[Skip to content]

Print this page

June 30th 2017

Gavin Boyle

One of the things we do from time to time is gather together all of the senior leaders from within the Trust for a bit of a catch-up and some networking. We usually include a bit of personal development too. This week we had a fabulous leadership community event which was a little bit different. We had invited Carolyn Cleveland to come and talk to us – Carolyn is a psychologist but also works with a range of organisations to assist them in their leadership development. 

Carolyn’s particular focus was on empathy – the ability to really understand and share the feelings of another person. This is central to our care values and the ethos we are trying to create within our hospitals. What emerged during the session though was both surprising and moving – Carolyn herself had experienced a personal challenge involving bereavement and the sad death of a child. She described her experiences and particularly in relation to a hospital within the NHS which, to be frank, could have done better in listening and really understanding the concerns of a grieving family. This was powerful example which illustrated how important it is for us to be able to see the world through our patients’ eyes and really try to understand how the way that we act affects them. It also made us think about empathy in relation to how we work together as colleagues and we recognised that actually understanding the challenges that we face together working in the hospital is equally as important.

The fact that taking care of your people is a prerequisite to being able to look after your patients also came through strongly when Laura Waters gave us an update on the Air Arts programme.  As blog readers will know I am a huge fan of Air Arts and Laura reminded us of some of the things that had been achieved over the last 10 years which have not only improved the experiences of our patients, but also the working lives of our people. 

We also took the opportunity at the leadership community event to update colleagues about our rapidly developing partnership with our neighbours at Burton Hospitals Foundation Trust.  As well as making sure that our people within our two organisations are kept up to date we’re also working hard to keep our local stakeholders well informed. It was a pleasure on Tuesday evening to meet with members of East Staffordshire Borough Council in the beautiful gothic town hall right in the centre of Burton. It was a good opportunity to share our plans but, more importantly, to listen to the concerns and questions of local councillors there. It was a very constructive discussion and I think our plans were well received. There were also some really helpful suggestions about how we could further improve our engagement of local people, making sure that the public both in Derbyshire and Staffordshire understand the aims of the partnership and the genuine benefits for patients.  

Partnership was also a big theme, but in a different way, this week when I met with colleagues from some of the higher education institutions who are so important to us in our role as a teaching hospital. So it was a pleasure on Wednesday morning to meet with Tony Avery, Dean and Head of School of Medicine, University of Nottingham Medical School, and John Artherton, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, and other colleagues from the University of Nottingham where we talked through how we can work even more closely together to improve the educational experience of our graduate entry doctors and nurses, and also how we can combine our efforts in relation to research and development.  

We took the opportunity to think about our partnership with Burton and how this might also provide opportunities to increase our capacity to receive and support medical students.  Then, later in the week as part of our work to support the Derbyshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) together with Health Education England, myself and Sheona MacLeod, Postgraduate Dean, met with STP colleagues and also representatives from the higher education institutions from Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield. This is an important part of the STP as we begin to work through how we can develop the workforce of the future to deliver truly joined up care.  

And finally, it’s the big day tomorrow with my charity bike ride getting under way. My aim is to ride from Whitehaven to Tynemouth on Saturday and Sunday. Stuart Benney and his merry band set off this morning and my plan is to try and catch them up by Saturday night in Rookhope. I have it on good authority that it is Stuart’s birthday on Saturday and there’s quite a good pub in Rookhope so hopefully I’ll make it – just a small matter of 92 miles to cover!  If you haven’t sponsored us yet here’s the link:


Have a great weekend


gavin boyle signature

Would you like to comment on my blog? If so, comment using the form below.