Annual General Meeting 2020 – 7 October

AGM logoThis year, due to Covid-19 restrictions, our AGM was held online on Wednesday 7 October.

During the event we presented a review of the year, launched our Patient Engagement and Experience Strategy and highlighted the work of our Critical Care team, and our Palliative Care team described how they became Outstanding.

Sam Higginson, Chief Executive, opened the event by reflecting on the year gone by and looking ahead to 2021.

“It’s been a hugely busy and challenging year for the Trust dominated by our response to Covid-19 which has meant a lot of change for all of us,” said Sam.

“In October I completed a year at the Norfolk and Norwich and so I was delighted earlier this year when due to the fantastic improvements and hard work by our staff we exited Special Measures.

“We received the news about exiting Special Measures when we were in the middle of the first peak of the pandemic, during this tough period our staff really rose to the to the challenge. I am proud to have witnessed countless examples of people going above and beyond in their daily work looking after patients and providing compassionate care. Our amazing Critical Care team has won the public vote and will present today their achievements during this year.

“We’ll also showcase the work of the Palliative Care team, which is now rated as Outstanding for their work, and we’re launching our Patient Engagement and Experience Strategy, I hope you enjoy these fascinating presentations given by our staff.”

Watch Sam’s video below where he also highlights how we closely worked with our partners across the NHS and the Norwich Research Park.

David White, Chairman, paid tribute to staff for going above and beyond in their care for patients during these unprecedented times. He also thanked the local businesses and community groups who have constantly supported the hospital with donations and gifts that kept staff going during this tough period.

“During this year we made tremendous improvements on how the CQC view us and, thanks to the dedication and hard work of our staff, we managed to exit special measures,” he said.

But we are not complacent, we know the Trust ‘requires improvement’ and in our journey to ‘Outstanding’ we want to continue to constantly improve the quality of services we offer.”

In his message, which you can watch here, he also highlighted the importance of our strengthened partnership across the Norfolk and Waveney health and social care system.

Financial Review 2019/20

Roy Clarke, Chief Finance Officer, illustrated our 2019/20 financial position and the impact of the pandemic. These were the main points:

  • Total income: £671.7m (12% increase)
  • Net deficit: £54.8m (2018/2019:£60.6m)
  • Cash: £13.4 (80% increase)
  • Net assets: £64.8m (140.4% decrease).

“We have a long road ahead in our financial recovery trajectory and we are working hard to make sure our hospital is financially sustainable and that we offer true value for money,” said Roy.

“Our strong financial foundations will help us respond and deal with any future spikes of the pandemic.”

Read more and watch the video below.

Launching our Patient Engagement and Experience Strategy

The last two years were spent producing our strategy alongside patients, families and carers from our local community which was launched at the AGM – watch the video.

Prof Nancy Fontaine, Chief Nurse, said: “I always believed on the value of patients and families as experts, because they are the experts in their care. We know that in order to deliver an outstanding experience of care for patients we must make sure they are involved in co-producing a strategy to deliver our services.

“If anyone wants to be involved and help co-craft our services to deliver an outstanding future, please come forward and be part of our strategy.”

Sarah Higson, Patient Engagement and Experience Lead, said: “At the hearth of our strategy is to work with patients as partners in co-designing the way we operate. In the last few months we established our patients’ panel, which we hope to expand to 20 members soon.

“Alongside our Carers’ Forum, we’re developing a Children and Young People Forum and we’re constantly reaching out, via our social media, to those in the community whose voices are less heard, like LGBT+ and BAME groups.

“We want to ensure we’re proactively listening, acting and working in partnership to make improvements. During the peak of the pandemic we have also enhanced our PALS team, who delivered messages to patients from loved ones and families unable to visit.”

Rosemarie Moore, Chair of the Patients’ Panel, added: “Being part of the panel is an opportunity to give something back. Please do not feel you have to have a background in NHS to join us, we are welcoming everyone to ensure experience at the hospital is the best it can be.”

If you would like to join our patient panel or carers forum please email:

Highlighting the work of our Critical Care team

Our Critical Care team played a key role in the last few months as they treated an unprecedented number of patients with acute respiratory problems during the peak of the pandemic. They were chosen via public vote to present their achievements at this year’s AGM – watch the video below.

Akesh Dhrampal, Anaesthetic Consultant and Service Director for Critical Care, said: “In the last five years we have treated almost 10,000 patients, achieving an excellent mortality rate of less than 1%.

“Up to June this year we admitted 45 patients, average age was 64, with a mortality rate of 46% which is considered ‘good to excellent’.

“We all played our part during the first Covid-19 surge, our strategy was to quickly mobilise staff, equipment and other resources to look after as many patients as possible.

“We have also trained 1,700 colleagues to deliver basic critical care skills which will be fully accredited by UEA. Thanks to changes to our structure we can provide Medical Air and Ventilation to 300 patients and we’re also actively participating in Covid-19 research.”

The Palliative Care team: achieving Outstanding

Our Palliative Care Service supports more than 3,000 inpatients each year, in addition to running daily consultant-led clinics, a multi-disciplinary breathlessness service and clinical psychology service. In 2017 the service was expanded, offering care to both inpatients and outpatients, and these changes impressed the CQC inspectors, who rated the service “Outstanding” on their last visit’.

Julie Noble, Lead Nurse in Specialist Palliative Care, said: “We don’t support only those patients that are so sick that they could die, palliative care is for people who have conditions who cannot be cured, including cancer.

“We also see people who have other chronic conditions, such as hearth, kidney, lungs and neurological conditions, these patients and their families can be helped by our team often long before they become sick.

“Our team doesn’t just deal just with pain, but also looks after the patient’s worries and concerns, offering a listening ear and reassurance about aspect of their future medical care.”

Charity Champions Awards

During the AGM Norfolk & Norwich Hospitals Charity held its fifth Charity Champion Awards – watch the video to find out who are this year’s winners.

The event celebrated the amazing support of all the donors who have provided gifts, raised funds and given their time to our charity for the benefit of our amazing hospitals.

John-Paul Garside, Charity Director, said: “Every single person who donates and supports our charity makes such a huge difference to our patients and staff. Choosing winners is an impossible task as we are so grateful for every donation we receive – every one of our supporters means so much to us all here at the N&N.”


At the end of the video presentations we answered questions from members of the public and media – watch the Q&A here.