We're making significant steps towards locality working

Hi all...

This was a week when our progress towards locality working took significant steps forward and when we were delighted to receive national recognition at the Annual NHS Confederation Conference


Progress towards locality working

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 this month we passed an important milestone as the consultation on the first phase of the Management of Change ended. 

I was really pleased that we were able to appoint our Clinical Director roles last week. These are key leadership roles that will set the tone for the transformation we want to achieve. Dr Dennis Okolo has been appointed as the Clinical Director for Stoke, Dr Darren Carr for North Staffordshire, Dr Darren Perry for our future Specialist Directorate and Carol Sylvester on an interim basis for In-patient and Urgent Care. Many congratulations to this fabulous group of leaders. I am sure you will give them your full support.

12 engagement sessions in total (2 per existing Directorate) have now been delivered, led by the project Clinical Lead and the current Heads of Directorate with support from the HR Team. These sessions have given a dedicated opportunity for clinical teams and staff within the directorates to give their valued contributions and comments to the transformation process. All feedback from these sessions has been collected and fed through into the Task and Finish Groups. Staff were welcomed to attend sessions outside of their own directorate to increase opportunities for engagement. 

As requested by clinical staff during these sessions, further directorate engagement sessions will continue to be held throughout the process, giving teams timely updates on the transformation process and continuing to give them an opportunity to engage, feedback and comment.

We regularly remind staff that, if they have any questions about our plans, how they affect them and the opportunities it offers, they can use our dedicated webpage – including an FAQs page and a web form they can use to ask us anything they like and get an answer. They can, if they 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. Remember you can ask a question or see answers to questions asked by others at our dedicate website


Combined Healthcare featured in Jon Ashworth's Keynote speech to NHS Confederation

Regular readers of my blog will know that we were delighted earlier this year to be the first NHS Trust in the country to invite Jon Ashworth MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to address our Board meeting. 

So were equally delighted to see the success of Combined Healthcare in developing partnerships through the Alliance, with successes in reducing DTOCs and the Meir Hub, as well as our success in having CQC rating all of our services as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ for the first time in our history being specifically singled out by Jon in his keynote address delivered by video link to the NHS Confederation 2018 Conference.

You can watch the relevant extract from the address in the video below:


STP Mental Health Workstream

I was pleased to chair the latest meeting of the 'Together We're Better' Mental Health workstream last week. It is great that the two mental health providers come together with commissioners to collaboratively plan to deliver the five year forward view. We also discussed the Staffordshire County Council Overview and Scrutiny session which we will be presenting at in July highlighted our successes and also the key challenges we still have. One of these is the plans from the Council to move social care staff out of our integrated teams – this is an ongoing issue and we have asked the Council to reconsider.


Secondment opportunity for BAME inclusion facilitator

One of the priority areas we have been focusing on recently is improving experiences of our staff and service users from a BAME background. Even though we have invested in different inclusion programmes, our staff survey told us we have more to do. I recently led a Listening into Action programme where all our BAME staff were invited. One of the additional investments the Board have decided to invest in a dedicated post.

So – if you are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and would like to make a real and lasting difference to the lives and health of BAME people across North Staffordshire, then please read on.

 As part of the Trust's journey ‘towards outstanding inclusion’ for all our service users, carers and staff, we have an exciting opportunity for an existing member of staff with BAME ethnicity to fulfill a secondment opportunity, one day per week (on current salary) to embed greater BAME inclusion throughout Trust services. Your post will be backfill-funded to your team. It would be useful to discuss this post with your line manager prior to submitting your application, if possible.

Supported by the Director of Workforce, OD and Communications and the Trust’s Diversity and Inclusion Lead, you will work closely with clinical leaders and teams across the Trust, as well as service users and carers to develop inclusive BAME access, experience and inclusion in all aspects of Trust life. 

The post (one day per week, may be worked flexibly) will be appointed for a period of 12 months. If you are interested in the above opportunity, please email outlining the reasons you wish to be considered for this position. Please also include  details of your current role, team and line manager.   

Closing date for expressions of interest is midday on Monday, 2 July. Expressions of interest and informal queries can be sent to: Please consider applying for this crucial role and exciting opportunity.


Focusing on safety

Last week, our Substance Misuse Directorate held a Serious Incident Conference that was attended by around 80 people including cross Directorate Trust Staff and Commissioners from both the Local Authority and the CCG. The day was split into two halves with morning focus being on the Substance Misuse Directorate Serious Incident Investigating Officers with a particular attention around the current Serious Incident Process linking to the Trust and Commissioner procedures.  

The sessions were interactive and provided two-way discussions around improving our current Serious Incident Reporting. 
The afternoon session was delivered by invited prominent guest speakers from specialist Addiction field providing the national context:- Mike Ward Senior Consultant, Alcohol Concern (Alcohol Concern 2017 Serious Incident Report Review)Dr George Ryan, Clinical Advisor, Criminal Justice, Public Health England (Substance Misuse Serious Incidents in the Community and Prison Settings) and our own  Dr Derrett Watts - Clinical Director NSCHT Substance Misuse Directorate (Review of Local Serious Incidents). Well done to all involved.