Blog by Adam Thomas!

As we plunge head first into November, like me, you may well be wondering what has happened to 2019? It seems to have evaporated! They say that time flies when you’re having fun, and it certainly does when you are busy. This year has brought both of these things, and it certainly isn’t over yet! It has however prompted me to reflect on the last 10 months, which have really been about positive change in the Trust.

There has been a significant pace of change throughout the year in a number of areas. Many improvements have been driven in departments or by directorate and divisional teams. Some by improvement action plans. Some through the Dudley Improvement Practice (DIP) methodology with events in Ophthalmology and Ward C3 reaching the sustainability phase. There are a number of other exciting improvement projects in the pipeline and I’m excited to see these come along in the new few months.










Under the guidance of the Dudley Improvement Practice team, Tom Jackson and I have undertaken accelerated ‘practice coach’ certification. There has certainly been a healthy dose of competition to attain the first incremental improvements within our respective projects, which has spurred things along – occasionally spilling out into Twitter! It has also developed a partnership of improvement reflections and transformation.

Most importantly, Tom and I have both made the first steps on our improvement journey and demonstrated that we were able to make a measurable change. I’d like to take this opportunity – as someone has left me in charge of the Directors blog with no direct opposition – to claim the win on my complete project A3 document. Well done Tom, it was close!

I would also like to use this chance to encourage all staff to register with our self-service password re-set system; “Passworks”. This allows you to have full control over resetting your Trust password and unlocking your account within hours and out of hours. It is significantly quicker than calling the IT service desk and frees up time for the service desk team to help staff with more complicated queries. It doesn’t require your mobile number – just some memorable questions. Register today here and give it a go!

Time to think
Continuing the theme of change, last week I was privileged to join over one hundred of our Allied Healthcare Professionals (AHPs) and the Chief Nurse Mary Sexton at an away day to mark National AHP’s day. This was an inspirational day with fantastic presentations demonstrating the leadership and direct transformational input AHP teams are delivering to the evolve our model of care.

One particular presentation delivered real transformational change in practice – right there in the meeting! Nicola Shaw presented on the power of social media, ‘super-connectors’ and work social networks. The presentation demonstrated the positive disruption that professional networks with direct communication can bring, over traditional structures and hierarchy. A conservative estimation would be that this session delivered a doubling of Twitter converts in the attendees that day!

For me, Nicola’s session highlighted the simplicity of positive influence. It’s not at all about difficult projects or complex technology. It’s about communicating and taking a new approach to a current challenge. Take the first step. Twitter is as a free platform for sharing ideas, supporting continual professional development, building networks and learning…used responsibly.

Later that week, I held two away day Think Tank sessions supported by our partners at Dudley College. Even the walk into the venue was inspiring with campus buildings called, ‘advance’, ‘evolve’ and ‘enhance’. The coffee shop was within the ‘enhance’ building – which makes a lot of sense!  These engagement events were based on interactive improvement practice sessions to inform our new digital strategy. There was fantastic input from attendees across the Trust on benefits, priority setting, as-well-as how innovation and technology support the Dudley People Plan and how we evolve into a truly digital Trust.

Key themes from the two days, were;

  • Collaboration on shared platforms to avoid waste and maximise benefit,
  • Developing digital skills into our workforce through the Dudley People Plan
  • Preparing our workforce for benefits and unintended consequences
  • Access to capture data to use it to drive evidence-based








Staff Survey
A couple of years ago as a Trust we moved to an online staff survey which is run independently by Picker. The survey is completely anonymous and allows you to directly contribute your feedback to supporting ongoing improvements in the organisation. It is really important to the Trust in both helping us to identify and address areas for improvement, as well as highlight areas of real success. The results of the survey really do have an impact on how we make positive change together. You will have received an email entitled “NHS Staff Survey 2019” and if you can’t remember your log-in details the IT team are ready to help.  As a shameless further promotion, you might also chose to register with Passworks while you are at it, as this will help you next time AND contribute to improving Trust services!

The final improvement themed promotion is to remind all staff to take up the free flu vaccination. Whilst our formal target this year is 80% of staff having the jab – we want to go one better and achieve 100% – to show our commitment to continuous improvement. We got out of the blocks with our highest ever up take on a single day and currently 24% of the workforce are vaccinated. All Trust staff can get their jab done by peer vaccinators, either on your own area or nearby check out the hub for a list of peer vaccinators and dates for drop in sessions.