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June 24th 2016

Gavin Boyle
My theme for this week is partnerships. As you have probably worked out by now I’m a firm believer that it’s better to work as part of a system than try to plough your own furrow in isolation. Yes, you guessed it, there’s a European analogy coming up later on – but first to this week. 

Monday’s highlight was a meeting of the formal board which is overseeing our partnership with our neighbours at Burton Hospitals. This group, which comprises board members from both organisations, is driving the detail behind our ambition to work together more closely in the interests of our patients. The big topic of discussion was the programme of clinical workshops planned over the next couple of months, which will bring together clinical leaders from both hospitals to talk about the challenges facing their services, and how we can better meet them by working together.

Staying with my partnership theme, we had our Council of Governors meeting this week, which is always a lively affair. One of the things I was keen to share with them was the progress being made regarding the Sustainability Transformation Plan for Derbyshire. I’ve mentioned this before, but it is a five-year plan which describes how the partners in Derbyshire will work together to provide more joined-up services for our communities. This includes health, social care and other organisations and demonstrates a real commitment from these groups to work together more closely to deliver better care. It was really helpful to have the Governors’ perspective on this, and I have a feeling that because they themselves represent our community, they were really in tune with this ambition.

The meeting offered a good example of the power of democracy, as it was the first meeting following the recent Governor elections. I would like to welcome new public Governors Bob MacDonald and Eric Boston and staff Governors Rob Bradley and Andy March, and congratulate Shirley O’Sullivan and Alison Booth on their re-election. It was with mixed feelings that we said farewell to Grace Pearn and Vince Kenny, who decided to step down. I will particularly miss Vince, who always manages to get the prize for the most challenging question of the night at our meetings. I’m sure there will be another of our Governors stepping up to take his mantle.

At this meeting, I was able to share with the Governors a piece of work we are doing to create longer term ambitions for the Trust using our PRIDE framework. Our aim is to set ambitious but realistic goals and to be able to describe clearly and simply what it is we are trying to achieve as an organisation. We will be sharing our draft ambitions over the summer and there will be lots of opportunities for staff to comment on them before we pin them down in September. We will then develop specific ‘enabling strategies’ – these are plans which will set out specifically how we will achieve these ambitions over the next five years.

Our ambitions were a lively topic of discussion with the Medical Advisory Committee, which is chaired by Dr Manjeet Riyat, from our ED, and attended by clinical leaders from each of our directorates. They were extremely positive about having some challenging but clear aims, and could see the benefit of how this would help get everybody in the organisation working together to deliver them – and that includes me. This week I have had one eye on my appraisal, which takes place on Monday with the Chairman of the Trust. One of the things we will be discussing is my personal contribution to achieving the aims of the organisation over the next five years. I’m particularly keen to use our PRIDE framework as a base for this. I’m quite looking forward to my appraisal, and I’ll let you know next week how I get on. Remember, everyone who works at the Trust is entitled to an appraisal, so if you’ve not got yours booked have a word with your line manager – because you’re worth it!

Europe has been on my mind this week, as I’m sure it has for everybody – and I’m not talking about the football! I think perhaps along with many others I find myself surprised by this morning’s news. You can probably tell from some of the things above that my natural disposition is a belief that working together is better than working alone, so I can’t help but feel more than a little disappointed by the result. I think it’s really hard to say what this means for the NHS, but what we can be sure of is that we will continue to keep our patients at the heart of everything we do and remain absolutely focused on delivering the best possible patient care for the community we serve. 

 Have a great weekend 

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