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May 5th 2017

Gavin Boyle

A great start on Tuesday after the Bank Holiday weekend meeting some of our newest colleagues at our latest staff induction. It was great to see such enthusiasm and fantastic to see a number of volunteers among the group who’ve chosen to join us. 

Unfortunately I had to cut my slot short, as we also had our Board of Directors meeting, and we had some important items on the agenda. Top of my list was the launch of our new Quality Strategy, which contains the detail which underpins our PRIDE objective P – putting patients first. It was presented by Chief Nurse Cathy Winfield and Medical Director Nigel Sturrock. The strategy will be circulated shortly and will also be available on flo, but I can tell you in the meantime that it sets out a very clear and detailed plan about how we aim to improve the safety and effectiveness of our services and to improve patient experience over the next five years.

You may remember, we always begin our Public Board meetings with a patient story, which this time was delivered by video. It was about the experience of a married couple with visual and hearing impairment who needed our services in an emergency. Their story highlighted some of the areas where we fall down in terms of providing services which are accessible for everybody, and clearly demonstrated the importance of making sure that everybody in our community has a good patient experience when they come to our hospitals.

On that theme, it was a pleasure this week to catch up with Umar Zamman, who leads on the management of our complaints process. He ensures that any complaints we receive are dealt with openly and efficiently, and we learn the lessons from the issues raised. On top of his day job, Umar has also taken on the role as lead for inclusivity within the Trust. This is all about making sure everyone who may need to access our services has the same experience as everybody else. This is a huge agenda, which may include people with physical impairments, learning difficulties, and people with language or cultural differences too. We will be hoping to make some real improvements in this area over the coming months as Umar gets in his stride, but in the meantime I know I can rely on all of you to support this work and make sure all of our patients have a positive experience. Fundamentally this is all about our CARE values. If we remember to treat everyone with kindness, compassion and respect, we will be a long way down the road to making our services better for all parts of the community we serve.

Continuing with this topic, it was a delight this week to meet yet another new consultant, Elizabeth Bateman, who started working in our ED in January. It was great to hear about her positive experience so far, particularly how well she has been looked after by our ED team, as well as all our other colleagues in the Trust. As luck would have it, as well as being a skilled and very enthusiastic consultant, Elizabeth is also fluent in British Sign Language, and has a real passion for improving the experience of patients with hearing impairment who attend our ED. You can imagine particularly in an emergency situation, at a time of great stress and anxiety how difficult the experience would be for people from that part of our community, so Elizabeth’s work to raise awareness of this and support improved patient experience will be very important.

Jumping back to our board meeting, we recognised the latest winners of our Pride of Derby awards on Tuesday, and as always it was both inspiring and heart-warming to hear their stories. It’s wonderful to recognise our staff who really go the extra mile for our patients. The winners were: 

Paul Gothard, Staff Nurse in ICU, who did all he could to ensure a patient was able to go home to fulfil his dying wish of going home to play computer games with his son. He won best frontline member of staff.

Malcolm Slater, Security Officer, won best behind the scenes member of staff for helping a young person who was frightened and confused. Malcolm’s calm and reassuring approach really benefited this person. 

Our OT Splint Team was named as best team after being nominated by a patient who they had supported not only practically, but also physically and emotionally. This patient said the team’s kindness helped her immeasurably.

Finally, Jane Stanton, Staff Nurse on Ward 6 at LRCH, was named best inspirational leader, for the support she gave to a student nurse who was struggling. The student is now thriving in her degree, thanks to Jane’s help. 

Talking of London Road, it was good to catch up with colleagues there for my regular post-Board briefing. I was pleased to see so many people there, as I had a lot of good news to share about LRCH this time. It was also good to catch up again with Ward 6 colleagues, who were named last week as winners in our Patient Experience competition. They’ve now been given £1,000 to develop a new sensory facility for patients living with dementia – great example of thinking creatively to improve patient care. 

Have a great weekend


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