Public consultation imminent on children’s surgery and anaesthesia services across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw


Over the past year The Working Together Partnership Vanguard has been supporting the Commissioner Working Together Partnership looking at what the future of children’s surgery and anaesthesia might look like in our region, with the knowledge and insight that there is a shortage of doctors being trained and that we need to deliver care differently across our region in a planned and controlled way.

Clinicians and managers from Barnsley, Chesterfield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Bassetlaw and Sheffield hospitals were asked to assess how they were doing against national core standards for providing the service, gathering data on numbers of people needing the service and staffing levels. All partners agreed that patients should experience the highest quality and safest service possible, regardless of where they live.

The review is now complete and a commissioner-led public consultation will commence in October to ask the public what they think about three options, whilst work takes place in each Trust to establish the viability of the options.

Read more here

Sharing Best Practice at Vanguard visit



September 9th saw the Working Together Partnership Vanguard being visited by a fellow Vanguard team from Moorfields Eye Hospital. In an afternoon of open discussions we were able to share our different approaches and listen to our colleagues about how their vanguard is different, what we might have in common and where we could potentially collaborate and learn from each other.

Tweeting about the meeting, Karen Reeves, Moorfields Vanguard Director said: “Great to meet and hear about great work @WTPVanguard and share learning”

Discussions with Moorfields are ongoing, updates will be provided here as and when.


New Vanguard leads new ‘technology’ drive to modernise care for patients with long term health conditions


The Working Together Partnership Vanguard will be part of one of seven national ‘Test Bed’ innovation centres which will lead a major drive to modernise how the NHS delivers care.

‘Test Beds’ are new collaborations between the NHS and innovators which aim to harness technology to address some of the most complex issues facing patients and the health service. Successful innovations will then be available for other parts of the country to adopt and adapt to the particular needs of their local populations.

The ‘Perfect Patient Pathway’, as the Sheffield City region Test Bed will be known, aims to create the ‘perfect patient pathway’ to bring substantial benefits for patients suffering from long term health conditions, such as diabetes, mental health problems, respiratory disease, hypertension and other chronic conditions.

By using new technology, coupled with new ways of delivering care, the intention is to keep patients with these conditions well, independent and avoiding crisis points which often result in hospital admission, intensive rehabilitation and a high level of social care support.

A range of home-based monitoring devices and smart phone apps will mean patients can be supported to understand their condition and how they can manage it at home. It will include monitoring falls risk, tracking locations for people with dementia as well as sensors in the home, for example, on televisions, kettles and fridges to monitor mobility, nutrition and general wellbeing.

Data received from these devices will then be collated and interpreted in an integrated intelligence centre to assess individual patient wellbeing and anticipate changing demands and patterns of care requirements in long term conditions both at patient and at a regional level, enabling a timely and effective response.

Initially the Perfect Patient Pathway will focus on people with three or more long term conditions, the vision of the programme is to create a model that will support holistic care for people, irrespective of age or condition, and that will be available across the country.

The ‘Perfect Patient Pathway’ Test Bed involves more than 30 partners including the region’s NHS, Social Care, Industry, Academic and Voluntary organisations.

Sir Andrew Cash, Chief Executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and member of the Working Together Vanguard said: “The Perfect Patient Pathway test bed is a fantastic way of bringing together the region’s health and social care providers with a number of technology and research organisations. By utilising this expertise we will be able to share data and plan, in partnership with patients, the best way to deliver care to people with long term conditions based on their needs using the latest technology to support this.”

Roz Davies, a patient who lives with Type 1 Diabetes added: “Many people in our region like me live with complex health conditions. We are all different but we all want to live as well and independently as possible. This is an opportunity to work together to unleash the potential of digital resources which could help us to feel more confident, informed, connected and in control of our health.”

Dr Des Breen, Medical Director for the Working Together Programme, a partnership of 7 NHS Trusts in South Yorkshire, Mid Yorkshire and North Derbyshire said: “This test bed has the potential to revolutionise the way healthcare is delivered. By reshaping the care pathways and with the aid of technology, patients will be empowered to take care of their own long term conditions. The care will be individual to their needs. It means that the treatment of their conditions can be delivered as close to the home as possible and for as long as appropriate. The new technology and care pathways will see a graded response in healthcare intervention depending on the health needs. This will start with the patient and family. This will deliver an appropriate level of care at the right time in the right place as early as possible”.

