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The Friday Message – 23 October 2015

I wanted to start this week by acknowledging how difficult and challenging it is at the moment with the level of demand on our hospitals.  We’ve experienced significant pressures now for the last week, particularly at Furness General Hospital.  I know that staff are continuing to work extremely hard for our patients.  I am aware that many of you have been working some very long hours and it is appreciated. I can’t single any one person out as it continues to be a team effort, but I would like to specifically mention our Paediatrics services at FGH who have been under immense pressure and continue to work tirelessly for our patients. Thank you to everyone involved across our hospitals.

Some of you will have been involved with local healthcare discussions and actions to help ease the pressure, not least trying to improve the safe and timely discharge of our patients.  We won’t be able to solve the issues on our own, and it will require the whole of the local health and care system, including the third sector working in complete partnership.

The matters raised this week are being worked through at every level and I wanted to reassure you all that as a leadership team we are here to support you.  Thank you for your hard work and commitment, particularly those suggestions where better joined up working is required with partner organisations.  I know our partners are as concerned as we are, and the system is coming together, such as the positive response we’ve experienced in Barrow from social care.

It is imperative that we stand shoulder to shoulder with our partners on these matters, like a scrum, without a gap between us. It is when the gaps form that we have problems.

Your personal invite to our first ever Staff Conference for support colleagues.

I am delighted to announce the details of our first ever staff conference for our ‘non-front line staff’.  I mentioned last month that Foluke Ajayi, our Chief Operating Officer was looking at this and thank her and colleagues for pulling it together so quickly.

We hold many events throughout the year for our clinical staff – from conferences, through to development days, but we haven’t taken the time out for those staff, who I’ve described before as “literally keeping the lights on”.  The list really is endless of the varied professions that we have in our Trust. To name a few, they include: engineers, cleaning, IT, accountancy, design, analysts, catering, administrators, security, emergency planning, switchboard, contact centre, purchasing, charity – it’s a long, but essential list and I apologise for all of those other occupations I’ve omitted from this list – it isn’t intentional!

Starting on Thursday, 21 January 2016, we want to change the situation, and I would like to personally invite our support staff to our inaugural staff conference – for those staff that help our front lines do their jobs well, day in, day out.

We don’t want the 21st to be a day where we talk at you, we want it to be a conversation.

Date:               Thursday 21 January 2016
Time:              9.30am to 3pm
Location:        Castle Green Hotel, Kendal

Transport will also be provided from both the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Furness General Hospital.

By the end of the day, we will have discussed with you our strategy, Better Care Together and how you are key to achieving this and what else we need to do to support you.

I talk a lot about the way care will be provided in the future, such as some of it being delivered more locally, closer to where our patients live.  However to do this, we will need to ‘re-wire’ how we support these services.  IT will need to be different, more joined up with other providers; premises will be different, we won’t need as much space in our hospitals; and training will be different, we may need different skills and qualifications.  We will be working with you at the conference to look at the importance of our support services in providing care to our patients, and discussing how these can be further supported and developed for the future.

I don’t want the day to be a “talk and chalk” session, where people come and lecture to you.  The aim is to develop our understanding together and make this a vibrant and exciting opportunity – especially as it is our first one and time is so precious.

Leo HouldingI am also pleased to announce a special Key Note speaker for the conference – Leo Houlding, climber and adventurer.  Like our clinicians, Leo is dependent on a team of people to help him do his job safely.  I am quite sure that whether you are interested in becoming an adventurer or not, that you will be able to take away key messages and lessons about the importance of every member of a team making a difference.

I don’t want to give too much away, but Leo will be delivering a talk with a difference. Leo sports an impressive television résumé, including an infamous appearance on the BBC’s Top Gear, his own show on Virgin One “Take me to the Edge”, and an IMAX movie released in 2010: “The Wildest Dream” retracing the last steps of Mallory and Irvine on their fateful expedition to Everest in 1924.

Leo has become an ambassador for the younger generation of climbers and has been called one of Britain’s top ten adventurers by The Telegraph.

Places are limited as you will understand and I will be writing to all heads of department asking for their support in helping colleagues to attend this day.

To reserve your place, please use the online Training Management System, TMS.  If you need any further assistance with your booking, please contact Beth Addenbrook: or 46675.  Details regarding travel will be shared later in the year.

Along with colleagues, I look forward to welcoming you all to the conference on the 21 January 2016.

By Mary Aubrey, Director of Governance

I was delighted when Jackie Daniel asked me if I would write a piece for her Friday Message this week about our recent Health and Safety Reps and Champions study day.

Inaugural Health and Safety Study DayI had the very great pleasure of opening and attending the inaugural Study Day which was held on 16th October. A grand total of 60 Reps and Champions attended and made it an impressive and thoroughly energised event.

The ice-breaker session illustrated vividly that there is a real energy and commitment across the Trust from our longest serving Rep at 40 years to our newest member of staff at 5 days!

It was also a pleasure to welcome our Principal Inspector from the Health and Safety Executive to reinforce the HSE’s view of the value and impact of effective Health and Safety Reps and he was very clear about the positive impression of staff engagement and commitment which was undoubtedly evident in the room.

  • Engagement was excellent and this was noted by the HSE Principal Inspector who kindly attended to present the HSE’s view of the value and impact of effective Health and Safety Reps.
  • 17 staff stepped up for their flu jabs
  • 7 staff volunteered to be trained to take on essential roles during a major incident
  • Staff learned or were updated on recent important legal cases, human factors, inclusion and diversity, health and safety inspections, correct waste disposal, hand hygiene, occupational health services and relaxation therapy, manual handling equipment and correct use of chlor-clean.
  • Reps and Champions took away useful guidelines and information to share with Managers and colleagues.
  • A mini Big Conversation was held to ensure the voice of the Reps and Champions is listened to so that improvements in how health and safety is delivered and how Reps and Champions and supported, address staff needs and ideas.
  • In support of the Trust drive to increase appropriate Twitter activity, a total of 39 Tweets and 100 interactions (follows, favourites and re-tweets) were counted relating to #HSReps

I would like to thank everyone who helped to arrange this day, a lot of work went into the preparations, as well as saying thank you to those staff that took the time out of their busy days to attend and take part. I’m looking forward now to the next event, no pressure!

I’ve attached a note this week from Liz McDougall, our LiA Lead.  I know there is a lot happening across the Trust and we felt it would be helpful to issue short, regular updates regarding LiA.  Every couple of weeks Liz has committed to sending you all a short note on how LiA is progressing and what’s happening next.  It isn’t intended to be a newsletter, just a very quick update.

I would be very grateful if you could take a moment to read it and share with colleagues.

The update this week includes how to book on our next round of Big Conversations and a series of taster sessions to help everyone adopt this new way of working. Places are going fast, please take the opportunity to reserve a place as soon as possible – I am really looking forward to them, they were so helpful last time.

I’d also like to thank Dr Obale for the short film she made last week regarding Acute Kidney Injury and the benefits of applying the LiA method.  You can view the film on the Trust’s Facebook page (  This is a great example of leadership by Dr Obale.  The film has now been watched around 1,000 times in a week – helping to share the great work of our teams – well done!

23 October 2015 – LIA Attachment

Jackie Daniel
Chief Executive

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