The launch of our Leadership Academy

Hi all

I mentioned last week that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) was due to publish its final reports and ratings on Wednesday 8 February. Following a late amendment by the CQC to a couple of our ratings, we have requested a further period of time to review and respond. This means the event we had planned at Harplands will now take place later this month. As soon as I have an update I will let you know.

In my blog last week I shared with you the time the Board had taken to consider the next stage of the Trust’s journey to refresh our ambition to become OUTSTANDING. We spent some time at our Executive away day on Tuesday thinking through our priorities for 2017/18. As we have already agreed our seven strategic objectives, we worked through what we needed to deliver within each of them to become outstanding. As a reminder, our objectives are:

  • Provide the highest quality services
  • Create a learning culture to continually improve
  • Encourage, inspire and implement research and innovation at all levels
  • Maximise and use our resources intelligently and efficiently
  • Attract and inspire the best people to work here
  • Continually improve our partnership working
  • Enhance service user and carer involvement

It is really important that each of the Executive directors work in a complementary way with each other – so time out as a team is something we will continue to prioritise. This is something I encourage each team across the Trust to do. It is really helpful to discuss and celebrate progress teams have made and collectively plan priorities for the year ahead. Thinking through what each of our teams needs to do to become outstanding (if they aren’t already!) is really positive and important.

On Wednesday, we marked a turning point for our old Plenary session. We spent some time seeking views on how we could refresh this to ensure it is aligned with our ambitions for our leaders and the Trust. On the day, we launched the new name for the event: the Leadership Academy. The Academy, which is for all leaders Band 7 and above, will focus on personal development with masterclasses as well as organisational development with key priorities being areas we need to strengthen to achieve our vision of ‘To be outstanding’. Whilst the new academy is focussing on more senior leaders, we are also prioritising development for all of our staff with a range of personal development offers.

I was delighted to learn that we have been shortlisted in seven categories in the Health Education West Midlands Regional Leadership Recognition Awards! Our Learning Disabilities (LD) directorate and Healthy Minds Stoke-on-Trent improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT) service have followed on from their recent success in being shortlisted in the HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards by being chosen as finalists here too! LD is up for the Leading for Service Improvement and Innovation Award, while Healthy Minds is in the running for the Team Outstanding Achievement Award - Clinical Award.

Our wonderful Growthpoint service has been chosen as a finalist in the Team Outstanding Achievement Award - Non-Clinical Award; while Maureen Mayanga, Rapid Assessment Interface and Discharge (RAID) Practitioner, is shortlisted in the Excellence in Patient Experience Award. This is great as RAID are doing such a good job in supporting the urgent care system – well done to Maureen.

Josey Povey, Modern Matron with our Neuro and Old Age Psychiatry services, has been selected as a finalist in the Emerging Leader Award, while Jaymee Smith, Chair of the North Staffordshire Children and Young People’s IAPT Youth Council, is up for the Inclusive Leader Award. Jaymee has taken the council from strength to strength; she offers so much and is so committed and enthusiastic.

I also learned that I had been chosen as a finalist in the Inspirational Leader Award which was really lovely. Unfortunately I am going to be away for the awards so I will see if I can Skype in to watch them with so many of our teams and individuals being shortlisted. The awards take place on Thursday 28 February in Birmingham.

I chaired our Digital Programme Board last week. We are now in a really critical planning phase for the implementation of our Raising our Service Excellence (ROSE) electronic patient record. Whilst we are doing well we really need to prioritise those who need it, ensuring they receive their training in a timely way.

As part of our ongoing commitment to improving the way we communicate with our service users, carers and the wider public, we are this week launching a new and improved website. This is great news as we have been planning this for some time! The web address will remain the same – and, as well as having a fresh and more modern appearance, it will be far more interactive and more accessible via smartphones, making it easier than ever for people requiring access to our services to do so. The launch marks the first phase of our new site; content will continue to be added and updates made so if you have any feedback please email the Communications Team at

I had a variety of external meetings last week, including a positive meeting with Mathew Ellis, Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner. We discussed the substance misuse cuts that Staffordshire County Council is planning and how we could work together to reduce the potential impact on the communities we serve. There is a possibility there could be a small amount of funding that could provide some extended service and the Substance Misuse directorate are working up a proposal this week. I know how difficult it must be for our excellent and committed staff working in this directorate at the moment as they are going through a management of change and face real uncertainty over their futures. We are doing all we can to be able to offer everyone a role to ensure our staff are not facing redundancy. It is credit to those staff that they are managing this very difficult situation with such professionalism and continuing to serve service users and carers so well.

I finished the week on Friday afternoon with separate meetings with Paula Clark, Chief Executive of University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) and Marcus Warnes, Accountable Officer for Stoke and North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups. We had lots to talk about as these are key organisations for us to work actively in partnership with to ensure we offer the most integrated care and support to service users and carers as we can.

A busy weekend followed with me having the joy of being in sole charge of my 15-month-old granddaughter as grandad was in bed ill! Number two child, my son Dan, also came home and needed an overnight turnaround of bags of washing before he went off with some damp clothes stuffed in his case – unsuccessful washing skills from me! Joy!