A last-minute system summit for working better together

Looking back and reflecting on last week, I would have to say it was very challenging! Myself and some of the Executive team were asked to attend a last-minute system summit due to concerns about the financial position across the STP and the need for us to have a credible plan moving into 2019/20.


We focused on discussing the art of the possible. The conversations really challenged us all to consider how can we really all work better together and take more risks and responsibility for transformation across the system.

The mental health discussions to date have been about investing in mental health; we have now decided that, through the investments that are continually going in, we need to identify how they can release costs wherever possible.

A particular priority is going to be to continue our focus on out-of-area spend where service users are being treated out of area. We have been successful in the last 18 months or so in caring for some service users closer to home, which is much more positive in enabling support from family and friends.

We are also exploring how the project for service users who use services in a repeated way – either in UHNM or our Trusts – could be expanded. Again, providing the right support to people in their home setting can prevent them needing to use emergency services, which reduced expenditure and improves the service user experience.

The final area is exploring how our work with service users accessing UHNM with alcohol-related needs could be better supported – potentially by accessing our in-patient facilities when in a crisis.

We are leading this work through the mental health workstream and I am very grateful to Johnathan O’Brien, as programme director, for his support and that of our teams, MPFT teams and the CCG.


I was delighted to welcome Lorraine Hooper to the team who joined us last week as our new Executive Director of Finance.

Lorraine had quite a start to the week joining the summit and although challenging, she was able to meet lots of partners and all her Director of Finance colleagues all at once! Negotiating our contract and helping us to have sound plans for the year ahead is one of her main priorities. I am sure you will all give her a very warm welcome as she gets out across the Trust.


Our planned Executive time out had to be shortened to half a day last week due to the system summit. We planned our time out to discuss our individual and collective objectives for the year ahead. It was really great that Peter Axon, our new CEO, was able to join us so we could collectively discuss our plans and priorities.

Peter also joined me on Thursday for the CEO fortnightly meeting, which was really helpful as we discussed the output and next steps form the system summit and plans for our own development as a team. As the system leadership lead CEO, I am planning for a development programme which all agreed would be really helpful, particularly with two new CEOs joining the system for UHNM and Combined.