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March 9th 2018

Gavin Boyle

Well the ‘Beast from the East’ certainly had a sting in its tail because with the thaw came another surge of acutely unwell patients requiring an emergency admission to hospital.  It’s sometimes the case that that following a period of cold weather once we’ve dealt with the traumatic injuries associated with slips in the icy conditions a few days later we then see an increase in patients particularly suffering from strokes and respiratory illness.  So this week has been another extremely busy one at the hospital and as ever I’d like to thank everybody who’s worked so hard to care for our patients.  I suspect we’ll continue to see high levels of demand for some days to come. 

Despite the seemingly relentless pressures I was really heartened this week and although I’m generally of an optimistic frame of mind presenting the latest Pride of Derby Awards to some of our colleagues at the start of our Public Board meeting this week gave me a particular boost.  So the winners were:

  • Nicky Brett, Specialist Nurse in our Paediatric KITE team voted Best Frontline Member of Staff for going above and beyond to care for a poorly child at home and their family.
  • Catherine Mellor – Best Behind the Scenes member of staff for going the extra mile for a terminally ill patient.
  • Shirley Briggs from Learning and Education was voted Best Inspirational Leader for her work helping to support our newly qualified nurses.
  • The Best Team was our Stoma Care Team who were nominated by patients for providing really excellent care – one patient commented ‘they have given me my happiness back’ – now you can’t get much better than that!


Now occasionally we also present some special awards for outstanding achievement and this time round we had 3 such awards which really is unprecedented.  But each was incredibly well deserved.  Firstly we recognised Emma Osborne who is a theatre practitioner – Emma was nominated for helping to resuscitate a member of the public whilst off duty in a street in Long Eaton.  She performed CPR for 20 minutes until the ambulance crew arrived.

Danielle Lee and Judith Skidmore also theatre practitioners were out celebrating a colleague’s birthday and together with a police officer saved the life of a man with severe lacerations to his hand and arm.  Their quick actions and skills stopped the man from bleeding to death and as well as our Award they’ve also received commendations from the police for their bravery and quick thinking. 

Next was Donna Ciudiskis who was on her way back from holiday when at the end of her flight a neighbouring passenger was struggling for breath.  He became unresponsive and Donna stepped in to help deliver CPR along with a member of the cabin crew for 40 minutes until the plane was diverted to Gatwick for an emergency landing and the patients care taken over by paramedics.  Sadly the passenger didn’t make it but Donna’s bravery gave him a fighting chance of life. 

I talk a lot about our CARE values and I think these are fundamental to how we work as a Trust.  But if anyone was in doubt about what those values mean then I think these stories illustrate exactly how so many of our colleagues bring them to life every day.  One of the great things about the Trust is the amazing people who work here.

The CARE values were on the agenda when I met up with all of our newly qualified nurses on Monday morning at induction – please look out for them if you see them about give them a smile and make sure they’re ok. 

Now our CARE values are obviously an important part of how we want to behaviour towards our patients – being kind, compassionate and courteous but it’s also about how we look after each other as colleagues.  I was delighted this week to see the results of the latest national NHS staff survey.  This is conducted independently of the Trust and commissioned by the Care Quality Commission.  It was pleasing to see that a record number of staff had contributed their views to the survey with around 3,500 colleagues taking part.  I was also really pleased that we were amongst the top 20% of Trusts nationally for our overall level of staff engagement - this measures the extent to which colleagues feel enthusiastic about their jobs.  We were also in the top 20% for:

  • Staff agreeing that their role makes a difference to patients/service users
  • Staff believing that the organisation provides equal opportunities for career progression or promotion
  • Staff satisfaction with resourcing and support
  • Confidence in security and reporting unsafe clinical practice.


There was also an article in the Health Service Journal this week which ranked us among the top 5 NHS employers in the Midlands and East.  But we are not complacent and the survey also tells us a number of things that we could do better to further improve the working lives of our people. And over the next few weeks we’ll be working with a wide range of colleagues to look at what plans we can put in place to do just that.  You can see the full details of the survey on Flo and I’ll make sure everyone is kept up to speed as we develop our plans to make DTHFT at even better place to work.

Finally this week we also seemed to have had a run of national recognition for a whole range of things and I was particularly pleased to hear that:

  • Kirsten Goodall was awarded the Excellence in Midwifery Education, Learning and Research award at the Royal College of Midwives annual awards.
  • Our Patient Experience Team was named as Team of the Year at the Patient Experience Network National Awards – we were also runner up for our lovely Air Arts bluebell sculptures outside entrance 24.

We were also shortlisted for the Apprenticeship Employer of the Year at the Annual Apprenticeship Awards – these took place in London this week and we were the only NHS organisation to reach the national finals.  Well done to Faye Leatt and Barbara Day and the team – our apprentices are such an important part of the DTHFT family and it was great to be recognised this way.

The Practice Learning Support Unit has also been shortlisted for the Student Nursing Times Award for helping to improve the experience nursing students on placement with us.

So another busy week but also some really uplifting stories about our staff and lots of great examples of our CARE values in action.

Have a great weekend


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