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September 30th 2016

Gavin Boyle
This week I’ve been thinking about all of the fabulous people who work here at Derby Teaching Hospitals, largely as a result of our Celebrating Success awards – more on that in a minute.  
I spoke last week about the importance of openness and transparency as a way to help us improve patient safety. To continue in that vein, I think it’s really important that we’re also open with the communities we serve; we must be prepared to be held to account for the things we do.  Holding us to account is one of the important roles played by our governors, and in my experience so far they never hold back on exercising that responsibility!
As part of our public accountability this week we had our Annual Members Meeting.  This is a public event where our Trust is required to report on its activities over the last 12 months, in this case 2015/16. It was well attended, with around 80 people who were mostly members of the Foundation Trust, and who represented a wide cross-section of the communities we serve. We described some of the successes of the past year, but also some of the challenges, particularly in relation to meeting the rising demand. I think people were surprised to learn about the growth in demand for our A&E services, as we saw around 10,000 more patients in 2015-16 than in the previous year, and also experienced our busiest ever day with 470 patients; that’s equivalent to a new patient every 3-4 minutes!  We talked about some of the ways that we’re working with other parts of the health and social care community to keep people fit and well and in their own homes, so they can avoid the need to use our services.  We also talked about our financial challenges, and how improving the quality of services often also makes us more efficient and helps us to reduce our costs. 
One great example of this which we shared at the event was an initiative to improve the way we book appointments for patients requiring orthopaedic and imaging services. Patients in need of a scan are now able to book that appointment at the same time as booking a follow-up appointment where they will speak with a doctor about their results. This has improved the efficiency of this service, and has meant patients can book both their clinic and scan appointments at a convenient time. It has made a huge difference to patient experience and reduced the number of patients failing to attend appointments, which is great. 
We held the Annual Members Meeting at the Roundhouse, at the back of Derby Railway Station, and it was followed by our annual Celebrating Success awards. This is an opportunity to say thank you to some of our people for the terrific things they do for our patients day in, day out.  As you’ll know from reading about my wanderings around our hospitals, there are lots of great examples of people and teams doing fabulous things every day, consequently it feels slightly invidious to pick out individuals, but I have to say the nominations that evening were truly deserving of a little bit of extra praise. If you’d like to find out who won on the night, all the information is here: http://www.derbyhospitals.nhs.uk/about/latest-news/?entryid22=309946  
The awards work in a very democratic way. Teams put themselves forward and then staff around the Trust vote on who they think is the most deserving winner. For the Employee of the Year award, the nominations are taken from all staff who have been put forward for Pride of Derby awards throughout the year. I like this process, as it means that the winners on the night have been selected by their peers and colleagues. 
I’m constantly reminded that the key to delivering good care is looking after your people, and this event was just a small way that we can show our appreciation for everything our staff do. Developing our people was where I started this week when I met with Paula Crick, Dean of the College of Health and Social Care at Derby University, and Kath Mitchell, who is the new Vice-Chancellor. We have a close relationship with Derby Uni, which is really important in helping us develop our people and support graduates into roles in our hospitals. As one of Derbyshire’s largest employers we are proud to count hundreds of Derby University graduates among our workforce! 
Speaking of people of the future, it was lovely this week to meet Caitlin Richens, our new graduate management trainee. Clearly we train staff in all roles – both clinical and non-clinical – but Caitlin is the only person in this role, and she will be with us for about six months. It was a pleasure to meet someone at the beginning of their career who is so full of passion and enthusiasm for the NHS and her role within it. 
I feel duty bound to remind you of a fabulous opportunity available to all who work in our hospitals – some people may say it’s the only ‘perk’ of the job – yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s flu jab time! I’ve not had mine yet, but I’m planning to do so next week. If you’ve not had yours check out the clinics on Flo. You don’t need an appointment, just drop in – I might see you there!
All the best,
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Gavin 

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