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January 20th 2017

Gavin Boyle
Always a great start to the week when I get along to do the opening slot on our induction programme. It’s a real pleasure to welcome new colleagues and this Monday was particularly lively, with over 40 student nurses choosing to start their careers with us. As usual we talked about our PRIDE ambitions and our new recruits had the chance to share their thoughts on how they might play a part in our journey. We also talked about our CARE values (Compassion, Attitude, Respect, Equality), which as you may already know, are about how we look after our patients with compassion and kindness and indeed how we treat each other as colleagues with courtesy and respect.
On Tuesday at Public Board it was great to see the Anaesthetics Business Unit (ICU, Ward 208 and Ward 202) being presented with their certificate for achieving Infection Control accreditation. This was swiftly followed by our Pride of Derby Awards, where there were lots of examples of our CARE values and colleagues going the extra mile to deliver great care.

Among the Pride of Derby awardees it was smashing to see colleagues from London Road Community Hospital (LRCH) being recognised. Kerry McMahon, Interim Sister on Ward 5 at LRCH was our Best Inspirational Leader, chosen for making a difference in supporting families as well as working to support another ward. The Ward 3 Kings Lodge and Neuro In-Reach Team were judged Best Team this time, together with Ward 314 from Royal Derby Hospital. These three teams were praised for coming together to provide holistic care to support a couple through an extremely difficult pregnancy and birth. 

It was also good to have one of our behind the scenes heroes, Andrea Johnson, an orthodontic technician, who was praised for promoting oral care and sharing learning.

One of the things I’m particularly passionate about is the work we do to improve our care for our patients with dementia. As part of this we’ve embraced John’s Campaign, allowing open visiting for carers, and a special flat, John’s Room, is now available so carers can stay overnight. Claire Duckett, one of our radiographers, won Best Frontline Member of Staff for taking an active role promoting dementia awareness in her department, with many colleagues becoming Dementia Friends as a result. She was praised as a positive role model who spends her own time looking after those who live with dementia, going out of her way to educate those around her about the challenges these patients face.

It was lovely to see how Claire was championing how we could provide better care, within her particular service. Dementia was also top of our agenda at our Public Board this week, when we started with a patient story highlighting some of the challenges facing us as we try to deliver better care for dementia sufferers. There’s lots of progress being made but still much to do. Melanie, a colleague working in the Trust, came in to tell us the story of her elder sister Pam who has sadly passed away. Pam was a patient with us around a year ago and was suffering from dementia. It was a very moving account and Melanie was brave to choose to share this with us.

Her story gave us lots of really powerful insights on how the world looks from the point of view of a person with dementia and the things we can all do to improve their experience. I’m delighted that Melanie has made a video which we are using as a training aid for leaders across the organisation to help with our campaign to improve care for this group of patients.
Melanie very kindly commented on the good work happening in the Trust now to improve this aspect of our service and the Board was left with a clear view that this is something that we want to support 100%.

Also at the Board we reflected on seasonal pressures and Board members were keen to pay tribute to all of our frontline clinical teams and support staff, who’ve worked so hard to keep our patients safe during this exceptionally busy period. Winter was also on the agenda when I met the Medical Staff Committee this week, chaired by Manjeet Riyatt, whose day job is being one of the Emergency Department consultants. He took the opportunity to thank his consultant colleagues in medical and surgical specialities for all they are doing to improve patient flow, which in turn helps to manage the pressures within the ED. This winter has certainly been extremely challenging and there has been a massive team effort, with so many examples of our colleagues going the extra mile.

Death; let’s face it – no one likes to talk about it - but it was on my mind this week when Avril Drummond, one of our non-executive directors and I were hosted on a visit to the mortuary by Dr Gerry van Schalkwyk, clinical director for Pathology. We met the head of mortuary Marie Smith. What really impressed me was that Marie and her team had thought of every aspect of their service and tried to organise it in a way which treats those who have died with absolute respect. I reflected that, in one way you could say that when we’ve died we’re at our most vulnerable and totally in other people’s hands. So I was very struck by how the mortuary staff had considered the vulnerability of the deceased and how they had such a profound sense of respect for them and their relatives – thinking about every part of their service to make it as positive as it can be in the circumstances. It may seem surprising but actually in this department I saw the CARE values shining through so strongly. So, well done Marie and the team.

Believe it or not I have a day off today – it’s my birthday – it’s a special one, I will leave it to you to guess which one! I’m not big on birthdays but I’m using the opportunity to take my wife Sharon away for the weekend.

I hope you have a great weekend too whether you’re here holding the fort or hopefully getting a bit of R and R.

Best wishes

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