Leadership: the ripple that starts the wave - an update from Matt Broad, Deputy Director of Strategy and Sustainability

Matt Broad   OPT

This week’s senior leadership message comes from Matt Broad, Interim Deputy Director of Strategy and Sustainability

Anyone who knows me well knows how passionate I am about leadership, so I’m really pleased to take this opportunity to write this week’s message.

We’ve learnt in the last few days that the Trust leadership cohorts, led by the organisational development team, are continuing this year and that speaks volumes to me about the emphasis placed on development for the emerging leaders of the Trust. This is a very separate thing to managing – leadership is about the person and their ability to inspire and engage for the good, which can lead to improvements in everyone’s working lives and the way we deliver patient care. In other words, it can be the ripple that starts the wave, and I hope you’ve been able to be in regular contact with the fantastic leaders we have in the Trust and support them in their ongoing development.

As a manager, I am leading the Trust’s work on sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) and have been doing so since last summer. Regular readers of Need to Know will have picked up our recent update about STP work (read here if not) and that progress is reliant on the timing of the proposals - published by all areas late last year - being digested by the public and fed back on.

The process of developing STPs has not been easy. The pressures facing local services are significant and the timescales for developing the plans have been extremely tight. The STP footprints in our region are large and involve many different organisations, each with its own priorities and culture. Progress within each STP is markedly different, highly dependent on the local challenges and historical context in which healthcare has evolved. But we’re working together to map out how what is being proposed will translate to the way services will be delivered.

Our destiny will be determined on outcomes like how commissioners might pay for services and whether this will change – and of course news this week that a general election is being proposed for June can’t be ignored when we’re talking about planning the NHS future, because whoever is in government will have a vision for what they want the healthcare system to be.

Next year the NHS turns 70; new treatments for a growing and aging population mean that pressures on the service are greater than they have ever been. But treatment outcomes are far better - and public satisfaction higher - than 10 or 20 years ago. The NHS has changed a lot since it began, and now is a time of further change. So what I’d really encourage you to do is look at STPs from not just an NHS employee perspective, but because it’s the area you live in. You can look at all the proposals on our East24 page and as healthcare professionals, give your take on how services could do better to serve the communities and people of the region.

My final point is around engagement. Being passionate about leadership is to be passionate about engagement, but it can get harder and harder the busier we are or when we’re under immense pressure and very inward looking. For me, it means ensuring we have a temperature check of how our colleagues feel about a local or Trust matter, what our patients know and understand about their care, and what the wider world can do to be involved with us. I’m a prolific user of Twitter which for me has been a great engagement device and has opened up the opportunity to speak with people I might not have had contact with otherwise – I know social media isn’t for everyone and it has limitations, but I really encourage all of you to use what is at your disposal to start those conversations and create your own leadership ripple where you are.

Have a good week,


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