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A night of awards success!

I was really sad to start the week attending Justin Griffiths’ funeral. I felt enormously privileged to deliver the eulogy on behalf of Combined Healthcare and was so proud of our staff for the compassion and support they have shown. The turnout and support for Nicky and her family was overwhelming. It really felt like we were a ‘Combined’ family.

This has been a week when there is so much to tell you that it’s a challenge to know where to begin. 

Official - we're a great place to work!

I was pleased to be presenting the mental health presentation to the Midlands and East Health Education England Board last week on the priorities needed for the workforce. I was delighted that mental health was the highest investment priority for them. If we are to achieve the improvement of our mental health services, this can only be achieved through valuing and investing in our workforce. In that context, we had plenty of reasons to celebrate on Thursday night when our teams won a number of awards. Those of you who are Twitter users will know that the breaking news was coming in fast and strong from our teams at the awards, with congratulations from their followers on social media.

The Finance team won the Great Place to Work Award at the Healthcare Finance Management Association (HFMA) West Midlands Branch Awards. The award recognises the team that best demonstrates a culture and development programme that enables individuals to perform at their very best. This follows on from their deserved success at the national 2017 HFMA Awards where they won the Costing Award.

We enjoyed further success on the same night at the Healthcare People Management Association (HPMA) 2017 Awards. The Leading with Compassion scheme, where staff, patients and carers can nominate someone who they believe has demonstrated compassion won the Award for Excellence in Organisational Development. The scheme was launched at Combined and has been rolled out across 11 NHS organisations in the region. To date, more than 450 Trust staff have been recognised in this way and received a personalised badge and card. You can make a Leading with Compassion nomination via its website at www.nhscompassion.org/nscht/. To find out more about the scheme, you can view this video, while this video chronicles the journey so far.

In addition, our Feel Good Friday health and wellbeing initiative was a runner-up in the Social Partnership Forum Award for partnership working between employers and trade unions. Feel Good Friday was set up in October 2016 to enable staff to receive information and advice on a range of things aimed at enhancing health and wellbeing. As well as getting cholesterol checks, for instance, attendees can also speak to our Staff Support and Counselling Service, staff side union reps and the diversity and inclusion team. Well done!

All children now assessed within 18 weeks

I’m delighted to be able to tell you that, thanks to a concerted effort by Helen MacMahon, Dr Jo Barton and the Children and Young People (CYP) team, we were told last week that we now have no child at all waiting over 18 weeks, with 75 per cent assessed within four weeks. This is a fantastic achievement - a massive thank you to all the Community CAMHS teams who have been working so hard to improve services for children and young people - you should be rightly very proud!

Care Quality Commission (CQC) to return to Combined

As you may recall, when we published our fantastic CQC results in February this year, where 10 out of 11 of our core services received ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ ratings, we asked the CQC to return to inspect our Community CAMHS services. We also shared with the CQC that more of our services could be rated 'Outstanding'. The CQC has also introduced a new inspection regime and last week let us know they will be revisiting us to do core service unannounced inspections and a well-led review. The CQC has sent us a request for lots of information to which you may be asked to contribute.

We will be working with the teams involved and their clinical directors and heads of service to ensure they receive the fullest support possible and, of course, thank them in advance for their efforts and dedication. I realise this may feel like a pressure on our services; however, the new CQC regime will now include annual reviews - this is our opportunity to demonstrate how our improvement programme we embarked upon years ago is continuing to bear fruit and that we are really delivering on our vision ' to be outstanding'. 

New e-learning opportunities 

We launched our Learning Management System (LMS) at the end of last year to host training for our new Raising our Service Excellence (ROSE) system and Lorenzo training. This LMS will now also be used to deliver, record and report on e-learning for all staff, enabling them to undertake e-learning sessions and assessments, as well as ad-hoc training such as Lorenzo (ROSE). It will track all e-learning and provide management insight for teams, allowing for effective planning and monitoring of training needs.

Final chance to book on for the Symphony for Hidden Voices Inclusion Conference on 30 June

Being an inclusive Trust is really important to us and is part of our quality strategy of providing accessible and personalised services. There’s still time to book for our first Inclusion Conference on Friday 30 June at Port Vale Football Club called Symphony for Hidden Voices. You can register via this Eventbrite link. Symphony for Hidden Voices seeks to share the stories of a number of different individuals whose lives (as all our lives are) have been shaped in different ways by their experiences of both inclusion and exclusion. It aims to develop the way in which we deliver our services through shared understanding.

New clinical leadership arrangements for Learning Disabilities and Children and Young People’s directorates

Following discussion with clinical directors and in light of Dr Jo Barton stepping down as Clinical Director for CYP, we have agreed that the Learning Disabilities (LD) and CYP directorates will come together and the leadership will therefore change. We would really like to thank Jo for her leadership over the past two years and wish her the very best success in the future.

We have agreed that the existing Clinical Director for Learning Disabilities, Dr Matt Johnson, will offer Clinical Director Interim support for the two directorates in order to continue to support CYP and also to enable support for all clinical and other matters. We have been delighted with the leadership achievement to date of Matt in his LD role. We have also agreed with Jo that she will phase her time mainly to clinical duties, with Matt supporting both directorates with effect from Monday 3 July. As our plans towards becoming a multispeciality community provider (MCP) move forward, we will have the further opportunity to work with staff and leadership to co-determine and co-design the best long term leadership arrangements.

Caroline