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March 23rd 2018

Gavin Boyle

So the theme for this week’s blog is most definitely cake!  My diet has gone out of the window this week because it seems everywhere I’ve gone I’ve been faced with a slice of the good stuff.  And just like Oscar Wilde I can resist everything except temptation! It all started when I went along to cut the ribbon on the new Derby Hospitals Charity hub in the main entrance.  Julie Chapman and her team who lead the charity do an amazing job helping to support our myriad of fund raisers right across the community and also to help those who wish to make a donation to the hospital as a gesture of appreciation.  Now clearly hospital services are paid for through the taxes we all pay – however the charity allows us to do those extra things which just wouldn’t be possible within the NHS funding we receive.  This makes a massive difference to our patients and staff.  The hub provides a focus where ‘would-be’ fund raisers can gain advice on how to set up their event and also to provide information to anyone who’s interested in the work of the charity and how we spend the generous gifts we receive.  Lambie our hospital mascot, was on good form and the cake in question was a cupcake featuring a picture of the enormous cuddly ruminant himself!   

And cake was again was very much to the fore when I attended the farewell celebration for Dr Nigel Sturrock, our Medical Director.  Not just cake but samosas too – a perfect lunchtime combination.  It was a real bitter sweet occasion because Nigel is a hugely popular member of the DTHFT family and has done a fantastic job over the last four years really strengthening our approach to quality improvement and governance in partnership with Cathy, our Chief Nurse.  We will be very sorry to see him go but extremely proud that he will be taking on a new role as the Regional Medical Director for NHS Improvement for the Midlands and East area.  There was a great turnout and everybody had come to show their appreciation for the work that Nigel has done with us.  Nigel’s integrity, hard work and humility will be missed by all.  Not to mention his natty waistcoats and his love of the Beatles.  The cake in question was another cupcake, this time topped with cream and a strawberry!  Nice.

Yet more cake on Friday morning – this time a Victoria sponge – the cornerstone of every nutritious breakfast!  Baked by Tosca Fairchild the Director of Governance from Burton.  Early every Friday morning the Executive Team’s from both Burton and Derby meet to take stock of our merger plans.  This is effectively the project team meeting where we review all aspects of the partnership and make sure that it’s on track.  We had some great news last week when our merger proposal was approved by the Competition and Markets Authority.  The next step in the process is for NHSI is to give their approval for the merger.  NHSI met last Friday to consider the proposal however they’ve asked to do further work with us particularly in relation to the financial case underpinning the plan.  They emphasised their strong support for the proposal and particularly the benefits for patients which they supported unequivocally in their own submission to the CMA.  This means that the merger can’t take place on the 1st April as we’d planned, to allow for this further work to be done.  The aim is to do this work so the new organisation can be formed on either 1st June or 1st July.  I know that many colleagues have been keenly anticipating the merger and there’s been a sense of growing excitement so this will be a bit of a disappointment.  However just to reassure you we will continue with all the detail of our plans so that the clinical benefits that flow from the merger and will not be delayed as a result.  I met with our staff side representatives on Wednesday who are working very closely with us on the aspects of the plan that might affect our people and they thought that in some ways having a little bit more time might be helpful giving us more space to make sure that everyone as fully informed and engaged in the change process as possible.

Finally next week its Heather, my long suffering PA’s birthday and although she’s away for the happy day, she thought she would mark the occasion by bringing in a – you’ve guessed it – enormous cake.  So yet another slice today.  I’m certainly going to need to get back on the diet and peddle that Brompton a little bit faster! 

Thanks as ever to all of my colleagues across the hospital who continue to do an amazing job meeting with demands of our emergency patients.  Although this week feels a bit more like spring has sprung the hospital continues to be under considerable pressure.  This winter has felt particularly long and challenging and our admiration to all of my colleagues who’ve continued to keep our patients safe despite the demand.

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