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May 27th 2016

Gavin Boyle
It’s been a bit of a week of committees this time round – sound a bit boring? So maybe get to that later . . . Monday got off to an unusual start with Andrea Shaw our champion for sustainable transport – she was keen to get a snap of me in my cycling gear with the trusty Brompton. Naturally, I was delighted to help, being a cycle nut myself and keen to support the sustainable transport cause.  Andrea walks to work which is just as good, and obviously this all helps keep a strain off the car parks. I am sure the photo will appear somewhere shortly but it’s a sad fact that we middle aged blokes don’t always look so good in our cycling stuff - so apologies if it disappoints!  


On that note I’ve recently signed up to Pedal in the Peaks on 10 July at Carsington Reservoir in aid of Derby Hospitals Charity and you can read more about the event here if you’re interested.

Then on to the first of my big committees for the week. We had the Management Executive meeting on Tuesday which is all of our senior leaders, both clinical and non-clinical and this time with a full agenda discussing our future capital programme – some of the choices we will need to make around how we invest in our facilities, equipment and IT over the next 5 years. As I have mentioned before capital is in short supply so we need to make sure we choose wisely and support those things which make the biggest contribution to delivering our PRIDE ambitions. 

We also had Audit Committee this week and this time of year it’s like an auditors’ Christmas, because we get to approve the Annual Report and Accounts, hearing from internal and external auditors who tell us whether they can give us a clean bill of health regarding the way we run the hospitals and I am pleased to say that they did! It sounds a bit dry but it’s a huge task to pull it all together and it’s part of our responsibility to be open and accountable to the public so it really matters. I would just like to thank Libby Keep, Lynne Walker and colleagues in Governance for the Quality Account, Kendre Chiles, Jen Leah and colleagues in Finance and Donna Cameron and Chris Jarvis in Corporate Affairs for all their help.  Well done all! 

Other things this week – we had a very lively Medical Staffing Committee meeting on Wednesday – ably chaired by Manjeet Riyat, one of our hardworking A&E consultants – the topic was our developing partnership with Burton hospitals. There were lots of questions and a really useful discussion. The headlines were that there’s lots of positive interest in developing more integrated services – but also a view that at the same time we mustn’t be distracted from delivering great services here in the meantime.

So - just finishing off my committee marathon for this week - we had the Quality Review Committee on Thursday which was a good opportunity to keep track of the progress we are making to improve patient care, particularly safety and patient experience, and that we are learning when things go wrong. We had our annual review of complaints which is a timely reminder that we don’t always get things right but the main thing is we learn to make things better.

And finally, this morning, Friday, we’ve got the Finance and Investment Committee – a great way to end the week! Actually, it’s a lot more interesting than you might think and this time we were taking stock of our ‘Month 1’ financial position – which is about on track, confirming our budgets for the year and taking stock of our contracts for 2016/17, as well as looking at any significant risks we might face and how they can be managed. 

But, despite all these committees, I did get a chance to go on another PLACE visit this week with the irrepressible force of nature that is Debbie Wild from Facilities, together with our lead governor Beverley Martin and colleagues from Healthwatch Derby City. I was particularly keen to look at access to the RDH for pedestrians and wheelchair users and it was fortunate that Rebecca, one of our Healthwatch colleagues, herself a wheelchair user, was there to give us a really useful insight. She picked up a number of things which we could improve to make visiting the hospital easier and no doubt Debbie will be on the case to make it happen!

Highly remiss of me but the able Roger McBroom (Head of Patient Access and Information) reminded me I had forgotten to mention my visit a couple of weeks ago to the Patient Administration and Medical Records teams. These are the unsung heroes who make sure that all our patients are in the right place at the right time to get the services they need. It was great to meet Sharon Babb and her team. Sharon is responsible for Outpatients, as well as Sally Maine and her colleagues who provide our excellent Medical Records service, albeit in quite difficult circumstances – not enough space for all those notes - roll on electronic patient records! Also good to meet Debbie Butler, the deputy head of Patient Access and Admin, who leaves us today to start a new life – but don’t shed a tear because she is off to run a pub with husband Mike who’s a chef – can’t be bad!

And really finally - congratulations to the Imaging and Orthopaedic teams who this week were highly commended in the HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards in the Clinical Support Services category for  a inventing a new system called ‘Coupled Diagnostic/Follow up scheduling’ – sounds complicated  – but it’s all about making life simpler and more convenient for patients. A good thing!

All this brings another week to a close – leaving me with lots to think about and the good news is that next week I have a couple of days off. So no blog but I’m looking forward to the chance to reflect and re-charge – it’s been a hectic 3 months but I’ve enjoyed it hugely. Thanks for the comments on the blog and the encouragement to keep going – will do, as long as people want to read it.

Take care

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Gavin

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