Today I was delighted to attend our second annual Patient Safety conference hosted by our Medical Director, Dr John Knighton. We were fortunate to have two incredibly powerful presentations from our speakers, Dr Chris Turner of the Civility Saves Lives campaign, and our incoming Chief Nurse, Liz Rix. During the day there was also a series of poster presentations on safety initiatives and quality improvement projects from across the Trust which once again highlighted the scale of work being undertaken to improve the care of our patients. If you were unable to attend then look out for the videos of the talks from Liz and Dr Turner which will be shared via Trust Talk next week. Thank you to both the Patient Safety Team and Organisational Development team for their hard work in organising the day.
This week we have started to see some improvements across our urgent care pathway with improved flow across the hospital and fewer delays for those patients using the Emergency Department. Work is ongoing with our partners across the local system to maintain this momentum and ensure none of our patients have to wait longer than they should. As part of this planning I have brought in additional support for our operational team before Paul Bytheway leaves us at the end of next month. Steven Vaughan has joined us as Interim Chief Operating Officer and will play a key role in supporting our efforts to drive further improvements and our planning for winter 2019 and ensure we have a smooth transition to Paul’s substantive successor. Paul will continue to lead on a number of key projects for us and lead on the handover of the Chief Nursing Officer team, throughout the month of June.
Earlier this week I spent time with our Change Agents hearing more about their progress in developing the ‘design’ phase of our culture change programme, focusing on how we will deliver the recommendations made in the initial ‘discovery’ phase. We had a lively and interesting discussion about a range of issues and as ever I came away impressed by their passion and commitment. If you are not familiar with the names of our Change Agents or you would like a refresh of what they are doing, you can find their details here.
One of the areas where you have told us we need to improve, through the Change Agents and other means, is our IT systems and use of digital technology. Our Board made a firm commitment to prioritising this and in recent months a huge amount of work has gone into developing the Trust’s digital strategy. I’m delighted that the strategy has now been published and will be rolled out across the organisation. As you might expect there are a number of programmes of work that will take time to come to fruition but over the coming months you will start to see the impact of investment in digital technology to improve your working lives and importantly, to improve the experience of our patients.
And finally, in recent weeks I have received correspondence from a number of local residents who are becoming increasingly frustrated by members of Trust staff parking on the residential roads around the hospital. I understand that car parking is often a contentious issue, but we all need to be aware that this has an impact on the daily lives of our local residents and often they struggle to find a parking space when they return home from work. Our hospital is at the heart of our local community and in the spirit of ‘working together’ it is important that we are considerate towards our local residents.