Monday, 27 January 2014

Day 100: The End Of The Beginning


The End Of The Beginning’ is a little-known short movie from 2013. Even though it’s awards season (and that movie won’t be getting many!) I don’t want this to read like an Oscar acceptance speech and I promise I won’t do a Gwyneth Paltrow!

Whilst this post represents the end of my 100 day challenge, it is only the end of the beginning in terms of my time in this new role and I think I can safely say I am no longer in my ‘induction’ period!

I want to say a special thank you to Mrs F for her support in helping make me who I am today and particularly for sacrificing 100 half-hours of me so I could write this blog.

Thank you to my colleagues in Luton and the wider world of the NHS, Quality & Nursing who have given me much of the inspiration and material for the last 100 days’ posts.  With 10,000+ page views, that’s an average of over 100 per post, which is many more than I expected at the outset.

Thanks to everyone I’ve met for the first time in the last 100 days who’s said “we haven’t met before, but I’ve read your blog”.  This has given me a particular buzz, but been a little bewildering at times.

The experience of writing every day for 100 days has been really rewarding.  Taking time to reflect on the day and what I’ve learned is a discipline that I will certainly be continuing.  Some days have been harder than others to write about, but in the main my biggest problem has been writing only 100 words!

There have been low points during the past 100 days, as well as many high points.  There’s been dancing, I’ve got angry and I’ve certainly come across some ‘wicked problems’.  The image below is a word cloud made up of all the content from the last 100 days, which is 10,000+ words.

My plan for day 101 and beyond is to continue to blog, but in a bit more depth and less often than every day (Mrs F will be pleased!).  500 words a week for the next 50 weeks would be a good challenge to set myself to keep me writing; so if there are any particular topics you want me to explore in my blog, contact me, let me know and we’ll see how this evolves.

Thanks again and stay in touch!


(PS I knew I’d never keep this final post to 100 words, so I wasn’t even going to try!)


Friday, 24 January 2014

Day 99: To Fund Or Not To Fund?

We’ve policies about treatments funded by the NHS in Luton in line with priorities for local people.  We’ve a process that allows GPs to apply on behalf of patients, where there are exceptional circumstances, for them to receive treatment not normally funded.  As you can imagine, this can be a legal minefield.

Today I attended an annual training session for the clinicians and managers from the CCG who sit on the panel, which makes decisions on these individual treatment funding requests.  Always difficult decisions, as they affect individuals, but this training will help ensure we make them fairly and legally.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Day 98: The Magic Number?

De La Soul’s 1990 hit, says the magic number is ‘Three’.  At the Commissioning Nurse Leaders meeting today, our first task was, in groups, to identify three important issues that we’re challenged by to inform the day’s agenda.  Once conversation started flowing we found it hard to keep it down to just three!

All groups then shared their priorities, which essentially fell into or represented three elements: Leadership, Relationships & Accountability.  So my ‘take-home message’ from the day was to continue to develop relationships, the importance of real leadership and have to clear lines of accountability.  There’s no ‘magic’ solution.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Day 97: Equity, Equality & Quality

I met today with colleagues from the Local Authority who are helping us improve our approach to measuring and monitoring the impact of what and how we do things.  In particular they’re advising on improving how we assess the impact on patients, public and communities in terms of equality of services.  We are using something called Integrated Impact Assessments, which will allow us to identify where we need to do things differently to ensure that what we do has a positive impact.  We’ll be using this approach to help us in our current procurement of mental health & community services.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Day 96: Social Media Impact

We’re thinking more about how we want to use social media as an organisation and how we better engage with local people, including using social media.  To do this well, we need to ensure that what we do is based on best available evidence.

This blog is more a request than reflection: If you know of any tried and tested use of social media to engage with patients and/or public leading to improved knowledge, services or outcomes; please let me know.  We have limited resources, so want to use them wisely to get the best for our local people.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Day 95: #TimeToTalk

Today is supposed to be ‘Blue Monday', the most unhappy day of the year, but this hasn't got a great scientific basis.  Did you celebrate ‘Blooming Monday’ today? If not, put it in your diary for next year!

Whether it’s the depths of winter or mid-summer there are still many millions in the UK alone affected by mental illness.  The Time to Change campaign, run by Mind and Rethink aims to challenge stigma and stereotypes about mental illness through #TimeToTalk.  Join 50,000 others and make your Time to Change pledge here.

It's no coincidence that the Department of Health launched its Action Plan for Mental Health today.  The aim of this plan is to “…make a difference, in the next two or three years, to the lives of people with mental health problems”.  This will only happen if all of us more openly talk about mental health and recognise it as being important as physical health.

I was also alerted today, by Dr Alys Cole-King, to the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Royal College of GPs’ guidance on suicide mitigation from the Primary Care Mental Health Forum. Aimed at GPs, it’s helpful for other health professionals too.

I’ve rambled a bit and gone over my 100 word limit today, but it’s such an important subject and we must do all we can to end the stigma of mental health and ensure parity of esteem with physical health.


So go on, start the conversation, it’s #TimeToTalk

Friday, 17 January 2014

Day 94: Quality Collaborative - Practice Nursing

Update about the Quality Collaborative at today’s CCG Nurse Directors’ meeting.  This is a series of projects we’re doing across local CCGs on areas of quality to use localised expertise more widely and prevent duplication.  Areas we’re addressing include pressure ulcers, infection control, care homes and practice nursing.

Each area’s sponsored by a CCG Director of Nursing, which means we’re accountable for delivery, act as a sounding board and ensure focus maintained and outcomes achieved.  I’m overseeing the practice nursing work, which I’m really excited about and keen to progress to support & develop what can be an isolated workforce.