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Annual Public Meeting 2019 minutes

Thursday 12 September, St Thomas' Hospital

The Chairman welcomed around 150 foundation trust members, members of staff, members of the public and the Council of Governors to the Trust's 15th Annual Meeting. He thanked the Guy's and St Thomas' Charity for their continuing support for the Trust including paying for the marquee where the meeting was taking place. On behalf of the Trust he thanked Dr Ian Abbs for agreeing to take on the role of Chief Executive following Amanda Pritchard's secondment to NHS England and Improvement. This would also be Devon Allison's final meeting as Lead Governor and he thanked her for her unstinting support of the Trust. 

Chief Executive's report and review of 2018-19

In his review of the year, Dr Abbs congratulated Amanda Pritchard for her contribution to the Trust and on her secondment to NHS England and Improvement as NHS Chief Operating Officer. He himself had spent the bulk of his career at the Trust, initially as a doctor and renal consultant, and latterly as a director.

The Trust had had another busy year with increased demand for services. He thanked staff for maintaining the quality of services provided for patients especially in the face of the difficulties in meeting the national access standards. Work continued to improve the speed with which the Trust was able to see patients often working closely with other local trusts.

The Trust recognised the importance of remaining financially strong and it was pleasing to be able to report a year end surplus of £31.4mn which included payments from NHS Improvement to acknowledge that the Trust had exceeded its planned performance. As a result the Trust would be able to continue to invest in facilities, equipment and staff.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) had inspected a number of clinical services – adult community, maternity and outpatients. The Trust retained its overall rating of "good" and was assessed as "outstanding" as a caring and well led organisation with particular praise for compassionate care. Adult community services had been rated as outstanding. Action was in hand or had been taken on the areas identified by CQC.

A number of major projects were described – including the first stages of an orthopaedics centre of excellence at Guy's. There had also been improvements in community services IT introducing mobile equipment.

The meeting welcomed the Duchess of Cambridge as Patron of the Evelina, announced as the celebrations for the Evelina's 150th anniversary were launched.

The Trust would continue to deliver the strategy launched last year which put patients at the heart of all the Trust's work including making digitally enabled access possible. Attracting and retaining the best people to run the hospital and looking after them so they have fulfilling careers was a key part of the strategy.

The Trust continued to work with partners, for example with the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, to develop a centres of excellence to offer treatment, research and education at world class levels.

Council of Governors' report

The Lead Governor welcomed the newly elected governors to the Council and thanked those who had stood down.

Over the last year the Council had focussed on staff well-being including some outreach to the community as well as closely monitoring the Trust's digital ambitions, the emerging partnerships and operational performance.

Communications have also featured and the stories in Listening Line had all come from members. Employment opportunities for young people, neighbourhood nursing, volunteering, speaking up, end of life care at home and improving access had been featured in the first year. Future issues were likely to include the emergency team.

Overall the aim was to support the professionals in the Trust with external views and suggestions which the Trust encouraged. The Lead Governor hoped that those attending would invite friends and neighbours to become members and for members to consider standing for the Council of Governors.

Presentations

The meeting then heard four presentations about caring for vulnerable patients, equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives, becoming a more sustainable organisation relating to air quality and more information about the 150th anniversary of Evelina London Children's Hospital.

Question and answer session

Members attending the meeting raised questions about lifetime support for sick newly born children, a request for the results of elections to be published in Gist, whether the problems faced in the US by Johnson and Johnson which was running a joint venture with the Trust would cause reputational problems for the Trust, whether the Trust should follow the practices in the Sunshine Act in the USA, declarations of interest, the Mayor's equality and diversity strategy, whether there were risks from Brexit on clinical recruitment, and assessing the impact of partnerships (such as the Royal Brompton) on local areas.

The Chairman thanked those attending for their support and involvement