Will Cleary-Gray, Director of Commissioners Working Together – a collaborative of the eight clinical commissioning groups and NHS England across South and Mid Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire – said: “Developing excellent healthcare together – with patients, carers, staff and partners across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw – is at the centre of our work and this is an unprecedented opportunity to make significant improvements for everyone.”

Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive described the test beds as a key strand of the NHS Five Year Forward View, which will help realise the ambition of reforming the NHS so that it is fit to face the challenges of the 21st Century – particularly an ageing population and an increase in patients with long-term health conditions – while remaining financially sustainable.


The Perfect Patient Pathway test bed will:

  • Create an ‘ecosystem’ for innovations in technology to be tested before being embedded as routine care on a wide scale with patients across the Sheffield City region. The approach will ensure technology is at all times embedded in transformed care services.
  • Use technological innovations to promote and support whole-person care. The programme will combine technologies to provide a personalised package of support for each patient, which addresses their needs in the round.
  • Shift self-care from the margins to the mainstream. Through rolling out home-based monitoring devices and smartphone apps at scale, patients will be supported to understand their condition and how best to manage it at home. For the more vulnerable, discrete remote monitoring systems will support independent living – giving peace of mind to patients, families and professionals. This includes everything from monitoring falls risk through gait assessment, tracking location for people with dementia, and sensors on televisions (monitoring for sensory problems), kettles and fridges (mobility, nutrition) and even curtains (mobility, air quality).
  • Provide equally for people’s physical and mental health needs. The Test Bed partners will provide technology with a particular focus on care and self-care for people with mental health problems (including dementia), as well as using technology to support the mental well-being of patients with long term conditions.
  • Use data to drive real change and improve effectiveness. A ground-breaking Intelligence Centre will collate and analyse data and trends to enable health and social care organisations to anticipate changing demand and patterns in long term conditions at both individual patient level and across the region’s population.
  • Challenge health and care providers to think and work differently. Empowered self-care will fundamentally change the dynamics and power relationships between patients and health and care professionals, enabling joint decision making.

Who is involved?

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is the lead organisation, working with:

  • Working Together Vanguard
  • NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Sheffield Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Healthwatch Sheffield
  • Sheffield City Council
  • Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Working Together Vanguard
  • Commissioners Working Together
  • Primary Care Sheffield
  • Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
  • The University of Sheffield
  • Sheffield Hallam University (SHU)
  • Academic Health Science Network – Yorkshire and Humber
  • NIHR CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber
  • General Electric, IBM and Apple
  • Kinesis Health Technologies
  • St Bernard Location Service and TSSM
  • Insulcheck
  • Inhealthcare
  • WellKom International
  • Medtronic
  • Humetrix
  • Aseptika Ltd
  • Oviva
  • TEVA
  • Tinder Foundation
  • Big White Wall

Affiliated partner organisations include:

  • Centre for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology
  • National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine
  • Medilink
  • Medipex
  • NIHR Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Cooperative
  • NIHR MindTech Healthcare Technology Cooperative
  • Sheffield Cubed
  • South Yorkshire Housing Association
  • The Northern Health Science Alliance
  • Voluntary Action Sheffield
  • Yorkshire Ambulance Service

Media Contact

Julie Phelan, Communications. Tel: 07507888647or

Working Together Partnership becomes one of the new NHS Vanguards


Working Together Partnership becomes one of the new NHS Vanguards

The Working Together Partnership has been successful in its bid to become one of the new 13 Vanguard sites announced by Simon Stevens, CEO NHS England on Friday 25 September.

The new models being developed by 13 new hospital Vanguards represent the next stage of implementing the NHS Five Year Forward View.

