Supporting each other to Flourish

Last week I received an email from a member of staff which really had the ‘wow’ factor.

It was from Mark Pickersgill, a Laboratory Manager at the Dental Hospital. He wanted to tell me about his 37 year career in the Trust, how much he had been supported and what he had achieved. Mark also happens to be profoundly deaf.  At the end of his email he said;

“There will be thousands of people who may consider working for our Trust, some in similar circumstances as me, who may worry about what contribution they can make to our organisation. But I can honestly say I would not have achieved what I have, developed as I have, and been rewarded with an amazing career in a fantastic environment without the positive support and encouragement from within this Trust.”

This is a fantastic testimony and one which made me stop and think about the potential in each one of us, and how we can support each other even more, so that we can all flourish here at Newcastle Hospitals and indeed across our NHS.

The staff survey, which was published on Tuesday, is an equally important way that I can hear your views. As I said in my message earlier in the week, I am really pleased that so many of you took the time to complete the survey. To reach over 6,500 responses is a fabulous achievement. But the hard work starts now as we work together to understand what you told us, and how we can make changes at a Trust-wide level and in your different directorates to strengthen our good practice and improve where we need to. I am absolutely clear that change needs to flow from this survey. Even in the very best areas there will be more that we can do to support each other.

The next flourish event will give us an opportunity to spend some dedicated time looking at the results and developing action plans. This time, we have asked each directorate to agree who will attend the event, so that we are able to include the full spectrum of staff across the organisation. If you are keen to attend or to contribute to the staff survey work in other ways, please let your directorate manager or head of service know.

It’s fitting that this month’s #FlourishAtNewcastleHospitals theme has been #LetsTalk because this is a brilliant way for us to support each other in our everyday work. I’ve loved seeing the images on Twitter and Instagram of the efforts you have gone to in your teams. The cakes, pat dogs and selfies have been inspiring. It’s brilliant that you are taking the #Flourish themes and making them your own, and I’m heartened to see that we are taking such a positive step towards improving our mental health and challenging stigma.

Last week, Matt Hancock gave a speech to launch Health Education England’s (HEE) NHS Staff and Learners’ Mental Wellbeing Commission Report. In his speech, he welcomed HEE’s report and outlined his commitment to better supporting NHS staff, saying: “The report makes it clear that we need to place as much importance on the care of the carers as the patients.”

His speech was squarely aimed at frontline staff and he was clear that he wants to help change the culture of the NHS so staff feel able to ask for help and be able to care for each other when they are dealing with difficult, traumatic events.

At a time when we are increasingly busy and with more and more challenges to juggle, we should never forget that we can’t pour from an empty cup. Looking after ourselves and each other is something we should prioritise every day.

We also need to make sure that we celebrate our successes and achievements and remind ourselves of the amazing things we do together everyday.

I am delighted to share that we are launching our first inaugural Celebrating Excellence Awards, which will take place on Friday 21 June. This will be a glittering evening of appreciation. We have so much to be proud of here at Newcastle Hospitals, and I don’t envy the judges trying to pick who the winners will be. I remember many staff members asking whether we could celebrate in this way at our very first Flourish event way back in July – so it a real pleasure to be announcing this key occasion today.

I am inviting nominations in 11 categories including the Behind the Scenes Team of the Year Award, Innovation and Research Award and QI and Sustainability Award. Details on how to nominate an individual or team for the awards will be on the intranet and Trust website early next week. Please get your nominations in by Friday 12 April 2019.

To make a nomination, please click here

Our Innovation Showcase

So proud to welcome Roy Lilley to the Trust last week and introduce him to some of the world class innovations in health and care at Newcastle Hospitals

Last week, we welcomed well known NHS commentator, Roy Lilley to the Trust and used his visit as an opportunity to host a services showcase. Once again I was bowled over by the innovation, expertise and passion that we put across, from the very high-tech virtual reality nurse training, to the equally innovative training board games. It made me very proud to see how excited everyone was to learn from colleagues and seek out new ways of working.

Roy was equally inspired by his visit to the showcase, and to some of our services, including the Great North Children’s Hospital, Maternity Services and the Community Response and Rehabilitation Team (CRRT). You can read Roy’s blog about his visit to the Trust here

Our well-led inspection

Our CQC inspection has reached it conclusion this week with three days’ of interviews for members of the senior team and some clinical experts. The feedback received on Thursday from the inspection team was very promising and we will hear their final decision in the coming months. Once more can I say a huge thank you to every single person who has supported this process in any way. It really is a team effort.

LGBT History Month

Our LGBT staff network event at the Freeman Hospital as part of our Flourish #LetsTalk initiative.

Thank you to everyone who got involved in LGBT History Month throughout February. This gave us all an opportunity to reflect on what each of us individually can do to truly ensure our workplace and our provision of care is effortlessly inclusive to everyone and reflects the diversity in our local communities.

As well as flying the Rainbow Flag over our hospital sites, staff network members also arranged a number of drop-in sessions to raise awareness as well as a #LetsTalk event at the Freeman Hospital on Wednesday (26 February).

Our Trust currently has a number of staff networks – groups run by staff, for staff, that help to celebrate the diversity of our workforce and promote equality. If you have any ideas or suggestions our staff networks would love to hear from you.

Flourish #LetsWorkBetter

March’s flourish activity has been requested by you! Lots of people have been in touch to ask if we can focus on how we can work better.

Too many emails, long hours and taking work home are just some of the frustrations of working life, but I think we can take control of our work and take control of our time. So our challenge this month is to think about how we can all make small changes that make a big difference. Including your phone number and picture in your emails, getting some fresh air during the day and keeping hydrated are all simple things that we can do. Please think together in your teams about what would make a difference to you and give it a go!

Leadership Congress reminder

Our next leadership congress for senior staff – ‘Newcastle – one great city leading across our partnerships’ – will take place on Tuesday 5 March. This is an excellent opportunity to hear from Pat Ritchie, Chief Executive of Newcastle City Council and Professor Chris Day, President and Vice-Chancellor, Newcastle University about their leadership journeys and wisdom on working in this new and exciting environment.

There are a limited number of places available for other interested staff, so please contact [email protected] if you would like to be considered.

Personal Touch Annual Awards

Trust Chairman, Professor Sir John Burn and the winners of the Annual Personal Touch Awards Celebration.

The Personal Touch Award winners were recently presented with their certificates and awards by our Chairman Professor Sir John Burn at the Annual Celebration Event earlier
this month.

The winners were:

  • Team Winners – Ward 38 Institute of Transplantation, Freeman Hospital
  • Individual Winner – Sarah Barker from Ward 18, ITU, RVI
  • Volunteer Winners – Meet and Greeters from the RVI

Congratulations to you all!