SFH Executive Blog
Each month our Executive Directors take it in turn to write a short blog about their area and key priorities to share with staff. We hope this gives you an interesting insight into life at Sherwood Forest Hospitals.
We’ll continue to add them to this page as they are produced.
August 2019 | Paul Robinson - Chief Financial Officer
I’m Paul Robinson and I have been the Chief Financial Officer at Sherwood for over four years. Over the past month I have monitoring the finances and trying to ensure that we deliver on our plan. I have also had the pleasure of playing a small role in the Healthcare Financial Management Association accreditation process for the Finance Team. I am delighted that the Team has been awarded level 2 accreditation - the first Trust in the Midlands to achieve this.
My role includes understanding and communicating the financial position of the Trust and ensuring the delivery of annual plans. During my time here the Trust has improved and delivered in these three areas. This has been a significant achievement when set against the improvements we have made in patient care and safety. However, we still have a large deficit year on year – for the financial year 2019/20 we are planning to post a deficit of £41M.
We clearly have more work to identify how we can reduce this annual deficit and become financially sustainable and continue to improve patient care and safety. These things CAN go hand in hand. Trusts achieving Outstanding CQC ratings are also managing their finances and are sustainable.
The Trust Board is clear in its understanding of the current financial position and how we are going to make the Trust financially sustainable in five years. This is the basis of our financial strategy, ‘Achieving Best Value’.
Our financial deficit is due to three things:
- Structural issues - we have excellent PFI facilities, although these are expensive
- Strategic issues - across the Mid Notts health economy (ICP) there isn’t always the most efficient and effective patient pathway in place.
- Operational issues – within SFH we don’t always have the most efficient and effective processes in place.
Our strategy to become sustainable is to identify actions to tackle each one of these things specifically. We need help from national bodies to tackle the structural issues, we need to work with ICP partners to deliver efficiencies on the strategic issues and we need to maximise the use of all our resources.
By doing these things and achieving better value for every pound we spend we can reduce our deficit and continue to improve patient care.
Thank you for reading my blog.
March 2019 | Simon Barton - Chief Operating Officer
March is here as we hope this signals some light at the end of the tunnel for winter. Often this is the most stressful time of year for all our staff as the rolling effect of winter takes its toll – we are all tired, but come in each day and try to do our best for patients as ever. Thank you for all your hard work and support so far. As my role is to ensure our hospitals run smoothly and patients get timely care, it can feel like winter is when we are under the microscope to see how well our system will work.
In the last month I have been focussed on working with colleagues across the divisions to make sure we maintain patient safety even when all our extra winter capacity was open and undoubtedly this has meant having to make some tough decisions. However I can genuinely say I am so impressed with how different teams have pulled together to not only look after our patients but also look after their colleagues. More patients have received timely care this winter than last winter and this would not have happened if teams hadn’t been flexible, such as the surgical teams concentrating on day case and temporarily looking after medical patients on their wards. I am also conscious that while I’ve had positive comments from ward colleagues about how they feel our winter plan has been rolled out, for colleagues in ED the pressure has felt constant, even when we’ve had all our extra winter capacity open. In February, we saw a 14% increase in ED majors attends, and 13% increase in admissions – but throughout winter waiting times have been much better for our patients than in 17/18. This is a fantastic achievement by everyone.
And so as we come out of winter I am now planning on how we return those beds back to the surgical teams. We need to do this in a way that will not mean poorly patients in ED have to wait longer than they should for a suitable bed but I am confident that we will do that in early April.
While it’s tempting to focus on ED there has also been a big piece of work on making sure we met the national 62 day target for cancer. We’re not there consistently yet but again I know that that’s not through a lack of hard work and focus. Regardless of the target, we know it’s better for the vast majority of patients to be seen, diagnosed and treated for cancer as soon as possible and so we continue to work on our processes so we can do this consistently for all our patients with cancer. When cancer is diagnosed, it is treated quickly, but we can diagnose it quicker and there is lots of hard work going on from all teams to do this.