Mike Pinkerton, Chairman of the Working Together Partnership and Chief Executive of Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

“The seven NHS Trusts across South Yorkshire, Mid Yorkshire and South Derbyshire have been working in partnership for the last 18 months to exploit opportunities whereby working together we can achieve clinical benefits for our patients and the best use of resources which otherwise would not be possible by working in isolation. Thanks to good clinical leadership and engagement we have had some early success in these areas. The announcement today that we are to be one of 13 new NHS Vanguards (Accountable clinical networks) allows us to explore these opportunities further and share our learning with others in the NHS.  We aim to strengthen each of our partner organisations through sharing collective expertise and knowledge so that safe, sustainable service models can be created and better care delivered to patients across the seven Trusts and multiple hospital sites.

Our collective aim, working with our Commissioners is to continue, to improve quality, safety and patient experience through the delivery of local services in the most appropriate care setting that are clinically and financially sustainable and improve health and well-being of the people being served in the most efficient and effective way.

NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens has said that a new approach to hospital partnerships will help sustain the viability of local hospitals, share clinical and management expertise across geographies, and drive efficiency beyond the walls of individual institutions. This is also the aim of the Working Partnership and I am pleased to say that whilst we are still at the beginning of our journey we are already seeing some success.”

For more information see “Millions of patients to benefit from radical new hospital collaboration drive – NHS England

You can find out more information about Acute care collaboration vanguards sites on the NHS England website

Accolade for ‘touch of a button technology’ benefiting 2.3 million patients


Newly introduced “touch of a button” technology, enabling vital patient test reports to be shared quickly and securely for the benefit of clinicians and over two million patients, have been short-listed for a top UK-wide healthcare award.

Clinician uses keyboard and new technology to enable faster turnaround of test results

The innovative Working Together Programme, which brings together the collective expertise of NHS Trusts in South Yorkshire, Mid Yorkshire and North Derbyshire including Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, are one of a handful of teams across the country in the running for a prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) Value Award in Healthcare.

By working in partnership, these NHS organisations were able to roll out new technology across 15 hospital sites in the area, allowing GPs and hospital sites to quickly access vital patient test results.

Getting access to test results, which aid detection and treatment of disease, is often time-consuming and involves other NHS sites checking patient history or undertaking duplicate tests.

However, thanks to the Working Together Programme, results of specialist diagnostic and investigative tests are now available to GPs and hospital sites across Barnsley, Chesterfield, Doncaster, Mid Yorkshire, Rotherham and Sheffield via the ICE™ OpenNet system, improving care and ensuring a complete diagnostic history is available without the need for repeat tests.

More than 532 healthcare organisations entered the 2015 HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards – with only 140 organisations short-listed. The Awards recognise improved value and efficiency in healthcare. The Working Together Programme has been short-listed in the Value and Improvement in Information Technology category.

Janette Watkins, Programme Director, The Working Together Programme, said: “The Working Together Programme aims to achieve transformation of clinical systems and processes for the benefit of 2.3 million patients, so we are delighted we have been short-listed for this prestigious national award. As well as reducing clinical risk and supporting improved care for patients, this initiative will also reduce the number of duplicate tests that take place each year, reducing the cost to the NHS.”

The Working Together Programme consists of the following NHS organisations: Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, The Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust, The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The winners of the Healthcare in Value Awards will be announced at an award ceremony in London on 22nd September.

Partnership on seven day services highlighted at national event


Representatives from the Working Together Programme attended the first national conference for seven day services early adopter sites in July. The ‘Delivering NHS Services, seven days a week’ conference was attended by over 300 delegates who shared their learning, insights, improvements and innovations.

The event involved a range of health and social care professionals as well as patient organisations who are engaged in driving forward and developing seven day services to improve the experience of patient care, safety and outcomes. Key themes presented in the Working Together poster presentation highlighted the need to develop safe, locally accessible and equitable services which aim to deliver consistent standards of care, improve outcomes and reduce costs through better use of our skilled workforce and facilities.

The support of the Working Together commissioner network, which has been established with representation from nine Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS England, was also underlined.

