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September 22nd 2017

Gavin Boyle

It’s been a jam-packed week but before I get into all of that I can’t help but mention the fabulous evening we had last Friday at our Celebrating Success awards at Pride Park stadium.  It was quite an event – much better than the Oscars!  It was a great opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to so many colleagues and teams who do amazing things for our patients, day in and day out.  It was a real celebration and I think everybody had a great time.  Before you ask, it was all funded through sponsorship and we’d love to build on this and hopefully encourage more of our colleagues to put themselves forward for an award next year.

There were many young faces at our Induction on Monday morning, with volunteers from local schools in the audience.  Volunteering is a great way for young people to get a bit of experience and we’re delighted to welcome them to the Trust.  It was good to see so many new colleagues there too and as ever we focused particularly on the importance of our CARE values within the Trust.  One of the things we do when we’re recruiting new starters is to explore their own personal values and ensure that they connect with our aims to treat all of our patients and indeed our people, with respect and kindness.  Straight afterwards, I was invited along to speak on the Derby Lead programme – this is a development programme for service managers and those leading teams.  They asked me to talk a bit about my own leadership experience and the longer term aims of the Trust.  In our conversation, we touched on the challenges of leading in a complex environment, where the right course of action isn’t obvious.  We talked about how those basic values can act as ‘a star to steer the ship by’ when the way forward isn’t always clear.  

I tried something new this week – variety is the spice of life!  I went along to one of the Schwartz Rounds, which is new to the Trust and provides a structured and confidential forum where all staff, clinical and non-clinical, can come together to discuss emotional and social aspects of working in healthcare.  It was particularly powerful this week when colleagues talked about their own personal experiences of being a patient themselves and how this influenced their approach to their roles.  This was both extremely moving and incredibly thought provoking.  It was the first session that I have been able to get along to and I’ll certainly make sure that it’s in my diary in future.  I’ve been asked to be part of the panel for the Schwartz Round on 23 November – the subject this time is ‘when your best doesn’t feel good enough’ – and I’m now thinking about the story I’ll share.  Given the title, I’ll probably be spoilt for choice!

It was Council of Governors this week and the highlight was undoubtedly an excellent presentation by Dr Maelie Swanwick and Karen Bussooa about the progress we’ve made in improving end of life care for our patients and particularly how we’re supporting the education of all of our people to give better care to patients and families when the end is near.  

I caught up with Daniel Couch who’s one of our doctors in training – a specialist registrar in surgery. Daniel came along for a chat about management and leadership because on top of his medical training he’s also pursuing an MBA – a management qualification.  One of the things he’s noticed is how in Derby so many of our clinical leaders are keen to get involved in redesigning and improving services.  I saw this in spades when I attended the Medical Advisory Committee this week and heard two great presentations. The first, from Dr Gareth Hughes, one of our ED consultants who also leads on our advanced life support training, focused on improvements being made to the hospital’s out of hours service.  And Dr Sugunendran, a Diabetes consultant, also gave a brilliant update on some work she’s been doing to develop the electronic whiteboard system to allow consultants to request specialist reviews from other consultant colleagues for their patients on the ward. This is all part of our Red 2 Green mission to avoid wasting patients’ time.  

And thinking about waste, I mentioned last week that we were launching our Think, Do, Save programme and I’d just like to say thank you to so many staff who got involved and shared their ideas about how we might reduce waste, deliver better care for patients and be more efficient too.  I learnt that we use 12.2 million disposable gloves every year!  One colleague pointed out that when you pull them out of the box, you often take too many and the extra’s get thrown away.  So a bit more care would save some cash – considering we spend over £350,000 a year on them!

I had another night out on Wednesday but this time it was at Burton Town Hall, where we hosted an event for local people to talk about the latest on our plans to bring our two organisations together.  The event had been organised by Healthwatch in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Derby City to provide an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions about the partnership.  It was good to see so many clinical leaders from Burton and Derby there leading the discussions and listening to the views of local people.  There was quite a buzz in the room and it was great to be able to share some of the exciting opportunities to improve patient care both in Derbyshire and Staffordshire as we work towards forming the new organisation hopefully sometime next year.  

As I said at the beginning, it’s been a jam packed week but illuminating and thought provoking for me in equal measure.

Have a great weekend.


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