Two of our important projects are off to a flying start

Hi all

Two of our most important annual projects involving frontline staff are now underway and I’m delighted to tell you that they’re both off to a flying start.


The great start to this year’s #CombinedFlufighter campaign is showing no sign of let up, with a second 24-hour Jabathon last Friday, which went really well. We have a total so far of around 600 staff including bank staff vaccinated, which is ahead of where we were at the same time last year – so well done to everyone for the success so far and keep it up.

Over the course of last week, a whole host of individuals and teams from across the Trust got involved and our Comms Team has been celebrating the news with regular update bulletins and across social media.

Lisa Bennett, our Workforce Business Partner, was one of the first in the line for getting her vaccination this year. Lisa didn’t get chance to have the flu jab last year, and caught the virus whilst on maternity leave. You can watch a message from Lisa here.

Our Medical Director, Buki Adeyemo was the latest member of the Executive Team to have her jab. You can watch her below receiving the jab with her own video message to all staff, urging them to do the same.

We really need everyone to get their jab. It protects you, your work colleagues, your service users and your families.

To get your own jab, simply give our Flu Fighter Team a call on x60122, or email and one of the team will come to you!


Not to be outdone by their Flufighter colleagues, the team managing this year’s NHS Staff Survey have also been supporting staff from across the Trust to get involved and feed in their views.

We are now live with our 2018 staff survey. Already at the end of our second week, 16% have completed it. So thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to give your views – it really does make a difference to how we make improvements for everyone.

Your feedback and responses are completely anonymous, so please be honest with us in your responses. It will only take 10 minutes or so to finish, so please dig out the email from with the subject line:

North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust 2018 NHS Staff Survey: Invitation

We have a £250 prize draw for teams with a high response rate, which can be spent on a team-focused priority, so rally up your team to take part, too!

We have also created a special Staff Survey section on our new Trust Intranet, which contains FAQs and a webform where, if you have any questions about the survey, you can send them direct to the Combined Organisational Development Team and get a reply. You can access this section at


At Combined Healthcare, we believe in the power of stories and I know that our frontline staff and service users are the very best people to suggest them.

Hearing the experiences of our staff, our service users and their families – delivered by them in their own words – provides insights and knowledge in a way that goes beyond the mere printed word and is something of which I’m particularly supportive.

We use stories at our Trust Board, our Committees, internally and at engagement events. We also use them extensively across our web, digital and social media channels.

As part of our new Intranet – the Combined Access Tool (CAT) and our new public website – we’ve created a special online entry form. If you have an idea for a staff or service user story, you can suggest it to us and your idea will go direct to the Comms Team and our Patent Experience Team for consideration.

If your idea is accepted, the Comms Team can work with you to make a film and promote your idea.

​If you’re on the Trust Internal network, you can access the form here or on our public website you can access it here. If you have any questions or suggestions or if you’d prefer to send by e-mail, you can contact our Patient Experience Facilitator, Veronica Emlyn, on


It was a real pleasure to see Combined represented at this year’s Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards in Liverpool on Thursday night. 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 were delighted to be Highly Commended in the Workforce Wellbeing category for the Zokens project. Well done, and many thanks to Zoe Grant and Maxine Tillstone for representing us at the event.


I was really impressed to hear that a group of 50 people from the Colosseum Gym, in Longton, climbed Mount Snowdon, raising £2,447.46 for Ward 2, the acute male ward.

The gym members had decided to take on the largest mountain in Wales, but had not yet decided on what charity to raise money for. Lola, a member of the gym and daughter of a Ward 2 activity worker, Martin Cork, encouraged the Colosseum gym to donate the money raised to the ward. The ward team wanted to say thank you to the gym for their efforts and held a presentation on 10 October, presenting Colosseum gym owner Mark Mulenga and his team with flowers and homemade cakes from one of the nurses.

Martin Cork said: “It was great to take the opportunity to thank Mark and his gym members for raising such a huge amount for us. We’ve had some feedback from the patients on what they need. We want to develop the ward to make their experience a bit better while people are here, such as altering the rooms and improving the garden area.”

Ward 2 had not one but two reasons to say thank you, with the Ward Manager Jo Sherwin thanking Julianne Kettle in the presentation after she raised a over £700 for the ward after completing the Potters ‘Arf Marathon in June.


Myself, Jonathan O’Brien and Jane Munton-Davies had an excellent meeting with the senior council social care team last week. We discussed how, together, we can progress our plans to move towards alliance working within an integrated care partnership.

As you will know, one of the outcomes from our new structure is to strengthen professional leadership. We are discussing with the council the possibility of a joint social care professional lead post which would enable us to join up and deliver more integrated approaches, supporting the development of our social care staff. I will keep you updated.


I am delighted to announce the appointment of Ursula Martin as the Assistant Chief Executive Officer for Combined Healthcare.

This is a new role for which the Board had recognised the need – particularly with my role increasingly demanding as I focus on the leadership of pan-Staffordshire STP priorities. The post will lead on corporate governance and quality improvement, working very closely with other Executive Directors. It will also lead on Freedom to Speak Up and Communications.

Ursula joins us from Warrington and Halton Hospitals, where she is currently the Director of Governance and Quality. She is hugely experienced, having worked at a senior level in the NHS for 10 years. Ursula has worked across primary care, the acute sector and has worked in Mental Health Trusts, in primarily governance and quality improvement roles, for 18 years in the NHS.

On her Twitter account, Ursula describes herself as “Proud to be NHS through and through” and this pride in the NHS shone through during the interview and appointment process. What impressed us particularly was the importance that Ursula placed on supporting staff to deliver excellence and quality services, whilst demonstrating Trust and NHS values.

Ursula said: “I am so excited to join North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust and work alongside everyone in the exciting journey the Trust has embarked upon to be Outstanding. I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can when I commence role in January 2019.”