I hope that’s given you a small glimpse into my focus over the last month. As ever if you want to keep in touch drop me an email at Simon.Barton3@nhs.net or follow me on Twitter @SFHTCOO.
November 2018 | Andy Haynes - Executive Medical Director
The run in to Xmas is always busy and this year has been no different.
Our medical recruitment has been progressing well, and it’s fantastic to see our number of medical vacancies reduce to less than 7%, which is less than the regional and national averages of 12 and 10% respectively. We now have full recruitment in services like ED and Cardiology for the first time since I joined Team SFH.
We continue to perform strongly on the national standards in seven day services with almost 90% of patients seen by a senior medic within 14hrs of admission in the spring audit; only six trusts in the whole of Midlands and East were better than this.
Sincere thanks to all the teams involved in helping deliver these improvements which relate directly back to better patient care.
This month we held a well-attended Medical Leadership Day (our seventh such event) and had a rich conversation with colleagues; it would be great to see more multidisciplinary leadership development given that’s how most of our teams are made up.
We have also recently welcomed another rotation of junior doctors with the key messages;
- treat patients to the experience you would want your own family to have, and
- treat your colleagues how you would want them to treat you, a smile goes a long way as does a thank you and always reflect what it was like work alongside you today.
I was delighted to attend the opening of the SFH Admin Conference. In my experience, admin colleagues are a key determinant of the quality of patient experience and work life for all of us; great to see a “full house”.
Finally the Board held a two-day timeout which was valuable to reflect on progress made and strategic, new directions of travel. Our CEO, Richard Mitchell gave a telling demonstration of technology …the GP at Hand app diagnosed my mock sleep apnoea in six questions and we spoke to colleagues in Salford, Frimley and Wolverhampton about their experiences.
Externally, we continue to provide support to a range of other organisations. We hosted a meeting with a team from George Eliot Hospital to help with quality and safety and of course it has just been announced that we will formally help Queen Elizabeth Kings Lynn in a buddy arrangement. This is a great credit to the work we have done as an organisation and its recognition by the regulators.
We continue to play a significant role with partners in Mid Notts to develop better care for our population. Richard Mitchell, John MacDonald (our Chair) and myself sit on various Boards and groups. The services outside the Trust around Primary Care Networks are developing and new approaches with the Musculoskeletal and End of Life services now delivered by an alliance of providers. Suzanne Banks (Chief Nurse) and colleagues have grasped the prevention agenda with more intervention offered for smoking cessation and heavy drinking. We are working closely with Public Health and District Council colleagues to look at the wider issues for our population.
And finally, there are many current uncertainties (I refuse to mention Brexit!) but it is clear that we continue to mature as a Trust and I am very proud to be part of Team SFH at all levels. Thank you for all that you give, have a great Xmas, take time to enjoy family and bring on 2019!
Executive Medical Director.
October 2018 | Simon Barton - Chief Operating Officer
As the Chief Operating Officer, I lead the Divisions and try to ensure our hospitals run as smoothly and calmly as possible with a focus on ensuring we can get patients to the care they need in as timely manner as possible. It’s a privilege to be in this role across such wonderful hospitals, it is so rewarding and I thoroughly enjoy the role.
We provide our patients with some of the best emergency access waiting times in the NHS and maintaining this throughout winter is a real key area of focus for us at the moment – through three streams:
- We will be trying to safely put extra beds in for the surge in medical admissions along with converting some surgical beds to look after medical patients – this latter point is crucial and we are so grateful to the staff who work on wards and areas that look after a different group of patients throughout the winter months and beyond.
- We are also working hard to safely reduce the number of patients that are admitted by focussing on using Ambulatory care and reducing admissions for high volume users where there may be other options for them.
- Finally, there is work to ensure as many patients are safely discharged in a timely manner to ensure there is adequate bed capacity for patients coming in the front door.
It is crucial through these tough winter periods that we ensure patients are effectively looked after, but that we also look after each other, continuing to work as a team and maintaining our own wellbeing. The only way we will maintain the successful access we provide our patients is by continuing to work together and every day I see fantastic team members who are all there for each other.
