Improving Together - CEO Caroline Donovan's Blog - 6 February | News and events

Improving Together - CEO Caroline Donovan's Blog - 6 February

Making sure our colleagues, partners and local communities see and feel improvements in outcomes and experiences

Hello everyone and welcome to my latest blog.

This week is national apprenticeship week, a national weeklong event which is important for many different reasons.

It’s vital we do all we can to recruit, support and train our staff so they can provide the excellent care we aspire to as an organisation, as well as live and breathe our values.

I was really pleased to hear, last week, that our work experience programme has achieved gold standard from Health Education England. 

Our Talent for Care team has received this award for the standard of work experience it offers, opening doors to future employment and apprenticeships. It also aims to ensure that learners are not disadvantaged because of their geographical location or organisational interpretation of work experience. It’s important we do all we can to make sure that our colleagues are supported from day one.

Three members of the talent for care team stood with their certificate

Last week, I visited the Children, Families and Young People team at St Stephens Road in Norwich. The service supports young people with a range of conditions, including but not limited to anxiety disorders, moderate to severe depression, mood disorders and personality disorders. I was really pleased to hear about some of the ambitious plans in place to improve outcomes and experiences for our service users, their families and carers and spoke first hand with many colleagues about their work. 

Speaking with the team, it was really good to hear about partnership working with our vital Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) colleagues, and our NHS and social care partners linked to the Integrated Front Door for children and young people’s mental health services. We have trained up a number of practitioners who are working in partnership with colleagues across the Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System to reduce our waiting lists further. 

Last week, Zoë and I with other Board Members interviewed for the post of Interim Chief Medical Officer for our Trust. We had a fantastic field demonstrating the medical talent we have. I am delighted to announce the appointment of two of our senior medical colleagues who will be working together for up to six months sharing the role. 

Sarah Maxwell is currently one of our Associate Clinical Directors and a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist working in in our specialist eating disorders service in the Lighthouse Centre at Hellesdon. She has worked with us at NSFT since 2005. 

Dr Sohail Abrar is also a Clinical Director and Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist based at Foxhall House in Ipswich. Both are inspirational and highly respected clinical leaders who will bring insight and vision to our Executive Team and to our Trust Board as our two most senior medical leaders.

Sarah and Sohail will work closely together to share the work of the CMO role, whilst we work to secure a substantive CMO appointment – the post is being advertised at the moment. Their appointments are great news for our Trust as we continue together on our improvement journey. They know NSFT very well and will be able to rapidly support the leadership of our transformation journey, bringing the voice of our staff, and the voice of our service users, carers and their families to all that we do.

Our first Listening into Action (LiA) pulse check closed yesterday. I am really pleased that a significant number of our staff have responded with such rich and extremely useful thoughts and feedback as to how we can improve the way we work together. This programme is vital and links directly to our improving culture priority as a Trust and aligns with the conversations we are having with our leadership across our Trust about future ways of working. 

I’d also like to thank everyone who has already registered to attend one of our five LiA Conversation Events. These events are open to all staff, taking place between February and April and held at venues across Norfolk and Suffolk. These exciting, buzzy two-hour events will be hosted by me and are designed to address day-to-day frustrations and make positive changes that will make a big difference to us and those we care for. 

There’s a few places left, so please take a few moments to find out more and share your views. Every single conversation is important.

Finally, I wanted to finish by reflecting on a number of events which took place last week. On Friday, NHS England visited a number of sites across Norfolk and Waveney, understanding more about some of the great work and projects taking place to improve outcomes and experiences for our people and communities. 

On Friday morning, Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive Officer of the NHS, Richard Meddings, Chair of NHS England and Sarah Jane Marsh, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and National Director for Urgent and Emergency Care, NHS England visited our Trust and spoke with a number of teams. Feedback was very positive from the day and I would like to extend my huge thanks to everyone who took part. We’ll soon be sharing a news release about what was shared on the day, so please watch out for this in the coming days.

I also wanted to express my sincere condolences and thoughts on the recent deaths in Costessey. As an organisation, we will continue to work with the police on this very sad case. Along with our partners at NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board, we welcome the decision to pause the launch of the Right Care Right Person model in Norfolk. From the outset, we have been working in partnership with Norfolk Police on the careful implementation of this model in Norfolk and we will continue to do so.

This is a national initiative which will be rolled out to support and protect the local communities we serve, making best use of local police, NHS and partner resources. It is very important we take the time to do this as effectively as possible, working with organisations, individuals and our local communities across Norfolk and Waveney.

Until next time and continued thanks for everything you do.


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