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Network Strategy

Northern Neonatal Network - Our Strategy and Vision

An initial "Strategy Document" had been drafted in July 2008 prior to the Northern Neonatal Network being formed as a Managed Clinical Network. This set out the priorities and direction of travel for the Network and how it would operate, including its operating Terms Of Reference (TOR). A review of this document was then undertaken at the end of the Network's first year and was subsequently ratified by the Network Board in April 2011. The TOR are periodically reviewed to take account of changing Board membership and revised / updated as required, but the latest version can be found here.

Following this review, a further piece of work was undertaken by the Network in 2012 to focus on the collective Network vision for the future of neonatal services across the North East of England and North Cumbria. This was led by Dr Steve Byrne (Network Clinical Lead at the time) and was drafted to take account of the current and anticipated changes across the NHS and associated services within Paediatrics and Obstetrics/Midwifery. This revised Network Strategy sets out the clinical consensus for how services need to be configured, with an emphasis on the future viability and sustainability of neonatal intensive care. It remains a work in progress, but was agreed and ratified by the Network Board in October 2012 and can be found here The Network is now working with its stakeholders and others to translate this broad Strategy into action to enable safe, sustainable and high quality neonatal care to be maintained throughout the North East of England and North Cumbria.

The Network has agreed a series of patient pathways that should be followed to ensure babies are cared for at the most appropriate Unit according to their needs. We attempt to audit these on an annual basis and feed back the results at Board level to highlight compliance and any potential outliers and areas for action. These are currently being reviewed and revised but the last set of agreed pathways can be found here

An Annual Workplan is drafted each year to highlight the main priority areas that the Network intends to focus on in the coming 12 months. It outlines the aims and objectives against these areas and provides a means to let the Network demonstrate it's worth and by agreed audit and other measures, performance managed against them. The Annual Work Plan for 2015-16 has been ratified by the Network Board and can be found here

 

Network Governance

The Network has agreed a Governance framework that has been agreed by the Network Board and seeks to demonstrate that the care given within the Network maximises the quality and minimises any potential harm to babies and their families in all 11 of our NICU/SCBUs. It is based on a template that was made available nationally to Operational Delivery Networks and been adapted to meet our own needs. It consists of a strategy documents that can be found here and also a more detailed "Toolkit" document that summarises our performance on key criterion via a self-assessment and evaluation process that is periodically revisited. This can be found here. We also maintain a "Risk Register" to outline key issues that are assessed and highlighted for any possible or potential action required. This can be found here.

 

Clinical Governance

The Network currently has a defined programme for discussing and reviewing issues relating to Clinical Governance - twice yearly on our quarterly Network Programme days we have a combined Case Review/Clinical Governance meeting where clinicians/nurses present recent "cases of interest" that is anonymised and then discussed in a peer review environment. This allows for dissemination of "lessons learned" across all our Units and where appropriate or necessary, further work to be undertaken, such as drafting new guidelines.

We also operate a "rapid response" system for Clinical Governance above and beyond local/Trust policies so that serious issues and/or untoward incidents can be communicated via the Network to enable an update to be sent to all Units, providing them with information so they can undertake internal reviews and thus minimise the risk of re-occurrence.

 

Northern Neonatal Network 2015

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