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Our Improvement Board

In line with the direction of travel towards partnership working across local systems, the previously separate oversight and improvement arrangements for Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups are now being combined into the NHS System Oversight Framework (SOF). 

Under this new framework, those Trusts and systems identified as experiencing the most significant and complex challenges in achieving financial sustainability and/or high quality care will receive mandatory intensive support, through the national Recovery Support Programme. 

Following assessment against the SOF criteria, UHMBT has been given access to mandatory national intensive support and placed in SOF segment 4 and the Recovery Support Programme. 

What this means is that the NHS regionally and nationally will work collaboratively with us and local partners across Morecambe Bay to better understand the root causes of the challenges we face, agree, and deliver a package of intensive support, and set and monitor progress against an improvement plan which would allow us to exit out of the programme in a sustainable way. 

The Trust is already receiving support through a regional System Improvement Board and Improvement Director as well as executive support to the Medical Director and Director of Nursing. The Recovery Support Programme will give us access to additional expertise and resources, to ensure sustainable improvements are made as quickly as possible.

We welcome the support we are receiving from NHS England and Improvement and other partners, and on behalf of the leadership team, we can assure you that we take the challenges ahead of us extremely seriously, including recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now time to continue our work with our partners to make any changes required at pace and ensure they are embedded so we can offer the highest quality of safe and effective care to patients for years to come.   

This decision is not a reflection of all those staff who have worked so tirelessly for patients this year, but an opportunity for us all to work together to build better and more sustainable services for those patients for the future.  

More information on the System Oversight Framework can be found on the NHSE/I website at

The colleagues that have joined us as part of this work are:

Caroline Griffiths, Improvement Director.jpgCaroline Griffiths started her career in the private sector for Unilever Research and Janssen Pharmaceutical (J&J) as sales and marketing manager for biotechnology and specialist hospital products. She led the strategic planning and marketing for new treatments in development including registration with regulatory authorities in North America and Europe. Caroline has also worked in healthcare practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers leading key Department of Health projects including performance improvement initiatives, the independent sector treatment centre programme and development of Foundation Trust programme and assessment process.

Caroline’s NHS career includes leading the development of the business case for the Newcastle acute services review which included a new Cancer Centre and Renal Institute. She has undertaken a number of senior operational and strategic planning roles across various sectors in healthcare including acute services, mental health, primary care and commissioning. Over the last seven years Caroline has held executive positions in Corporate Planning and Governance and has also led the acquisition of an acute Trust.

She has an MBA from Durham University and completed the NHS North West/Nuffield Executive Stretch programme

Damian Riley, Associate Medical DirectorDamian has worked in the NHS for almost 34 years. After nearly 20 years as a GP, he moved into medical management, and over the last 15 years, has held senior positions in a number of commissioning, regulatory, and provider organisations - including Medical Director for Leeds Primary Care Trust and Regional Medical Director for NHS England (North).

In 2015, he took up the post of Executive Medical Director for East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, and was part of the team moving the Trust from “Requires Improvement” to “Good with areas of Outstanding”.

Over the last two years, Damian has worked as Acting Chief Executive of East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, Chair of the Lancashire and South Cumbria Cancer Alliance, and Interim Executive Medical Director at Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. He has also been an Honorary Professor with the University of Central Lancashire.  

Damian has a thorough knowledge of the Integrated Care System of Lancashire and South Cumbria and is passionate about improving NHS services for the benefit of all patients.  

Jackie Bird, Interim Executive Nurse.jpegJackie has worked in the NHS for just under 40 years. Her career in nursing began as a registered mental health nurse and then as a registered general nurse. The majority of her clinical career was in Oncology at The Christie Hospital in Manchester working from staff nurse to acting Director of Nursing during her first time there. She then became the first Director of Nursing for the Greater Manchester and Cheshire Cancer Network.

Jackie spent five years at Salford Royal as Deputy Director of Nursing and Governance and was part of their patient safety journey and it was there that her passion for quality in patient safety, patient experience and clinical and research effectiveness began.

Jackie has been an Executive Director since 2007, including as Chief Nurse and Executive Director of Quality at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust where she led the organisation to be rated twice as an Outstanding organisation by the CQC in 2016 and 2018. More recently, Jackie has been the Regional Chief Nurse for NHSE/I where she provided executive and professional leadership for Nurses and Allied Health professionals and was the lead for the operational delivery of the regional governance and quality agenda.