For an organisation that has more than 9,000 colleagues providing services 24/7 across hospitals and in the community, it is safe to say that there is a lot going on. Whilst in each area, you all know what you need to do, it is extremely important that we have a common set of priorities that we all contribute to in order to achieve what we are here for - offering safe and high-quality services to our local communities.
That is why we have our areas of focus each year. Whilst they don’t detail absolutely everything that we all must do in the coming year, they do allow each of us to be on the same page about what we are focusing on as an organisation and the key areas that we should be considering in all we do. They won’t come as a shock to many of you as you and your colleagues are already leading much of this work. What it does is bring it all together in a clear way so that everyone knows where we are heading.
There has been a change to the structure of our areas of focus for this year. As you will be aware, in June 2022, we launched our new Trust Strategy - Putting Patients First. The areas of focus are a vital part of how we will achieve what we set out in the strategy so for 2023/24, these now reflect our four strategic priorities.
The areas of focus for 2023/24 are:
Deliver outstanding care and experience
- Improve access, standards of care and outcomes across all our services
- Have plans in place to ensure the right people with the right skills are in the right place at all times to provide safe, high-quality care
- Focus on embedding a culture of continuous improvement
- Embed evidence-based practice across all services and ensure we have the processes in place to truly learn when we get things wrong
Create the culture and conditions for our colleagues to be the very best they can be
Empower our leaders at a local level to lead their services and teams
Embed our values and expected behaviours
Enhance our use of technology to improve the experience of our colleagues
Create a culture of wellbeing in all services
Make the best use of our financial and physical resource
Agree and implement a financial strategy to deliver long term financial sustainability
Make the most effective use of our resources and reduce waste in everything we do
Focus on using a range of data and evidence to inform our planning, performance and productivity
Plan and use our estates and other physical assets to prioritise patient care and promote best value
Working in partnership
Support the development of the new health and care system in our area
Work collaboratively with our partners to deliver key programmes of work to improve services
Work with partners to improve the health of our local communities and reduce health inequalities
Strengthen our approach to engaging with and involving our patients, carers and communities to further improve our services
The sheer amount of hard work that you have all put in over the past year or so is difficult to put into words. Despite the sustained pressures on services both in and out of hospital due to the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic, increased demand for services and the recent industrial action, you have still managed to make important and visible improvements to the care that we offer our patients.
These aren’t just words on a page. If we all come together again and put everything we have into achieving these priorities, we will make huge changes to the services we provide, the experience of our patients, and how it feels to work here at UHMBT. We will monitor our progress and try to identify the ‘so what?’, i.e., what difference is it making? We’ll do this using a set of actions to track and metrics to measure so we know if we have made the change we wanted to. You can view more information on these ‘key performance indicators’ here.
Over the last year, we’ve shared updates on how we were doing against the areas of focus we set ourselves for 2022/23, and we will start to re-share these on the intranet and in Weekly News over the coming weeks so that you have another opportunity to see what your hard work has achieved.
We will soon be launching our refreshed Clinical Strategy - also focused on ‘Putting Patients First’. The strategy and clinical delivery plans have been developed with valuable input from clinicians, leaders, the public and stakeholders across our health and care communities. It has also been underpinned by population health data and aligned to our Sustainable Financial Improvement Programme. The strategy is currently being finalised and we will share more information soon.
You will soon see our new areas of focus displayed as you enter our buildings, on our corridor walls, in the spaces we work from in the community, and on our digital display screens.
To find out more about the priorities, including how they were developed, what we need to do to achieve them and how we will know if it is making a difference; we will be holding a virtual all colleague briefing on Wednesday 17 May from 11am-12pm. All colleagues are invited to attend and ask any questions they may have. To join the meeting, just click here.
You can also find out more about our purpose, vision, values, areas of focus and Trust Strategy on the 'We are UHMBT’ intranet page here.
Over the coming weeks and months, we will be sharing real examples of these priorities in action so that we can show the difference your hard work is making to our patients and local communities.
We know it is still tough in a lot of areas and on behalf of the Trust Board, we’d like to sincerely thank you for your continued support.
Prof. Mike Thomas Aaron Cummins
Chair Chief Executive