So this week – more CQC; we were in the news; I spent a smashing day at Samuel Johnson Community Hospital and met some of our emerging leaders, too!

We had further visits by our CQC inspectors this week, this time to medicine, surgery, maternity and children’s services. I’ve just had some feedback from the CQC team this morning and, once again, lots of positive things from them regarding the amazing care you give to our patients every day. As always, there are some things which we want to improve but in the main, these are relatively straight forward and work will already be underway to do this. I was delighted that one of our inspectors picked up a tweet on social media regarding the end of life care on Ward 206 at the Royal. The CQC made a special visit to speak to the team and were bowled over by the quality of the care being given.

We also had our Use of Resources review this week, which is all part of CQC inspection process. This focuses on the efficiency of the hospital using information from something called the Model Hospital. This provides comparative data on the performance of hospitals around the country and the Get It Right First Time reviews of clinical services that I’ve mentioned in my blog many times.  We’re an efficient Trust with costs below the average – they compared something called Cost per WAU – that’s ‘waited activity units’ to you and me. The Trust compares very favourably with its peers. We also couldn’t resist mentioning some of the highlights of our recent GIRFT reports with revision rates for hip and knee surgery being much better than most of the rest of the country at Derby and Burton. We are also a leader in home dialysis and vascular access in our renal service to mention but a few things.

Talking about renal services, the highlight of my week was undoubtedly the afternoon with Sister Jenny down at the renal dialysis unit at Samuel Johnson. This is a nurse-led unit with nine dialysis stations and I was seriously impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of the team to deliver great care. I had some good conversations with the patients there about their experience and what it feels like to live life in need of dialysis. Each patient spends around four hours, three times a week, within the unit where they certainly build a very strong bond with the clinical team there. One chap I spoke to was a visiting patient who had come to spend time with his daughter living in the area who’d recently had a baby and needed to dialyse. It’s good to think that we can offer this chance of a little more freedom to patients from elsewhere.  It was also a pleasure to talk to another gentleman who’d been supported to pursue a passion for art whilst dialysing, and he received a little bit of artistic training and was now working on a fabulous water colour as we were chatting. All in all, it was a great visit to a fabulous service. Well done team!

We were in the news this week with a couple appearances on television. Firstly, I was delighted by the story of Des Coleman, the incredibly enthusiastic weatherman from the ITV Central Team.  Des had a harrowing experience a couple of months ago when he was suffering from a massive internal haemorrhage and was rushed to QHB. He’d come back to thank the team and to tell his story. He was full of praise for our ED, Acute Assessment Unit, Imaging and the surgical teams.  He is also, quite literally, a living testament to the quality of our blood transfusion team after Des required no fewer than 13 blood transfusions in one night to keep him alive. It was great to see Des fully recovered and full of beans and it was kind of the ITV team to come back and say thank you.

Sharon, our Chief Operating Officer, was also in the news on Thursday night. This time being interviewed by Rob Sissons of the BBC all about the modular ward I mentioned in last week’s blog.  It’s taken us just 74 days to build the new facility – Paul Brooks, our Director of Patient Experience, Estates and Facilities Management, calls it ‘the miracle on car park 1’! Sharon also got the opportunity to update on other aspects of our winter plan, making sure that we continue to keep patients safe during this busy time.

I had my usual start to the week when I attended our staff induction. It was great to see so many new colleagues and volunteers too. It was also a pleasure to get along to the opening session of our Lead programme. This is a development opportunity for established leaders within the Trust to really hone their skills. It’s always a pleasure to go along and have the opportunity to share a little bit of my journey and some of the things I’ve learnt along the way and that I’m still learning today.  I also met up with three of our newest Band 6 sisters in the Medical Division, who’ve just completed an 18 month rotational programme to help them transition from a Band 5. It was a pleasure to meet Lauren Bates, Cathryn Connop and Grace Nolan. They’re incredibly enthusiastic about the opportunity they’ve had to develop over the last few months and each has secured a substantive Band 6 role within the Medical Division. Good for them!

One of the things that struck me most about both groups of leaders at different stages in their development is that they’ve all chosen to step forward to take responsibility for improving our organisation and the care that we give our patients. This takes considerable courage and both groups were a real inspiration. It was a pleasure to spend a little bit of time with them.

One of the other things I did at Samuel Johnson this week is attend our People Committee, which on behalf of the Board takes an interest all things to do with developing our workforce. Pete Thomond, who’s the Managing Director of CleverTogether, came along to give an update on the work we’ve been doing together for our Big Conversation, all about the why, how and what for UHDB. Thank you once again for the thousands of colleagues who got involved in the face to face sessions and the online conversations. We now have over 60,000 pieces of information to help us to shape our shared direction for the future, our agreed behaviours and values and also some of the big ticket things that we are going to deliver together as UHDB. CleverTogether are still doing their analysis but it won’t be long now before we can share this with you all and build it into our organisational strategy, which we aim to develop by the end of March. Thanks again to everybody who got involved and took the opportunity to tell it like it is!

Best wishes

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