As the end of the year approaches it provides an opportunity for reflection, thanks and a look forward.
2017 has been a particularly significant year for Pennine Care with many achievements and challenges along the way. Some of the most notable things to happen have included posting a financial deficit for the first time; strengthening joint working arrangements with commissioners; moving forward with the CQC/quality improvement plan; mobilising the Manchester Resilience Hub in response to the Manchester Arena attack; implementing the new operating model to create locality groups and combining mental health and specialist, as well as the appointment of a new Chief Executive and Chair. So it’s been a pretty eventful year!
Despite the amount of change and challenge facing the organisation as a whole, our staff have continued to work tirelessly to provide care to patients. This applies to those in clinical roles and enabling support roles. In fact, staff couldn’t be working harder and many services are running over capacity. I’ve talked about the need to redress the balance between demand and quality previously and this will continue to be a priority theme into next year.
When I joined Pennine Care in September, I said that I wanted to refocus on staff engagement because I believe that if we properly look after our staff, we will in turn provide the best care to patients. From speaking with many of you, 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 being quite tired and weary. My overall impression is that staff do like working here and there is a strong sense that people are really up for a new approach to take us into the future. Improving how we support and develop our workforce will also be a key priority for 2018.
This year we have also held our largest ever giving back campaign to provide those less fortunate with food and gifts over the festive season. The response from staff has been phenomenal, everyone has been extremely generous. We raised £150 from the Christmas jumper day, donated 35 Christmas shoeboxes to homeless appeals and made many considerable donations to food banks around the Trust footprint, enough to fill 58 car boots!
I would like to thank each and every one of you, staff, volunteers and supporters alike, for your continued hard work and commitment over the last 12 months, it hasn’t been an easy journey but there is much to be proud of. I want to continue to build on our success into the next year and work more closely together across the Trust to overcome the challenges we face.
I wish you all the very best for the festive season, especially to those working over the Christmas period. I look forward to working with you all in the New Year.