This weeks leadership message from Sarah Boulton

Sarah Boulton

Our vision is to be ‘Trusted to deliver compassionate care’ for the benefit of our patients, their families and all of our communities across the East of England - we are really ambitious to provide really great patient care and to provide the best support to our staff, wherever they work in the Trust.

The Executive Team and I took the opportunity to reflect on some of the ways we do that when we were at our leadership engagement event on Tuesday in Great Notley, the HART base in Essex. Thanks to all of you who found the time to go along and share your views and experiences. We talked about our four strategic priorities that underpin our vision and help us to realise it, and these are to provide better care, to value our people, to achieve value for money and to ensure delivery of performance. Everything we do should be aimed at achieving one or more of these goals.  Given how busy all of us are, particularly at this time of year, it is good to remind ourselves from time to time to stay focused on these and try to avoid getting distracted by those things that are ‘nice to dos’. To make this really meaningful in this year we have developed four clear leadership priorities which are recruiting and retaining our workforce, delivering the Building Better Rotas project, improving operational performance and productivity and delivering fleet and Make Ready.

The leaders in the room at Great Notley were great at coming up with new ideas and suggestions on how to deliver these leadership priorities in a way that makes a positive difference to patients and staff, and we now have a whole set of fresh ways to improve what we are doing. What I was particularly struck by was the energy, openness and honesty with which all contributions were made. All of us, individually and collectively, are going through a great deal of change in the Trust right now. Much of this change is driven by forces outside our immediate control and we know colleagues in other NHS and social care settings are facing very similar pressures. In particular, those in the room expressed frustration with some of the detail of the Operational management restructure and also with the Building Better Rotas project. We know that inevitably some of you will be affected by these changes, but ultimately they are all about improving what we do for patients and also for the greater good of our staff body. However testing this becomes, I can give you a commitment that the Executive Team are always available to listen to your concerns, and to find a way through to address them in a ‘win win’ way when that is possible.

I hope to be in a position shortly to introduce our new interim Chief Executive. Since Robert tendered his resignation we started the search for a permanent replacement which, based on experience in other trusts, is likely to take several months to secure and get into post. Given that we are entering one of our busiest times, it seemed sensible to bring in an experienced CEO at the earliest possible point for the interim period before a permanent person is appointed. Along with others I am now finalising the process to bring that interim CEO to EEAST and in the first instance will be confirming just who that is, and when they will start, with you and other Trust colleagues as soon as I can.

In terms of wellbeing – a big discussion point at Tuesday’s event - I want to encourage all of our colleagues to get the #JabDone and receive their flu jab at the earliest opportunity. Good health and wellbeing – yours and our patients combined – makes a significant difference to our ability to support one another and respond to patients, and getting the flu jab is one way you can help reduce the risks of feeling poorly in the coming colder months. I’m also really pleased to say that our Cycle Solutions bike salary sacrifice scheme is coming online – you’ll find information about it all on East24 in the next few days, and posters and leaflets are being distributed around the Trust from today (Thursday) to help highlight this scheme.

Finally, I understand that as part of our engagement work, some of you will have taken part in staff focus groups held recently in Bedfordshire. They’re part of our work with the CQC, and are geared towards patient-facing staff. I’m really pleased that we will be hosting more in the coming months; details are being planned as we speak, so please watch this space about locations, dates and more.

Thank you all for your continued commitment and hard work.



Published 18th October 2018

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