This week I was able to spend time with our IT team at our Rodney Road site and as ever, was hugely impressed by their motivation, enthusiasm and focus. It was great to learn more about the practical steps being taken to implement our digital strategy which will enable a range of improvements to the care we provide to our patients.
An example of this is a pilot which is being run within the Minors area of our Emergency Department (ED) at QA and Gosport War Memorial Hospital to request radiology examinations through ICE - the Trust’s electronic order communications solution. Currently both departments order these tests on paper and either walk, fax or phone them through to the Radiology Imaging Department who then manually type this information into their own system. Once the initial pilot concludes, it will be rolled out across all aspects of ED and then across the rest of our clinical areas, in the not-too-distant future.
A further clinical development implemented this week enables enhanced visibility of Early Warning Scores (EWS), a measure we use to alert us to our sickest patients, which can now be viewed in real-time in our bed management and patient flow tool, Bedview. Clicking on the EWS icon also provides direct access to information from VitalPac, which we use for measuring patients’ vital signs. This development reduces the number of different systems that need to be accessed when reviewing vital information about our patients, enabling clinical and operational teams to work even more effectively.
These are just two examples of the many improvements we plan to make in next phase of our strategy. The recent appointment of Nicola Haywood-Alexander as our Chief Information Officer (CIO) is another important step in moving us toward our ambition to widen the accessibility of information to us all and using it to drive further improvements for our patients. Nicola joins us on 20th August and I look forward to welcoming her to the Trust.
I’m a firm believer that adequate preparation for leadership roles across the NHS is important, as is the need to have greater diversity of experience. Many NHS leaders started their careers in administrative and clerical, or clinical roles within the NHS, and there are others who then go on to participate in the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. The scheme has a very good reputation and is consistently regarded as one of the best graduate training schemes in the country. Applications for the national scheme open tomorrow and we will be holding a series of information sessions for those who are interested in applying. We plan to host a greater number of placements for GMTS trainees than we do currently and this is something we are looking to address within the next year.
Finally, I would like to formally welcome Hazel Cowper, Head of Charities, to PHT. Hazel joins us at an exciting time for the Portsmouth Hospitals Charity as we look to build upon the incredibly successful campaigns which have been run here over the past years. In recent months we have been reviewing our approach to fundraising and considering how we continue to make best use of the generous charitable donations we receive from our local community, for the benefit of our patients. Hazel’s role will be pivotal in taking this agenda forward and I look forward to sharing more information about this in the weeks ahead.
Thank you, as ever.