As the night draws in, our flu campaign is more important than ever

As the darker, colder nights are upon us, I think about the cold and flu season approaching and just how important our flu campaign is. It protects more than just our own health. It helps to protect our family, friends, colleagues and of course, our vulnerable patients.

The news that we have achieved record figures for October, is simply fantastic and adds to another week of good news stories for us as a Trust.



A huge thank you to everyone who has had their flu vaccination. I am pleased to announce that we’re so far ahead of where we have been in previous years – with 49.3% of our frontline patient-facing staff vaccinated!

Our Flu Fighters Team have been busy vaccinating across the Trust since our campaign started on Friday 5 October, and this result is really a fantastic outcome, as we are ensuring we are safer for our patients, ourselves and our relatives.

To date the Flu fighters team have vaccinated or received declaration forms from over 800 staff – this is fabulous work over the month of October, considering it was also half term last week.

However, there is still work to be done. Our peer vaccinators are working relentlessly but staff need to be seriously considering having the vaccines.

Flu Clinic – Friday 9 November
If you haven’t had yours yet, you can pop over to the next Flu Fighters clinic on Friday 9 Nov 10am – 12pm at ECT Clinic at Harplands. There are still some golden tickets left where you could win a £10 shopping voucher.

Alternatively, give our Flu Fighter Team a call on x60122, or email and one of the team will come to you!



An impressive 39% of staff have how completed the staff survey – thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to give your feedback, it really does make a difference to the Trust.

Well done to our Workforce and Leadership Directorate who have a 100% completion rate, which has soared ahead of other teams! For staff who have yet to complete their survey, the polling booth roadshow is still on the move, with someone on hand to help you.

The following dates are coming up:

  • Thursday 8 November – Harplands, 10am–3pm in reception
  • Wednesday 14 November – Assessment & Treatment, 12–2pm
  • Wednesday 21 November – Edward Myers, 1.30–3pm
  • TBC – North Staffs CAMHS Dragon Square

Don’t forget about the £250 prize draw for teams with a high response rate, which can be spent on a team-focused priority, so rally up your team to take part, too! Read our FAQ page to learn more. 

A reminder that your feedback and responses are completely anonymous, so please be honest with us in your responses. It will only take 10 minutes or so to finish, so please dig out the email from with the subject line:

North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust 2018 NHS Staff Survey: Invitation



We interviewed for our new Director of Partnerships and Strategy on Wednesday – an important role as we continue in our locality journey of partnership working.

I look forward to sharing the successful candidate with you shortly.



Our leadership programme to empower black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME/BME) health and care staff to embrace leadership roles in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent is already proving a huge success.

More than 20 existing and aspiring BAME leaders from across the local health and care system are looking to the future with a renewed zeal after becoming the first group to complete the Staffordshire Stepping Up programme.

Utilising the NHS Leadership Academy’s Stepping Up programme, it is coordinated by North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust and forms part of the Organisational Development (OD) programme run by the Together We’re Better health and care partnership Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

As well as supporting the participants to further develop their leadership skills, it has also helped them to enhance their skills to assist with career progression.

Feedback from the participants has been overwhelmingly positive, with the next Staffordshire Stepping Up cohort  underway in November, with a further cohort taking place in February 2019, I am excited to see where this continues.

Our BAME leadership programme provides a safe space to discuss shared issues and experiences, and to develop confidence and skills to access these roles and is something that is very important to us as a Trust.



On Tuesday, myself and our Chairman, David Rogers attended a meeting with John Tradewell, CEO, Councillor Simon Tagg and Councillor Jill Waring of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council.

We had a positive meeting and discussed how we could be working closer together. They are keen to join our Alliance Board which is really positive.



It was an insightful, informative day on Wednesday as I attended gateway assurance meetings for Mental health and OD system leadership with Sir Neil McKay and STP Director, Simon Whitehouse.

We have positive plans for mental health with a real priority of supporting CAMHS services for home treatment. The OD plans are prioritising our integrated locality teams development with a workshop planned earlier this month.



Finally, I was pleased to hear that community spirit was in full force in Meir on Thursday 25 October as our Trust hosted a free lunch at the Meir Community Centre.

Over 100 people attended the meal, from a range of different backgrounds – from local residents and workers in the area, GPs, community police, the fire service and members of the Local Authority were there to share a meal together.

Community events such as this, are key to our Meir Community Partnership, where we have developed co-located Health, Social care and Community practitioners, responding to individuals within five GP practices across the area.

In addition to the monthly meals, Meir Community Centre hold free Tea, Talk and Toast sessions every Friday morning at 9 – 11am – championed by our STR Worker, John Clayton.

Sessions allow people to pop-in for a chat, and/or get any support they might need in a relaxed, friendly environment. Often we are able to sign-post people for support, which can reduce referals and is a more informal, community orientated way to support. Please spread the word!