Getting Back Up To Speed After a Summer Break

If, like me, you’ve just returned from a summer break with loved ones, I really hope you had a chance to take a well-earned rest and recharge your batteries. For those about to go on their holidays, I hope you manage to find some sun – it’s been more like Autumn in Stoke-on-Trent the past couple of weeks, hasn’t it?!


Of course, the downside of taking a break is having to catch up with everything in the in-tray when you return! Most of my first week back has been spent in one-to-ones with colleagues from across the Trust, getting back up to speed.

I also attended the system wide Health and Care Transformation Board on Friday, where a variety of issues were debated. Discussions ranged from the latest financial and operational changes facing the Local Authority to the opportunities that we have to work closer with our various Hospice Providers. This was a very informative meeting that really much reminded me of the challenges and significant opportunities that our health and care system has.


Shortly before I went away, I had the chance to meet up with Martin Tideswell, Editor in Chief of the Stoke Sentinel, and he brought my attention to their NHS Heroes awards. This is a chance for our local paper to shine a light on some of the really positive things that are done by our local NHS staff, but that sometimes can get lost in the more negative stories that seem to occupy much media coverage.  

So it was great to see the following two examples that came about as a result of my chat with Martin:  

One highlighted our Children and Young People’s Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Service – see

The second focused on the success of CAMHS in transforming access to services for young children – see

Congratulations to both teams and happy to have helped in a small way to raise the profile in our local newspaper for some of the great things we do.


As part of our journey towards Outstanding Inclusion, we would like to develop a range of Trust posters similar to those used by some railway and road construction firms and also some NHS Trusts. The purpose of these posters is to help foster a culture of diversity and inclusion and to give a clear message that abuse of NHS staff in any form is not acceptable. 

The below images are from North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust and will give the idea of what we are trying to achieve. We’d particularly like our photos to demonstrate the full diversity of our workforce. We also want to represent the variety of roles within the Trust – including clinical, non-clinical and support roles (including Serco/other contractors working on behalf of the Trust).

To support development of our posters, we invite colleagues to take part in a photo competition where your children, grandchildren, nephews or nieces star dressed in mummy’s/ daddy’s/ granny’s / granddad’s / auntie’s / uncle’s work clothes.

All you need is good lighting, a plain background and your best images of your youngster.    

Please send your photographic entries to and title your email ‘Outstanding Inclusion Photo Competition’.

Please complete this consent form and return the completed form by email (or a photograph of the completed form) along with your photo entry. In the case of sending a picture of a child for whom you are not the parent or guardian, it will be necessary for the parent/guardian to complete the consent form.