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Celebrating our staff

Hi all

I am delighted that we have the final, agreed date of Tuesday 21 February with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to publish its final reports and ratings. We are holding an event at Harplands Hospital on the 21st at 2pm, at which we will be formally announcing the ratings and celebrating the huge amount of progress our staff have made to get us here. We have also invited service users, carers and our partners, all of whom have been key to our journey of improvement. In addition, we will be unveiling the next stage in our journey – Towards Outstanding.

Thank you to everyone who has registered a place at the event. We would love you all to be there on the day, but due to space restrictions we have to limit numbers. That doesn’t mean you have to miss out, however, as we are planning to livestream the event via our Facebook and YouTube pages.

I am sad to announce that Tom Thornber, our Director of Strategy and Development, will be leaving the Trust on 31 March to take up a new opportunity local to home. Some of you may know that Tom is getting married in April and has made the decision that his extended travel time is not conducive to his desire to be closer to his family home. Tom has been a highly valued member of the Trust Board and Executive team and has made a significant contribution to our journey of improvement. We are working with the North Staffordshire GP Federation to develop plans for a joint Director of Strategy and Development post to support us as we move forward. We hope to formally agree the arrangements for a joint post over the next week to enable us to fill the post on an interim basis immediately.

As part of my role as the Chief Executive lead for the Staffordshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan’s (STP) OD/system leadership programme, I have been working with other colleagues considering how we can strengthen our approach to transformation. I am really pleased we have partnered with Helen Bevan, Chief Transformation Officer for NHS England. As part of this we are going to learn how to run an accelerated design event that will help us to rapidly design solutions – bringing together knowledge and people and helping us to tackle our most complex challenges. I am delighted we have 40 people across Staffordshire who have asked to be trained in this methodology and we will then be able to use the approach across many complex issues. Our first event is going to be with the STP Board, Chairs and people involved in leading the STP workstreams. This is an exciting and really positive development and something that is taking some time each week for me to plan for.

It’s now three months until ROSE Day on 13 May and the team are busy with their preparations! Wednesday saw them deliver a demonstration of the new electronic patient record system to consultants at their continuing professional development (CPD) session, while at Thursday’s Board, Tom Thornber and our Chief Clinical Information Officer Hardeep Uppal provided an update. Our partners at NHS Digital and CSC also provided the Board with independent assurance. Next week marks the crucial Business Process Validation (BPV) phase where we test what has been entered onto the system so far.

I am really pleased that the Capital Investment Group approved funding for two important projects. The first is the Be-Able app, a digital assistant for people living with mild cognitive impairment and those in the early stages of dementia to help manage their daily lives. The investment will go towards building a first model of the app, which is being designed by a local technology firm in partnership with staff from our NOAP directorate and Medicines and Clinical Effectiveness group. The other project is the Go Engage toolkit. Go Engage is an award winning, evidence-based measurable toolkit for improving staff engagement and culture. It will enable each and every team within combined to better understand its current internal culture and be able to improve things for the better. Go engage does this by equipping teams with practical methods and data, to ensure it can continuously improve both team relations and improve individual well-being.

Our Trust Board on Thursday was really positive. The latest recipient of our Individual Spotlight Award is Mel Hope, Staff Nurse with our learning disabilities Assessment and Treatment service. Mel demonstrates all of our Trust values and by far her greatest strength is her ability to take responsibility and enhance systems and processes in such a way to ensure that the individual and personal needs of our clients are never forgotten and are always the main priority.

We were unable to choose one team from our corporate services this time as we had so much to celebrate so we awarded two teams! Firstly, our flu team were fully deserved, having led our fantastic flu vaccination campaign over the past few months which saw us become the best performing mental health trust in the country and the sixth highest trust in England.

Our other team award went to the CQC coordination team. Their role in planning, mapping, collecting data and collating information was at the centre of our successful CQC inspection in September and the fact that they have done this twice in a little over 12 months is amazing. Their experience and learning is helping to inform our next steps Towards Outstanding.

We also bid a happy retirement to Brian Shufflebotham, Community Psychiatric Nurse, who commenced his nurse training in November 1982 and over the past 34 years has made a real impact in supporting the rehabilitation and recovery of service users.

Finally, we were saddened at the end of January to hear the news that one of our members of staff, Emma Allen, had passed away. Emma joined the Trust in September 2004 and made a really valuable contribution to our services. Emma was a very valued nursing colleague, who was respected for her knowledge and compassion towards her patients and colleagues. She will be remembered for her commitment to the nursing profession and the Trust as a whole, while her personal values impacted on colleagues past and present. Although I did not know Emma personally, it is clear from the people I have spoken to that she was a very special person and will be deeply missed.