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Friday Message – 9 October 2015


I am spending most of my time at the moment trying to align parts of the Trust’s plan.  Over the next couple of months I will restate the current position to make sure you know as much as I do! So you can expect updates on:

·       Our CQC report following our latest re-inspection in July this year

·       Progress with our Clinical Strategy “Better Care Together” including bids for money to support new buildings and IT support

·       Our work to continually improve. I’ve grouped them into five key areas for ease of reference, which I refer to as our “pillars for improvement”.  I will be giving you a brief update against each one.

Aligning the plan can be frustrating as decisions can be delayed and at times it isn’t always easy to see where the final decision will be made and by whom. I remember as a junior member of a nursing team wondering how and where the decisions are being made. This can be complex enough within our organisation but I can tell you it is no less convoluted externally!

Clear communication is so important. Describing complicated scenarios simply is a real challenge. As always I welcome your feedback as to whether the team and I are getting this right.

Our aim, certainly over the last year has been to deliver messages in a variety of ways and depth.  For example with Better Care Together, a newsletter and posters were produced to give a snap shot of the main points, with the full strategy available for those that want to get into the detail ( There were also a number of short films produced, including a summary from David Walker, our Medical Director on the intranet – again, another way to be informed.

Please let me know if this is hitting the spot in terms of content and language, and what we might need to do different.

Engagement with staff

There was welcome evidence that staff are feeling more engaged this week. We received the results of the latest internal staff survey. For a little while now we have been carrying out our own Pulse Surveys. These are quick and easy to respond to, asking feedback on a smaller number of specific questions. This near real-time feedback is invaluable and means we don’t have to wait for a year (as we normally would) to receive your comments.

Below are a couple of the questions where we have seen a significant, positive shift in improvement.

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It goes without saying that whilst I am very pleased to see areas like harassment and bullying reduce, it is something that we can’t tolerate or be complacent about. The impact of being on the receiving end, or witnessing such unacceptable behaviour can have far reaching and damaging consequences for many people, not just those immediately involved.

Here are another couple of areas where I would like to see further improvement. We are following this up by arranging a number of Big Conversations where we will invite you to come along and discuss your views on what we need to do to maintain momentum to make sure this feedback continues positively.


Teams engaging with one another

I have seen some terrific examples of teams working really well together recently. I mentioned the achievement of the A&E standard in last week’s Friday Message. This was accomplished by many small clinical and support teams pulling together for the benefit of our patients. I also heard about the Women and Children’s team coming together to express their opinion about how their services should look in the future. This is great and I will continue to encourage and support this. There is ample evidence that engaging with the front line and with teams and enabling them to take on a leadership role pays off. In areas where this is happening, staff are feeling engaged and in control of decision making, and as a result, outcomes and levels of patient and staff satisfaction improve –  a clear win-win situation.

Getting more clinical staff engaged

As is often the case during large scale change programmes – the lions share often falls to the willing few. However the limitations soon begin to show as demand outstrips supply, people also get fatigued and this approach risks excluding lots of other staff who quickly disengage.

We are currently refreshing our leadership structures and the kind of support we can give to leaders who do step forward. I want to encourage any clinician or member of staff who has aspirations to take on a leadership role to let me or David Walker, Medical Director Know. We can arrange an informal chat and provide advice on how you might take this forward.

Medical Staffing Committee

I’d like to again encourage medical colleagues to attend the Medical Staffing Committee on Friday 20th November.

The Chair and the executive team are pleased to be invited to these meetings and we are committed to supporting them.  We don’t have many opportunities as a team to meet with medical staff, and certainly not in such numbers for an afternoon.  We know it is a big commitment but I believe it is very valuable.  Over the last year we’ve been able to discuss our strategy and other developments in detail at the meetings and we are hoping that we may have our CQC re-inspection report to discuss by the time we meet again on the 20th.

Operational teams have been asked to look at clinic arrangements to support as many of you to attend as possible and I hope you will be able to take this opportunity to do so.

Further details, including times, how to book etc are in the footer of this message.

Come and join me at a Big Conversation!lia

I recently sent you all an invite to join me and colleagues at a Big Conversation.

These were a great success last year, with hundreds of staff taking the time out to spend a couple of hours with me discussing what frustrates them at work, and what gets in their way with making change.

As a result of what we heard, we were able to support a good number of schemes to improve services for the benefit of our patients.  These schemes were all clinically led, as well as being created and delivered by staff. You can find out more about their inspirational achievements on our intranet: http://uhmb/cs/LiA/Pages/default.aspx

When we launched Listening into Action I said it wouldn’t be a fad and it hasn’t been. It really is here to stay as our new way of working to fundamentally change how we listen to staff to make the change that’s needed for our patients.

