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May 4th 2018

Gavin Boyle

There’s never a dull moment here at Derby Teaching Hospitals and this week has really been jam-packed – quite literally so on the cake front but more on that later!  So, this week we had the Public Board Meeting, had lots going on with our Burton partnership, held face to face briefings and celebrated our midwives. Let’s start with that. Tomorrow, it is International Day of the Midwife, or #IDM2018 for twitter fans. So, on Thursday, I paid a visit to our Maternity Services to catch up with colleagues there and hear about some of the fabulous things they’re doing, particularly to improve the quality of care we give our mums and babies.  I started off in the Derby Birth Centre with midwives Rose and Kate.  The facilities are second to none and the ambience is very calming and provides a soothing place for our mums.  I was particularly impressed with the birthing rooms and the pools that are now such a popular source of comfort for our women.  Mike Goodwin, the Divisional Director for the Integrated Care Division, was my guide that morning, which was particularly apt since he and Mrs G have been a recent user of the services there.   One particular pool fills from taps in the ceiling in quite a spectacular fashion!

The aim of the birth centre is to provide a midwifery-led service, particularly for mums whose birth is considered to be low risk.  Rose and Kate talked about the important relationship with the Obstetric Medical team and how between them they make sure that this option is available for as many women as possible but in a way that’s safe for mum and baby.  I also paid a visit to Ward 314, our Antenatal and Postnatal ward, ably led by Marie Allsop, Senior Midwife.  I was extremely impressed by the service being offered there and the work Marie had done to support and develop her team.  I also bumped into Tim McAree, who’s the Community Matron and leads around 60 midwives who work out of the hospital providing services directly in the local communities we serve.  It was also lovely to meet Senior Midwives Suzanne and Rachel, who were running an International Day of the Midwife training session for colleagues.  I was particularly impressed though by the work being led by Jane Haslam, our Head of Midwifery, Gynae and GU Medicine, and Lorri Purcell, Risk Midwife, to improve the safety of mums and babies using the service.  We’re one of the first Trusts in the country to be part of a National Maternity Safety Collaborative sponsored by NHSI.  This has provided a great opportunity to apply service improvement techniques to reduce the risk for women and babies.  Lorri told me about a great example where - believe it or not - they’re using colour coded bobble hats to identify babies that might be at risk of developing complications.  The hats are red, amber and green and help provide an immediate visible signal to all staff who are caring for a particular baby to remind them to pay attention to specific risks that have been identified.  It also allows families to be more involved in managing the care of their precious new baby.  This is a small thing but has contributed to a significant reduction in the numbers of babies that are admitted to our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This is good news for families because it makes sure that mums and babies stay together but also it helps us to keep NICU cots available for those babies who really do need them.  Well done team!

We also had our Public Board meeting this week and as ever started with a fabulous patient story from Margot, who is also one of our Public Governors.  This time it was a very positive experience, which particularly highlighted the care and compassion she’d received as a patient on Ward 407.  We covered lots of ground and, while noting that the winter pressures had eased, it was still the case on a day last week we had our busiest ever day for A&E attendances, with over 500 people needing our care as an emergency.  We discussed our plans to prepare for next winter – yes already! – and our aim to create additional beds within the hospital to help meet the rising numbers of patients who need to be admitted.  We had some good news about our Cardiology Services, where some of the super-specialist implantable cardiac devices which are currently fitted in Leicester can now be done here locally in Derby.  This is all part of our plans to develop our specialist services here. And well done to our Anaesthetics Department, who received the Anaesthesia Clinical Services Accreditation (ACSA) – kite mark for quality.

The best bit of the Public Board is presenting the Pride of Derby Awards. This time the winners were:

•Cara Bagshaw – Best Frontline member of staff – Cara is one of our apprentices on Ward 315 who was nominated by the family, who said she “demonstrated compassion beyond what we would have expected in a fledgling role, she oozes natural care and ability”.

•Gemma Booth, from the Finance Department, won the Best Behind the Scenes award for supporting colleagues during the introduction of a new piece of software.  

•The Best Inspirational Leader award went to Fliss Parkinson from the FEAT Team for her support of colleagues during the Beast from the East snowstorms.  

•Ward 311 won the Best Team award for going the extra mile by providing exceptional patient experience for a patient, and his family, when he was at the end of his life.  

I mentioned last week that we had our second Patient Experience Week, which was a great success. I also told you about Pamela, a lady who came to tell her story of her experiences particularly of the enhanced discharge team. I’m delighted that Karen Taylor, part of that team who cared for Pamela, was named Patient Experience Champion of the Year.  Well done, Karen!  

So, just two memorable cakes this week – Dr Chris Whale kindly bought me a cupcake which was baked to raise awareness of our ImpACT Asthma Team (raising money for world asthma day) and was absolutely delicious.  And also Sarah Guy, Matron from our Medical Assessment Unit and her team, held a cake sale to raise some funds for MAU, and I had a cream and jam scone, which I have to say was possibly the best I’ve ever had!

In other news, there were staff briefings at both London Road and here today at RDH, lots of meetings with Burton colleagues to keep the momentum going aiming for a 1 July start for the new Trust and I spent time with leaders from both health and social care from across Derbyshire, as we make progress with our Joined Up Care plans.

I think the sun’s going to be shining this weekend, so I hope you get a chance to relax a little bit.  It’s a bank holiday and I’m always conscious that whilst many of us will be at home enjoying a bit of a rest lots of my colleagues will be here making sure that our patients stay safe and well cared for.  Whether you’re at work or at home, have a great weekend!

Best wishes,

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