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December 30th 2016

Gavin Boyle
To celebrate the New Year I couldn’t resist an Andy Stewart/Jools Holland ‘Hogmanay-style’ round-up of the year, so more of that in a minute.
Firstly, I would like to begin with a massive thank you to all my colleagues at Derby Teaching Hospitals, who have done such amazing things this year to improve our services and make sure our patients received great care. From those who have substantive roles, to our volunteers and our ISS colleagues, you all go the extra mile day in, day out to make sure we deliver the best for our patients. You’re all fantastic. 
So here’s my rundown of some of the highlights of 2016…
January - We had a turbulent start to the year when we saw the first of five strikes over four months. Our junior doctors worked hard to make sure that, whilst making their point, the impact on our patients was minimised and colleagues from across the hospital stepped up to the plate repeatedly to help out and ensure patients were safe and well cared for during the industrial action. 
February - A survey of NHS staff found that 81% of staff at Derby Teaching Hospitals would be happy to recommend their hospitals if a friend or relative needed treatment, putting us in the top 20% of trusts nationally.
March – Health Minister Lord Prior visited the Royal Derby Hospital to see new barcode technology pioneered by the Trust in action. The hospital was the first in the country to use barcodes, linked to a patient’s wristband, to accurately track medical equipment used in procedures. We are one of six Trusts awarded £2 million to further develop the work. 
We had our first ever ‘Breaking the Cycle’ event, which  saw us working with partners across the health and social care system to try to improve emergency care for our patients. It was a great opportunity to look at the way we work and what we could do to make it better. 
Leadership Development Advisor Sam Walker was named as Coach of the Year in the NHS Leadership Awards, and our Rheumatology Physiotherapy Team won a best practice award from the British Society of Rheumatology for work to empower patients to become their own personal trainers. 
And finally for March, I took up the mantle as Chief Executive – was it really only last March?!
April – Revolution was in the air, when the Outpatient Revolution was launched across our Trust. We surveyed thousands of people to gather their views on our services and how we could make them better, making it the biggest ever survey in our Trust.
We also received accreditation for our Breast service, and JAG accreditation for our Endoscopy service.
May  – Derby’s Gogglebox family and the Bishop of Derby were among local faces urging people to have their say on issues around death and dying during Dying Matters Awareness Week. It was part of a campaign launched by the Derbyshire End of Life Alliance to help people speak more openly on the topic.
Also in May we saw hundreds of NHS people gather for the annual celebration of the life of Florence Nightingale. The service, at Derby Cathedral, was preceded by a parade of nurses through the city centre. 
June – June was a month of celebration, as our volunteers found out they had received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services. They were given the award by Lord Lieutenant Willy Tucker at a special ceremony in the autumn.
Also in June, we were named in the top 10 ‘most improved’ Trusts in the national inpatient survey. 
July – The Trust went creative in the summer, as a brand new art exhibition made up of work produced by colleagues was unveiled on the walls of our hospitals. The ‘Inspire’ exhibition, put together by Air Arts, could be the first of many to include work from our talented staff. 
August – Two new MRI scanners were installed in our new purpose-built MRI Suite, increasing the number of scanners run by the Trust from three to five and allowing the Radiology department to cater for increasing demand. August also saw the arrival of the first of three new Linear Accelerators in our Radiotherapy department. The three machines, once they are installed, will make a huge difference to our patients' treatment.
September – We paid tribute to some of our marvellous colleagues at the annual Celebrating Success awards. A total of 95 teams and individuals were nominated for the awards, and more than 1,600 staff cast their votes to decide who should win.
The winners were:
  • The Emergency Department and Ward 101, for their project ‘Priorities of the Dying Patient’.
  • The Insulin Safety Team, for work to reduce insulin errors. 
  • The Equipment Library, for a scheme to stock vending machines with items needed for resuscitation trolleys. 
  • The Advanced Clinical Practice programme. 
  • The Mental Health Liaison Team, for integrating physical and mental health care through partnership working at the Royal Derby Hospital.
  • Lead Asthma Nurse Sonia Greenwood, who won employee of the year.
  • Centralised Outpatient Administration and Casenote Services, who won team of the year.
Also in September we celebrated the 20th anniversary of Derbyshire Children’s Hospital, which opened on its current site in September 1996. 
October – We launched our ‘Red2Green’ scheme. This is a pioneering initiative which aims to encourage us to better value our patients’ time. Patients should have as few ‘red’ days – those where nothing is done to progress their treatment – as possible.
Also in October our board and the board at Burton Hospitals approved a Strategic Outline Case which looked at the benefits of a closer relationship. Both boards recognise the advantages of working in partnership to provide sustainable services for our patients. Work is now ongoing to build on this.
On a similar partnership theme, October also saw us working with Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to agree a proposal to work together in providing Pathology services. This should go online next year. 
November – Derbyshire’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan, or STP, was published in November. The STP brings together health & social care partners to look at how we might do things differently over the coming years, delivering more health-care outside of hospital, closer to where people live.
Speaking of sustainability, we won two awards for our Travel Plan in November; a Green Apple Awards and a Public Service Sustainability Award. This month also saw the re-launch of our Environmental Champions scheme, in which we attempt to galvanise staff to become ambassadors for the environment, and encourage colleagues to act in an environmentally responsible way.
November was an important month for another reason, as the Board approved some challenging five-year ambitions developed using our PRIDE framework. These will help us move forward and build on the successes we have already had as a Trust. 
December  – This month saw us celebrating the long service of 45 colleagues from across the Trust, recognising 25, 35 and 40 years’ service in the NHS. There was 1,373 years’ experience in the room when everyone was there – and more than 25 years of them belonged to me. It was a lovely surprise to be presented with my own long service award in the company of so many loyal colleagues!
In other news, we received hundreds of generous donations of gifts and toys for our smallest patients, to make Christmas in hospital that little bit nicer; thank you to all those who donated so kindly. 
So there you have it, 2016 in a nutshell – it’s been quite a year!
Turning my mind now to the coming year, I thought you might be interested to hear about my New Year’s resolutions, which are: to do more to make sure we always put our patients first; to work harder to support all my colleagues in their efforts to do that; to help enable all our teams to deliver services in different ways to provide patients with the best service and make us more efficient too and lastly to build on or partnerships to deliver better care in more joined up ways. 
Finally, I’d just like to round off by saying thank you once again to everyone who kept our hospitals running over the holiday period – you’ve done a fantastic job. 
It’s a real privilege to serve alongside you all and I’m looking forward to working with you in the New Year, as we meet our challenges head on, and continue on our journey from being a great hospital to one that’s truly outstanding. 
Happy New Year,

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