Another area of focus for us at the moment is improving the time it takes to diagnose cancer. This is often an anxious and worrying time for patients and we wish to reduce this wait as much as possible whilst acknowledging that we have seen around a 10% growth in referrals to cancer pathways – everybody is working very hard on trying to reduce this wait, but there is more we can do.
Thank you to all colleagues for their hard work and dedication, it is really is appreciated and if you want to keep in touch drop me an email atSimon.Barton3@nhs.net or follow me on Twitter @SFHTCOO.
September 2018 | Kerry Beadling-Barron - Head of Communication
In the latest of our series of monthly blogs from our Executive team, Kerry Beadling-Barron our Head of Communications brings us up to date on her recent activity.
It’s been a busy month for me and my team as we support teams getting ready with big autumn and winter campaigns: Stoptober, the Annual General Meeting, staff survey, staff flu and the launch of the engagement around what will be our new Trust strategy: Looking Ahead to 2024 - Our Next Steps.
We have now begun to engage with our public and staff on what our new strategy should look like and include to help us continue on our journey. We want to launch it in April 2019 so for the next six weeks will be asking our community, staff and stakeholders to tell us what they think this should include. We’ll then collate all your responses together. If you want to take part there are a number of ways:
- Fill in the online survey. It’s simple and quick so should take no more than 10 minutes. You can find it here.
- Invite us to come along to one of your meetings to present our ideas and give feedback that way. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pass on the online survey to other interested parties.
The survey will close on November 23, 2018.
I also chaired the group who shortlisted this year’s Staff Excellence Awards which is always an exciting experience. We had well over 500 nominations this year, so huge thanks to everyone who took the time to nominate a colleague or team It’s one of the bits of my job I enjoy the most and by the end of this week the full list will be announced. Good luck to those who haven’t heard yet.
I also spent some time shadowing in the pathology department and will write that up as a separate article but the breadth and volume of what the different teams do there was truly eye opening. Other items included working on some communications that will be used across Nottinghamshire on discharge which can be used throughout winter.
I’m happy to visit specific departments and learn more about what all the teams do here, clinical and non-clinical so if you would like to invite me along just email me!
Head of Communications,
email@example.com ext 2717
August 2018 | Paul Robinson - Chief Financial Offier
The main role I have is to provide the Trust with strategic financial advice and support through the management of our finance and payroll teams. In fulfilling this I ensure that the Trust has financial plans in place which enables the delivery of safe and effective care to patients within the resources available (called the control total). This is important because more often than not the most efficient way to give safe and effective care is by having the right processes in place and providing the right care for patients at the right time.
I then ensure the delivery of the financial plan is reported every month to the Board of Directors and is regularly discussed in the divisional performance meetings, audit committee and Executive Director and Trust Management Teams so that everyone understands how the delivery of the finances relates to the delivery of good patient care.
In reporting the delivery of this year's financial plan I have highlighted that there is a risk of £9m and have spent the last month understanding and communicating the reasons for this and ensuring that we have a recovery plan which enables the control total to be achieved and we continue to deliver safe and effective care.
The key challenges I have identified are:
1. Our financial improvement plan is not delivering its target. Each and every NHS organisation is required to make financial improvements each year to demonstrate that the NHS is more efficient and effective in its use of resources. Our target for this year is £17.3m and at the moment we don't have sufficient ideas and plans to achieve this. We have been really successful in recent years in delivering our financial improvement targets but this year is proving tough.
2. Our use of locum and agency staff is higher than we planned. Part of the success of our financial improvements in recent years has been the reduction in spend on locum and agency staff. Thanks to everyone's hard work and focus we now spend £12m less each year than we did two years ago. This is important to patient care as we know the more substantive staff we have, the better the continuity of care is for our patients. However, this year we are not achieving our plan and we are likely to spend more than the planned £16m.
I am developing a recovery plan which will enable us to close the financial gap and have been working on this with the Divisional Management Teams, Senior Leadership Team, Executive Team and Board of Directors.
