On behalf of the Trust Board and staff working at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, I am
delighted to introduce you to our Quality Account for the year 2021/22, which highlights our continued dedication to improving all aspects of quality for patients and staff.
The last 12 months have been difficult, however the importance that colleagues have placed on
ensuring we continue deliver safe, compassionate, effective care and improved patient experience has
been clear throughout. We cannot get away from the fact that Covid-19 has had a very significant
impact on the NHS here in Gateshead and across the country and we have seen how it has stretched
services and people to near breaking point. As a Board we have been continually impressed and
humbled by the strength and resilience of our brilliant staff and volunteers, their commitment,
creativity, and determination despite the challenges they have faced. I am so proud of how they have
responded and continue to keep themselves, our patients, and the community safe. It is a remarkable
achievement for this organisation that in a year of so much change and difficulty, our people have
continued to improve the services that we provide and have taken great strides forward. The contents
of this report should be considered against the background of the continuing pandemic; however, we
recognise there are still some areas where improvement is ongoing and will continue working to fully
During the year, because of Covid-19, many of our targets were halted. For example, the CQUINs we
traditionally need to achieve to receive funding have been paused temporarily and the Care Quality
Commission (CQC) continued its pause on inspections. However, within the Trust, we have not taken
the focus away from our own quality targets, even when we have not been required to report on them.
Now more than ever, the quality of the services that we provide to our local community is of paramount
importance to me and to the whole organisation.
As we look back on the past year and ahead to the future, we need to take stock of what we learned
during the pandemic, how this will influence what we do in the future, and how we can keep on track
with implementing all the things we have set out to achieve. We are currently developing our new
Trust Vision and Strategy and at its heart will be people – both our people within the Trust and the
people we serve.
Our Quality Account Priorities for 2022/23 include for the first time a section on our people where we
have identified areas where our staff have told us we need to enhance their experiences when working
within the Trust. Alongside this, we continue to include priorities that encompass patient experience,
patient safety and clinical effectiveness so that together we can support safe, high quality patient
focused care as we continue to develop services which provide for the communities we serve, both
now and in the future. To the best of my knowledge the information presented in this report is
accurate and represents a balanced view of the quality of services that the Trust provides. I sincerely
hope that you find it informative and that you enjoy reading about our quality achievements in what
has been an extraordinary year.