As we enter our second year of Listening into Action, there is another opportunity for you to attend a Big Conversation.  This year is a little different as they are more focussed.  At the last Big Conversations there were a number of areas that you told me frustrated you and you wanted to see change. And whilst over the last year some of them may have improved, I know that there is much more that can be done.

I will still be attending some of the Big Conversations, but this year, members of our clinical and senior management teams will be leading the sessions too.

Places are limited, and last year we had one or two sessions that were full. Therefore I would encourage you all to please book early to avoid disappointment!  We are also providing transport from our three main hospitals to assist with travel.

To reserve you place:      Visit the online Training Management System (TMS) and select which Big Conversation you want to attend – http://tms/

To book transport:          Please contact Siobhan McCubbin, LiA Administrator by email at, or by phone: 01524 511989.

This year’s Big Conversations are:

Big Conversation Leads When and where
Involving, not just informing: Improving how we communicate and engage with our staff Phil Woodford and Krishnaprasad Karnad 23rd November

2pm – 4pm

Auction Mart

Information Technology that works for us: How can we ensure that we are making the best use of technology Aaron Cummins and Andrew Higham 30th November

9.30am – 11:30am

Auction Mart

Day-to-day frustrations: Those things that seem to get constantly get in the way Foluke Ajayi and Shahedal Bari 3rd December

2pm – 4pm

Auction Mart

Creating a culture of learning and development: How can we improve the way we provide mandatory and role based training Gill O’Connell and Kathy Duffy 9th December

9.30am – 11.30am


Health and wellbeing of staff: How can we best support our staff to be healthy and happy at work David Wilkinson and Sue Harding 10th December

10am – 12am

Auction Mart

As you can imagine, finding a suitable time and venue for 5,000 staff, across five sites and such a big area isn’t easy!  But, I think we’ve managed a fair compromise with ‘central’ locations where possible, along with a range of times.  Hopefully, there will be a time and a place for you.

You can go to more than one Big Conversation, however we want as many staff as possible to attend. Therefore please discuss with your colleagues to ensure we have a good spread of views and attendance.

I am really looking forward to these again this year.  I found them so helpful and enlightening last time, and focussing on particular areas will help get to the nub of any frustrations and ideas.

We have welcomed hundreds of new people to the Trust since last year and this would be a great opportunity to meet and hear from you. I look forward to more people getting on the LiA bus (literally!) and meeting you at one of our Big Conversations.


Next week will see the launch of our Lead by Example campaign to promote the Behaviour Standards Framework that many of our staff helped to develop over the last six months.   For me, this is a key part of our jigsaw in creating UHMBT as a great place to be cared for; and a great place to work. An organisation that provides quality, compassionate care every time and supports staff, volunteers and everyone that works for the Trust to play their part to achieve this.

We are launching this campaign because you have told us in our LiA Big Conversations that we need to set clear expectations for staff about how they behave at work, including how they interact with patients, visitors and colleagues.  The Behaviour Standards have been developed by our staff, for our staff – these are your words on the standards and they are all the more powerful for this. The standards link to our vision and values and this is a way of bringing those values to life and making them an integral part of our day to day routine. From this we want people to talk about how we behave, for people to be honest with each other and to reflect on how behaviours impact on others.

Look on the intranet on Monday, where David Wilkinson, our Director of Workforce & OD, will be talking about why we have the Lead by Example campaign and how it affects everyone.

And finally…

I know there will be a connected message coming out shortly in Weekly News, but I wanted to say a few words about an issue that arose at WGH this week.

On Tuesday we had to leave the offices in Trust HQ for a short while due to an unidentified package which had been left unattended in the corridor.  Thank you to the staff member that took the appropriate steps to ensure the package was ‘safe’ – I know they did so with the safety of our patients and colleagues in mind, well done to you and your team.

In my message of the 25 September, I shared with you all my delight that we had been chosen as a finalist in the Collaborative Working category of the Allocate Awards 2015.  I’ve woken up this morning to be informed that we won!

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It is really heartening to receive external recognition for the collaborative approaches that we are taking to recruitment, including the development of the Virtual Recruitment Hub for Better Care Together, the Choose South Cumbria marketing and recruitment initiative with public and private partners, and our work with local colleges and education providers to improve access to healthcare professions.  I am sure you will all join me in congratulating all of our staff and partners that have contributed to this further success, particularly Karmini McCann and the wider Workforce & OD team – well done!

You can download the winner’s booklet at:


Jackie Daniel

Chief Executive 

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