Hello and welcome to my first Blog as Chief Executive.
I will update this Blog every fortnight and I welcome your feedback on the content.
I am delighted to have joined Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust in this new role, which started on 31 July. As part of my recruitment I met with many staff working across the Trust, directly employed and supporting us through facilities management and working alongside us in the Defence Medical Group (South).
My background is within the NHS, an organisation that I am passionate about. I trained as a nurse, working in critical care, cardiology and acute medicine. I then moved in to general and senior management roles within the NHS and held Executive roles in a number of London Trusts before working as Regional Chief Operating Officer for the Midlands and East at NHS Improvement. I am committed to working with patients, championing the best outcomes for each and every one.
I have been struck by all of the hard work going on in the hospital and it is my job to ensure we are focused on the future, learning from our mistakes and working together and harnessing the talent and ambition of our staff for the benefit of our patients. We should be proud of the things we do well but also deal with ongoing challenges to ensure we provide the best care for every single patient. I have been utterly impressed by the culture of our teams and the loyalty and commitment they show our patients, and to our Trust, every day.
I published my 100 day plan in my first week as CEO, to share the approach I will take to engage with you throughout the first three months. My focus will be tackling challenges and focussing on stabilisation of the hospital trust. I have set out four key priorities:
I believe the progress against my 100 plan has gone very well. I have had an opportunity to meet with many of our hard working staff on my regular walkabouts and also engage with partners from across the city and within the NHS. I have been heartened by the positive support they have offered to me personally and that which they offer for the Trust.
I held a wonderful discussion session with our volunteers this week. We have over 600 members of the public who freely give their time to us to support patients in our care. Their volunteer roles include administration assistance, dementia volunteers, hospital guides, mealtime assistants, ward assistants and patient experience volunteers. Thanks to all of them for their time commitment and contribution to the patient experience, they are extremely valued.
I am really pleased that I have been able to meet with many groups of staff over the past two weeks. I will be arranging walkabouts out of hours to ensure I get to see many more staff working at different times of the day and week. I am also delighted that I have received dozens of invitations to team meetings and personal invites too. I am encouraging this to continue and they will be added in to my diary. Do continue to contact me direct.
I have also received a huge amount of feedback to my three questions that I have asked of our staff. From next week I plan to share the general themes of this feedback received and will give my responses.
I will be supporting a number of key initiatives in the coming months to ensure we continue to focus our efforts on delivering the best best care for all patients. Already in action, but needing a roll out across the whole hospital, is some superb work on the ‘Red2Green’ campaign. This patient focused approach is being used to support the avoidance of internal and external delays and can make a real difference to a patient’s experience of care. I was able to meet the renal team who are an example of very good practice in the hospital and I hope to share more about this in the coming months.
I have also noticed there is a great deal of interest among our nursing and therapy teams in the ' End PJ paralysis’ movement which aims to get patients up out of bed and moving. This is a remarkably simple initiative which aims to stop a patient’s condition deteriorating. This is important because 65% of patients admitted to our hospital are 65 or older and a person over 80 who spends 10 days in a hospital bed may lose up to 10% of their muscle mass. This could make all the difference between a patient returning to their own home and going to a residential or nursing home. You will hear more about the work our teams are doing to raise awareness in this area over the coming weeks.
Many thanks again to staff, patients and partners for a very warm welcome. I look forward to meeting more of you in the coming weeks and sharing feedback about my experiences.