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July 7th 2017

Gavin Boyle

If colleagues thought I looked a bit stiff on Monday morning at Trust Induction it might be because I was hot footing it back from our coast to coast cycle ride at the weekend. We rode from Whitehaven, in Cumbria, right across the lakes and the Pennines to Tynemouth, on the North Sea coast. Stuart Benney and his wife Karen did a fantastic job of organising everything and supporting us along the way.  It was delightful to spend a little bit of time with colleagues but in quite a different context, all while doing something that I love and raising a bit of money for the hospitals' charity too. Does it get any better? 

It was Public Board this week and as ever we began with a patient story.  This time it was describing the experiences of a patient with dementia and the difficulties that she faced in getting good care.  The story also illustrated the value of the dementia key worker. We now have them on many of our wards and one was able to transform this lady’s experience.  The story was told by Sue Abdulla, our lead nurse for dementia, and then also by Lisa Briscoe, who is one of our dementia key workers from ward 401.  I was really bowled over by Lisa’s enthusiasm and commitment to her role and impressed by the differences she and her colleagues were clearly making to this important group of patients. 

As ever, partnerships featured large on the Board’s agenda and we approved a new agreement, called the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, which set out the arrangements for our partnership working with the wider Derbyshire system. This is how we are going to make sure our services are joined up and deliver an integrated experience for the communities we serve. We also took stock of the next phase of planning that we need to do for our Burton partnership, following the approval of the Outline Business Case last month. There is a lot to do but there are many exciting opportunities emerging, particularly in terms of improved clinical services.  At the end of the day, our partnership aims to secure sustainable services in Burton and make better use of the community hospitals at Tamworth, Lichfield and here at Derby. But we also want to provide a bigger population base for us to grow and develop our specialist services.

With that in mind, it was a pleasure on Tuesday night to be back in the marvellous Town Hall in the centre of Burton – this time to contribute to the Healthwatch Annual Conference. Myself, together with Helen Scott-South, CEO at Burton, and our two Medical Directors, Magnus and Nigel, had the opportunity of setting out our plans for the partnership and listening to the views and concerns of members of the public.  Naturally, with any significant change, there are always worries but I think at the end of the evening those present were reassured of the commitment of both Trusts to make the partnership work for patients and the people of both Staffordshire and Derbyshire.  There is a lot to do but I think the work is really beginning to gather pace.  

Also this week, I was delighted that Derby Teaching Hospitals was up for no fewer than three awards at the national Patient Safety For All awards, hosted by the Health Service Journal.  We had nominations for Renal Services, our Emergency Department and the Scan for Safety work.  It’s a real testament to your commitment to improving safety that our work was recognised in this way and it is especially pleasing that the ED team were highly commended for their work in developing safety standards within the Department.  

As usual, following a Public Board, yesterday I held my Face to Face briefing with colleagues both at RDH and at London Road too.  As ever, I was pleased by how many colleagues took time to attend and take part.  I would particularly encourage leaders from across the Trust to take advantage of these sessions but most importantly to use the materials to brief your own colleagues.  Particularly at a time of change, it is more important than ever that all of our people are as well informed as possible.   

And finally, I have got my summer holiday over the next couple of weeks and am really looking forward to spending a bit of time with my family - I’m off on a bit of an adventure with my two sons, Henry, 17, and Finlay, 16, and I’m particularly looking forward to spending some time with them and recharging my batteries. On the blog front – normal service will be resumed when I get back!

Best wishes

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