One of the other financial issues I know staff are aware of is that we have one of the largest deficits in the NHS and we have received a CQC rating of 'Requires Improvement' for our use of resources because of it. We know that while some of this is because of the large PFI payments, this explains only £18m of our planned deficit of £46m. This means there is still £28m that is within our control.
I believe passionately in high quality patient care and believe that we provide this consistently. I also believe that we must deliver care within the resources available and that it is the duty of every manager of staff to ensure we do this.
I am really keen to gather your ideas about how we could further improve our use of resources though being more efficient or getting more for our money. I'm sure everyone has an idea and if so please share them with the PMO team either by phone (extension 4249 at KMH) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
There are other ideas we have been looking at and I'll be writing out again when there is more detail around them.
July 2018 | Shirley Higginbotham - Director of Corporate Affairs
I have one of the most interesting roles in the Trust, my portfolio includes, community involvement (which includes all our volunteers, 650 across 3 sites), the Sherwood Forest Charity, Information Governance, Risk Management, Governors and the Corporate Secretariat.
In June we celebrated the work of all or volunteers during National Volunteers week and I was fortunate to spend some time in the Daffodil Café at King's Mill Hospital working with the volunteers, who work extremely hard providing much needed refreshments to staff, patients and public. I also spent time on the help desk at Newark Hospital, this is situated right at the front door and provides a very welcoming experience to patients and visitors, with lots of cheery, good mornings, hellos and helping people find the way to their appointments, together with resolving queries regarding car parking!
The Sherwood Forest Charity supports the Trust in very many ways and our volunteer fundraisers work exceptionally hard across all our sites. This year’s appeal is for a replacement Gamma Scanner, this is a huge appeal for such a small charity at £550,000 however due to the dedication of staff, volunteers, partner organisations, and donations from patients and visitors we have already raised £90,000. Whilst over at Newark Hospital the charity supported by partner organisations including the Newark League of Hospital Friends have raised £105,000 for improvements to Sconce ward to make it more appealing to patients with Dementia and other mental health issues. During June the parents’ room on Ward 25 was opened, this again was funded by our volunteer fundraisers and partner organisations.
I was also fortunate to be invited to celebrate the 70th anniversary of our Mansfield and Ashfield League of Hospital Friends and the 60th anniversary of our Newark League of Hospital Friends, their unwavering support of our hospitals is truly wonderful.
The Community Involvement Team work very hard supporting the volunteers, following the same recruitment, support and training governance as we do when recruiting members of staff the team also support the charity and this is really appreciated. It never ceases to amaze me how much support we receive both from the time commitments of our volunteers and the donations to our charity.
It has been a busy year with regard to Information Governance and the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation which came into force in May, the team have worked exceptionally hard together with staff from across the Trust and the health economy to ensure our systems and processes are compliant.
I have been fortunate to have risk management added to my portfolio recently and I very much look forward to working with the team to continue the improvements made in this area.
A key part of my role is ensuring the Board of Directors, Council of Governors and the relevant committees work effectively in driving the organisation forward on our journey to outstanding, the corporate services team are exceptional in supporting me and I couldn’t do it without them.
You can contact me on email@example.com.
June 2018 | Suzanne Banks - Chief Nurse
This month celebrates the life of Dr Kate Granger who died two years ago. Kate is internationally known for #Hello my name is…. Which highlights the importance of ensuring that we introduce ourselves to our patients and their loved ones. Acknowledging the importance of good communication and how simple acts can have a significant impact on individuals. We have been lucky to have Chris, her husband, share Kate’s story on two occasions this year and so this anniversary is quite poignant for us as a Trust.
The summer is a great time of the year for me as we hold our annual Chief Nurse awards ceremony. It is an opportunity to celebrate all of the work, achievements and compassionate care that is provided to our patients and their loved ones. This year we included an additional special nomination which marked the NHS70 celebrations. It is these events that remind me why I feel I am lucky to be in my role.
The NHS70 celebrations went really well within the Trust and there were some great stands and ‘cakes’ in the KTC from many of our professional groups.
