I’ve now been in post for a couple of months and things are really starting to take shape. But I don’t have a grand plan to unveil, that’s something we all need to co-produce together.
After spending time with board last week, I have this week been part of a strategic planning event involving around 100 of our senior clinical leaders and managers from across the Trust. It’s the first time in a while people have been brought together on this scale and it was fantastic for me to be able to hear directly from each division about their achievements, successes and future plans.
I was able to share some of my own early reflections with our collective leaders... there is clearly a great deal of passion and commitment from staff who put in a lot of discretionary effort, but there is a sense of people becoming a bit tired and weary. Also, whilst Pennine Care has until this year been able to successfully meet its financial savings targets, this has come at some expense to maintaining quality levels, which we need to address. The devolved operating model is viewed positively in general, although there isn’t a strong sense of an integrated organisational identity. I’ve also observed that clinical and professional leadership is less obvious within the organisation. Overall, from the many conversations I’ve had with people, staff do generally like working here and there is a strong sense that people are really up for a new approach to take us into the future, which is great for me.
Taking all of this into account, I have been working with colleagues to start to develop our priorities, which include revising our strategy with a clearer narrative and business plan, as well as focusing on organisational effectiveness, which is about our culture and how we run the trust. I have also started to work on some early delivery priorities, which are under the general themes of quality, people, partnerships, money and infrastructure. I’ll share more about all of this soon and plan to come out to test the thinking out with frontline staff too.
I also attended the Joint Negotiating and Consultation Committee away day this week, following on from an informal meeting with Partnership Officer last week. Again, this was really useful and further cemented the importance of this group in navigating the challenges facing staff and services. We had an open and frank discussion between Partnership Officers, representatives and managers, with a heavy focus on the future roll of this committee in listening to staff concerns, resolving them and providing a valuable forum to shape our people plan and approach.