Last week I mentioned some of the measures we are taking to reduce our nursing vacancies across the Trust. Part of our approach includes expanding the breadth of roles we have available and on Tuesday we celebrated the qualification of six Nursing Associates who completed their foundation degree with Solent University at the end of March and are now awaiting their NMC registration. The Nursing Associate role has been designed to provide a bridge between the Health Care Support Worker and Registered Nurse role. Our successful Nursing Associates were part of the second wave of a national pilot and commenced their training in March 2017. We now provide the programme as an apprenticeship with 16 members of staff in their second year and 11 new recruits who have just started in March 2019. Congratulations to our newly qualified Nurse Associates who are the first of many we hope to welcome to the Trust.
This week the data which used to be held in the Graphnet system has been successfully transferred to the Trusts’ in-house developed clinical information portal (Minestrone). This follows work in recent weeks to bring across the functions of Graphnet and has included the creation of an electronic booking form for radiotherapy. This has been the result of months of hard work from our IT team and means a simplified process for staff and a better experience for our patients. This piece of work is necessary to start to modernise our IT systems as we prepare for the launch of our new Digital Strategy. It’s a really exciting time for the Trust and my thanks go to Phil Kenney, Head of IT, Dr David Murday our Chief Clinical Information Officer and our pretty impressive IT team who led on the improvements.
On Thursday our Trust Board meeting included a presentation from the Networked Services Divisional leadership team. It was an opportunity, for our Non-Executive Board members in particular, to hear more about progress since our Divisional structure was implemented, the challenges they face and where the Board may be able to help provide additional support. It was an extremely useful discussion and over the coming months our other Divisional colleagues will also join our Board meetings to give their perspectives on their progress. Board members are committed to making sure we have engagement from staff at all levels and we are also considering how best Care Groups and services can have similar input in the future.
In recent weeks, when the hospital has been under pressure we have emphasised the importance of looking after each other and our colleagues. We are fortunate to have access to a range of services to support staff, including our monthly Schwartz Rounds. If you haven’t been one before then I highly recommend it and Friday 12 April is the next opportunity for you to attend. Schwartz Rounds offer a confidential time and place for all members of staff to come together, share their experiences and offer support for one another. Evidence shows that staff who attend Schwartz Rounds feel less stressed and have greater appreciation for colleagues’ roles. The session next Friday will be on the topic of ‘The Good Old Days’ and will take place from 1.30-2.30pm in the Lecture Theatre.
Earlier in the week I shared news of our involvement in the national pilot for the new urgent and emergency care standards, which presents a fantastic opportunity for us to be involved in the design of a process to support improved care for our patients. This fits neatly with our wider work to transform our urgent and emergency care services. In addition, next Monday (8 April) we will launch an eight week ‘Spring Sprint’ as part of an intensive improvement programme in unscheduled care which will run until December 2019. Building on previous ‘sprints’, staff at all levels, and from all specialties (clinical and non-clinical) are invited to take part in the project.
The Spring Sprint will comprise of five teams, focusing on:
Frailty Having observed previous sprints I know they are high energy, filled with enthusiasm and a great opportunity to make a real difference to our unscheduled care pathways. If you would like to take part, please contact Mark Roland, Bev Watson or Emma Adams. Finally, our Communications and IT teams are planning a complete overhaul of our Trust website and we would welcome your views about how easy it is to use and the sort of content you would like to see, or is important for our patients and other visitors to the site. You are able to provide feedback on our site homepage (www.porthosp.nhs.uk) via a survey box at the top pf the page or directly to emma.Mckinney@porthosp.nhs.uk .Thank you, as ever, for all that you do. MarkCubbon