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August 19th 2016

Gavin Boyle
We had a bit of a red letter day this week with the CQC re-inspection on Tuesday and Wednesday. As you know, I’ve been looking forward to their visit and wasn’t disappointed. More later . . . 

At the tail end of last week I visited the Renal service and I promised to let you know how I got on. The team had organised a fabulous visit and presentation, bringing me up to speed with all their work, some challenges and ambitions for the future.

The thing that really impressed me was that they were clearly working together as a team and it was good to meet different professional staff, technical, nursing, dietetics, medical and admin who all worked with the aim of providing such a good service for our community. 

As you know, an important piece of work that’s underway is our exploration with Burton Hospitals about how we could improve services for both our communities by working more closely together and I was really impressed by the Renal team’s ideas about how they might do just that. 

One of their real success stories is that about 40% of all patients on dialysis are able to have that treatment in their own home, through one means or another. This is the highest rate of home dialysis in the country, and part of their thinking was how they might provide this benefit to Burton patients as part of our partnership. All in all, a truly interesting visit and if you haven’t seen their water treatment works, it’s a wonder to behold!

Talking about care outside hospital it was a pleasure to catch up with Caroline Penn who is Macmillan Cancer strategy lead and our lead chemotherapy nurse. She has been closely involved in another of our partnerships – the Sustainability and Transformation plan (STP) which is all about how all the organisations in Derbyshire can work better together to serve local people. Caroline is working with clinical colleagues to think about how we can contribute to that plan in a way which helps our cancer patients and has some really great ideas about how services could be offered in a different way with fewer visits to hospital and about how chemotherapy could be provided closer to where people live or in own homes. This is still in the early stages, but it’s a great example of how our services can reach out beyond the hospital walls and add value in the wider community.

Also this week it was a pleasure to catch up with Cate Edwynn, Director of Public Health, and it’s a sign of our growing partnerships that Cate had been thinking about how her team in Public Health might be able to reach into our Trust and work alongside us to help us with our challenges. As you can imagine, they are very interested in the health and wellbeing of our wider community and Cate had interesting ideas about how they could help us develop the health and wellbeing of our staff, who are, of course, part of the community. She acknowledged that health and wellbeing is an area in which our Trust is well ahead of the pack and she was keen to see us go even further. We also talked about how we might use the opportunity of all the contacts we have with our patients for basic health promotion messages. Clearly, if we can play a part of fostering more healthy lifestyles in the community it will help us reduce the ever increasing demand for our services.

Thanks to the Tissue Viability team too this week who invited me to meet their team and the work they do to keep patients comfortable and safe.

So, back to where I began – the CQC inspectors arrived on Tuesday and were with us until mid-afternoon on Wednesday when a number of us had the opportunity to listen to their immediate feedback. It was quite an intensive process and they now need to gather the information and cross-reference it with other data for their final report, which we will probably receive in a couple of months’ time. However, rather than waiting for that, they were able to give us some headlines so we can start to address any issues right away. That said, feedback was positive and I felt very proud to hear our regulator speak of the passion to improve care, which was evident from colleagues right across our hospitals.

There were some specific things they raised which we will need to improve, particularly in relation to how we replenish stocks of clinical consumables on our wards and our checking processes for these, and we’re already on to this. 

Positives included improvements they’ve seen with End of Life Care – particularly pleasing for me, as this was an area they’d identified for improvement in their last visit. They were particularly complimentary about the work of the Palliative Care team and about the success of our Dying Matters week. 

Another related issue was how we manage DNACPR and I know this is a topic every area has worked really hard on to improve, particularly making sure we are having the right conversations with family and patients and it was good to hear this progress acknowledged. 

The inspectors mentioned innovations in other areas, for example the use of oxygen saturation bands for respiratory patients which they haven’t seen elsewhere and were “blown away” by. I was doubly pleased when they singled out London Road Community Hospital for particular praise, for the friendliness of our people and volunteers and for the welcoming atmosphere and environment. 

I know how anxious everyone can feel about inspections and how much effort staff go to to provide and prepare supporting evidence and so would like to thank everyone for work they have done and all that you continue to do to help us on our journey from good to outstanding.  

So finally, I have another visit to end the week. I’m off to see the Endoscopy team – one of our flagship teams – where Dr Andy Cole and Matron Lorraine Horobin will be showing me around. So I’ll let you know how that goes next week. Have a great weekend – the rain has started just in time for the weekend – typical!

Best wishes

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Gavin 

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