The hard work of staff in continuing to provide quality care amid rising demand for services was praised by Sirona’s Board yesterday (1 December)
The first virtual Board meeting in public was livestreamed via YouTube with a grandmother’s experience of community nursing and specialist services opening the session.
Grandmother of four Pat and her daughter Katy shared with the Board how a fall led to a year of care mainly at her home in Bristol and they were full of praise for the kindness and compassion shown by teams. They were thanked for sharing their story by Chairman Simon Knighton.
Chief Executive Janet Rowse outlined how the demands of the coronarvirus pandemic had seen Sirona and the wider system in escalation with services stretched yet new innovative ways of ensuring the best possible care for people in communities across the area were being introduced.
This was further detailed by Jenny Theed, Director of Operations, who presented the monthly performance report and told the Board how staff were providing care for 600 people with a range of complex needs in the community at any one time. She said this was supporting discharges from the three hospitals in the area which ensured beds were available for those who medically needed them.
Sirona began a 10 year contract to provide adult community health services across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire on 1 April. It also works with partners to provide children’s services across the same area.
Janet said: “Thank you to Jenny and her team but also to the support services who have made it possible to do this level of activity which is already in excess of what we were anticipating in year two of the contract….the progress we have made and the quality of services we are able to provide is phenomenal.”
Amanda Cheesley, Non-Executive Director, said: “It’s absolutely extraordinary what everyone is managing to achieve in the circumstances.”
She asked what was in place for those on waiting lists and Jenny highlighted how a series of Advice and Guidance lines have been set up to support people and all letters to individuals on waiting lists provided practical information on how they can manage their condition.
Non-executive Director Paul May, who chairs the Quality and Outcomes Committee, said: “We are under a lot of pressure and we have the make sure the standards are being maintained the best way we can. The Quality meeting means we pick up trends and we can give assurance processes are working exceedingly well despite the pressures we are under.”
Director of Nursing Mary Lewis discussed the risks which the organisation had identified which she said by their very nature were ones which may happen rather than were taking place. She outlined a range of actions in place to ensure services are safe for people and communities.
Work on equality, diversity and inclusion within the organisation and the wider community was highlighted by Sarah Margetts, our Director of People and Development.
Finance Director Clive Bassett presented the latest information on the organisation’s finances and advised a forecast surplus of £4.5m by the end of the year which he said was essential to build up reserves following investment in the mobilisation of the new contracts in the Spring. Sirona is a not-for-profit social enterprise committed to reinvesting surplus into services.
Plans for the recruitment of a new Chair of the Board with the expiry of Simon Knighton’s term of office at the end of March were outlined by Director of Transformation Julie Sharma. The recruitment of his replacement will launch before Christmas. Julie also presented papers on the organisation’s governance framework and business strategy which is being developed with staff.
A recording of the meeting is available here until 16 December. You will also be able to view and download the Board Meeting papers via this link.
Four meetings a year will be held in public and questions are invited from the community – full details of the process can be found on the above page or by contacting our Head of Corporate Governance Donna Cairns. Please ensure Sirona Board is in the subject line.