Developing our partnership with Positive Practice

Hi all

It’s great to be back after a break. Thanks to Buki for standing in as my Deputy whilst I was away and for being the guest blogger last week.


Progress towards locality working continues. This week, we are publishing for our staff a response to the Stage 3 consultation. A really important principle of our process has been to make sure we are co-producing the new structure in partnership with staff. That is one of the main reasons that we have designed the process in 4 phases so we can work together, listen and respond.

There have been five main themes that came out from the consultation:

  • Directorate Makeup / Placement of Services
  • Substance Misuse
  • Psychology Structure
  • Quality Improvement Lead Nurse / Matron
  • Acute / Urgent Care

In the response document, we provide a considered response on each of these. We will be making this report available in due course on the web after the staff have been given the opportunity to read it first.

As you will be aware, the Trust has also created a dedicated website – – to support the consultation process. This generated the majority of feedback. As part of the Trust’s commitment to openness and transparancy, every question and answer handled by the website is also being published on the publicly available website.

As we say in the conclusion to our Response document, we thank all our staff affected by this consultation for their continued professionalism, engagement and for your valuable contributions to the finalised structure. We recognise that this process can be stressful and we have valued throughout the process your input into embedding a structure which further enhances the ability of our teams to deliver the fantastic, patient led services of which they – and we – are rightly so proud.


One of the Trust’s key roles with the STP is to lead the OD System Leadership workstream. On Friday, we held our latest meeting, which focused on our plans for supporting the development of integrated teams across the STP. As you can imagine, there is an enormous cultural challenge for us to start working in a very different way to achieve the ambition that we have as an STP. Peter Spilsbury, the Director of Transformation for the CSU, and his team are supporting us. It was a really positive and helpful meeting which demonstrated great system working.


Myself, Andrew Hughes and John Tacchi had a very positive meeting with our GP colleagues on Wednesday evening last week. It was great to get together with the GP Federation, LMC and MPFT to discuss how we can all work together to support primary care. Our plans to support delivering primary care services are progressing well and are very exciting. I will update you some more soon. A big thank-you to Dr Mark Williams John Tacci and Andrew Hughes for the work they have done to date with primary care.


As you know, we’re great supporters of the Positive Practice in Mental Health Collaborative. This is a user-led multi-agency collaborative of 75 organisations, including NHS Trusts, CCGs, Police Forces, third sector providers, front line charities and service user groups. It exists to identify and disseminate positive practice in mental health services by working together across organisations and sectors to facilitate shared learning and to raise the profile of mental health with politicians and policy makers.

We’re proud to play a very active role in the collaborative and to have been featured regularly in their Positive Practice Awards. This year’s entries from Combined were the highest ever and we’re really looking forward to the Awards ceremony in Liverpool next month.  We’re delighted to have been shortlisted for two of these awards – within the Mental Health Safety Improvement Category and the Mental Health Workforce Wellbeing Category.

We’re even more proud to have been asked to lead the special national Children’s Positive Practice Awards next year. Myself, Carol Sylvester and Joe McCrea, had an enjoyable session this week with Angie and Tony Russell, Directors of Positive Practice, brainstorming ideas about how we can make the Awards a really fun and memorable event. Watch this space for more details!


​My week ended on a real high with a meeting with our Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Lesley Faux, to sign off the final agenda for our Second Staffordshire Symphony of Hidden Voices.

We invented the concept of the Symphony last year in a really powerful event and, such was the interest and praise it attracted, that this year it is taking place as an even bigger format. I won’t spoil any of the surprises for those lucky enough to be attending the Second Symphony next week, but rest assured, my blog next week will be full of fantastic outputs from the day.

​Well done to all involved in its design and organisation.