Together We're Better vision entering an exciting phase

Hi all...

Together We're Better vision entering an exciting phase

This was one of those weeks when I really got a sense that the service transformation and innovations we have been pursuing for a long time in our patch are really stepping up a gear.  On Thursday I spent  the whole day in a series of meetings with fellow Chief Executives and leaders of the Together We're Better STP programme, where we all agreed to push forward with the Alliance Board model across the STP footprint. We agreed to accelerate their progress in the 3 alliances of North Staffordshire, South East  Staffordshire and South West Staffordshire. 

Due to the vision and commitment from partners across North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. It is recognised as the most progressed in its maturity and development.  That's a real tribute to the partnerships and collaborative we have been collectively pioneering, working across health, social care, local government and the voluntary sector.  So, well done to all concerned for the work that you're doing!

The STP team has also this week launched a new social media campaign to promote Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to people living elsewhere and to encourage students to stay.  In particular, they are asking everyone what they consider to be the number one reason why you live and work in health and care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent?

It only takes two minutes to complete, and I'd urge everyone active on social media to get involved. You can take part in the #TWBUSP campaign by visiting Together We’re Better’s Twitter account @TWBstaffsstoke and voting for one of the following options in the tweet at the top of page:

  • Pride in the community
  • It’s where I grew up/studied
  • Easy access to countryside
  • Good transport links

It will be fascinating to see the results


 Localities website goes live

An important part of our continuing journey of improvement, of course, is our move to a new structure based on locality working.  You'll remember a couple of weeks ago, I told you we would be launching a new website where you can keep up to date with the latest development, ask questions and provide feedback and opinions.  I'm delighted to let you all know that it has now gone live and can be accessed by clicking here.

Please take some time to visit the site and let us have your contributions.  We really want to ensure that everyone is involved and kept informed about the exciting times ahead for our services and our staff.

Further praise for Combined from CQC

I am delighted with the praise and endorsement we received last week from the CQC as a national exemplar in driving improvement for mental health services. 

North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust is among just a handful of organisations to feature in a new Care Quality Commission (CQC) report showcasing how mental health trusts have led by example in raising standards.

Combined’s ongoing journey of improvement has seen the Trust transform itself in the past two years – from being rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ in September 2015 to ‘Good’ in 2017; with every service being rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’, which gives confidence that our services are at a good standard for our service users and carers.

The report states that “the trusts featured in this publication show how good leadership can drive significant improvements, in some cases in a relatively short time. We want to encourage others to look at and learn from these case studies to help them in their own improvement work”.

Our Chair David Rogers and Director of Nursing and Quality, Maria Nelligan, were at a NHS Confederation event last week where the report was highlighted and it was a real pleasure to hear from them how well it was received and  the widespread recognition our Trust was receiving for our improvement journey.


Nominations for REACH Awards open next Monday (26 March)

The Recognising Excellence and Achievement in Combined Healthcare (REACH) Awards are an annual celebration of our staff and teams who go above and beyond in delivering excellent services.

To mark the NHS 70 celebrations taking place throughout 2018, this year’s REACH will take place on Thursday 5 July at the Stoke-on-Trent Moat House. Nominations will open next Monday (26 March) and we are hoping to beat last year’s record-breaking total of 290 nominations!

This year’s awards will recognise outstanding achievements in the following categories:

  • Leading with Compassion Award
  • Rising Star Award
  • Volunteer/Service User Representative of the Year Award
  • Innovation Award
  • Valuemaker Award
  • Developing People Award
  • Partnership Award
  • Service User and Carer Council Award (decided by the Service User and Carer Council)
  • Unsung Hero Award
  • Proud to CARE Award
  • Team of the Year Award
  • Chairman’s Award (decided by the Chair)
Further details on how to nominate will be unveiled in next week’s blog – in the meantime, please have a think as to who you would wish to nominate for an award! 

National CEO meeting 

I was invited to a national providers CEO meeting last week and heard from the two NHS leaders SImon Stephens, NHS England Chief Executive and Ian Dalton, Chief Executive of NHS Improvement. 

Simon talked about this being the most challenged winter on record and thanked the amazing commitment and contribution from staff across our services. Our services only continue to be delivered at such a good quality due to the discretionary effort of our staff. Mental health was discussed as a key priority especially a real focus this year on ensuring CCGs invest more funding into mental health services. As discussed previously we have worked well with our CCGs and have seen growth in investment but we need to continue to highlight the additional investment that is needed which is even more challenging for our economy due to the financial deficit. 

Ian talked about the increased focus and support from NHSI on supporting trusts to embrace improvement methodologies to reduce clinical variation and continually improve our services. I am giving this much thought at the moment and planning to roll out a stronger approach to improvement building on our success in LIA and Go Engage.would really welcome peoples’ thoughts and views. 

Part of this is understanding our own strengths and areas for development and ensuring all our teams are motivated and working to their full potential. As part of our Board development , we asked AQUA to facilitate a workshop for our board last week on identifying our skills and experiences collectively which was really helpful and illuminated the breadth of skills  we collectively have and also highlighted areas that we could strengthen more.

We also spent time as an executive team last week working through the detail of our priorities and objectives for 2018/19 - these will be published in our Board Assurance Framework.

All in all a busy and exciting week with plenty to think about!