Awards success for Finance and Learning Disabilities Teams

Hi all...

Well last week was a very mixed one. With some real highs and some more difficult moments. 


Awards success for Finance and Learning Disabilities Teams

We had a fantastic day and night of Awards success last Thursday from not just one, but two, simultaneous ceremonies.  

First up was our brilliant Finance Team, who scooped the award for Finance Team of the Year from the West Midlands Healthcare Financial Management Association. The work of the finance team has been a regular item in my blogs over the year - whether its delivering our 19th consecutive year of financial balance, our innovative animated AGM film presenting our financial results, or the Valuemakers scheme. So it's no surprise to me at all that they landed this accolade, but it's still great to see them getting external recognition and praise from their professional colleagues in the region. They have won a variety of awards recently and this prestigious one showcases what a fabulous team they are - really well done!

It was then the turn of our Learning Disability Directorate to be rewarded for their fantastic achievements at the national HSJ value awards, scooping the award for Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation. The HSJ judges themselves said "this project has worked across organisational boundaries to stop over-prescribing of medicines and significantly improve quality of care for a vulnerable group of patients. We would love to see this approach everywhere." 

It was also fantastic that three more of our teams made the final shortlist: our finance team jointly with our clinical teams in the category 'Improving value through innovative financial management or procurement' for our Valuemakers programme - and no less than 2 out of only 11 across the whole in the NHS the Meir project for the Meir Partnership Care Hub; and our CAMHS in Schools team for our CAMHS in Schools innovative project.

A brilliant achievement - how fabulous to have 4 teams shortlisted in the national awards - it was a great evening - one where I felt immensely proud!


Being Open

A really important ingredient of our improvement journey to date has been to create a culture where our staff and service users feel engaged and are able to speak up about ideas they may have for improvement and concerns they may have about our clinical care, corporate issues or our culture. 

An important strand of our being open culture is our freedom to speak up Guardian which is a national requirement for this post to be accountable to the Chief Executive. The purpose is for staff to be able to approach another person independent from their manager or Dear Caroline as an additional way for staff to speak up. Our overall priority is to ensure there is no harm to patients and that our cultures enable staff, patients and partners to speak out if they see or feel there are concerns.

I was delighted this week to spend time interviewing with colleagues for our Guardian and really pleased that we had so many applicants. I am really pleased to let you know that Zoe Grant has been appointed to take on the role. I am sure you will join me in congratulating Zoe and welcome having such a warm, experienced and approachable person who will continue to support our being open culture. 


Board Engagement visits 

I really look forward to the announced visits that we do as a Board on the first Wednesday of each month. This month, Joan Walley, one of our Non-Executive Directors, went to visit the Lymebrook  Adult Community team and I subsequently visited the Older People Community teams.

The adult team had lots of ideas about things they thought we could continue to work on. They thought even closer joint working with the Access and Home Treatment teams could reduce duplication and improve service user experience and had good ideas about supporting people in the community with personality disorders. They thought nurse prescribing roles would really help, which they are working on. They also had concerns about how we are currently using the Lymebrook  building, particularly in regards to older people’s access.

Discussions with the older people’s team there resulted in solutions if the teams work more closely together. As we move towards our locality model this should really help teams to work more closely together, jointly serving our communities. It was great to hear from the team about the work they are doing in supporting community groups and the partnerships they have created, for example, with the fire service to be able to use their community buildings. 


Localities update

Our progress towards implementing our new localities structures continues apace. Engagement sessions continue to be held with teams, which I know are proving welcome and valuable to front line members of staff and, last week, we passed an important milestone as the consultation on the first phase of the Management of Change ended.

This week's Leadership Academy also featured an excellent presentation from Andrew Hughes on working in partnership and the development of the Alliance Board.

Remember, if you have any questions about our plans, how they affect you and the opportunities it offers, you can use our dedicated web page - an FAQs page and a web form you can use to ask us anything you like and get an answer. You can, if you prefer, even ask a question or give us a comment anonymously. It's really important that everyone feels involved and has the opportunity to have their say.

You can access the localities website by clicking here.


REACH Awards - a record shortlisting marathon!

As I've previously let everyone know, this year's REACH Awards is a record breaker - the first time we've ever had over 300 nominations from staff and service users for the work that their fellow staff members and teams do. That's a great thing to celebrate, but it also meant we had a really difficult job to do last week in shortlisting the brilliant nominations. We have therefore got a record breaking number of individuals and teams who will be Highly Commended.

Also - this year we are continuing with our innovation established last year of having a special award - the Proud to CARE Award - which is voted on by the staff themselves. It's the equivalent of the Players' Player Award. Every member of staff will be getting an invitation this week to cast their vote online, so remember to check your inbox! 

We look forward to a great evening on 5 July when we will also be celebrating 70 years of the NHS. If you can't make the event itself, we'll be live streaming it on Facebook, and we'll let everyone have details of how to access the live broadcast closer to the event.


Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee

One of our most important meetings each year is our Session at the Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee. This gives locally elected representatives the opportunity to hear from us about our performance over the past year and our plans for the future. Their role is to scrutinise us and ensure we are providing good services for our local communities.

It was a pleasure to be able to present a strong and positive story - of our continuing journey towards outstanding, our strong clinical and financial performance, our engagement with staff, service users partners and our future plans for locality working.

It was an even greater pleasure to receive warm and enthusiastic support from the Committee about what we have done, what we are doing and what we plan to do in future.

I am due to return next month to present with colleagues in our mental health STP plans.


Support from our regulators

An important meeting that the Chairman and I have is meeting with our regulators from NHS Improvement. Their role is to hold us to account and support us to deliver high quality care. David and I were pleased that our meeting with Fran Steele, Delivery and Improvement Director, went very well last week. We were able to discuss the great performance that you are all delivering for our service users and carers and our plans for our locality working and wider Alliance working. We also discussed an emerging partnership that we are exploring with Northumberland Tyne and Wear mental health Trust. This is one of two Trusts in the country rated Outstanding by the CQC, so it is exciting that we are starting to discuss learning with them. We are planning a trip with the Board soon. 

On a personal level, my week ended with quite a traumatic experience. My daft husband decided to take himself off up a ladder on his own with no-one in the property to try to remove some ivy that was causing problems to our future neighbours. 16ft or so up the ladder when he yanked the ivy he fell back with it onto concrete and a metal balcony. Two members of the public found him and called 999. The NHS kicked into action - from the paramedics to the medics and nurses in the trauma team, to the speedy and thorough diagnostics - his experience was the NHS at its best! His injuries are nothing like as bad as they could have been, which we are really grateful. It was a very worrying couple of hours accompanying him in the ambulance and waiting for his results. It makes you reflect again on what is important in life and not letting your husband do DIY, for which he is grateful!