Healthcare at its best, with people at our heart (part 2)

My last blog focussed on our vision and values, and highlighted our new strategy which we officially launched at our Annual Members Meeting today.

It’s been lovely to hear so much positive feedback about our values that I highlighted in my last blog. They really do sum up what we are about here in Newcastle and I’m pleased that people feel they can relate to them.

I promised that I would talk this week about the ambitions and strategic framework that we’ve developed.

I’ve always been struck by how ambitious we are here at Newcastle Hospitals. We’re a major NHS provider, educator and we’re highly successful. One of the things that makes Newcastle special is that we aspire to continue to improve in everything that we do.

We need to maintain our ability to be an excellent employer and to provide outstanding clinical services to our local populations, whilst at the same time delivering world class innovation and research that helps us influence on a global and national stage.

To help to understand and articulate that breadth, we have developed ambitions at five levels:

In our organisation – To be an outstanding organisation now and in the future, providing strong foundations to support our regional, national and global reach.

In Newcastle – To be a full civic partner, contributing to the health, wealth and wellbeing of the city, and delivering integrated services.

In the region – To be an anchor organisation in the North East and Cumbria as a clinical systems leader and a regional provider of services, creating and supporting a sustainable system.

Nationally – To be a beacon organisation in the UK, leading and influencing service delivery and policy.

Globally – To realise our capability internationally using our outstanding foundations, enhancing our global reach.

The other axis of our activity is our strategic framework the 5 ‘P’s. These will be our priorities for our organisation over the life of the strategy, and summarise the areas where our focus should lie.

Our 5 ‘P’s are set out below, along with our five-year high level objectives:



Patients – Putting patients at the heart of everything we do. Providing care of the highest standard focusing on safety and quality.




People – Supported by Flourish, our cornerstone programme, we will ensure that each member of staff is able to liberate their potential.




Partnerships – We will be an effective partner, developing and delivering integrated care and playing our part in local, national and international programmes.




Pioneers – Ensuring that we are at the forefront of health innovation and research.





Performance – Being outstanding, now and in the future.



And finally, we can announce our new branding. It incorporates the Tyne Bridge and our new strapline, along with a heart to represent the care we provide. It’s a positive and modern image, and an evolution of the identity we have had before and I hope you like it.

Our branding is important, and it complements the NHS logo, which was this week found to be the most relevant brand in the UK. It’s important that we are able to have a clear visual identity which reflects our organisation.

This is a big job, and over the next weeks and months, we will be rolling out our new identity across the Trust.

New templates will be available on the website for powerpoint, leaflets and posters, and we will also be updating the standard leaflets and posters that are supplied. Please continue to use stocks of existing materials if you have them, but for new items, please use the new images.

Introducing the new branding will take some time and effort, but I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s worth it to refresh and update our identity.

Flu campaign

Our flu campaign has got off to a flying start this week. On Monday we vaccinated over 617 people – more than on any other single day in previous campaigns – bringing our total to 2000. The vaccination really is the very best way for us to protect ourselves, our families and our patients. Thank you to everyone who has had their jab already. If you still need one, please get along to a drop in session, or see your peer vaccinator today.


October is set to be a busy month. It starts with our BAME conference ‘Closing the Gap’ on 1 October, an all-day event at St James Park which emphasises our commitment to listening to our staff and reaffirms our commitment to equality.

I understand that this is the first event of its kind in the NHS and I’m delighted that some of our own staff will be sharing their experience as part of the programme of speakers. It will be a catalyst to stimulate ideas about how we might do things differently.

Also on 1 October we launch our annual staff survey #TogetherWeCan. You’ll know how important I think the staff survey is, as it gives every member of staff a chance to share their views about working here. It means that we can keep a check on how we’re doing and see where we need to change, develop and try harder. I’ll be talking about the survey much more over the next few weeks.

On Wednesday 23 October we’ll also be holding our Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professional conference at The Grand Hotel, Gosforth Park, and it’s certainly a packed agenda which showcases some of the excellent work happening across our organisation, with the key note speech being delivered by the internationally renowned Professor Brian Dolan, creator of #EndPJParalysis.

The following day (24 October), I’d like to invite you to join me for our next Flourish Event ‘Living our Values’. I’d very much like people to come along to help us think about our Flourish approach so far and how we can develop it in line with our new values.

We’ll be hearing from Lucia Pareja-Cebrian, Director of Infection Prevention and Control, about the work she has been leading with clinical staff, as well as from John Thompson, Head of Facilities about ensuring our facilities teams are able to benefit from our #Flourish approach.

Finally, I’d like us to think about our approach to development, and how we can ensure that our values – and our Flourish approach – are at the centre of how we support staff to develop.

This is another opportunity to be able to influence this important ‘cornerstone’ program, and I do hope that each team in the Trust will be represented. The event will take place at the Great North Museum from 2pm – 4pm (refreshments from 1.30). If you would like to attend please email [email protected]

I was pleased to see that well over 120 people attended our Project Menopause meetings recently – a huge thankyou to Dr Diana Mansour who shared her expertise. It was great to hear that staff came together to support each other and share their experiences. This is something we should talk about more openly and think about how we can support each other.

Also in October, our Flourish theme will be about #Respect and looks at how we can all work together to promote a positive work culture. Everyone has an important role in Newcastle Hospitals and treating each other with mutual respect and professionalism enables us to perform at our best. Take a look at our Flourish website next week.

We are also planning our next leadership congress, aimed at leaders and aspiring leaders, on Wednesday 27 November in the Great North Museum. We’ll be focusing on our approach to Quality and Safety. Please save the date in your diaries.

Climate emergency

Newcastle Hospitals featured in the Guardian on 18 September as we were confirmed as the first health organisation in the world to declare a climate emergency. On 20 September, we supported the global climate strike, not by striking, but by raising awareness of our climate declaration. This 11 minute ‘teach in’ produced by one of our leading green champions, Suren Kanagasundaram, is a great way to find out more and you can watch it here.


There are just over four weeks to go before the first phase of ‘Go Live’ on Sunday 27 October. This is an incredibly exciting time as we prepare to transform the way we document and share all aspects of patient care.

To ensure that we maintain high standards of clinical safety, everyone who uses our new clinical record must be trained – if we don’t have fully trained staff this will, inevitably, have a detrimental impact on the clinical care we provide and are so proud to deliver.

If you haven’t booked your session already, it’s essential that you do before the deadline on Monday 30 September – book here.

Achievements and awards

  • Congratulations to Dr Kathryn Bell who has been awarded the AAGBI Evelyn Baker Award for ‘outstanding competence in all areas of anaesthetic practice: clinical excellence, teaching and training and supporting colleagues.’Colleagues have said that Kathryn epitomises the person that this award is meant for, looking after generations of trainees and the department, and is the colleague they go to who listens, gives advice (or more often support) and who quietly helps to get things back on course. This award is an important accolade and was hugely supported by the department.
  • It’s also fantastic news that we’ve achieved our 3,000th Greatix which recognises the excellent work and practice that happens on a day-to-day basis at Newcastle Hospitals. Staff nurses Erlyn Tubon, Josephine Agustin and Lucy Burn (Anaesthetics and Recovery Theatres team – Peri-operative and Critical Care Directorate) received the accolade for the timely treatment they provided to a critically unwell baby in preparation for theatre.


I’m sure you’ll join me in welcoming Dr Vicky McFarlane Reid to the Trust as she takes up her role as Director of Enterprise and Business Development. I’d also like to welcome our graduate trainees Myles Mundill (general management), Laura Taylor (finance) and Ben Moody (HR). Welcome to the team.