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September 15th 2017

Gavin Boyle

Today’s a real red letter day here at Derby Teaching Hospitals with our annual staff awards ceremony, Celebrating Success, taking place this evening – more of that later.  

It was a pleasure to catch up with Sam Thacker this week, who I’ve mentioned before in my blog.  Sam is a junior doctor in training who’s taken time out to be our first Medical Leadership Fellow.  He’s a bit of a trail blazer because we’ve not had this role before and Sam has really had to shape it himself.  It’s all about how we better support our doctors in training and help to engage them more in the running of the hospital.  He described how many more junior medical colleagues were getting involved in key decision making groups within the Trust particularly focused on improving safety and the quality of patient care.  Our junior doctors have a rich experience to help work out how we can change our services to deliver even better care.  I was delighted to hear that Sam is staying on in his role until August next year and we’ll be using that time to think about how we continue the great work that he’s started.  I’m looking forward to working a night shift with him as soon as we can get it arranged.  The plan would be to shadow him working in MAU and I’d also like to spend a little bit of time with our Hospital At Night team.  I can’t wait!  I’ll let you know when it’s happening.  

I had my regular slot at the Medical Staff Committee this morning, which was ably chaired by Manjeet Riyat, who’s one of our A&E Consultants.  I had a good conversation with some of our clinical leaders, particularly regarding our partnership with Burton Hospitals.  Just to remind you, both Boards approved the Outline Business Case back in June and we’re well on the way now to developing the Full Business Case with a view to creating a new organisation hopefully in April next year.  There’s lots of work to be done though. At the moment, we’re particularly focussed on working with clinical teams in a range of specialities to really hone the proposed service models and identifying the benefits for patients.  This is particularly important because one of the hurdles we need to clear is with the Competition and Markets Authority – yes really! – as commercial competition law applies to the NHS as well.  We’ll need to demonstrate that the clinical benefits for local people outweigh any potential effect on patient choice or competition.  There’s lots to do but I’m really impressed by the way the clinical teams from both Trusts are working so well together to develop new ways of working which help to sustain services locally in Burton, make better use of our community hospitals at London Road, Lichfield and Tamworth and also provide an opportunity for DTHFT to develop its specialist services.  Now, Rome wasn’t built in a day and although we’re aiming to form the new organisation in the early part of next year, this will be just the beginning of a long term programme to fully integrate our services.  I mentioned the importance earlier of medical education within the Trust and we focussed particularly on the importance of building on the good work to date as we bring the two organisations together.  

Now for a bit of a commercial for next week – when we’ll be launching our Think Do Save programme.  Now I’m always banging on about how improving quality and being more efficient are two sides of the same coin.  That’s because it’s true!  So, Think Do Save is an opportunity for us to all get involved in finding ways that we can change the way we do things to improve the service we give to patients and at the same time be more efficient.  So at the risk of sounding a bit ‘Michael Caine’, here are some thoughts:

Did you know that if everyone switched their PC off overnight, the Trust would save about £50,000 per year?  So the little things, good housekeeping can really make a difference.  That’s the sort of thing we could all do.  

Did you know that the cost of each day a patient spends in hospital is about £413? Anything we can do to avoid a patient staying with us for a day longer than necessary. This helps to get them home sooner, protects them from risk, frees up space for the next patient and saves money.

Did you know that an operating theatre list costs £30 a minute to run?  So, making sure that the patient and everything else is in the right place at the right time is vital to making the most of this precious time.  It’s more efficient but also means more patients wait less time for their surgery.

Did you know that an outpatients DNA typically costs £102 per lost appointment?  Anything we can do to improve our systems to make it easier for patients to keep their appointment or to talk to us if they need to change it will help.  

So, check out Flo for some details and take the opportunity to look at everything we do with a fresh pair of eyes so we can work together to make changes happen to improve what we do for patients and be more efficient too.

It’s a bit like the Oscars but better!  So, tonight over 200 of our colleagues will attend the Celebrating Success 2017 awards at Pride Park Stadium.  Before you ask, it’s all funded through sponsorship but it’ll be a great occasion and a wonderful opportunity to recognise some of the amazing work that our people do.  It’s been a big job whittling down all of the nominations and coming up with the final short list.  We had over 100 entries to the awards and over a 1,000 votes.  I mentioned in my blog that I was involved in choosing the Chairman’s Team of the Year and I have to say the quality of the nominations was incredible and trying to choose three or four from a very long list was very difficult indeed.  Our nominees tonight are all incredibly worthy of recognition but I think they’re just the tip of the iceberg.  Obviously, I can’t tell you who the winners will be but we will publish a full list and you’ll be able to follow the proceedings on twitter by following @derbyhospitals or by searching #CS2017 during the evening.  I’ll share some of the highlights with you next week.

Until then, have a great weekend


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