Improving how we work doesn't come easy


Hi all...


Improving how we work and deliver our services doesn't come easy. It takes determination and effort from teams and individuals across the Trust, particularly when the going has been tough. This week I saw first-hand many examples of where we're rising to the challenge.


Latest Trust Board meeting

We had a fantastic Board meeting packed full of recognition for staff for the work they have done in the past and today - and exciting ideas for the future.

As usual, I was able to update the Board on latest developments from across Combined in my CEO Board Report, many of which have featured in previous CEO blogs and which this month included:

  • Our CQC Celebration event at Harplands;
  • Our Listening into Action event focussing on support for BAME staff;
  • Our second Annual Nursing Conference;
  • Latest preparations for our new PICU;
  • ​Latest progress on delivering our CQC System Improvement Plan, including good progress on Delayed Transfers of Care;
  • Continuing engagement as we move towards locality working;
  • Research Forum at Harplands Hospital;
  • Two nominations in the national Patient Safety Awards;
  • Latest progress Towards Smokefree;
  • Attendance at the Positive Practice Mental Health collaborative; and
  • Our Leadership Academy focussing on Apprenticeships.

​If you wish to read my full Board Report, you can do so by clicking here


Trust Board says thanks for decades of NHS service

We were able to say a bumper set of thanks for those retiring from Combined gave us the opportunity to reflect on the decades of service to the NHS that have been given by our staff. 

Andy Bough started his general nurse training in May 1986 at the City General Hospital, qualifying as a staff nurse in 1989.  His first staff nurse role was at Bradwell Hospital where he worked in “Continuing Care” until 1991 when he was seconded to Ward 84 City General Hospital where he worked on “older person’s admissions”.  In 2005 an opportunity arose for Andy to move to Combined Healthcare as a fulltime MAPA trainer and Andy has remained instrumental to the delivery of MAPA training ever since.  

Barbara Britton took up a substantive post with NSCHCT from July 1999 working as a clerical assistant on the psychiatric unit at the City General Hospital. In June 2001 Barbara moved to St Edwards Hospital Clinical Information Department as Mental Health Law Secretary Then from April 2002 to the present day-  she has worked as Mental Health Act Co-ordinator, now based at Harplands Hospital.

Chris Landon retires from the NOAP Directorate following 29 years of dedicated service. Initially on ward 14 he went on to work within Neuro Day Services both at Harplands, Bucknall Hospital and eventually at Bradwell Hospital. Since the closure of day services at Bradwell Hospital Chris has remained a vital member of the Memory Clinic Service supporting service users upon their arrival to clinic, supporting with cognitive assessments, venepuncture and ECGS. 

Linda Simcock started her career at Saint Edwards Hospital in April 1982 as a Nursing Assistant. Linda has been integral in the development of the Care Home Liaison Team and has worked hard to support the developments within this team until 2017. Over the years Linda has developed the Trust Dementia Care Training and has been delivering the training within the trust and in care homes for several years. 

Jackie Clowes commenced at St Edwards in 1997 as a cadet nurse and began her nurse training in September 1979 qualifying as an RMN in September 1982.  Since then, she has been a staff nurse on the acute admission ward, a CPN in the adult and older persons service, staff nurse and Ward Sister on Menzies House, Centre Manager at the Sutherland Centre. She helped to establish the first two community mental health resource centres with inpatient facilities.  She was promoted in 2004 to Senior Team Leader for Moorlands North Integrated Mental Health and Social Care Team. She has worked closely with colleagues in South Staffordshire to establish an integrated approach to delivering community mental health services. This was the first time that health and social care staff had been co-located to deliver a service.


Congratulations to our Organisational Development Team

The Board meeting also gave us the chance to showcase the wealth of ideas and energy we have for the future.  

We recognised the great work our OD (Organisational Development) team have been doing around their Towards Outstanding Engagement programme, presenting them with the ‘Team of the month’ award. The first cohort supported 16 teams with targeted reports, access to a toolkit of resources and mentor support helping each team to develop team level staff engagement in the way they feel will have most impact.

The results have been profound, with stories being shared at a celebration event on 8th May, demonstrating improved staff engagement, increased motivation and improvements resulting in more patient centred care. Involving staff in shaping how we do things is an important part of developing excellent services and something will we continue to support and develop further.


Visit to Greenfields

There are a number of ways in which the Executive Team and the Board can see first hand how our teams deliver services.  One of these is visits to the frontline.  This week, myself and Patrick Sullivan, Zoe Grant from the governance team, Sue Tamms (service user/carer representative) and Josey Povery (peer reviewer) were delighted to be with the staff at the Greenfields Centre.

It was really heartening to witness the enthusiasm and ideas from the Greenfields teams.  They have been - and continue to be - on a journey of improvement and, whilst there's still a way to go, we were really impressed with their attitude and enthusiasm.  They had lots of ideas about how to continually improve.

Many thanks to everyone at Greenfields for making us so welcome and congratulations on what we heard first hand.


Plans to become an NHS Digital Exemplar pass significant milestone

It was great to hear confirmation that Combined Healthcare has passed a significant milestone by being chosen by NHS Digital as only one of four NHS Trusts selected for the mobilisation phase of the Lorenzo Digital Exemplar programme.

The Trust see the Lorenzo Digital Exemplar programme as a great opportunity to improve our services for children in the community. Our exciting plans build on our reputation as a digital exemplar and will be an excellent opportunity to spread our learning to other Trusts across the country. 

Combined Healthcare’s plans centre on delivering a digital transformation programme with the Children and Young People (CYP) Directorate. We aim to deliver a future where young people and their families are empowered to use technology to revolutionise their care. We want to remodel the referral and assessment functions within our CYP service by increasing the proportion of children with the ability to self-care and self-refer into services. This self-referral approach improves recovery, and enables a person to seek prompt treatment at an early stage, and it also reduces the likelihood of lower degree problems becoming more severe.

We’ll be working closely with local schools, helping us develop a vision of how technology can really change the lives of children, young people and their families.  Well done to all the team continuing to develop our plans and congratulations on reaching this next stage.


Care co-ordination and Caseload Management

It was great to hear news of a recent workshop on Care Co-ordination and Caseload Management. The workshop was led by Maria Nelligan and attended by 35 clinicians from a range of professions from each of the Trust's community directorates.

The workshop provided an overview of mational expectations for effective care co-ordination and outlined the Trust local standards. The afternoon focused on the Trust's Caseload management systems and processes, including the Meridian tool which is in use in 2 of our community directorates.

There was plenty of opportunity for clinicians to review local practices and highlight challenges and barriers, the level of engagement was excellent with staff openly and transparently sharing challenges and making suggestion for improvements. The workshop concluded with clinicians prioritising the areas for improvement and has provoked interest from over 20 clinicians who are keen to support a task and finish group which will focus on these areas of improvement.


Over 200 Annual REACH Awards nominations!

As you know, over the past few weeks, I've been urging everyone to get their nominations in for the annual REACH Awards.  And I'm delighted to let you know that, thanks to all of your efforts, we received well over 200 nominations by the time the deadline passed last Friday. We're completing the final tally as we speak and I'll keep you in touch with developments as we approach our biggest event of the year.  

The Communications Team will now begin the arduous task of processing them all, and I'm really looking forward to taking part in the shortlisting panel in a couple of weeks' time.

If you were one of the staff who submitted a nomination, you automatically qualify for a place at the event itself.  We'll be in touch soon, but in the meantime put the date in your diary - 5th July!