As some of you may have seen on social media, Monday was national ‘AHPs day’, dedicated to recognising the work of Allied Health Professionals across the NHS. The breadth of roles undertaken by our AHP workforce is not always well understood and this was a welcome opportunity to celebrate the significant contribution they make to our teams and patients. Chief Operating Officer, Paul Bytheway and Director of Governance and Risk, Lois Howell spent the day shadowing some of our AHPs learning more about what their roles and the services they provide.
Last week we took delivery of the first of our four new Linear Accelerators (Linac) which is a fundamental to continuing to provide high quality treatment to our cancer patients. Bringing the linac on site is only the first part of this project and when visiting our Radiotherapy department today, I saw first-hand the significant work underway to ensure it is fully operational in the New Year. Thank you to Kim Sanderson, Tony Palmer and all those involved in co-ordinating what was a hugely complex logistical operation, which will benefit thousands of patients over the coming years.
On Wednesday we were delighted to welcome Sue Killen, Interim Chief Executive of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and Donna Ockenden, Senior Midwifery Adviser to the NMC to visit the Trust. As some of you will know, Donna spent some of her early career here in Portsmouth and it was a pleasure to welcome her back and demonstrate some of the recent improvements we have made for women and families using our service.
October is Freedom to Speak Up month and many of you will have seen Jenny Michael, our Freedom to Speak Up Guardian and our Freedom to Speak up Advocates around the Trust sharing information about the service and how they can help support staff. I recently spent time with some of our Advocates and was impressed by their passion and commitment to enabling staff to come forward with concerns. They are all doing an incredible job and I am grateful for their contribution to this important agenda. If you would like to know more please contact Jenny for advice on the support that can be provided.
Recently I have asked all divisional and corporate departments to focus on improving our appraisal rates. This should not be seen as a ‘tick box’ exercise, but an opportunity to set aside dedicated time to discuss your progress with your manager, to set goals for the coming year and to discuss your development needs. Having an appraisal is so important, yet is sometimes not prioritised, often due to time constraints. If you have not yet had your appraisal please speak to your line manager, ask them to prioritise it and agree a date for one to be booked in soon.
On 18 June the Prime Minister set out a funding settlement for the NHS in England for the next five years. In return, the NHS has been asked to set out a long term plan for the future of the NHS, setting out our ambitions for improvement over the next decade, and our plans to meet them over the five years of the funding settlement.
This summary highlights the work and engagement that has taken place so far to develop the plan. As part of this work, I and other Chief Executives from across the NHS have been invited to events to learn more about the plan where we have been asked to consider the following three questions:
Views and ideas from all staff are welcome, so if you or your team wish to share your thoughts on these questions, please complete this short survey by 31 October 2018. This is a survey coordinated on by NHS Improvement.
As I understand it, the publication of the long term plan later this year will be subject to wider engagement. From December onwards, staff, patients, the public and other stakeholders will have the opportunity to help local health and care organisations determine what the plan means for their area, and how best the ambitions it sets out can be met. Please look out for further details as I will share them as they become available.
Finally it is with regret that I announce that our Chief Nurse, Theresa Murphy will be leaving the Trust in March 2019. Understandably Theresa has decided to take a role closer to her family. Whilst small in stature, the impact Theresa has made in Portsmouth since joining the Executive team in September 2017 has been significant. In particular her drive and dogged determination to improve things for our patients and her exceptional leadership to our nursing teams have been instrumental in our improvement. I would like to thank her for her contribution and wish her every success in her new role, while remembering she will not be leaving us just yet. In the meantime I am actively recruiting to find a replacement as soon as possible.
As ever, thank you for all that you do each and every day.