The Trust forms an integral part of the health service across the North East and works closely with many NHS partners to ensure services for patients are joined-up and as effective as possible. Our local partners include 8 acute hospital trusts, 2 mental health trusts, 12 local unitary authorities, police and fire services and voluntary agencies.
The majority of our services are commissioned by 10 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across the region, in conjunction with the North of England Commissioning Support unit (NECs). CCGs are clinically led statutory NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of healthcare services for their local area.
We also work closely with NHS England, whose main role is to set the priorities and direction of the NHS and to improve health and care outcomes for people in England.
We work very closely with Health Education North East in the development of new training programmes, including for our Advanced Practitioners, enabling us to offer enhanced care for our patients.
The Trust has long established relationships with local authorities’ overview and scrutiny committees in the North East and meets with them regularly. Overview and scrutiny committees are dedicated to scrutinising local NHS policy, planning, and impact against local needs and inequalities. Each health overview and scrutiny committee devises a work programme which may call for reports on any aspect of local NHS activity so that it can hold both commissioners and providers to account.
We also work closely with local health and well-being boards, which are forums for local commissioners across the NHS, social care, public health and other services to meet together with local authorities to set priorities and make strategic decisions about health provision.
We have good relationships with our regional universities, including undertaking joint research and development. We work very closely with Teesside University which offer two paramedic courses in the region. We are also delighted to be partnering with Sunderland University to launch a new two year Diploma of Higher Education in Paramedic Practice in 2016.
We have piloted a successful co-responding approach with our regional fire and rescue service colleagues. This has provided improved timely responsiveness to our patients, and enhanced our ability to jointly provide care.
The Trust, Northumbria Police, Cleveland Police and Durham Constabulary hold regular meetings at a strategic, tactical and operational level working on various initiatives. This includes delivery of the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP) which is focused on ensuring that the police, fire and rescue and ambulance services are able to work together effectively when responding to major multi-agency incidents.
We work in partnership with local organisations to promote health and well-being within the region. In 2015, for example, we worked closely with Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, to educate the public on the effects of alcohol on our service. This highlighted the impact on our ability to respond to other patients, as well as the high instances of verbal and physical abuse encountered by our staff. The campaign received significant national and local media coverage and formed an important part of our public education agenda. We have also worked with local media to highlight both the medical dangers of using legal highs and the impact that they have had on our service over the last year.