A week of more 'firsts' and awards

Hi all...

A week of more 'firsts' and awards

Another week and the pace of change and achievement hasn't let up! It seems almost every week at the moment I have the pleasure of letting you know about new achievements and new 'firsts' delivered by Combined.  And this week is no different...

Combined Healthcare the first mental health trust to sign Dying to Work Charter

The latest Trust Board meeting was a great success. On behalf of Combined Healthcare, we were proud to be the first mental health trust in the country to sing up to the TUC Dying to Work  Charter.  You can see our signed copy below which set out the commitments we have signed up to and we will be putting it on display in Harplands Hospital in due course, to demonstrate our support for our staff.

 We were also delighted that the Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Jon Ashworth MP, was able to attend the Board to witness the signing ceremony and to discuss with us his own approach to mental health policy and delivery.  We had a fascinating and really insightful discussion with him and he even told us that we were the first NHS Trust in the country to invite him to attend and contribute to its Board discussions.

Jon went on to visit the fabulous Growthpoint service and was really impressed by what he saw.

Many thanks to all concerned on organising both the Charter signing and the visit - in particular our staff side colleagues and Lee Barron, TUC Regional Secretary.

REACH Awards and Retirements

The Trust Board also featured a bumper pack of REACH Awards and retirements.

The fabulous team from the Adult Rehabilitation service at Summers View and Florence House were given a special recognition award for their achievement in securing an 'Outstanding' rating from the CQC.

And we congratulated and thanked Judith Donlon, Nurse Practicitioner, Dora Deaville, Medical Secretary and Kath Clark, Head of Clinical Service Development on the occasion of their retirements.

As well as the traditional Retirement certificates, Judith and Kath were also presented with a Combined Nursing Badge from Director of Nursing Maria Nelligan.

As part of these awards, it is always my pleasure to read out a summary of the recipients' career history and contribution over many years to Combined Healthcare and the wider NHS and the sheer amount of dedication and talent that it contains never fails to impress me.

 The human impact of services

The Trust Board wasn't totally about celebrations. We also heard a painful and powerful presentation from our One Recovery Team.  As you will know, this team suffered huge funding cuts from Staffordshire County Council last year - around 60 per cent of their total budget.  At the time, whilst of course recognising and sympathising with the immense funding pressures and challenges faced by local government, we argued strongly and passionately that the funding should be retained.

Sadly we were unable to change the decision. As a result, several services and personnel have been lost and facilitities have had to close.  The remaining team members have done a fabulous job maintaining to the best of their abilities a valuable and truly valued service and we wanted to recognise that achievement. 

Their presentation team included a service user who told the Board of the crucial work he believes the team do and the literally life-changing and life-saving impact they have. It really brought home in a powerful way the human impact of decisions on funding and service delivery.

Progress continues on the local system review action plan

Earlier in the week, it was pleasure to take part in a workshop with leaders and staff from the local local health and care system and voluntary sector to continue implementation of the CQC Local System Review Action Plan.

It was particularly heartening to hear a presentation from Ed Moses, Deputy Director, Social Care Oversight at the Department of Health and Social Care, who was able to provide valuable insight and perspective from Ministers and national government.  Ed gave us all encouraging reassurance that the efforts and improvements we are collectively making across our patch are being recognised and noted at a national level.  As Ed said “it’s about building trust and partnership”

I was pleased to be able to report back to the workshop on some of our early successes, including reductions in delayed transfers of care, enhanced mental health outreach and a roll out of an end of life ceiling of care initiative across 28 targeted homes.

The workshop also heard from Dr Paul Roberts from the GP Federation and the Alliance Board on the success of the Care Homes initiative.

It provided further evidence that the hard work and partnership approach we have been pursuing across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent is beginning to deliver real results and gaining national recognition.