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May 25th 2018

Gavin Boyle

So in this week’s blog we’ve got special visitors, lots about partnership and GDPR!

But before we get into all of that, I mentioned that last weekend was our biannual ‘pedal in the peaks’ ride.  This year it was 32 miles, starting at Carsington Water and then up hill and down dale and back to the start.  It can’t be possible, but there definitely seemed to be a lot more going uphill than going down. It was a glorious day and a great way to raise some money for the Derby Hospitals Charity.  Kudos goes to Batman and Robin who got round first -  AKA Chris Elkin who’s our E-learning Manager and his friend ‘the boy wonder’ – a long ride on a hot day in fancy dress is no mean feat!  Talking about super heroes, thanks must go to Julie Chapman and the Derby Hospitals Charity Team for organising such a great event – there were about 150 riders and everybody seemed to have a fantastic time.  Well done Julie and the team! 

Now you can’t have escaped the fact that today is the launch of the new General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll have been inundated with emails from just about every conceivable organisation begging you to keep in touch.  Now, we take Information Governance very seriously as a Trust and well done to Anne Woodhouse and her team for helping prepare us for these stricter rules.  I heard a good Information Governance joke the other day – not often you hear that!  Would you like to hear it?   Well I’ll tell you anyway.  

“I say, do you know a good GDPR advisor?”


“Great, can you let me have their email address?”  



We had some special visitors on Wednesday when a team of about 20 civil servants from the Department of Health and Social Care visited the Trust.  There’s a bit of an information exchange going on between us and the Department of Health, all facilitated by Mike Goodwin our Divisional Director for Integrated Care.  We paid a visit to them a few months back and they returned the favour this week.  I think it’s fantastic that policy makers within the Department are reaching out in this way to have a free ranging and frank discussion with front line colleagues about the reality of the challenges we’re facing and how national policy feels at the sharp end.  

Over the day they met lots of DTHFT colleagues - we had some great conversations on NHS structures, funding, governance arrangements, the current regulatory framework and the challenges that it brings, and much more.  I was also delighted that they wanted to meet with Alison Bell, our ‘Speak Out Safely’ (Freedom to Speak Up) Guardian – I’ve mentioned Alison many times in the blog but hers is a unique role helping to support colleagues who feel vulnerable, to raise concerns. All part of our commitment to being an open and transparent organisation.  Alison had arranged for Guardians from other Trusts in the Region to join the conversation and I know that DHSC colleagues found this discussion particularly interesting.

So, lots more work this week on our partnership with Burton colleagues as we move towards forming the new organisation hopefully this summer.  This week we submitted some further information to NHSI who are reviewing the proposed merger at their Provider Regulatory Committee meeting in June. All being well, both Boards will then consider the proposal and then the Council of Governors of both Trusts.  We’re aiming for 1 July to start the new organisation. I know that colleagues have felt a little on tenterhooks over the last couple of months but I’m hopeful that we’ll finally have some certainty within the next couple of weeks.  

Now, Burton Hospitals are an important partner for us but we also link with a whole range of other organisations both locally in Derbyshire and also across the region.  It was a pleasure this week to go over to meet my opposite number at Nottingham University Hospitals, Tracy Taylor, together with Arthur, our Medical Director, and his counterpart there, Dr. Keith Girling.  We had a wide ranging conversation, in essence about how we can build on the long history of partnership between our organisations and explore greater opportunities where we can work together, along with other major centres within the region to deliver high quality and sustainable specialist services. 

And sticking with the partnership theme - at our Finance and Investment Committee this week we had an update on our plans to integrate the Pathology Services here in Derby with our good colleagues at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.  By coming together as a single Pathology Service for Derbyshire we think we can deliver a better and more sustainable service not only for the hospitals but also for others who rely on our service such as Primary Care right across the county.  

Now for my regular cake-related feature – this week’s cake sale was brought to us by the Library and Dementia Team who are raising both funds and awareness for this important issue – Heather, my long suffering PA, treated me to a samosa and a fabulous cream and jam scone.  They were both delicious, so well done to the Library and Dementia Team.  To compensate I’ve forgone my usual salad. Such self-control. It’s a good job I’m on the Brompton today - hopefully I’ll be able to pedal it off before I get home!  

It’s another bank holiday weekend and so I hope everyone gets at least some chance to relax.  Thanks as ever to all who are working over the weekend keeping the show on the road and our patients safe.

Best wishes 

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