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March 3rd 2017

Gavin Boyle
Apologies for the lack of a blog last week. I had some sad news in that my dad passed away unexpectedly at the end of last week, and obviously I needed to go home to spend some time with my mum. I really appreciated how well the emergency services rallied around to take care of my family at such a difficult time. Of course, this is what a lot of you do every day, but experiencing this from the perspective of a family member really brings home the professionalism and compassion of colleagues who work on the frontline. I have always been inspired by my dad’s capacity for hard work, his patience and kindness – things that I’ve always aspired to bring to my own role, perhaps not always successfully!  I’d like to thank my colleagues for all of their support and best wishes over the last week.  It’s meant a lot. 
So, down to business. It’s often the case that partnerships are top of my list of priorities, and that’s particularly true in relation to our role as a teaching hospital. As you might expect we have developed good relationships with local universities through this role. We work closely with Derby University on training for our nurses and allied health professionals, but we also have strong relationships with the University of Nottingham, working in partnership to provide facilities for undergraduate doctors with a Graduate Entry Medical School and Nursing School.  At our Management Executive meeting this week our Medical Director Nigel told us that this year, for the first time, the examinations for all medical students at Nottingham University were held here at Derby. It was not only the first time the exams had been held here, but the first time they had been concentrated in one place. We were delighted that Nottingham University chose us to deliver this. Well done to Alison Skinner and her team for this magnificent achievement, which saw 334 students sit 5344 exams over a six-day period, with the support of 250 examiners. On the back of this we’re now bidding to provide the service for the next three years. Watch this space. 
Also at ME this week we had an update on the results from the latest National Staff Survey, which is carried out on behalf of the Care Quality Commission. Unfortunately, I can’t say anything about the results until Tuesday, but what I can say is that what you’ve told us through the survey is incredibly important.  We’ll consider your feedback extremely carefully and let you know about the positive actions which come from it. Surveys of this kind are essential to help us make our hospitals as good a place to work as possible.  So a bit more detail from me next week, but there will also be departmental briefings so you can see the results for your own area as well as how the Trust is doing overall. 
A lot of my time this week has been focused on working with my colleagues in Burton and here at Derby, looking at some of the detail in relation to our partnership. We’ve been taking stock of all the ideas and suggestions that have come out of the clinical workshops which have been taking place over the last couple of months and also looking at support services. We’re reaching an important milestone in the process, when something called the ‘Outline Business Case’ will be presented to both Trust Boards at the beginning of April. If the Boards like what they see, we will then move on to the next phase, which is to develop the Full Business Case later in the summer. We’re now ramping up our efforts to involve as many people as possible, so we’ve organised a number of briefing sessions for staff so they can find out more. Further details are available on Flo. We’ve also set up a staff forum, and its members will contribute directly to the work. Next week, Helen Scott-South, Chief Executive at Burton, and myself are starting our next round of external stakeholder briefings to make sure everybody is kept informed. As part of that, myself and John Rivers, our Chairman, are meeting with the local Derbyshire MPs this afternoon to bring them up to date on everything that’s going on. 
So far, I’ve been hugely impressed with the way teams from both Trusts have worked together to develop their ideas and meet our aim – to deliver better care for the people of South Derbyshire and East Staffordshire. 
Have a great weekend, 
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