I’ve had the opportunity to get out and about and spend time with different clinical services over the last few days, which has been brilliant.
Last Friday, I spent time with community services in Oldham and was incredibly impressed with the advances they have made with integration. I learnt about the adults cluster team model in Oldham West where adult nursing, primary care and social care staff are fully integrated and collocated. I also visited the fantastic staff at Butler Green and heard how they have grown from a single unit to a whole intermediate care pathway, including a rapid response team and discharge team working in the hospital. I also visited some of the children’s nursing and therapies teams in Oldham, who again have very well established pathways and examples of integrated working.
I’ve also visited mental health services at our Birch Hill site in Rochdale this week, spending time with staff at Beech ward, Moorside and Hollingworth ward. I listened to the stories from staff and the daily challenges they face when caring for people with complex mental health needs. These jobs are not easy and we need to help by improving the ward environment. This is being picked up through our estates improvement plan but I recognise that we need to move forward at a quicker pace, led by the clinical teams.
After spending time in both mental health and community services, I was struck by how well services are moving forward in their specific localities and service lines, but not necessarily together as a combined physical and mental health offer. With us all being part of the same organisation there is definitely room for improvement on how we work closer together, under the whole person care ethos.
We have this week had our first Strategic Partnership Board with commissioners and partners sat round the table. It is chaired independently by Jon Rouse, chief officer of the GM Health and Social Care Partnership. The purpose of the meeting is to help partners appreciate the challenges faced by the trust and jointly own responsibility for moving things forward.
I attended my first full Council of Governor’s meeting and was able to share some of my early thoughts on observations, whilst also hearing from them. I’ve also had very productive meetings with some of our key external partners Karen James (Chief Executive at Tameside Integrated Care) and Steven Pleasant (Chief Executive Tameside Council) and separately Gaynor Mullins (Chief Clinical Officer at Stockport CGG). I’ve also met with Colin Scales (Chief Executive at Bridgewater NHS Trust) to talk about opportunities for networking and sharing between our community teams.
So all in all it’s been another very busy but productive week. I am certainly getting to know people around the trust and would like to thank everyone for continuing to make me feel welcome.