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June 23rd 2017

Gavin Boyle

I’d like to begin this week by saying a big thank you to all of our colleagues in the Emergency Department, who’ve had a particularly challenging few days. The hot weather over the weekend and at the beginning of the week brought large numbers of people needing our care to the department. 

Blog readers will know that only a week or so ago we installed the new Lorenzo ED computer system, so staff were also having to grapple with an unfamiliar system whilst meeting increased demand.  It was hot work for them too!  As ever the ED team rallied to face the challenge and worked incredibly hard to deliver the best care in the circumstances. It was good to have colleagues from the IT team available round the clock to offer support.  I was really impressed with how other  departments within the hospital helped to manage this busy period and support the IT change – particularly our Medical Assessment Unit colleagues who are working harder than ever with ED to ensure that patients who need their services don’t remain in the Emergency Department any longer than necessary.  

It was a pleasure on Thursday night to spend the evening with some of our local GPs. Nigel Sturrock, our Medical Director, is keen to develop a much greater dialogue with our medical colleagues working out in the community.  By talking together we are able to see opportunities for where our services could be made to work much more smoothly for our patients. As they say ‘it’s good to talk’, and it was fantastic to hear our GP colleagues’ perspectives on how we could make our working relationship even better. They were very complimentary about improvements that have been made recently, particularly regarding information for patients on discharge. We also talked about some of the things we already do which GP colleagues really appreciate and would like to see more of. For example, making it easier for GPs to talk directly to hospital consultants for advice on the management of individual patients, which may result in an emergency attendance to the hospital avoided. No bad thing.  

I also met this week with some of our senior nursing colleagues. I was particularly keen to thank them for all that they’ve done over the past 12 months to reduce our reliance on temporary staffing. There will always be situations where you need to secure additional staffing at short notice, however, we think that by and large it’s better that patients are cared for by our own people. Our senior nurses have done a tremendous job this year focussing on recruiting new nurses to join our numbers, using our own nurses more flexibly and working hard to offer good development opportunities so that we keep the nurses we already have.  As well as improving the quality of care we are able to offer, this has also been a great contributor to the Trust meeting its financial obligations this year. As I have mentioned before the Trust has a financial deficit at the moment and as a result has less freedom to run our hospitals in the way that would best serve our local community. Restoring our financial independence is a key part of the journey that we’re on, and our senior nurses have demonstrated so well how it is possible to change the way we do things to improve quality of care, whilst at the same time helping us be more efficient and spend less.

And, finally, just one week to go before my Coast to Coast charity bike ride in support of Derby Hospitals Charity – here’s the link if you would like to sponsor me.  


There are about 10 of us taking part, under the leadership of Stuart Benney from our Clinical Audit Department. I’ve decided against the Brompton largely because I need to complete the trip in two days rather than the three because of commitments here next Friday. So I’ll need the big bike to cover the ground!  That makes it a bit of a challenge but not as much as two of my other colleagues who are attempting a similar ride this weekend; Neil Radford and Chris Whale are seeking to do it in a single day! Now that is quite a challenge!

Have a great weekend


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