As a Chief Nurse my portfolio encompasses the professional leadership of nurses, midwives and allied health professionals and I have a great team of senior leaders working with me. I am also the executive lead for safeguarding, end of life care and more recently I have taken on the portfolio of clinical governance. In addition to this I am the executive lead for the Trust at our STP and Alliance meetings for mental health and health and well-being. I also work closely with my executive colleagues on the wider corporate responsibilities and am responsible for leading the development of the annual Quality Accounts. This is an annual report about the quality of services provided by a Trust and is published and available to the public.
This year we launched our Nursing and Midwifery strategy which was the culmination of several months of engagement and development. 740 staff were involved in its development and every nurse and midwife have been given their own personal copy. We are in the early stages of developing our Allied Health Professions strategy which will follow a similar process. We are hoping that we will be in a position to launch this towards the end of the year. These strategies are important because they demonstrate how we will deliver within our role towards the Trust’s 5 strategic priorities.
What is really important to me as Chief Nurse is ensuring that we try to get it right every time for our patients and their loved ones. I feel strongly that we are in a privileged position within healthcare of caring for patients and their families at one of their most vulnerable times in their lives. Because of this we have a duty to ensure that we respect that time with them, communicate well and treat them with the care and compassion that we would want our loved ones treated with. Patients and their loved ones remember this and their experience is positive when staff give care that is compassionate, involves them in decision making and provides them with good emotional support.
I hope this has given you an insight into my role and the part I play in #TeamSFH
You can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 2018 | Julie Bacon - Executive Director or Human Resources and Organisational Development
My portfolio covers a range of areas so there is always a lot to do. It includes the HR team, Recruitment, Occupational Health, Little Millers and Health and Safety managed through my Deputy Rob Simcox. Education, Training, Leadership and Organisational Development is managed through my Deputy Lee Radford and the Rostering Services Department is led by Donna Mariner. I meet with these three senior leaders individually every week, usually on a Monday as I believe that it is really important to work as a close knit team.
I recognise the importance of staff engagement and was pleased to present the regular culture and leadership report to the April Public Board meeting. It included our latest pulse survey results which show what a fantastic motivated team SFH has.
Our Maximising our Potential Workforce strategy posters and handouts have been printed, together with ones on our Leadership development. Look out for these around the Trust. I am proud that these represent our genuine commitment to our staff and their careers.
I took part in our use of resources assessment, conducted by NHS Improvement which is part of our well-led assessment for the Care Quality Commission and was pleased to be able to talk about the improvements that our Trust has made.
Getting out and about and meeting staff is really important to me. This month my 15 steps visit took me around Radiology, where I was impressed with our award winning service and I also enjoyed meeting staff in most clinical areas at Newark too.
April 2018 | Kerry Beadling-Barron - Head of Communications
This month it’s my turn to give you an insight into my role. It’s certainly been hectic as my team is responsible for producing patient information, infographics, the weekly Bulletin, staff briefings, videos for staff briefings, designing the posters you see around sites, responding to media queries, monitoring and posting to the Trust corporate social media accounts, pushing positive stories in the media and celebrating individual and team successes, updating our Foundation Trust members, supporting internal campaigns and getting feedback from the public through our Forum for Public Involvement.
As well as all that there was also preparations for the CQC visit which included advertising the drop in sessions for staff and the public and preparing the initial presentation and video for the team of inspectors when they arrived (you can watch it here if you haven’t already). A lot of my role is collaborative and spending time with individuals and teams to understand exactly how I can help them deliver what they need. I’m a firm believer that we need to keep communications simple, clear and linked to easily understandable objective. This is the way we can add real value to the efforts of our colleagues, both clinical and non-clinical across the Trust. That’s why we are continually looking to improve the ways we communicate and this year will be focusing on improving our website, intranet and using tools like screensavers.
Specifically this month I went for an Easter walk around to main reception, Patient Experience Team and general office at KMH to hear how they were doing after the long, hard winter. I also shadowed the medical records team at Newark. I try to shadow a different team every month since starting and find this a really valuable way to get out and meet teams and understand the different pressures they are under. I’ve shadowed the stroke team, porters, hostesses the research team at KMH; all of them very different but providing extremely important roles.
