2017 end of year reflections

It’s been a busy six months at Moorfields. I was delighted in June to announce a new electronic medical record system across all of our UK sites. This will enable us to move towards a fully paperless system that will provide clinicians real-time access to patient records across all of the trust’s locations. June also allowed us to focus on our ways of working, following a feedback session from the Getting it Right First Time (GIRFT) team. GIRFT is a programme designed to improve clinical quality and efficiency within the NHS by reducing unwarranted variations, bringing efficiencies and improving patient outcomes. Moorfields performed well against NHS peers in almost all areas. It was particularly heartening to again see the trust outlined as one of the highest performers for clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

During July I enjoyed visiting colleagues at our sites at St George’s Hospital, St Ann’s Hospital, Mile End Hospital and, for the first time, Darent Valley Hospital. It was incredibly uplifting to speak with patients at St Georges who had positive feedback on the new reception and clinic environment, commenting on the increased feeling of privacy and dignity and I would like to thank everyone who helped design and facilitate the improvements. I was also delighted to confirm that we are moving ahead with the refurbishment of the theatre, injection suite and ward environment at St Georges starting from January 2018.

Summertime is a period when many of our partners and stakeholders take the opportunity to visit us. In August we were delighted to welcome Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers. Chris shared on social media how impressed he was with the excellent healthcare delivery he observed, the leading research underway, the constant and innovative focus on education and the desire we have to play a greater role in leading NHS and global eye healthcare policy. It was very humbling for me to hear from Chris how highly our organisation is regarded across the NHS.

The summer also saw the launch of our refreshed five year organisational strategy. The strategy brings together all aspects of our work across clinical care, research and education and applies to our NHS and private services, both in the UK and internationally for the first time. This will allow us to discover, develop and deliver the best eye care for our patients and on a continued global scale. In August I was lucky to be able to see Dr Mariya Moosajee’s ‘Science of Sight’ exhibition at the Science Museum. It showcased the work of Mariya and the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre here at Moorfields and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. The exhibition attracted over 2,000 visitors, many of whom were children and will hopefully be our leaders of the future.

During October, I saw first-hand the new clinical pathways at our hospital in Dubai. The philosophy of change is based on the concept of doing preparatory work early and ensuring patients are constantly guided through a steadily moving pathway. The Dubai team has seen dramatic reductions in clinical waiting times as a result. I am also very excited about the Cayton Street development which opened in the first week of November. The decision to expand our glaucoma and urgent care services to new speciality clinics was rooted in a desire to do things differently and to create a hub of patient pathway innovation.

More recently, in November, I had the opportunity to attend my first NHS awards ceremony. Moorfields was shortlisted this year for the prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) award for Provider Trust of the Year. As a learning organisation, we hugely value the feedback from a respected industry voice like the HSJ and despite not winning, it was incredibly uplifting to be one of only seven NHS trusts shortlisted for the award. Congratulations to Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, who won the award. It is feedback from our patients however, that is the most important. In late November, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published the results of its 2016 survey of children and young people. At Moorfields, children, young people and parents at the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre and the Jungle ward at St George’s were invited to participate. Thank you to everyone who completed the survey. When compared to other trusts we scored the same or better on all of the questions. Understanding what people think about their care and treatment is important to improve the quality of services the NHS delivers.

And finally, just this week, on 6 December, the London Assembly published a report on sight loss outlining recommendations to the Mayor of London including developing and implementing a London eye health strategy. The report recommends that eye health become a greater public priority and that more should be done to encourage Londoners to look after their eye health and raise awareness of the need for regular eye tests. It urges the Mayor to challenge London’s health leaders to integrate eye health into their plans. We were involved in the development of the report and its recommendations and welcomed the opportunity to give evidence to the Health Committee. We look forward to working with the Mayor to develop the strategy in 2018.

David Probert

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