On Tuesday Director of Governance and Risk, Lois Howell joined me to meet with staff based at Rodney Road to provide them with an update on issues across the Trust as well as answer any questions. We had an excellent discussion about a range of topics including the updated version of our clinical portal, Minestrone which has been receiving great feedback from staff right across the Trust. Minestrone has been developed in house by our IT team and is a great example of the kind of innovation our IT strategy will help to support. This was one of our Executive team engagement sessions for staff who aren’t based on the QA site and is an important way for us to stay in touch and ensure we hear their feedback.
Also on Tuesday, I was invited to attend one of the regular meetings of local GPs from across South East Hampshire, Fareham and Gosport. It was a timely opportunity to discuss how we can work more closely with colleagues in primary care in the future, which is a central part of our strategy to deliver more ‘joined up’ care for our patients. We discussed the GP-consultant exchange programme which existed a few years ago and was a great opportunity to learn more from each other. Both Dr John Knighton and I are keen to reinvigorate this programme and I hope to be able to share more details on this soon.
At Thursday’s Trust Board meeting we were privileged to be joined by Joseph and Ashin, two of our overseas nurses who told us more about their experience of joining the Trust and the range of support that was available to them from our clinical education team. Our international recruits are an extremely important part of our family here in Portsmouth and the diversity of culture and experience they bring is something we should be proud to celebrate. Joseph and Ashin spoke about the warm welcome they received and the difference it made to those first few weeks in a new country and unfamiliar environment. Twenty-one new recruits joined us this week and over the next three months we have a further one hundred overseas nurses joining our teams, so it’s important we do all we can to support them as they settle in, recognising the massive step they have taken to join us and just how important it is to receive a warm welcome into our new team.
On Friday, colleagues from the Executive team, representatives from our partner organisations and representatives from divisional and nursing teams were involved in the selection process to become our new Chief Nurse. We had a strong field of candidates and I hope to be able to share details of the successful appointee shortly. Our Chief Operating Officer, Paul Bytheway has kindly agreed to cover the responsibilities of the Chief Nurse on an interim basis, until such time as our new Chief Nurse is able to join us. He is a registrant with the NMC and will be supported by two deputies for the time being.
As many of you will be aware, Deputy Chief Nurse Debra Elliott left the Trust on Friday, after spending more than 20 years at PHT. At an operational level Steve Thomas is Acting Deputy Chief Nurse with responsibility for workforce, flow and professional standards. Jane Druce is Acting Deputy Chief Nurse with responsibility for compliance, safeguarding and the safety team. I would like to thank Debra for her many years of service to the organisation and wish her well for the future. Thanks also to Paul, Steve and Jane for their support in the interim.
Congratulations are in order for our Director of Research and Innovation, Professor Anoop Chauhan, who has recently been appointed as the Royal College of Physicians International Director for South Asia. The remit of his role will include workforce, education, research and partnerships. PHT already has some strong links with South Asia, but with Anoop in this particular role we hope to further strengthen our relationships and our reputation as an excellent place to work among international medical, nursing and AHP colleagues.
I have been in correspondence with a patient of ours, who is receiving treatment for their cancer, since receiving their diagnosis some months ago. Every time this particular patient attends a clinic, they receive their treatment, or visit any other departments across the Trust, they kindly share their feedback by email. On each occasion I have been touched by the way they talk about their treatment, their experience and the way in which they describe the interactions they have had with each member of staff. The level of care and compassion they received, from the entire team, has been incredibly positive on each occasion. I received a further update this weekend and while reading, I was reminded of the thousands of patients who receive care and treatment at PHT every day and the responsibility and opportunity we all have, to make each point of interaction count, as we all strive to provide the same level of compassionate care that we would expect for ourselves and our loved ones.
Thank you for all that you do.