Summer is a great chance for reflecting on the year

Hi all,

What a summer we’re having! Record temperatures and wall to wall sunshine are a great thing, and traditionally it’s a time for taking a breather and reflecting on the year to date. I hope lots of you have managed to take or are planning a well earned summer break to take some time away from work with your family and friends. Taking a break often helps us to reflect and take stock. I am looking forward to having a week off next week to catch some sun rays as well.


One of the taking stock moments for me last week was going to the Stoke-on-Trent Health and Wellbeing Board. One of the key roles of the board is to oversee the system CQC Improvement plan, which to date I have led. It was really positive to be able to present the plan in a very positive light and hand over the leadership to Paul Edmondson-Jones, the City Council’s Director of Social care, integration and wellbeing.  A call followed with the Department of Health lead Director who passed on compliments from the Secretary of State for Health on the progress we have made as a system – it has been a great example of system working – a massive thank-you to all who have contributed.


I was really pleased last week to have a great meeting with our GP Federation partners. As you are aware we are strengthening our support to general practices and very soon planning to support the integration of some practices with the Trust. We are really keen that our focus is on innovation and transformation and helping to improve things. Dr  Mark Williams our Clinical Director of Primary Care and John Tacchi our Programme Director for Integration have done a great job to date, which was also praised by the practice teams themselves. 


One of the things that has always been important to me is supporting the development of talent across health and social care. To that end, I spent time last week providing mentoring to two separate talented leaders. This is something that I enjoy and pleased I can offer support – mentoring is something that I would encourage people to take up and offer their support to mentor others, as having the benefit of experience and different perspectives can be very supportive.


Phase 3 of our restructure continues with the consultation process which started on Monday 16 July gathering pace – it’s been really heartening to see so much interest and views from the services, as well as some challenging questions and requests for clarity, which are perfectly understandable and to be expected at this stage in such an important transformation programme.

The phase continues to focus on our consultation with staff regarding the management structures within each of the four newly established Directorates.

Our aim is to truly design our new structures in collaboration with our staff and we have already taken into account feedback received and the advice to refine elements of the structure.

Please continue to ask questions and give your feedback – you can contact the project lead, Nicky Griffiths directly, or do so via our Localities website

You can check the FAQs page initially to check if your question has already been asked and answered.    If you have a question that hasn’t been asked yet, you can do so by using our “Hearing your Voice” form. You can also use this form to submit a comment to us.  You can choose to give us your name or remain anonymous.

Many thanks to all of you who are getting involved, submitting questions and providing comments.


As you know, Alex Brett will be leaving us shortly and I wanted to let you all know as soon as possible about the new arrangements we are putting in place.

Alex will be taking up her new role with MPFT on the 1st October before which she will be taking leave.

Linda Holland will be starting as Interim Director of Workforce and Organisational Development from mid November 2018, but she will be starting to work in the Trust on ad hoc days from September onwards. Linda is a very experienced Director and we are lucky to attract her from her current Director role at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS FT.

We are really looking forward to welcoming Linda to Combined Healthcare.


One of things the Board and Executive team have been thinking through recently is how we can make our values continually live across our Trust. One of the ways is to develop an appraisal tool that helps us to think about how we are living our values day in and day out. So I was pleased to discuss this with Alex Brett, Jane Rook and company who are working with us this week and excited that we will soon have a tool that we will be able to integrate into all our culture development work. I will let you know more as things develop.


It was great to finish off the week on such a positive note when myself, Dr Buki Adeyemo and Andrew Hughes went to visit Professor Trevor McMillan – Vice Chancellor and Helen Duffy – Partnership and Engagement manager from Keele University.

We had a really positive and exciting meeting and discussed the excellent progress the Trust has made from both an educational and research perspective. Really well done to everyone who has been involved.

Particular thanks to Dr Chris Link and Dr Darren Carr who have made such good progress. We will hopefully soon have more of our clinicians taking up senior lecturer roles in both education and research with Keele University and more plans afoot all which will help us improve patient care and attract and retain talented staff.



This year’s Annual General Meeting will take place at Port Vale on Tuesday 25th September.  As usual, we will be providing a review of the year, reporting on progress on our strategies and performance and presenting our financial results – which we are showing again in an innovative animated film, after receiving great feedback on this approach last year.

You can book your place at the AGM via Eventbrite at this link

There will also be opportunities for stakeholders and frontline staff to have stalls and display boards in the wings of the AGM.  This is always one of the highlights for me, as it gives our staff and partners full reign to show their imagination and creativity.   There are a limited number of places for stands, so we will be allocating them on a ‘first come, first served’ basis – you can apply for a stand at the Eventbrite link.