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September 1st 2017

Gavin Boyle

Blog readers will know that training the health care professionals is a really important part of what we do as a teaching hospitals trust.  I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we welcomed around 250 new doctors in training to the Trust and have spoken many times of our important relationships with universities of Nottingham and Derby to train our doctors, nurses and allied health professionals for the future.  However, our training activities aren’t solely focussed on clinical staff, as we have an active apprenticeship programme within the Trust and also support national training programmes for a range of non-clinical disciplines.  It was a pleasure this week to meet up with Mirjam Campman, who is a national finance trainee and is currently working as an assistant business unit accountant in medicine.  Mirjam is actually from the Netherlands but having worked in a number of international voluntary organisations was particularly attracted by the culture and values of the NHS in England.  I often say that everybody at DTHFT has a unique and individual part to play in delivering great care for our patients. This is of course highly apparent for those in front line clinical roles but people, including myself, in supporting functions, are equally committed to this aim.

Sticking with the theme of colleagues in training, it was a pleasure this week to catch up with Caitlin Richens, a trainee on the national general management programme, and her colleague Jon Holley, who is a senior registrar in Orthopaedics on the East Midlands rotation.  I’ve mentioned these two colleagues before because together they’ve put together a proposal to improve patient care in a highly innovative way.  They were highly commended in the recent national Sir Peter Carr awards, which seek to recognise innovation in quality improvement for colleagues from middle management and clinical roles.  We were joined by Kathy McLean, who is the Executive Medical Director for NHS Improvement. She has taken a personal interest in Caitlin and Jon’s idea and was visiting to see how they were getting on.  They plan to develop a simple app that puts patients in the driving seat when it comes to managing their stay in hospital.  There are three simple questions that every patient should be enabled to know the answer to whilst in a hospital bed: What’s happening today? How well do I need to be to go home? When will that be?

This is all linked to our Red 2 Green programme, which seeks to value patients’ time in hospital and to make sure that their stay with us is not unnecessarily prolonged.  Jon and Caitlin’s idea is to provide a simple way whereby patients can make sure they have answers to these three simple questions and hold us to account for delivering on them.  Its real ‘power to the people stuff’!  But I’m delighted that two colleagues in training are leading this really innovative approach and I’ll let you know how things develop.

I am conscious that today is the first of September and without wanting to come over all ‘Game of Thrones’, winter is coming!  For many working in our hospitals, it feels as though winter never went away and indeed August was one of our busiest months for emergency admissions.  I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all of our teams who have worked so hard over the past month to maintain services despite this unprecedented, and to be frank, unexpected demand.  However, traditionally the winter period is more pressured and it was good to sit down with all of my health and social care system colleagues this week as we begin to pull together the Derbyshire winter plan.  Clearly, there are actions that the hospital will take to make sure we maintain patient flow, such as Red 2 Green and having sufficient beds in place. But it’s also important that external partners in primary care, community services, mental health and social care also share their plans so that our approach is truly joined up.  

For a bit of good news, I’m delighted to tell you that we’ve received provisional registration for our clinical trials unit here at DTHFT from the UK Clinical Research Collaboration.  I mentioned teaching earlier but research and development is also an important part of our Teaching Hospitals role.  This recognition is a real game changer for our R&D work here at the Trust.  Well done to Professor Fran Game and Teresa Grieve, who lead our R&D team here at the Trust.

Also, well done to our KTC colleagues who kept the show on the road today after our water leak last night!

Finally, its Eid al-Adha and I would like to wish all of my colleagues of the Islamic faith my best wishes and Eid Mubarak!

Have a great weekend


Best wishes

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