Monday, 22 January 2018

Well-led review and CIPs

I talked last week about the well-led review that is being undertaken.  Interviews have been taking place over the last week and I have had a feedback session with the independent review team. 

I'd like to thank people for their support in undertaking this review, which I believe will provide a foundation from which to make lasting change and improvements here at Pennine Care.  I appreciate people's honesty and encourage it.  The findings of the review will be shared with the whole Board of Directors in February and we will then use it to formulate an improvement plan.  This also ties in with the cultural audit that the organisational development team will be undertaking over the next few months, again I have talked about this in my blog before and will provide more detail when the time comes.  

We have been having a major refocus on our cost improvement programme (CIP as you will know it) for the remainder of this year and next financial year.  The good news is that it looks like our deficit at the end of this year will be more like -£5 million as opposed to the -£6.6 million expected.  This is due to the Trust including some additional funding from commissioners in the forecast.  This money has been allocated to alleviate existing pressures within mental health inpatient areas. 

I fully appreciate how difficult it is for staff to make budget reductions now.  We cannot simply top slice budgets any more.  So, I am working with colleagues to develop a new approach for how we will deliver a CIP, which involves bigger change programmes, cross-cutting themes and corporate efficiencies.  It will require a great deal of collaboration and engagement across the Trust and with our partners, so expect to be involved in this at some point. 

As things are really starting to ramp up now, I may not be able to post a blog each and every week but I will aim to provide an update at least every fortnight.  Thank you for continuing to read my blog, I read all of your feedback and comments, which has been really positive.  Please keep them coming! 

Many Thanks

T: @ClaireMolloy2

Friday, 12 January 2018

My five ways to wellbeing

Earlier this week you will have received a Trust email giving tips on adopting the five ways to wellbeing and as January is typically the time when people endeavour to make healthier choices, I thought I’d share some of the things I do to maintain my own wellbeing and resilience. It’s also timely because this coming Monday is known as ‘blue Monday,’ which is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year!

The five ways to wellbeing are connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give.  These days we all lead very busy lives and work hard, nowhere more so than in the NHS, so I think it’s really important that we try to take some time to look after ourselves and our wellbeing.  The daily challenges and pressures we face at work and home can really test our personal resilience, so the five ways to wellbeing are thought to provide a good framework for maintaining good mental health.  Here is how I try to adopt them…

1.         Connect

My family is the most important thing to me and I spend as much of my time as possible with them, especially my first granddaughter who was born just before Christmas! Being closer to family was one of the attractions about moving here. Being able to talk and share with them is really important. We all need someone to 'off load' to and to share problems with and I don't know how I would manage without my patient husband who is great at just listening to me rant on occasions! 

2.         Be active 

I try to exercise regularly, although I haven’t been as active as I should be recently. I have a huge passion for climbing and mountaineering and most of my holidays are spent doing this sort of activity. I know it sounds counter intuitive, but for me, I find this much more relaxing than any beach holiday, although occasionally I do wonder whether I shouldn't just be hanging up my boots and taking it easier! My most challenging climb was in the Himalayas a few years ago when I was part of a small team who managed to climb a mountain that hadn’t been attempted before. It was a huge challenge and I spent a lot of the time feeling scared and but it was very rewarding, especially since we managed to get to the top and down safely! One of the things I love about climbing is that your mind has to be completely focused in that moment, instead of thinking about all the others things going on in your life.

3.         Take notice

As you can probably tell, I really enjoy spending time outside and appreciating the beautiful countryside we have. I go walking quite a lot as it is free and relatively hassle free and this provides the chance to explore.  My journey to and from work takes me over Chapel Brow from the high peaks into Charlesworth, and I love that moment in the morning when I reach the top driving over and can see the fantastic views of Manchester and beyond (when it  isn't foggy!) I always pause for a moment to appreciate the view and I’m looking forward to being able to stop there in the summer months and maybe do a walk or a run on the way home.

4.         Keep learning

I’ve certainly been on a learning curve since taking up my new role with Pennine Care and like to continually learn in my professional career.  A few years ago I also learnt to play the piano. It's so hard learning an instrument as an adult, but I can now play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, although rather badly!  I’ve also recently been to a lino-cut printing workshop where I made this fine piece of art…. well I was pleased with it anyway!   It was like potato printing for adults! I’m not particularly a creative person but it was quite relaxing and calming cutting the shapes out, like a form of mindfulness.

5.         Give

Quite a few years ago we decided as a family to stop spending lots of money on fancy Christmas gifts and instead give money to charity. We do a secret Santa so we each get one decent gift but then have a little competition to determine which charity we donate the rest of the money to. It’s a really nice, fun thing to do. 

As part of the Trust’s work on staff wellbeing, we have all been encouraged to make a personal pledge against one of the five ways to wellbeing.  My pledge for this year is that I want to continue to connect with people in the organisation and especially staff on the frontline, and so will be aiming to spend at least one day each month out visiting clinical services and also holding some larger engagement events with staff over the coming months. 

You can make your own pledge here: http://portal/shwbr/Pages/Contact.aspx

I look forward to reading all of your pledges!


Claire Molloy
Chief Executive
T: @ClaireMolloy2

Friday, 5 January 2018

"a year of significant change, challenge and improvement ahead"

Happy New Year to you all.  I hope you were able to have some time with family and friends over the festive period.  Of course the NHS doesn’t close for Christmas, so I’d like to say a big thank you to our staff who were still in work providing patient care.  

It is proving to be a particularly brutal winter and the pressure on the NHS is greater than ever.  I know many of our teams are doing all they can to treat patients at home and in the community to help reduce the pressure on local hospitals.  One of the biggest causes of pressure this year are people with respiratory illnesses and flu, so we can all do our bit by having our flu jab.  Whilst the national average uptake for healthcare staff is 59%, unfortunately our Trust uptake falls short at 44%.  Please do have the vaccination if you haven’t already.  It really does make a difference in preventing the spread of this nasty illness.

The start of the year is the perfect time to refocus and make some resolutions for what we need to change, in life and work.  At Pennine Care we’ve got a year of significant change, challenge and improvement ahead, starting with some intensive work over the next three months.  

Any change or improvement starts with having an honest assessment of where things currently stand. So, it is key that over the next few months we collectively try to crystallise what we think needs to change and how we will go about it.  This applies both on the frontline and across the organisation as a whole. With this in mind, the Board has recently commissioned an independent ‘well-led’ review to be undertaken over January and February as one of the ways of identifying where we need to improve and to provide an objective analysis of how we operate. 

The review will look at several areas including whether we have a credible strategy, our culture, leadership particularly at Executive and Board level, how we learn and improve and how engaged staff are.  The Board already has a sense of some of the areas we need to improve, but as well  as hearing from the Board the review team will also be analysing data and information; visiting some frontline services and interviewing other senior leaders to get a fully rounded picture. This is an opportunity for you to help me and the Board shape what needs to change, so I would encourage everyone involved in this to be as honest and frank as you can.  We are only going to be able to move forward and improve the way we do things if we know how things really are.

At the same time, we are also starting to formulate plans to conduct a cultural audit.  Our organisational culture has a direct impact on how we function, behave and ultimately provide patient care.  I think it is important that we have a comprehensive view of how our current culture is, both positive and negative attributes, so we can then work together to shape a culture that is open, supportive and patient-focused.  Of course we need to involve the whole workforce in this audit, so we will build in information we have previously collected as well as potentially holding a number of CEO-led staff listening events to gather your views and insights. 

So here’s to a productive year ahead and thank you greatly for your continued hard work.

Many Thanks


T: @ClaireMolloy2