Friday, 24 August 2018

Our strength lies in our differences not our similarities

I always enjoy getting out and about meeting teams and chatting about what you do and your experiences. It’s not just a great opportunity to see first-hand the superb work taking place, but I always find it a grounding reminder of what it’s all about and why we are here. Its uplifting to see the level of commitment to making a difference. 

I only wish I had the time to fit more visits into my diary as I do enjoy these so much. It's a big patch we cover, as you know, and I sometimes envy how my hospital colleagues can literally pop into wards to say hello on their way to the canteen. It's been especially difficult to be out and about over the last few weeks as I've needed to attend a lot of meetings and events focused on strategic issues such as partnership working, cultural change and the development of our vision and values.

82 year old star in Oldham

All important stuff and very interesting and enjoyable as its core to the changes we are trying to make. But it was really refreshing to visit staff and service users from the Healthy Young Minds and Rehab and High Support teams in Oldham on Monday where I buried an NHS 70th time capsule in the garden with them, before having a look around. 

One of the stars I met there was Jill Dodge, an 82 year old receptionist who has been working with the team for 14 years. Yes, it’s not a typo – 82 – and full of positive energy! There are some days, like a lot of you I’m sure, when I feel tired and anticipate the relaxation of retirement with hopefulness (some way off yet!). But meeting Jill, such a wonderful bundle of energy, has made me feel inspired and re-energised - I definitely need a spoonful of whatever she has been having!

It’s was so heartening to see how much we value the experience that Jill brings, and I love that we are not seeing age as a barrier to still being able to make a huge contribution to our local communities. Long may that continue.

Equality and diversity concerns

However, we are not getting our approach to diversity right in all areas. 

I was very concerned to see recent figures highlighting that BME staff in this organisation are less likely to be appointed to senior posts and more likely to be subject to formal conduct and disciplinary processes.  This is incredibly worrying information and we really need to understand what sits behind this and to support changes in a positive way.

The Board will shortly be undertaking a development session dedicated to equality and diversity, as we recognise the importance of this area. We are committed to understanding the experience of staff and people who use our services and, most importantly, to taking action to address areas where we know we aren’t yet getting it right.

This will form an important part of our culture work going forward - looking at what kind of organisation we want to ‘be’ and what we see as important and of value to us. And from mine and the Board’s perspective, a diverse and inclusive workforce greatly enriches us and is definitely something to be valued. 

Wiser, positive, better

So, our challenge is to show, through the narrative we tell about what sort of organisation we want to be, and then through behaviours that reflect this, that we value everyone in the organisation. We want every individual to feel able to participate and achieve their potential. I truly believe that a diverse mix of experience, backgrounds and beliefs leads to better discussions, decisions and outcomes for everyone.

Our strength lies in our differences not our similarities. And that strength will help create a wiser, positive, better organisation.

Best wishes,

Claire Molloy
Chief Executive


  1. Jill is a fantastic individual and always a joy to deal with and in a similar vein there is Nina, a domestic assistant over at TGH who is still going strong, well into her late '70s. Another fantastic and hard working lady who is an inspiration to everyone.

  2. I couldn't be more proud of the diversity in my team - staff from all over the world - male and female equally mixed and aged between 18-65. Different beliefs, learning styles and experiences. I wouldn't have it any other way as it works and creates a harmonious, caring and hard working team. The feedback my team get is fantastic, everyone from PCFT to outside organisations always seem to notice that we hold a tight ship and we get comments such as 'We'd love to work for your team'. I only hope that moving forward this approach is adopted throughout the Trust as currently and as a manager who visits many other teams can see that this clearly isn't the case.

  3. What an inspiring Blog, its great to know how much peoples experiences are valued.