I attended my usual meetings such as the weekly executive team and Board, but I also presented to NHIS senior leadership on the role and duties of the media following last year’s cyber attack. I’m also part of the national NHS Communications Steering group whose members were specifically pulled together to focus on the key challenges for communications including increasing the diversity of people in communication roles. We met again this month to move this forward and it’s a piece of work I’m particularly excited about.
I also think it’s important as a leader to have planned and constructive time with my team and as such I lead a short meeting on Monday morning looking at the week ahead, on Friday we list our successes of the week so we can try to end our week on a high and in the middle of the month we have a more formal look ahead where we review our KPIs for the month just gone. On top of this I also hold regular 1:1s with all the team members. It’s my hope that this means they feel comfortable approaching me about any issues but also feel supported in their roles and understand how they link into our strategic direction.
Hopefully that’s given an insight in the breadth of my role. If you would like to know anymore about what I do, or invite me to shadow your team, or have suggestions around how we can further improve our communications, I’d love to hear it. You can contact me on email@example.com
March 2018 | Peter Wozencroft - Director of Strategic Planning & Commercial Development
As with every year at this stage, a good deal of my time in March was spent in planning for the next twelve months. We’ve been working hard with our teams in the Trust and our partners in health and social care locally to come up with plans for the year that will further improve the quality and safety of our services, people’s experience as they receive treatment and care with us, and the cost-effectiveness of everything we do. It’s not been an easy process, but I think we’re in a better position now than in the past to make real improvements to the health and wellbeing of local people.
Although the first thing it says in my job title is strategic planning, I’ve got quite a wide range of other areas of responsibility including estates, facilities, procurement, information, clinical coding and ICT, and am fortunate to have such great teams in all these areas. I’ve been focusing a lot on ICT and how we use the whole range of technology available to us to deliver better patient care. We are nearing the end of our project to implement Nervecentre across the Trust, which allows us to respond quickly and effectively when our patients are becoming sicker in our hospitals, and we are looking to add more functions to it to help with clinical handover and enable us to have a “real time” bed state to manage capacity and flow. The team has been doing quite a lot of engagement over the past couple of months, to ensure that technology is giving our clinical teams what they need to enhance care. There’s a lot still to improve, but we’ve made good progress over the past year.
The other thing I’m really pleased to see is that the new and improved “spine” corridor, that links the service yard with the rest of the hospital, is nearly complete. The old corridor was a blot on the landscape, and a legacy of the bad old days of poor estate on the King’s Mill site. Thanks to the estates team, our PFI partners and contractors, this new facility will be much more in keeping with our generally high-quality buildings and keep the goods and services that are the life blood of our hospitals flowing smoothly from the service yard.
February 2018 | Andy Haynes - Medical Director
It’s been a busy month in and outside the Trust. I was Gold On call over a weekend and was humbled and proud to see the effort made to deliver great care across the Trust in the face of significant winter pressures. Thank you for supporting each other through this demanding period. Ambulance handover and transport has been a consistent theme and I attended a workshop with colleagues from EMAS to discuss the issues we had faced this winter and start to plan how we manage next winter together to deliver a better service to patients and staff.
Cancer has also been a main focus and I have visited several MDT meetings; the clarity of decision making, challenge and support from NUH colleagues has been impressive. We hosted our Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) feedback for Urology; thank you to the clinical teams who have made this collaboration work so well. The progress on the close working partnership between SFH and NUH was also presented to Nottinghamshire County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee earlier this month by Richard Mitchell, CEO and myself together with Tracy Taylor (NUH CEO) and Keith Girling (NUH Medical Director) and was positively received.
I also chaired the Clinical Reference Group of the STP which brings together doctors, nurses and AHPs from primary, community and acute care. We had a strong discussion about improving End of Life care, aligning the training we give to staff aross organisations and improving communication. Programme Lead Kim Ashall presented the Mid Notts work we have led with the new MSK model; not perfect yet but to get this up and running is a great credit to the growing role SFH is taking. Last week we had a workshop to discuss the outline of an Acute Clinical Services strategy for the Nottinghamshire footprint and SFH staff were well represented in the discussions. This should start to define the shape of clinical pathways for our communities.
