Published on: 10 May 2019

Dr_Damian_Riley APPROVED smaller.jpg

Hello everyone. Damian here.

Well, what a busy week.  You’ve perhaps heard me say that I am going to focus on three big areas – patient experience; staff; and targets.  Well in this week’s blog, I am going to stick to staff. 

On Wednesday, we had our public Board Meeting and I was delighted to see that we were joined by a couple of members of our new ‘shadow board’.  This is a development initiative designed to encourage equality and diversity amongst Trust boards and sees some of our staff, who are aspiring future directors, receive and debate board papers, in a formal meeting chaired by Prof Eileen Fairhurst, on the day before the actual public meeting.  Importantly, their views and comments are reported to the public Board meeting the next day.   We were also joined by a member of staff, Emma Davies, who recounted her experience as a patient of the Trust – confirming that many staff are happy to choose this Trust as a place to receive treatment.  Emma was very brave and it was most reassuring to hear her positive experience, but also useful to hear her suggestions as to how we can better support our staff if they are diagnosed with cancer.

You see, the health and wellbeing of our staff is of vital importance. We must do everything we can to make sure our staff are ok; that they are happy and supported so that they can provide the very best level of service to our patients. I am really determined that our staff continue to feel valued, appreciated and respected and I am glad we have a great, award-winning health and wellbeing team in place.  Sometimes though, our efforts to improve health and wellbeing may be unpopular in some quarters. For example, we really must get tough on smoking. Staff (and patients and visitors) can access help from the Trust and others to assist them in kicking the habit. But if staff continue to smoke either on our grounds, or off grounds but in identifiable uniform, disciplinary action will be taken. We are a health organisation, and we must protect health – smoking cannot be tolerated and passive smoking (when people have to run the gauntlet of smoke by our entrances) should not be permitted.  We will be having a ‘Big Butt Clean Up’ in Burnley on Monday 13 May (meet Phase 5 entrance at 10am), so do take part if you can.

During my first week or so as Acting Chief Executive, I have already had the chance to get out and about and meet with – and importantly, listen to – various groups and individual staff members.  I’ve met with porters and the Quality Improvement Team and I want to meet with more of you.  Please do get in touch if you would like me to pop in to your service or team and have a chat.  I am genuinely interested in what you have to say.

Finally, on Sunday, it is International Nurses Day. This is a big day in our Trust since, together with last week’s International Day of the Midwife, it celebrates our biggest single group of staff.  They are so important to our patients’ and their families’ experiences of our services, and we are really proud of all of them.  Director of Nursing Chris Pearson and her deputy Julie Molyneaux have been celebrating across the Trust, presenting flowers to randomly selected nurses and midwives who have been nominated for their inspiration.  Massive thank you to you all – take a look at the pictures here.

So, until next week….