Chief Executive Weekly Message - Saturday 13 July 2019
15 July 2019

Dear colleagues,

I was contacted recently by Carley Young, who was originally a Healthcare Support Worker in our fracture clinic who went on to train to be a Registered Nurse with us. Carley discovered throughout her training that some women in our care were reporting incidences of domestic abuse to staff but found some colleagues were not always sure of how best to get access to specialist advice to inform the support we provide. Carley is clearly passionate about the issue and it led her to focus on domestic violence as the subject of her Open University dissertation which she has since shared with me and with Liz Rix, our Chief Nurse. Her dedication to making improvements for our patients has led her to being involved in helping to shape our domestic abuse training programme for staff, working with Liz and our Safeguarding Team. This is an important area of focus for us to provide even greater support for those in our care who suffer domestic abuse, but I would like to thank Carley for spotting the opportunity to make a difference and stepping forward to help make it happen.

I was delighted to hear that some members of our Diabetes team were invited to attend 10 Downing Street, where our current Prime Minister, Mrs Theresa May, personally thanked them for their dedication in the care, treatment and prevention of diabetes. Sharon Steele (Podiatrist-At Risk Foot Lead), Lisa Skinner (Diabetes Nurse Manager), Professor Mike Cummings (Diabetes Consultant) and Lorraine Avery (Community Diabetes Nurse Specialist) attended the event alongside other professionals and patients who live with diabetes. I am delighted that the excellent care our diabetes service provides has received this recognition and I thank all who work within the service, for the great work they do. 

Over the past weeks we have seen notable improvements in the OPEL status which provides an indication of how smoothly our patients flow through the hospital when they attend ED, require an admission or are awaiting discharge. While there have been some days when we have been particularly busy within ED, or our bed occupancy has been high, we have managed to remain at OPEL 2, or de-escalate to OPEL 2 relatively quickly. This week we have predominantly been at OPEL 1 and we have managed to close almost all escalation beds as a result. This is very good news for our patients who are being seen, treated and discharged more quickly within our ED, but it also creates less pressures for many teams working across the site. This doesn’t mean we are less busy, as maintaining this position takes a significant amount of work and we are seizing the opportunity to drive forward our plans for further improvements.

It has been a year since we moved to a new way of organising the leadership of PHT, involving a greater number of clinicians in the day-to-day running of the Trust and creating Divisional and Care Group teams to support the implementation of our strategy, deliver improvements in the care we provide and to strengthen our engagement with you. While there are still opportunities to improve the effectiveness of this new way of  working, there are notable signs of improvement and we are at the very early stages of implementation. I am hugely grateful for the enormous contribution made by the members of each team over the past year, as I know it has not been an easy task.

Although we are part way through the summer, we are ramping up our preparations for winter and will be running a series of engagement sessions to hear views about opportunities for improvements for the months ahead and to share the plans which are being developed internally along with those being developed across Portsmouth and South East Hampshire. We will be publishing dates for the engagement sessions in Trust Talk very soon, so do look out for them and come along and get involved.

Yesterday’s Team Brief session was one of the best attended yet. If you haven’t been to one yet, they take place every month and they’re a great way to hear updates from the Executive and Divisional Teams with contributions from the audience. For those unable to attend we’ve also started to record the sessions and they now appear on our YouTube channel which can be accessed via the Intranet.

I am on annual leave this coming week so there will be no weekly message until I’m back from holiday. Penny Emerit, Director of Strategy and Performance, will be acting Chief Executive while I am away.

Thank you, as ever, for all that you do to provide the best care for the communities we serve.


Mark Cubbon

Chief Executive

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