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March 24th 2016

Gavin Boyle
The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. I have been determined to get out and about around the Trust as much as possible. One of the great things about being new is that it gives you a great excuse to escape from the office and spend lots of time with front line teams, learning about what matters to them, what their priorities are, and the things they are doing to improve the care  for our patients. I thought I would just give you a flavour of some of the people I’ve met and how the conversations I’ve been having are beginning to shape my understanding of Derby Teaching Hospitals. 

 One of the highlights of the last ten days was spending time at London Road Community Hospital. I held an open meeting and was able to talk to colleagues about the special services provided there, as well as give them a little bit of a flavour of the things that matter to me and how I approach my role. It was great to have the opportunity for a tour with Boz Smith and Val Charlton. Unfortunately we ran out of time and there was still more to see, so I will be back!

At the Royal site I have visited a real mixture of teams and departments, including Rheumatology Outpatients and Clinical Research, ably guided by Staff Governor and Research Nurse Alison Booth.  I’m really looking forward to the first Council of Governors meeting on 19 April. I’ve already met some of our Governors, but it will be great to get to know them better. 

I’ve also been to Paediatrics with Jo Watson. We spent time mostly in Outpatients, but, again, there was not enough time, so I will be back to visit the inpatient wards. I met the Facilities team and visited the Urology Multi-Disciplinary Team with Mr Simon Williams and his colleagues. I had a fantastic visit to Coronary Care with cardiologist Dr Damian Kelly. I was really impressed by the forward thinking team. It was good to hear from patients about how appreciated their skills were. I spent a bit of time in the Cath Lab watching some procedures. I never cease to be amazed by the skill and expertise of our clinicians. It was great to see them at work.

Another highlight was a trip around the Kings Treatment Centre and the ophthalmology department with consultant ophthalmologist MrMoneesh Patel.  I was hugely impressed by his  energy and enthusiasm - and the innovative approach of the whole team for finding ways to make our services better, safer and more efficient for our patients.  Moneesh is also one of our Lead Ambassadors, who are a group of colleagues from all sorts of backgrounds who work to develop leadership at all levels in the Trust. I will be meeting them all shortly to hear more about what they are up to. 

I attended the Medical Directors Forum with Nigel, our Medical Director, and the Joint Partnership Forum with our Staff Reps. It was also a pleasure to meet up with the nursing and midwifery leaders with Jim Murray and Cathy Winfield. While I was there they, they brought along a couple of the awards they had received recently. One was the Friends and Family Test Award and another was for an initiative to set up vending machines where staff can access replacement stock for cardiac arrest trolleys. These national awards are a real testament to the creative thinking and ingenuity of our teams.

Sorry that sounded like a big list, but I wanted to share with you some of the places I’ve been and the people I’ve met, and thank them all for giving me their time. Someone asked me today how I had felt about my first couple of weeks. It's a curious thing, but strangely enough  I feel at home already. I think it's a reflection of the warm welcome I’ve received. 

One of the other significant events of the last ten days or so has been the announcement that our Chairman John Rivers has become the Chairman of Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Helen Scott-South, our former Chief Operating Officer, is now the Chief Executive of that Trust. This is a sign of a commitment within both organisations to work much more closely together. Our priority over the next six months will be to explore how we might develop a more integrated clinical model, building on the strengths of both trusts to improve the care of patients and the sustainability of services in both southern Derbyshire and Staffordshire. This is an important piece of work and it will take time to do it right, and to involve as many of our clinical and other colleagues from both Trusts, stakeholders and service users so we can make the most of this opportunity. 

We also completed the Breaking the Cycle event – the first of its kind in our Trust. Although the hospital continued to be under considerable pressure, with record numbers of patients, I was hugely impressed by the energy and enthusiasm that our staff and our partners contributed to making it a success. There was a lot of learning from the week and lots of ideas that we can now take forward to improve the management of emergency patients and streamline care in our hospital. I would like to take this opportunity to thank every one of our colleagues who continue to work so hard to keep our patients safe and well cared for, despite the continuing pressure.

So at the end of my third week my reflection is that the more I get to know Derby Teaching Hospitals, the more I am convinced that I have come to the right place, and the more excited I become about opportunities for the future.

Have a great Easter weekend. I hope that you are able to spend some time with your families and relax. But please spare a thought for all our colleagues who will be holding the fort over the weekend and keeping our patients safe and looked after. A big thank you to them!

All the best,

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