24th October 2019

A welter of activity to report gave an indication of the energy PiP had continued to harness. Progress on three projects in particular was reported: 1) The business case for the Paediatric Gastroenterology Managed Clinical Network; 2) Paediatric Service and Workforce planning,; and 3) a discussion paper on Paediatric General and Urological Surgery, following a day conference to consider the issues faced by all the stakeholders from tertiary and second care centres – paediatric and general surgeons, anaesthetists, paediatricians.

But there was also other significant news: a link-up to the West Mercia Guidelines group, the publication of the first collation of members’ clinical guidelines, and the launch of PiP’s website. Fewer Chief Executives attended, signalling that PiP no longer had to make the case for existence, but the report of an evaluation, commissioned by PiP’s Steering Group, signalled the next question – was PiP working effectively?

In presentations, the Partnership could claim progress and achievements across several front, setting the foundations for change. And it was starting to learn about some of the challenges too. The Conference heard the results of an evaluation of its work. The idea of the Partnership was thought to be sound, but those consulted “saw some difficulties in translating theory into practice, with time and financial constraints making the job very difficult….and agreed that PiP needs to select a few key issues and concentrate on those, in order to produce tangible results that demonstrate PiP’s effectiveness…gastroenterology project, children’s surgery, and workforce planning.” It looked to be important to secure involvement of the tertiary centres in Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester, to ensure community services were reflected in the work programme, to bring the range of professions in and to engage more with commissioning agencies. (Year 3 of the Partnership p7-8 carries a report of the evaluation, but two slides from a presentation capture the balance sheet).