Key potential impacts of the seven acute trusts collaboratively redesigning out of hours care highlighted included:

  • Improving the quality of care delivered seven days a week, 24 hours a day
  • Managing the workload seven days a week, 24 hours a day within current and future workforce constraints
  • Avoiding increased costs and improve quality by reducing the levels of locum cover
  • Improving work patterns for consultants and addressing the decreasing level of middle grade doctor support

For copies of the presentations and posters go to:

Working Together delivers £400k savings on gloves


MORE than £400k has been saved by the seven Trusts involved in the Working Together Partnership by combining forces on the purchase of examination gloves and agreeing to standardise the product rather than having numerous different brands at differing prices.

NHS Framework Documant 2008The core principle of the project was that all the Trusts should use a standard product that was fit for purpose but that by using the buying power of the Working Together group savings were also achieved at the same time as standardising on a quality product. A pioneering e-auction that took NHS spend, as a region, to the commercial market was used for the first time in the NHS, by the seven Trusts’ Procurement leads and NHS Supply Chain.

The e-action created additional competition between suppliers to further reduce the price which resulted in a saving of more than 24% on the previous purchase prices.

The auction allowed glove suppliers to bid for the total gloves contract for the seven Trusts for the next 12 months. The business is worth more than £2m per year. The e-action created additional competition between suppliers to further reduce the price which resulted in a saving of more than 24% on the previous purchase prices. The Clinical Reference Group ensured the glove suppliers who were involved in the bidding had products which met the required quality standards.

“This was a ground-breaking procurement method for the NHS and is all credit to the procurement leads whose innovation and expertise has resulted in almost half a million pounds being saved by the NHS.”

Sir Andrew Cash, Chief Executive Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

The glove selected is a new generation with superior resistance to previous gloves on the market. It also far exceeds the minimum standard required as it has improved sensitivity through new production processes.

The savings will be retained by the individual Trusts for reinvestment in patient care.

Sir Andrew Cash, Chief Executive Lead for the Working Together Procurement project said:
“This was a ground-breaking procurement method for the NHS and is all credit to the procurement leads whose innovation and expertise has resulted in almost half a million pounds being saved by the NHS. The decision to have joint procurement for examination gloves was carefully considered by the Working Together Clinical Reference Group £400k savings on gloves and agreed with the seven Trusts Medical Directors.

A cross-Trust nursing workshop is also being held to look at other simple consumables which we could standardise and save money without any loss of quality or impact on patient care. These products could include dressings, bandages, needles and syringes.”

Medical directors and procurement leads are also looking at other potential consumable opportunities with high value spend such as haemostats on which we spend over £329k each year and disposable wipes which are worth over £1m.

Patients benefit from sharing of test results


VITAL patient reports and tests will be able to be shared quickly and securely across the seven NHS Trusts involved in the Working Together Partnership thanks to a unique information sharing solution.

As part of the agreement, ICE™ OpenNet is in the process of being rolled out following extensive testing and piloting across the seven Working Together Trusts. The system, which is already in use in several large NHS Trusts across the country, enables multiple organisations to share patient reports and test results securely.

At the touch of a button, I will be able to see all the laboratory (and sometimes radiology) tests and results for a patient across not only my Trust, but also the six other Trusts in Working Together, giving me a more complete diagnostic history to work with. As well as reducing clinical risk and supporting improved care for patients, this initiative will also reduce the number of duplicate tests that take place each year

Dr Mike Whiteside – Consultant Physician at Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Foundation Trust

Where GPs already have access to relevant tests and results for patients in their practice for their local Trust, then where available, they will also be able to access tests and results from the other six Trusts for their patients through the OpenNet system

Dr Mike Whiteside, a Consultant Physician at Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“The implementation of ICE OpenNet will make a huge difference to me as an emergency medicine consultant. When a patient presents in A&E or is transferred Patients benefit from sharing of test results through to the Medical Assessment Unit, we often have an incomplete medical history to work with and often run a battery of tests to be on the ‘safe side’ because we do not know about a patient’s previous treatment.”

“With OpenNet, at the touch of a button, I will be able to see all the laboratory (and sometimes radiology) tests and results for a patient across not only my Trust, but also the six other Trusts in Working Together, giving me a more complete diagnostic history to work with. As well as reducing clinical risk and supporting improved care for patients, this initiative will also reduce the number of duplicate tests that take place each year”