The end of my second week

I remain enthused and impressed by all of the staff that I have met in the Trust and the commitment and energy you have to your individual services but, most importantly, to your patients.

Yesterday I was back in Yorkshire chairing the Northern Burn Care Network and I was inundated by colleagues wanting to know how my first two weeks had gone, what was Dudley like and were intrigued whether I could understand the Black Country accent!

Today I have met the chief nurse for the NHSI West Midlands, Siobhan Heathfield. She was very complimentary about the Trust and will be meeting up with our new interim chief nurse to foster good relationships and support.

I had a wonderful tour of Pharmacy with Ruckie, our chief pharmacist, and had the pleasure of meeting staff, who again showed passion and energy towards their services. They were keen to tell me about all of the improvements that had been made and the aspirations for the future. It was my pleasure to meet such a motivated team.

On my way back I dropped in to the switchboard/help desk team to introduce myself. Well what a hive of activity in there! A lovely team doing jobs that are often unseen and unacknowledged. It was a delight to meet them and see first-hand the amazing work that they do, day after day.

I am looking forward to doing my first Trust induction on Tuesday at 9am and welcoming new starters to the Trust. It will be a great start to another exciting week here at The Dudley Group.

Breakfast with the Boss

I love the idea of Breakfast with the Boss, not least because I love a good coffee and a natter. Some of you will already have been to these informal chats and I will soon be sending invitations for you to come and have a chat with myself and other directors. The coffee and croissants are on me.

‘Breakfast with the Boss sessions’ give you the chance to find out what’s happening in the Trust and raise anything that’s on your mind so we can see what we can do to sort it.

It is really important that you have the opportunity to tell me how you feel about working for the Trust and I hope as many people as possible will take up their invitations.

Watch out for your personal invitation to the next Breakfast with the Boss session and remember to contact me directly if you would like me to arrange a visit to your area.

My first team brief

Today I had the exciting opportunity of hosting my very first Team Brief! Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who attended, it was a pleasure to welcome our new Interim Chief Nurse, Siobhan Jordan who started on the 10th April. It was great to meet more staff and discuss interesting topics such as the new anaesthetic rota system CLWRota going live and changes to breast screening services across South Staffordshire and the successes of Red2Green.

As you know, I am keen to engage with as many of you as possible so I would like to officially extend my invitation to team brief to everyone. I would love to hear from you all on how I can improve the meetings and give the opportunity for you to ask any questions. I was stunned by how quiet everyone was this morning so please this is your opportunity to not only hear from myself and my director team but ask questions, raise issues and make suggestions. If anyone does not feel able to do this in the open forum then please email your question into the communications team and we can answer it anonymously in the meeting. I will be publishing all the future dates shortly so keep a look out on the hub.

I am keen to continue meeting with you all to find out more about your areas and the services you deliver so I would encourage you to contact me directly to arrange a visit.

As you can see I also enjoy blogging and like to keep people informed of what I am out and about doing – let me know what you would like to see more of, what you find interesting and what not so I can adapt this as we go.

Exciting opportunities ahead

I have met with Professor Sauid Ishaq who is a consultant physician and the chair of MSC today to chat about the challenges and opportunities of working in Dudley. We discussed the different opportunities to try and get the Trust on the map for the exemplary services it provides both regionally and nationally. We also highlighted the importance of staff health and wellbeing and ways we can improve our website to make it more informative and act as a tool to market the services we offer at The Dudley Group.

Siobhan Jordan

I am delighted to welcome Interim Chief Nurse Siobhan Jordan to the Trust. I know that she is thrilled to be here and she has some fantastic ideas around building on the achievements of nursing at the Trust. I am certain she will bring passion and vision in her professional leadership role for the nursing profession.

Wow what a first week!

Wow what a first week. I am Diane Wake your new Chief Executive and I am excited to be joining you all here at The Dudley Group, a high performing trust with a reputation for delivery. I’ve had to hit the ground running as Paul Harrison and the team had organised an action packed first week for me to get a good insight into the Trust. He didn’t tell me I’d need my trainers and an oxygen supply, oh and my PJs! 

