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February 17th 2017

Gavin Boyle
I’m picking up this week’s blog where I left off last time, with the theme of looking after our people. We have to look after our people so they’re in the right place to look after our patients. On that note, it was a pleasure on Monday to be asked by Roger McBroom to give the opening address at a development day for admin and clerical colleagues. The critical contribution of this group can sometimes be wrongly underestimated, but their role in making sure our patients are in the right place at the right time and with the right clinical service is essential, and without their efforts it just wouldn’t happen. 
As ever, I took the opportunity to talk a bit about our CARE values and how these are reflected in our plans for the future, and it was marvellous to deliver the message to such a well-attended event. We had colleagues from London Road Community and the Royal Derby Hospitals, and even some colleagues from Burton Hospitals.  The event was also attended by Jill de Bene, Chief Executive of the Institute of Healthcare Managers, and health policy analyst Roy Lilley. Roy is undoubtedly a controversial commentator on everything to do with the NHS, but, oddly enough, his views often seem to express the things everybody else is thinking!
Sticking with the theme of looking after our people, I had a lovely message from Allie Klein, one of our A&E consultants, in response to my blog last week. She mentioned that ED staff had recently been celebrating the life of a colleague who sadly passed away last year with a memorial service, led by Marise Hargreaves from our Chaplaincy service. Although it was a sad occasion it was clearly an opportunity to value the contribution he’d made. Allie also told me about a whole range of things they do in ED to support each other and have a bit of fun. From setting up a well-being board and organising development days for staff, to planning fun days out and hosting annual unsung hero awards. It’s lovely to see that even in one of the most pressured areas in our hospitals the staff are really working hard to look after each other and bring a bit of fun and humanity into their working life. 
As a Trust we’re very well supported by our local MPs, and they visit the hospitals regularly. We have a programme of briefings that myself and John, our Chairman, host to keep them up-to-date with the work we’re doing in our hospitals, as well as on our plans for the future. It was great this week to welcome Pauline Latham, MP for Mid-Derbyshire, to talk about some of the operational pressures the hospital has been facing this winter and how we’ve worked to maintain a good service in the face of it. We also talked about the Derbyshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan, which seeks to encourage all health and care organisations in the county to work in a more joined-up way, to help people to stay well and healthy and in their own homes. We spoke about our developing partnership with Burton and how by working much more closely we’re aiming to provide better and more sustainable clinical services for people in Derbyshire and Staffordshire. 
Neil Radford, our Divisional Director for Medicine and Cancer, took Pauline for a tour of our Urgent Care pathway, starting in ED, going through MAU and onto the specialist wards. It was a good opportunity to describe some of the pressures that colleagues in this area face on a daily basis as well as some of the great things our people are doing to improve this pathway and to make sure that, despite the workload, our patients continue to receive good care. 
Delivering healthcare to people often in an emergency or desperate circumstances, is without doubt a very serious business, but in spite of that I really like it when colleagues find ways of bringing a bit of warmth, humour and humanity in the way they work with our patients and with colleagues. Every morning I receive an email providing some statistics about the performance of the hospitals. It might sound dry, but it comes from a chap called Donald Craig, who always finishes the email with a cheery comment or philosophical remark, obviously intended to lift the spirits. I was heartened this week by one of his stories about a patch of daffodils in his local park which, in spite of being repeatedly bashed by footballs and feet, always return to standing proud. A positive metaphor indeed! It made me think that no matter what our jobs are, it’s always nice to put a little bit of ourselves into it. 
Our people are the heart and soul of our Trust, so let the ‘real’ you shine through. 

Have a great weekend


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