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April 13th 2017

Gavin Boyle
One of the things I really enjoy about my job is meeting new people who have just joined the Trust.  It’s one of the reasons I’m always keen to get along to the general staff induction and to meet up with our new junior doctors as I did last week. For a similar reason, I also make a point of meeting new consultants who have recently joined us.  I usually leave it a couple of months to give them a chance to settle in and I’m always keen to hear their first impressions and make sure that we’re looking after them properly.  Over the last week or so I’ve met with four new consultants and have been incredibly impressed by each of them.  
Dr Phil Sanmuganathan is an experienced consultant who has joined us to help deliver our stroke service. We are particularly fortunate to attract someone with his experience in a field which is notoriously difficult to recruit into.  It’s doubly pleasing that Phil is also keen to maintain his interest in general acute medicine, so in addition to his stroke work he will also be working in MAU supporting our emergency medical service. Dr Rebecca Gallagher is a new consultant in Radiology, who has recently completed her training. Radiology is another tough to recruit to speciality and Rebecca has a particular interest in neuro-radiology and head and neck imaging.  Dr James Donaldson, who is also a newly-qualified consultant, has joined the respiratory team. He has an interest in non-invasive ventilation – quite a specialised area.  As well as getting to grips with his new role, he will also be taking the lead on this service for the Trust.  Both James and Rebecca worked in Derby as part of their training programme so it was good to hear they’d chosen to come back as consultants. Finally, I met with Mr Harinder Gakhar, a spinal consultant who’d also previously worked at the Trust when he came here as a surgical fellow to hone his skills in this specialist service. 
I was really heartened by the enthusiasm of all of my new colleagues and really impressed by them. It’s extremely encouraging to think that as a Trust we are able to attract such high calibre clinical leaders who will not only play an integral part in delivering our services, but also in helping to shape them so they can become even better in the future. 
I often talk in my blog about partnership working and particularly in my mind of late has been our growing relationship with Burton Hospitals.  But we also have other really important partners working within our local health and care system.  Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust (DCHS) delivers the local community services and runs most community hospitals in Derbyshire.  This is a really important relationship for us, which is fundamental to making sure we are able to achieve some of the aims of our STP (Sustainability and Transformation Plan).
We meet with DCHS twice a year in a formal partnership board to maintain an overview of the more practical detailed work we’re doing together on a daily basis, and we had one of those meetings this week. We focussed particularly on how we might make better use of the community hospitals for planned care, particularly for patients undergoing minor surgical procedures and endoscopy, as well as plans to streamline the discharge of patients from the hospital which is part of the STP.  A very positive discussion with some good work done to date - and lots more in the pipeline.
It's appraisal time for me and over the last week or so I’ve been beginning the process of sitting down with my Executive Team to catch up and take stock of the last year – to celebrate some of the successes, acknowledge the difficulties and agree how we can work together to better meet the challenges of the coming year.  I’ve got my own appraisal with the Chair in a couple of weeks’ time. As ever, I’d encourage all of you who’ve not had an appraisal in the last 12 months to have a word with your line manager. It’s an important opportunity for you to have a quality conversation about your role and how the Trust could support you to do it even better. Remember, it’s coz your worth it!
An important part of this Trust is our role as a provider of training and education.  This touches all parts of the hospital from our apprentices, nurses and AHPs-in-training through to our medical students and junior docs.  You might not know that we also play a key part in training the future GP workforce and have about 30 or so postgraduate medical trainees within the Trust at any one time.  I was pleased to meet up with some of our local GPs who act as directors for this training programme. They work very closely with our team here and Health Education England to ensure these doctors-in-training have a really good experience and are well equipped to meet the challenges that general practice brings.  Having a strong and vibrant primary care service out in the community is a really important part of the health system and we as a hospital couldn’t do our job properly without it.  I’m pleased we’re able to contribute in this way and extremely glad to hear that the Derby GP training programme is particularly popular.  I spoke with Dr Stuart Holloway, one of the programme directors, more generally about how we might develop the important relationship between local GPs and hospital clinicians. He had a range of ideas I’d certainly like to explore given how important this partnership is. 
Finally I’d like to take the opportunity to wish you all a happy Easter. I know I can rely on you to exercise restraint in the Easter egg department; as for me, I can resist everything except temptation and chocolate! I’d like to thank all of my colleagues who will be working over the holiday period helping to keep our patients safe and well-looked after. I hope everyone at least gets some time to take a break and hopefully enjoy the springtime weather.
Best wishes and happy Easter.

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