It is widely recognised that the first 100 days of a new Chief Executive are really important. It’s that short period of time that you have when people still afford you the luxury of calling you ‘new’ and look with interest at your approach and style. It is also a time when you are most able to be open about what is needed going forward, influenced by people who work in and with the organisation.
I am obviously only a short way into my first 100 days so it’s still early days. However, as I near the end of my fourth week with Pennine Care, I thought I could usefully share some reflections of my first 100 hours in post.
I have had a lovely warm welcome – everyone has been friendly and positive about me being here, which always helps! So, thank you for making me so welcome.
I have also been struck by what a hugely talented and committed workforce we have. I attended the Annual General Meeting last week and was simply blown away by the enthusiasm and passion of the teams and individuals talking about their services on the stalls in the market place. And then the CARES Awards themselves were just so moving and inspirational. I watched the videos of the divisional winners being quite in awe of the effort that people were going to and the massive positive impact this had for people at the heart of those services. I only managed not to shed a tear or two with the pure emotion they evoked by dint of being in a public place!
The fact that it was such a hard task selecting the winners and that we had 61 applications means that across the organisation we obviously have some brilliant teams and services which we need to find ways of hearing about and recognising. Because, as I said in my welcome video, if we get it right for staff we will probably get it right for people who use our services. This will form a key underpinning principle of my approach going forward, with a strong focus on creating a positive, open and learning culture, where we make it easy for people to do their jobs and make the most of the talent we have.
We know the improvements we need to make on the back of the CQC inspection and are committed to these, but we also need to create an approach to innovation and improvement more widely. There are undoubtedly lots of pockets of great practice and support available to help people with improvement work. What I see as a priority is bringing this together in a clear way so that this becomes the way we do things around here.
I’ve been spending time meeting people inside and outside of the trust. For me, these early days are a crucial time to learn, absorb and reflect. I’ll be spending a day visiting services and leadership teams in each locality over the next few weeks. My first visit was in Trafford yesterday and it was fantastic to hear about their integration journey for bringing together adults and children’s health and social care services.
I am also delighted to have announced the appointment of our new Trust Chair, Evelyn Asante-Mensah. Evelyn is an outstanding candidate and brings a wealth of different experience to further enhance our board. This new leadership signals an important change for Pennine Care and together we will build on the Trust’s strengths, whilst also considering a new future direction and different ways of working. It is a very exciting time for Pennine Care!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I’ll be posting further blogs and updates about things I am looking at over the coming weeks.