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March 11th 2016

Gavin Boyle
I thought every week that I’d do a quick message letting you know the sorts of things I’ve been up to, so if you ever wanted to know what the Chief Exec actually does, this is your chance!

This is my first week here at Derby Teaching hospitals and I’ve been overwhelmed by the incredibly warm welcome that I’ve received from everyone I’ve met and all of the emails and indeed tweets offering support and encouragement. It’s been an exciting week at the Trust. I haven’t been to LRCH yet but it’s my first call on Monday morning where I have an open meeting for staff – who are all welcome, do come along and I will get a chance to get to know you and the site. After this I will be visiting wards and clinics at LRCH and am looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible.

This week we have been running ‘breaking the cycle’, which is all about how we improve care for our emergency patients. It’s not just about ED and the hospital but about the whole system, trying new ideas to manage emergency patients better. We know that timely emergency care makes a big difference to the recovery of our patients and the trick is to have sufficient capacity in the inpatient areas so that we maintain patient flow through the hospital.

Nobody wants to be in hospital a day longer than necessary and in fact being in hospital when you’re ready to go is not without risk, so actually making sure our patients are discharged in a timely way not only improves their experience but also reduces their risk, and it’s great to see all of our partners, and particularly adult social care and DCHS helping us to do just that. 

Also this week, we’ve been listening to our patients and carers and staff about how we can improve our outpatients services. Did you know that we see about 600,000 per year in our outpatients department and there’s a huge opportunity to make a difference to a large number of people who rely on our care, so watch this space and I’ll let you know what we learn and what we plan to do about it.

We've had a challenging 48 hours during the week, with industrial action from our junior medical staff. It saddens me that the national wrangling has come to this, but that said, on Wednesday morning I had the opportunity to meet some of our junior doctors at the front of Royal Derby Hospital and I was delighted by their good humour, their commitment and their genuine concern to do the best for our patients. So I hope that at a national level things are resolved soon so that we can all get back to doing what matters most which is looking after our community.

First thing on Monday I sent a message out to all staff – I know email isn’t a great way to communicate so I am getting out and about to talk to people face to face. I was really pleased that so many of you have responded so well to the four priorities I mentioned, the first of which was about quality which for me is the organising principle which underpins everything we do. I have to say that in all of my visits this week I have seen a profound commitment to care, and kindness everywhere I’ve gone, and this makes me feel like I’ve absolutely come to the right place. It was brought home to me on Thursday when I met a frail elderly lady on one of our trauma wards who was recovering from a hip fracture – she was quite emotional because it had been quite a shock – but she was determined to tell me about how good the care was she’d received, and particularly how kind the staff were. She told me ‘you couldn’t get any better’ and that about sums up my first week at Derby Teaching Hospitals.

So, more next week! Follow me on @gavindhft to keep track of what I’m up to and also my occasional ramblings.

All the best

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