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November 11th 2016

Gavin Boyle

Sometimes it can be tough getting yourself going on a Monday morning but I had no trouble at all this week, as first thing I was welcoming a group of new colleagues to the Trust as part of the staff induction programme. I think looking after people who have just joined the organisation is such an important thing – we’ve worked really hard to bring them into the organisation and it makes sense that we help them to have the best possible start and also show our appreciation of the fact they have chosen us.

One of the things I was really keen to talk to our new colleagues about was our ambitions for our hospitals to build on strong foundations to become really fantastic places for patients and also brilliant places to work. We talked about our CARE values, simple things like kindness, being courteous and showing compassion. Sometimes how you go about things is more important than what you actually do – and our CARE values are all about that. 

I knew this would be well received by our new colleagues, because one of the key things we look for when we bring new people in is that they share these values which are so important to us – so I knew I’d be talking to a receptive crowd. We also talked a little about our PRIDE ambitions and the specific things we are planning to do over the next five years to achieve them. I’m trying to get to as many staff induction days as I can – because I think it’s important and because I really enjoy them!

Last week I mentioned the Face 2 Face briefing at RDH and on Monday it was my chance to do likewise down at London Road. I really like the briefings there – they are often a smaller group of staff in comparison, but it tends to be much more of a conversation than a set piece. It was nice on this occasion to talk about the specific feedback we had from the CQC regarding how well they enjoyed their visit to LRCH back in the summer and they were particularly impressed by the friendly and caring approach of the teams there. 

During the session it came up that it would be really good to have more organised information sharing at LRCH and we agreed to take that away and consider how we can do that.

We had a good chat about the national NHS staff survey. This goes to every one of us working in the Trust and it’s a great opportunity for you to tell it like it is. By listening to what you really think it’s like to work here we can hopefully make it better, but we can only listen if you tell us. It’s entirely anonymous and confidential and a really important opportunity for you to contribute to the way the Trust runs - so if you haven’t filled yours in yet then please do – remember the deadline is 2 December.   

I had a couple of days out this week with members of the executive teams from both the Trust and from Burton Hospitals – it was organised and run by NHS Improvement. It was terrific to spend a couple of days thinking about how we can really get the best from our developing partnership. As you know we are working through a formal process and I mentioned the approval of the Strategic Outline Case at both Boards last month. But that’s not what it’s really about - the important thing is how we could integrate our clinical services to deliver better care for 800,000 people living in southern Derbyshire and east Staffordshire. So if you are wondering why we’re doing this work – that’s why!

Talking about partnerships – I spent Thursday afternoon with not one but two Health and Wellbeing Boards – a combined meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Boards of Derbyshire and Derby City, to talk about the Sustainability and Transformation plan (STP) I have mentioned before – all about how do we get health and social care in Derbyshire working in a much more joined up way. 

One of the highlights was a presentation from Dr Bola Owolabi who is a GP but also works for DCHS – and she was talking about the risk and impact of falling at home – particularly for frail and elderly people and the harm done and the effect this can have on their lives. She was describing how, by having a much more integrated approach, we might be able to identify those at risk of falling in their own home and help them with preventative measures – after all, it’s better not to fall at all. She touched on the importance of how we respond if an elderly person falls at home, which hopefully gets them on their feet without a trip to hospital and if they do need hospital care, how this is done effectively so that they return home as soon as possible. This chimed with the theme in last week’s blog about valuing patients’ time and the risks associated with avoidable hospital admissions and the effect that a prolonged stay can have on a person’s ability to recover and get back on with their life.

While I was at this event I was delighted to be approached by John Simmons, the Chair of Healthwatch Derbyshire, a public watchdog which helps to hold health service providers to account. He came over to say that he had recently had treatment at our Pulvertaft Hand Unit, both planned and then coincidentally unplanned, following an accident. 

He was extremely complimentary about the care he had received on both occasions and wanted me to pass on the message to the team there – clearly in his Healthwatch role John knows a thing or two about health services and what a good experience looks like, so it was particularly nice to have such positive feedback from him. 

All in all - another interesting week – and reflecting on some of the highlights makes me think again how important it is that different parts of our system work together. In the past sometimes I think the NHS was organised in a way that didn’t necessarily encourage this, so I am really heartened with the way things are now moving, with an emphasis on working together, which can only be a good thing for the people we serve.

Lastly – we’re doing really well on our flu jab mission but if you’ve not had yours yet please make sure you do – remember it’s a perk of the job!

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All the best


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