I have seen committed passionate people who want to deliver the very best care and treatment for their patients all around the Trust. Seeing so many of you supporting the Red2Green initiative to end PJ paralysis on Wednesday was fabulous and such fun was being had while getting home a serious message. We know patients recover much faster and their well-being is improved if they can get dressed into their own clothes.

It was great to meet some of the GP leaders from the patch on my first day and I look forward to working closely with our GP colleagues to ensure people in Dudley get the very best care. I also met GP s again on Wednesday, at a formal part of the Multispecialty Community Provider (MCP) process, where GPs were meeting prospective partners for the MCP. A presentation made jointly by Paul Harrison and Tracy Taylor from Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust led to good debate and discussion around how we could develop the partnership between providers with our GP colleagues.

My first board meeting was on Thursday and it was interesting to hear from the medical division management team of Hassan Paraiso, Jo Newens and Julie Walklate who shared a frank presentation of the highlights and risks within their areas. We also signed off the business case for the Urgent Care Centre build works to put the UCC right next to ED to make for a better patient experience and more streamlined process. The work you are already well under way with for the Digital Trust and getting an electronic patient record is impressive and another opportunity to use technology to help you all to deliver great patient care.

Engaging with staff and patients is a real passion of mine and I want to make sure everyone knows I have an open door policy. I want people to be open and honest about everything we do here as that is the only way to learn and improve on our journey. I look forward to invitations from you to come and visit your areas and find out just how you deliver your services.

Anyway that’s enough from me for now but I will keep you posted of news and look forward to meeting as many of you as possible over the coming weeks.

Chasing Rainbows!

Hello again. It has been a few weeks since I last posted and again a lot has happened in the Trust and this is a great opportunity to share some good news stories.

First of all we have had two more Breakfast with the Boss sessions. For those not familiar with the sessions, we invite a random selection of staff from across the Trust and entice them with croissants, tea, coffee and fresh orange juice. This provides an opportunity for staff to provide feedback on current issues affecting them at the Trust. In the first session Glen Palethorpe, Director of Governance, and I spent an hour receiving excellent feedback on what it feels like for staff at Dudley and what we could do to make our place of work even better. In our March session I was joined by Paul Harrison, Acting Chief Executive. Thank you to all those who attended and contributed to our get together.

One of the areas discussed at the first session was better collaboration between ward staff and mortuary staff to ensure we continue to provide dignity to our patients after death. The discussion at the session acted as the catalyst for Anthony in the mortuary team to meet with matrons to develop better understanding and actions to support best practice.

In our March session we had staff from Radiology who had identified frustrations from patients unable to have their telephone calls answered in a timely manner. Therefore, we have agreed to assist the team in looking at ways in which we can use technology to support a better service for patients when telephoning the department.

At the session in January the attendees raised issues relating to health and wellbeing initiatives for staff. I described in my first post that the Trust was having initial discussions with Action Heart as to whether the opening times of the gym could be extended and I requested your comments and feedback.  I am pleased to say that following your positive feedback, the Trust, alongside Action Heart has agreed to fund the opening of the Gym from 7am until 9:30pm. We are waiting for the work to be completed in the next few weeks and when this is done we will communicate the first day for the opening times. Thank you all for your support with this!

I also had the great pleasure of attending my first Committed to Excellence Awards that took place on 16th March. The ceremony was a great success and congratulations to all those who were nominated. The event demonstrated the strength, dedication and excellence in our workforce.

This post also gives me an opportunity to say thank you to all staff for their commitment to mandatory training and appraisals. You are now demonstrating the best performance in over 12 months. This has been done following a period of unprecedented capacity pressures and your support is greatly appreciated.

Following the receipt of the staff survey results we have started our first staff survey focus groups. This is an opportunity for staff to articulate the feedback based on the staff survey both by staff group and also within your work area. I attended the focus group for nursing staff in medicine on Friday last week. Everyone who attended provided excellent feedback. The meeting was energetic and constructive and gave me the opportunity of where we can make a positive difference to our staff. Thank you all for your time and contributions.