I attended a "Requires Improvement to Good" workshop organised by NHSI where I heard how Royal Berkshire and West Suffolk Trusts had progressed to Outstanding. We are doing some really good things and starting to celebrate them internally and share them externally. What are you proud of in your area? I’m proud of our work on patient safety culture and am pleased that Ceri Charles will shortly join us as the Associate Director of Service Improvement. She was part of the Patient Safety Culture team when "on loan" from NUH and will bring real energy and enthusiasm as she rejoins Sarah Addlesee and Nick Watson in this space. I should thank Paul White and Xara Allen as they move on from our Governance Support Unit to pastures new but both have made signifcant contributions to the SFH journey to date.
I also welcomed the new junior doctors this month and shared a fantastic morning with colleagues at the fourth Medical Leadership Training workshop.
Hopefully that has given you an insight into my role. If you are interested in finding out more you can contact me on ext. 3247.
January 2018 | Simon Barton - Chief Operating Officer
Hello – this is my first month working at SFHFT as the Trust’s new Chief Operating Officer as I started on 2nd January. It is a real privilege to lead the operations of my local hospital Trust. Working to the Chief Executive, my role is to work with the Divisions to ensure our hospitals run as smoothly as possible, notably ensuring that patients get access to see the clinicians they need as soon as possible.
It has been a very busy time for all colleagues across the Trust (and indeed the NHS as you will have seen in the media) having to ensure the treatment of a significant increase of medical admissions. First and foremost I want to say thank you for everything you have done during this period. I have been leading a lot of the bed meetings on ‘Black’ alert, but when out and about the dedication, commitment, and flexibility I have seen across the hospitals is inspiring. I would like to draw particular attention to how flexibly everyone has worked during this period in both looking after patients they may not normally look after, but also moving to wards or departments who may need extra help, particularly in the Emergency department.
I have visited a number of departments and wards during the first month and everyone I have met has been so welcoming, you can see why SFH is attracting lots more colleagues to work alongside its already loyal workforce and why patients say such good things about the care they receive at the hospitals.
There has been a lot to be inspired by over the last three weeks, but the one disappointment is that due to prioritising emergency and cancer patients we have had to postpone some patients inpatient planned surgery. Our Chief Executive has written to the patients apologising for this and we are sorry this has happened. We are working on plans to ensure those patients receive their treatment as soon as possible and are looking to reinstate planned inpatient surgery in the next week.
It has been a tough but rewarding first month and I am looking forward to meeting more of you in the coming months. You can follow me on twitter on @SFHTCOO to see what I’ve been up to.
December 2018 | Julie Bacon - Executive Director of HR & OD
December has been a busy month. In addition to my usual activities, I have been privileged to do some Christmas walk arounds. I was very impressed by the effort that has been made with the ward Christmas raffles. The sheer number of donated hampers and prizes was amazing.
It was nice to see the entries to the festive doors competition too and to host the Human Resource and Organisational Development inter-department Christmas quiz on Christmas Eve.
Our 2018 NHS staff survey closed at the end of November. Our highest ever response rate at 62% will be one of the best for an NHS Acute Trust, so thank you to everyone who has participated. We receive some feedback early in the New Year and then the full official report in March. Although we look at the highlights such as our ratings for “would you recommend your Trust as a place to work” and “would you recommend your Trust as a place to receive care”, we also take account of all the comments made. I commit to read every single one.
December also sees the staff flu vaccination programme in full swing, led by my Directorate’s Occupational Health Team. By Christmas Eve a whopping 81% of SFH front line staff had been vaccinated. It’s open well into February, so we are hoping that even more staff, including those in support services, will still take it up.
2018 has seen us fill many more of our medical staff positions, and we also had the highest ever number of newly qualified nurses start with us this autumn. In 2019, we are hoping to welcome a new cohort of international nurses.
I hope that you all had a lovely Christmas and a special thank you to all of our staff who were here working over the festive period. Let’s all look forward to a wonderful and successful 2019.
Executive Director of HR and OD