Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Reducing violence and aggression: Why our staff are not a target

It beggars belief to hear that more than 30 members of NUH staff are the target of verbal and physical abuse every month.
Hearing the stories of the aggression that our dedicated staff have faced is disturbing; from the nurse who got kicked in the head during a fracas on a ward to the receptionist who regularly deals with a torrent of abuse over the phone.
And that’s why I give my full backing to the Trust’s new Not a Target campaign.
For someone who is simply doing their job, often in very testing conditions, to be faced with violence and aggression of any kind is unacceptable and our staff and the public need to know this.
Sadly, there is often an acceptance that this is ‘just part of the job’. We know that the figures are likely to be much higher in reality as many people don’t report cases, feeling that it’s just something they need to put up with.
Well, I do not believe it is part of the job. The Trust’s new campaign makes it clear that this is absolutely not the case, and that all staff will be supported when such incidents occur.
Strong sanctions can and will be taken against those that commit these acts and staff do have the power to withhold treatment in extreme cases.
Of course we recognise that some incidents of aggression are down to clinical reasons, for example dementia or the side-effects of medication, and we will continue to be mindful of this reality. What this campaign is about is targeting those who feel it is acceptable to take their frustrations out on our staff by becoming abusive, violent and aggressive.
We have introduced a new Violence and Aggression workstream as part of our Staff Experience Group which will be looking in detail at what can be done over the coming months to help better support and protect staff, and I will be working hard to ensure that our Board continues to give this issue the prominence it deserves. Our new people Committee, which will be a sub-committee of the Board, will closely monitor progress, and meets for the first time in January.
As the campaign so rightly says, we are all human beings and need to treat each other with the compassion we deserve. No-one deserves to be a target whilst simply going about their job and trying to help and care for others.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Thank you for all you do ‘team NUH’

It was without doubt the highlight of the year. What a night it was celebrating all that is brilliant about ‘team NUH.’

My first NUHonours Awards was a memorable one. Over 1,000 nominations and over 400 guests in attendance on the night to recognise outstanding contributions.

If we ever needed one, nights like tonight remind us why we do what we do, and what special people we have working at our hospitals. Rewarding, recognising and valuing our staff for their dedication, hard work and outstanding patient care has never been so important and I know our newly-established Staff Experience Group and soon our new People Committee will be overseeing this vital work.

I had the privilege (though incredibly difficult task) of choosing the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Reading the nominations was both inspiring and humbling. In the end, there was a clear winner for me and to present Margaret Bowler with her award tonight was a true pleasure. Recently-retired Margaret worked as a Healthcare Assistant on Morris Ward at City Hospital for many years. She received several nominations that praised her outstanding patient care and devotion to her role. Her team described her as a joy to work with; her compassion, sense of humour and positive personality bringing a smile to patients and staff alike. Morris Ward consider her a true role model and was so pleased to see that so many of her former ward colleagues joined Margaret’s celebrations tonight.

We are grateful to Nottingham Post  Editor Mike Sassi for hosting and supporting the event. Thank you also to all of our sponsors for making NUHonours possible – especially our headline sponsor, the Nottingham Hospitals Charity for making this event possible for the 11th successive year.

Very many congratulations to all of our 2017 winners and thank you to each member of ‘team NUH’ for all you do.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Farewell & thank you Peter... & a very warm welcome to Nottingham, Tracy

Tomorrow, Nottingham and NUH says goodbye to one of the NHS's finest leaders, Peter Homa. Thank you to Peter for all he has done over the last 11 years at NUH to improve clinical outcomes, patient and staff experience at NUH. Peter has left a lasting legacy. His achievements are considerable, and include achieving a CQC 'good' rating for NUH (and 'outstanding' for leadership), the Trust becoming the East Midlands Major Trauma Centre, Biomedical Research Unit and Centre status for Nottingham, as well as positioning the Trust as a leader in openness and transparency.

Last week’s news that the NHS is to continue benefitting from Peter's experience as the first Chair of the NHS Leadership Academy is great news. A superb appointment of a superb leader. Best of luck for the future Peter, and one final thank you for all you have done to improve care for patients in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire and across the NHS over the last 37 years. Happy retirement!

I look forward to the future and what it holds. There are strong foundations in place on which NUH must now build. We welcome Tracy to NUH on Monday, when she takes over officially as the Trust's new Chief Executive. And what an appointment Tracy is. She joins NUH with a strong track record of success, bringing 30 years’ experience as an NHS leader and having begun her career as a nurse. Importantly, Tracy brings to Nottingham experience of working in and leading in complex health and social care systems, which will prove invaluable as we seek to strengthen NUH’s contribution to the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership and our long-term partnership with a Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. 

Over the coming months, Tracy will more intimately get to know NUH and its staff and the health and social care system. The Board will soon publish its new 5-year strategy which will sets out our priorities in the years to come.    

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Be brave, go with your instinct and do what’s right for patients

Over 400 members of ‘TeamNUH’ have attended our first ever leaders’ conference over the last week.

These two days marked the start of a new leadership development journey that the Board has agreed to invest in, such is the importance of this work.

And what a treat those who attended had, with superb speakers that I hope enthused, inspired and helped us to reflect on how we become even better leaders moving forward.

Every single one of our 15,000 members of staff can be a leader. It’s our job to support colleagues to fulfil their potential, no matter what their ambition. It’s also our job to be there for our staff; to support them; to listen curiously (as Michael West reminded us) and to develop talent.
Many congratulations to Charlotte Madgwick, Leanne Marshall, Julie McCarthy, Michael McLean, Mark Lyons on being shortlisted in the Leader of the Year category for this year’s NUHonours Awards. It’s great to see colleagues from across NUH - in clinical and non-clinical roles - being recognised for their outstanding leadership.
The conference was also symbolically important, with our present leader, Peter Homa, passing on the leadership baton to Tracy Taylor and our other 15,000 staff. Thank you to Peter for all he has done over the last 11 years, and 27 years in the NHS – he is one of the great NHS leaders, and it was great to hear Peter’s reflections on leadership at the conference. And now, looking to the future, Tracy will take us on a journey of further improvement, bringing with her some 32 years’ of NHS experience.

My message was clear at the conference – I want our leaders to be brave, go with their instinct and do what’s right for patients. I’m sure there were lots of different ‘take home’ messages for those who attended.

What a start the conference has been for our leadership journey. There is much more to follow, as a new leadership development programme is finalised. Feedback any ideas to our Director of HR, Nicky Hill (

For those who were not able to attend the conference and are interested in hearing the presentations, you will soon be able to download the videos via the intranet. We’ll include the link in a forthcoming Trust Briefing. Your managers will share the key messages from the conference with you too.

Reducing violence and aggression: Why our staff are not a target

It beggars belief to hear that more than 30 members of NUH staff are the target of verbal and physical abuse every month. Hearing the sto...