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February 16th 2018

Gavin Boyle

At last!  I’ve finally been allowed into the exclusive club that is the DTHFT senior managers’ on-call rota.  This is a group of individuals who provide senior support to the hospital ‘out of hours’ at night and over the weekends.  All manner of issues can crop up and it’s this group that help to problem solve and ensure that our clinical teams are fully supported to deliver their vital services.  I popped in last Sunday just to see how things were going and joined the lunchtime bed meeting where we take stock of how the hospital is running and particularly making sure that there’s sufficient bed capacity to accommodate emergency patients who need to be admitted.  One of the team on duty that day was Jenny Deakin who’s a general manager here at the Trust.  We had two patients who needed to be transferred to another centre within the region for super-specialist procedures the following day.  This required support of our ambulance colleagues.  This may seem relatively simple but at times when the system is under great pressure from emergencies it can be difficult to arrange transport for patients waiting for a planned procedure.  However, Jenny wasn’t taking ‘no’ for an answer and after multiple phone calls, she’d hatched a cunning plan to make sure that those patients got their transfer and received the care they needed the following day.  Later on, I was pondering about what stimulated such dogged determination and concluded that it was just an unshakeable commitment to make sure that those two patients were not let down.  I spoke quite a bit last week in my blog about our CARE values and it seemed to me that what was driving Jenny was the basic human value of compassion.  It was so encouraging to see our values in action in such a practical way.

So having pondered the motivations of us humans let’s talk about robots! I am of course referring to Eric and Ernie – not the lovable 1970s comedy duo – but our new pharmacy dispensing robots.  This is a major capital development for the Trust and ensures that our medicine stocks are well managed and dispensed efficiently.  Clive Newman, our Chief Pharmacist together with his team, has led this development and I was delighted to attend the celebration to mark its completion.  We gave Clive’s team a special Pride of Derby award recognising all of their hard work and the fact that in the midst of all the disruption they’d managed to maintain a good service for the hospital.  To be honest the robots look more like an enclosed automated store room rather that C3PO but nevertheless one of their main benefits is they release time for our expert pharmacy team to do something only human beings can do – working with our patients to help them understand their medications and providing expert advice to the clinical teams elsewhere in the hospital to make sure our patients get absolutely the right care.

It was a pleasure this week to meet some of our newest consultants - Dr Shaun Nakash - General Medicine, Dr Ravi Kothari Consultant in Radiology and Dr Luckni Sellahewa, a Consultant, Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Ravi and Luckni had both trained here at Derby and had chosen to come back to take up their first consultant post.  It’s always a delight to see former trainees coming home to become long term members of the DTHFT family.  Shaun is a little ‘longer in the tooth’ and as an experienced consultant we’re extremely fortunate to have his expertise here working particularly in our Medical Assessment Unit.  Interestingly Shaun also has some sessions each week at Burton and so helps to provide an important clinical link between the two teams.

On that note, I had a trip out on Tuesday morning when I went to Burton Fire Station – the glamour is endless – this time to meet with the East Staffordshire CCG patient board – this is a group of local people from Burton and my aim was to give them an update on our plans for merging with our neighbours there.  This is double act I regularly do with Helen Scott-South, the Chief Executive at Burton, and we were both really impressed with how positive local people are now about our plans to form a new organisation.  We’ve also kicked off the latest round of staff briefings this morning and it was a pleasure to meet with a group of colleagues here at RDH to talk about the plans and particularly to reassure them that for the vast majority of colleagues both here in Derby and at Burton very little will change from day 1.  It was also to say that one of our main aims through the merger is to provide greater opportunities for personal development for all our people and we’re absolutely committed to making the new organisation a fabulous place to work.

The week ended on a high note when John Rivers, our Chair, and Kevin, our Finance Director, and I paid a visit to Kath Mitchell, the Vice Chancellor of Derby University and some of her colleagues.  This is such an important partnership for the Trust and I think we work extremely well together as two major institutions in the city.  Kath is always so enthusiastic and it’s a delight to spend time with her and we explored some great ideas for improving both education and service delivery here in Derby. 

I’m out of the Trust for most of next week including a trip down to London to meet the Competition and Markets Authority – oh yes! – to talk about our merger plans.  So there mightn’t be a blog next week  but normal service will soon be resumed.

 Have a great weekend.


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