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June 9th 2017

Gavin Boyle

For a bit of variety I’m going to start at the end of the week. For me, that meant a trip to London Road Community Hospital to meet with my colleagues there. I always enjoy my visits to LRCH. It has a very different feel to the Royal Derby – as one colleague put it this morning, ‘it’s community by name and community by nature’. 

I was there particularly to talk about our partnership with neighbours in Burton. Now the election is over, I’m able to tell you that the Boards of both Trusts this week approved the Outline Business Case to move to the next phase of planning for our partnership. This will involve producing the Full Business Case, which will probably be complete towards the end of the calendar year. Just to remind you, the partnership is all about how we can work together to better meet the needs of our communities, to sustain a vibrant district general hospital in Burton and to give us greater scope to secure and develop our specialist services here in Derby. It’s also about how we can make best use of our community hospitals here at London Road and at Lichfield and Tamworth. 

In making our decision the Boards have also asked us to look at one single option, which is for the two Trusts to come together through a merger. If you want to know more, we have lots of information available at www.burtonderbycollaboration.co.uk. I’m really excited about this work. For me, the NHS is at its best when all of its parts work together, so working with other NHS organisations to deliver better care feels absolutely right to me. I’ve been really impressed at how well colleagues from both Burton and Derby have come together to support the planning work so far, and I’m looking forward to this next phase. 

Talking about London Road and our Board meeting, we also this week approved a business case to relocate our rehabilitation services there. LRCH is a really important part of our Trust, and we’re increasingly working to develop it as a community hub for delivering ‘place-based care’ in the city of Derby. Incidentally, this plan will also release some space near to our Emergency Department, so we can begin to plan how we might improve the ‘front door’ of the hospital to better care for our emergency patients. 

With that in mind, I had an excellent session on Thursday evening with leaders from most of our clinical services to talk about how we could improve our care for emergency patients. People who come to us at a time of crisis are often at their most vulnerable and it’s when they need our help the most. Making sure that this part of our service works as well as it can is really important. Managing emergency patients isn’t just about the amazing things that happen in the Emergency Department, it really is a team effort involving all our services from acute medicine, to surgery, to trauma and imaging and diagnostic services too. The purpose was to talk about how we could make all these services work even better together to give our patients the best possible care. 

So back to the beginning of the week and as I often do, I started with welcoming our new colleagues at the Trust induction. It was a particularly good turnout this week, and it was lovely to see quite a number of volunteers among the group. I also caught up with Roman Lewandowski, a hospital director from Poland, who was one of the Hope Exchange visitors we’ve got at the moment, along with Tuija Ikonen, a physician from Finland, and Fariza Habibi, a hospital manager from Portugal. They’ve come to the end of their time with us, but I know they’ve really enjoyed the experience. They were kind enough to give me some feedback about their impressions of Derby Teaching Hospitals, so I’ll share a couple of comments with you. 

“After being here for over two weeks I am constantly surprised by the enormous involvement of all the people we met, not only with their day-to-day duties but most of all with the constant improvement of delivered care within the hospitals, as well as across the other parts of the healthcare system, to increase the well-being of the whole society.”

“All over the Trust we found a deep commitment to figure out ways to improve patient care and maintain high quality, while becoming more efficient during financial constraints. We wish to take PRIDE home – it’s all about the mind-set.”

Welcoming colleagues from other parts of the world, who are grappling with challenges that seem very familiar to us and listening to their stories is a real eye-opener, giving us a new perspective on things. 

Well done to Clare Sutherland and her band of Advanced Clinical Practitioners who hosted the country’s first 2 day conference for ACPs this week. Let it shine!

And congratulations to our ENT team who were given an impressive thumbs up as part of the national Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) clinical review programme.

And lastly, if you are thinking of going to the Derby Book Festival next week you might like to know that I’m chairing a question and answer session on Friday 16 June at the Quad. It’s a session with Prof Stephen Westaby, an eminent heart surgeon, about his book ‘Fragile Lives - a Heart Surgeon’s Stories of Life and Death’. You can read more about it here www.derbybookfestival.co.uk/whats-on/stephen-westaby-fragile-lives-a-heart-surgeons-stories-of-life-and-death/

Have a great weekend


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