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August 18th 2017

Gavin Boyle

One of the most important things that we do as a hospital is to look after patients suffering with cancer. With that in mind, I was delighted to hear that Radio Derby were on hand to witness one of our patients mark the end of her radiotherapy treatment in style by ringing the newly installed End of Treatment Bell in Radiotherapy – more about them later. Fast forward to this morning, and myself, John Rivers, our chair, members of the executive team and Dr Amjad Peracha, who is the cancer lead for Urological services, went along to the Southern Derbyshire CCG board to take them through all of the work that we’ve done to streamline our pathways for treating cancer patients. We also outlined how we’ve increased capacity and strengthened important parts of our services, including surgery and imaging, so as to treat this group of patients in a more timely way. It was good to hear from Dr Peracha about the work that is being done, particularly in Urology, and to talk to commissioners about how we can work better with primary care and how GP’s could help us to improve our patients’ access to this service. All in all, this was another great example of how clinical leaders are redesigning our services to improve care for patients and make them more efficient.

I spent quite a lot of my time working on our partnership with Burton hospitals, with Magnus Harrison, the Medical Director from Burton, and myself going along to meet Healthwatch Derbyshire on Monday to update them on our plans. Healthwatch is an independent health watchdog and acts as a crucial part in giving our local community the ability to hold us to account as an NHS provider. I’m excited about our plans to work together to improve our services but it’s also important that, as we go about this work, we are as open and transparent as possible. Spending time with representatives of our community explaining what I hope people will think is good news is so important. On that note, this week I’ve attended not one but two different councils of governors! Firstly, our own governors here in Derby met on Tuesday night and then I went along on Thursday to meet with the Burton governors too. Obviously, I know our Derby governors very well indeed but I have to say that I was very impressed by the passion of Burton’s governors to do the right thing for their hospital and was heartened by how much they care about the services provided in that part of Staffordshire. This degree of commitment and enthusiasm gives me great hope for the success of our partnership, which is all about how we’re going to improve health care for both of the communities we serve. 

The highlight of my week though came on Tuesday when I provided some assistance to John, our chair, in trying to choose his Celebrating Success team of the year. The annual awards give all members of staff the chance to select the projects that they think best symbolise each of our PRIDE ambitions and demonstrate our CARE values, with the chairman also then picking four deserving teams to win a sixth award. We started the day with the Medical Education Undergraduate Team, who bowled us over with their enthusiasm and their recent success in securing the clinical examinations contract for the University of Nottingham. In that spirit, I was even put to the test myself when I was tasked with performing my own examination on a mannequin, which was a lot more than I’d bargained for. I won’t tell you which part of the anatomy I was asked to examine! 

Our next stop saw me visit our second nominees on Ward 408, one of our Cardiology wards, where Senior Sister Marie Jackson told us all about how the multi-disciplinary team there deliver fabulous care for our coronary patients. As blog readers will know, I’m a big fan of partnerships, and so I was pleased to see that our Integrated Discharge Team was also among John’s nominations. What impresses me most about this team is that it involves not only Trust staff, but also colleagues from Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council, and Derbyshire Community Health Services all working together to ensure our patients get home safely with the support that they need – fantastic!   

Last but not least, our last stop took us back to where I started this blog, with our fabulous Radiotherapy team. Not only have they managed the herculean task of replacing our Linear accelerators this year, but they have also managed to introduce innovative new services and roles, which is hugely impressive. All in all, the whole day was a great opportunity to spend some time with colleagues that are going that extra mile for our patients. Obviously, I can’t tell you who the winner is just yet, so you’ll just have to wait until our Celebrating Success Awards night at Pride Park on 15 September. But needless to say, all of the shortlisted teams and in fact all of the nominations are winners as far as I’m concerned. Have a great weekend everyone!   

Best wishes

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