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April 7th 2017

Gavin Boyle
Let’s start this week with some really good news. Blog readers may remember a couple of weeks ago I revealed we were up for an award as part of the ITV People’s Projects. I was encouraging you all to vote for our project – Whiffle While you Workshop, which is a partnership between our own Air Arts programme and Whiffle Pig to provide arts-based rehab for some of our patients, particularly those recovering from brain injury. Well the results are in, and it was announced last night on ITV news. We won!! And we’ll receive a fantastic £50,000 prize. This money will help us to roll out this and other projects for patients within our hospitals, particularly our stroke patients, those living with dementia, and a wide range of other conditions. Well done to everybody who worked so hard to put the bid together and congratulations on this success! 
I had a busy start to the day on Wednesday when I was asked to go along and talk to two different groups of staff about our aims as a Trust. First up was our latest intake of junior medical colleagues – I’m always delighted when Dr Stephen Hearing, Consultant Gastroenterologist, invites me along to say a few words at the beginning of their induction. Later that morning I headed to a session run by the mid-band leadership programme. Although these were very different groups my message was quite similar, in that I took the opportunity to explain the WHY, HOW and WHAT behind the future direction of our Trust. 
There’s a great TED talk video by a chap called Simon Sinek, who explains the importance of starting with the ‘why’, that is to say the thing that really motivates us all to do what we do. This is a thing of the ‘heart’ rather than to the ‘head’. For me, the ‘why’ in our Trust is the compelling sense of wanting to do our very best for the community we serve. Not just to deliver a basic service, but actually to achieve something that’s genuinely special. So many colleagues I talk to across our hospitals really seem to share this ambition – see the start of this blog for an extremely good example. 
Moving onto the ‘how’ , which is about  the way we go about making all this happen, and it’s very much linked to our CARE values – those old-fashioned ideas about treating people kindly, with respect, courtesy; not just our patients, but our colleagues as well.
Finally the ‘what’ is something I talk about a lot and that’s our PRIDE ambitions – the specific plans to improve our hospitals over the next five years. We’re developing specific ‘enabling strategies’ for each element which set out the practical actions we’ll take to achieve each of our ambitions. The first one to come before our Board of Directors will be the Quality Strategy, which will be introduced by Chief Nurse Cathy Winfield and Medical Director Nigel Sturrock at our next meeting. This will describe how we’re going to systematically improve the care of our patients as part of the first element of PRIDE – Putting patients first. 

On that note, we held our monthly Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, and as usual we had a busy agenda. One of the biggest topics was a discussion about our partnership work with Burton Hospitals. We brought a draft of the Outline Business Case for consideration, which was also discussed at the Burton Board on Thursday. The plan is to bring a final Outline Business Case, recommended for approval to both Boards at the beginning of May. 
As you may know, we like to start our meetings with a patient story, and this month was no different. Cathy, our Chief Nurse, told us about a gentleman who needed our care in an emergency, but who was living in the country illegally. This is often a subject focused on in the media under the guise of ‘health tourism’, but this story really brought home the fact that it’s seldom that simple and there are real people at the heart of these issues. As well as having a genuine need for our services, this gentleman’s case highlighted some of the real world problems of potential exploitation, trafficking and indeed modern slavery. These may seem like dramatic terms to use, but it’s a fact that they are part of modern life and present considerable challenges to colleagues within our organisations as we try to do that which is humane. Being aware of the realities is something we all need to think about and, most importantly, not lose sight of the real people that these issues can affect. 
A while back I mentioned that we were taking part in a national pilot for a new role being created within the NHS called Nursing Associates. It was a real delight this week to meet our first group of 23 Nursing Associates, who have just started in the last week or so. They all looked very smart in their new uniforms, which are grey with green piping – keep your eye out for them, as they’re really blazing a trail nationally. The Nursing Associate will be a new registered profession supporting people who may have come from an HCA background into a formal role which will allow them greater freedom to practice and the chance to develop and apply new skills. This role could provide a further route into becoming a Registered Nurse aside from the traditional university route, which doesn’t suit everybody. Cathy and I will be catching up with them in a month or so to find out how they’re getting on, and to learn from their initial experiences. So I’ll let you know how they’re doing.
This is a another great example of how Derby is at the forefront of developing new ideas in the NHS, particularly as in this case, in terms of creating new roles to deliver even better care. 
Have a great weekend.

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