Finally, thank you to you all for your continued commitment to high standards of care under challenging circumstances. Well done.

Croissants and Orange Juice!

Hello again. Following my first post three weeks ago a lot has happened in the Trust and this is a great opportunity to share some good news stories.

First of all the first Breakfast with the Boss took place on the morning of the 23rd January 2017. We invited a random selection of support staff from across the Trust and enticed them with croissants, tea, coffee and fresh orange juice. Paul Bytheway, Chief Operating Officer and I spent an hour receiving excellent feedback on what it feels like for staff at Dudley and what we could do to make our place of work even better. Thank you to all those who attended and contributed to our first get together.

We are planning further Breakfast with the Boss sessions over the next few weeks. If you receive an invite we would really appreciate and welcome your attendance and feedback. We are interested in hearing your views.

One of the areas discussed at the session in January was support for health and wellbeing initiatives for staff. The Trust is having initial discussions with Action Heart as to whether the opening times of the gym could be extended. I would, therefore, appreciate your feedback on earlier opening times to see if this something that you would welcome. Let me know in the comments below what you think.

On 25th January I undertook my second Back to the Floor experience within the Outpatients Department. I had the pleasure of being managed by Rose Tonti who clearly takes great pride in the highest clinical standards and support to her staff. It was a great experience and the staff were brilliant. A special mention must go to those who supported me directly. They were Samantha Foot, Katie Wood and Lisa Gallier. Thank you for your patience.

In my last post I mentioned our compliance rates for mandatory training and appraisals. There has also been a letter from Paul Harrison, Acting Chief Executive to highlight the commitment to achieving high levels of compliance. I am pleased to say that we are making progress with increases in the compliance rates. However, we need to continue this trajectory each week to meet the standards required. Thank you for your efforts so far and please continue the good work.

The Committed to Excellence Awards shortlist has now been announced and is available on the Hub. I had the pleasure of being involved in some of the shortlisiting and seeing the full list demonstrates what an excellent group of staff we have at Dudley. Congratulations to all those nominated and to those who have been shortlisted.

Finally, thank you to you all for your continued commitment to high standards of care under challenging circumstances. Well done.

My first post!

Hello and welcome to my first attempt at blogging. It is the intention that myself and other Directors will provide regular updates using a blog to advise staff on relevant matters in the Trust in order support better engagement.

It was a pleasure and privilege to go ‘Back to the Floor’ and attend the videofluoroscopy clinic on 11th January 2017. I observed two patient referrals under the careful guidance of Clare Nightingale & Linzie Preistnall from the Speech and Language Team, Jane Eades from Radiology and support staff. I am very grateful for the opportunity to observe the valuable work undertaken by our clinical staff and in particular the teams from Speech and Language Therapy and Radiology.

In the world of Human Resources, we have had two new members join the team in the last few weeks. First of all, Angelina Thompson has joined as an HR Advisor and Kulvinder Chahal has joined the team as our new Medical Staffing Manager. The workforce team has worked really hard over the last few weeks with some staff shortages and we all appreciate the support and team work demonstrated by our colleagues in other departments.

I also had the pleasure of sitting on the Committed to Excellence judging panel for the Unsung Hero – Clinical category this week. The standard of nominations was excellent and, after much deliberation, we got there and found our unsung hero!  The winners will be kept a secret until the awards night. My only challenge now is whether to wear a kilt to the ceremony on 16th March!

On a personal note, I had my first 1:1 with Diane Wake, our new Chief Executive this week. She was very supportive with a clear vision of how she wants to make Dudley even better. I am looking forward to working with Diane when she starts at the Trust on 3rd April.

The Board of Directors would really appreciate our efforts in raising the levels of compliance with mandatory training and appraisals. The workforce team are in the middle of implementing changes to both processes to make this as straightforward as possible. However, we all need to ensure we maintain our compliance for the safety of our patients, staff and ourselves.

Finally, thank you to you all for your continued commitment to high standards of care under challenging circumstances. Well done.