Guest Blog: Buki Adeyemo

Peter is on annual leave this week, so I’m your Guest CEO Blogger.  It’s been a week when we’ve raised the national profile for our clinical expertise via podcasting, celebrated fantastic commitment from our frontline staff and said goodbye and thanks to much valued colleagues.


We were delighted that Dr Becky Chubb, Consultant old age psychiatrist and Clinical Lead for older adults, was the subject of the latest podcast from the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The title of the Podcast was “Liaising with a Psychiatrist”, but a more informal description with which the episode introduced itself was “Everything you’ve ever wanted to ask a Psychiatrist!”

Becky explains the fundamental of Liaison Psychiatry – which she describes as being “where mental health and physical health meet” and covers a huge range of topics such as working with acute settings, risk assessment, treating clinical depression, delerium, looking at the ‘whole person’, being comfortable with uncertainty, the mind/body split, learning and teaching the mental state examination and using diversion and compassionate language with service users.

It’s an absolutely fascinating listen – click here to enjoy it.

Regular readers of the CEO Blog will know of the pride we have in our Combinations Podcast – which this month passed the 1,500 listens mark.  You can listen to back episodes of Combinations at Combinations is amongst the best Podcasts from a frontline NHS Trust. But we’re also big supporters of the potential for podcasting from other parts of the health and social world –including Royal Colleges.


Many thanks to everyone how took the time and effort to respond to our survey “How we communicate at Combined”.  The aim of the survey was to learn how we can increase the quality of our communications outputs and activities, the experience of those with whom we communicate and our ability to deliver communications which better meet the diverse needs and preferences of all service users and stakeholders.

Overall, people feel well supported and informed by the Communications and Engagement Team and the channels designed, operated and managed by them.

The team is seen as approachable, responsible and excellent – in line with the Trust Proud to CARE values. They are also seen as positive and friendly.  There is recognition of the improvements, progress and new channels delivered over recent years.

The Communications Team will respond to the feedback for even more effort to be made to support products and services that provide information and celebrate achievements about frontline teams.

The need and desire for greater information and support relating to content and operations of frontline teams – as well as an ever greater focus on surfacing and celebrating achievements and activities at the team and directorate level – also come through strongly in the ranking of future ideas in the pipeline. The Communications Team will shortly be bringing forward concrete ideas and responses to what you’ve told us – in particular plans for a new Staff Directory on CAT!


Last week’s Trust Board was delighted to give a REACH Individual Award to Phil Reece – who is a social worker by background and manages the Autism Assessment Service.

Phil has been magnificent, recently supporting his team through a relocation. The move involves not just relocation of furniture and staff, but the rearrangement of clinical appointments which had been sent out in advance.  Phil reassured his team and worked through their anxieties and ensured both they and the central project team we supported throughout the process. The team are now based at Holly Lodge, with no issues identified and no disruption to the service.

We also gave a REACH Team Award to the Assessment and Treatment Unit. The staff have been incredible in recent times, working under extreme pressure in a challenging environment. Despite these challenges, the feedback they have received is that they are “amazing”.

We congratulated Jayne Clegg, Senior Practitioner on her retirement. Jayne commenced in 1982 as Nursing Assistant at St Edwards Hospital. She also worked at Westcliffe, Longton Hospital, Wilkins Ward, the Sutherland Centre and the Home Treatment Team. Once she adapted from inpatient care, Jayne has thoroughly enjoyed nursing in the community and holds strong personal and organisational values which is evident in her daily work. Jayne is planning on returning part time to Home Treatment after retirement.

And, one important personal item for myself, we kicked off the Trust Board with flowers and thanks for our fabulous, and sadly departing, Executive Director of Nursing and Quality, Maria Nelligan, after 4 years of incredible support and achievements for the Trust.


Due to the very high demand the STP had for their Tamworth and Stafford staff listening events, the decision has been taken to now offer an extra event in each area, including ours. The Stafford event takes place this Wednesday 31 July 2019, 7.00pm-9.30pm (registration from 6.30pm) Best Western Tillington Hall Hotel, Eccleshall Road, Stafford, ST16 1JJ

You can book a place here.

If you can’t make the meeting at short notice, you can also complete the online survey here.

I would really urge you all to take the time to go along, hear about the STP plans for the future and have your say.

On Friday, I attended providers meeting with our local MPs, accompanied by our Trust Chair, David Rogers. I gave an update on how we are supporting the Acute Trusts and improving quality through some of the STP Mental Health Work stream programme. Examples include the Acute Detoxification programme, support for service users through the High Volume Users and other programmes.

It was positive to be able to talk positively of how providers are working together in a collaborative way, improving patient care in the process.