We’re seeing exciting progress for our strategies this summer

Hi all,

This was a week of exciting progress across a whole range of our strategies – both internally in Combined and across the North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent area.

I had a busy and enjoyable week last week with some great things to share with you.


The highlight of my week was being asked to go to London with our Acting Director of Organisational Development, Jane Rook, to present a national webinar with Professor Michael West of The Kings Fund London.

This was part of a series of webinars to support the national Developing People, Improving Care Strategy. There are 5 conditions that underpin this, condition 2 is the need for compassionate, inclusive and effective leaders at all levels.

It was an opportunity for us to share insights on our Trust improvement journey and how our staff have been front and centre of that. Jane also shared the work we are doing to strengthen our approach to inclusions. Do you know we now have over 756 of our staff who have been recognised for their acts of compassion.

It was a real pleasure to be able to share our work, with all the people nationally who dialled into the webinar. We will provide the link to the webinar as soon as it becomes available.

Some of you may remember meeting Michael at a previous Leadership Academy session which went down extremely well. I used the opportunity to invite him to work with us as part of the STP leadership development programme that I am SRO for.


On Wednesday we held our inaugural Towards Outstanding Medical Leadership Programme, in partnership with Keele University.



Medical Director, Buki Adeyemo and Executive Director of Strategy, Development and Estates, Andrew Hughes supported the day and both thoroughly enjoyed it.

The event also saw STP Director, Simon Whitehouse talk about the clinical leader’s key role in taking forward services across the STP and the importance of this in informing service development whilst Andrew Hughes spoke about the changing NHS landscape.


In the afternoon, Bernie O’Hare from AQUA worked with the group on the approach to service improvement and the importance of focusing on what we do well and improving on it.  Importantly the group will be taking forward projects over the coming months as they go through the programme.






I am pleased that Phase 3 of our restructure is now underway involving Clinical Leads, Service Managers, AHP, Social Care and Psychology Leads and Quality Improvement Lead Nurses. The  consultation process started on Monday 16 July and I know has generated plenty of interest and views.

This phase of the locality restructure this week continues to focus on our consultation with staff regarding the management structures within each of the four newly established Directorates.

These include the roles of Service Managers, Quality Improvement Lead Nurses, Clinical, Psychology, AHP Leads and Social Care Leads. The newly appointed Clinical and Associate Directors are leading this phase, including ownership of the launch and the resulting consultation under a management of change process.

It is really important that  we truly design our new structures in collaboration with our staff and have already taken into account feedback received and the advice to refine elements of the structure. Please continue to feed back through the various means of doing so, as you can help shape our structure moving forward.

One of the most exciting elements of our new structure is the fact that we are taking the opportunity to really strengthen our professional structure. During August, we expect to advertise roles across the professional structures to express interest in and apply for. Please remain engaged with the process and if you are interested in such a role then discuss with the contact when the adverts come out.

As a reminder to everyone, if you  have any questions about our plans, how they affect you and the opportunities offered , please get in touch either with the project lead, Nicky Griffiths, or alternatively they can use our dedicated web page http://localities.wpengine.com/including an FAQs page and a web form they can use to ask us anything they like and get an answer. You can, if you prefer, even ask a question or give us a comment anonymously.


We’re delighted that news of our successful Lorenzo project  reached all the way to the other side of the world!

An Australian Doctor, eager to develop  technology in healthcare, visited the Trust on Wednesday 18 July.

He had a particular interest in how Lorenzo is successfully used as an Electronic Patient Record in community settings. On his visit he went to our Access Team and Community Learning Disability Services to see Lorenzo in action!


It has now been communicated that Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet have taken the decision to transfer our social care staff working in North Staffordshire  to the County Council for a period of at least 12 months. The reasons the Council have given for this during their public consultation were

  • Simplifying the health and care system in Staffordshire, allowing that stronger relationships to be developed with between organisations, and reducing the duplication associated with multiple providers thereby improving value for money.
  • Standardising mental health adult social care assessment and case management so that services are equitable across the county and allowing performance management to be strengthened.

We remain of the view that this is a retrograde step for Integrated Mental Health Services in North Staffordshire and are very concerned by this decision, we have been trying for some months alongside other stakeholders to change this decision. Unfortunately the Council have still decided to continue with this course of action. We will of course continue to work in partnership with Staffordshire County Council to provide the best services possible to our patients.

Jonathan O’Brien, Executive Director of Operations and Sam Mortimer, Head of Directorate for Community Services alongside staff side met with many of our affected staff last week who were understandably concerned. They will continue to meet staff on a two weekly basis and have asked the County Council to be present at the next meeting.

This is a difficult time for both our social care staff affected and our adult community teams who have worked together in integrated teams for over 10 years. We will do what ever we can to support staff and service users during this difficult time.


A huge well done to our Finance Director, Suzanne Robinson, who has been featured on the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s (HFMA) blog.

Suzanne has been working with the HFMA since she first joined the NHS 17 years ago and since then has viewed networks and the support we provide to one another as invaluable.

In her blog, titled Effective partnership working: the common ingredient Suzanne champions partnership working within and outside of local systems and explains how this is vital to the success of more integrated care system.

She explains how finance professionals have a major role to play in this success, and should use their skills.

You can read Suzanne’s blog here.


On Friday, a group of local politicians came to Lawton House to hand deliver a birthday card, signed by members of the community to commemorate years of the NHS 70.

This included Barry Gardiner, MP for Labour and Member of Parliament for Brent North since 1997. We were happy to be chosen as the Trust to receive the card, which contained some touching messages from members of the public.