Care Alliance who have risen to the challenge of coming together to create a Group that has the mission of improving and saving lives on a far greater scale than what the Trusts could achieve working on their own.


“They have worked tirelessly to create better care for their patients with the results that a significant number of improvements have taken place at the Pennine sites whilst Salford Royal has continued to retain its own high standards. 


“This provides us with the platform to continue working together as one Group to share and spread best practice. As ever, we will do this with an unwavering focus on patient safety, patient experience and quality improvement and by ensuring staff are fully involved in finding improvements.


“I hope our Group approach shows that there are real opportunities for other organisations within the NHS; patients can benefit when organisations decide to work together to deliver standardisation at scale.”


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