Change is afoot at one of the most talked about mental health trusts in England as a new chief executive joins Tavistock and Portman Foundation Trust.
Dr Michael Holland is joining as its new CEO in mid-November, following the departure of long-serving boss Paul Jenkins later this month, HSJ revealed yesterday.
Currently medical director at larger London neighbour South London and Maudsley FT, Dr Holland is set to inherit a difficult in-tray. No stranger to public criticism, Tavistock has been dogged by significant local and national controversy over the past year.
During the summer, NHS England said it would be shutting down its controversial gender identity service following years of concern. Around the same time, HSJ reported that local leadership was questioning the trust’s future, and there were talks of a merger.
This year has also seen its culture and internal governance slammed by independent investigators, and staff working within the trust have reported rising instances of bullying and harassment. It will be an uphill battle for Dr Holland, alongside new chair John Lawlor, to rebuild the trust’s reputation both locally and nationally, while ensuring people using its services receive the quality of care they deserve.
(Another) last push
The first milestone in the health service’s plan to clear the mammoth elective care backlog was to treat those patients that had been waiting more than two years for treatment.
Under the blueprint, thrashed out between ministers and NHS England, this waiting list was to be cleared this summer, when NHSE duly announced it had been “virtually eliminated”.
Although 20,000 patients had been treated, this still left a rump of around 3,000 people still waiting. The remaining group consisted of nearly 1,600 patients offered faster treatment elsewhere who did not want to travel, 1,000 who required complex treatment and could not be treated, and 168 who were not treated by the deadline.
Now it has emerged that head office has issued a new deadline to treat the last 104-week waiters by the end of this month. NHSE was tight-lipped on whether it was on course to meet this aim, which it stressed was an ambition rather than a target because of the large number of patients effectively choosing to delay treatment.
Yet a letter from one of NHSE’s regional teams to an ICB emphasises the importance of the “national expectation of eliminating all” remaining cases by the end of the month.