25 April 2016 CEO Blog post

How do you listen?

So, three weeks now working at this fabulous place.

In the last couple of weeks I managed to spend some time chatting with the team on HDU and I was able to attend an MDT meeting with Nigel Kiely and then follow his ward round on Alice Ward. Nigel is a natural teacher and a role model for his team. As a seasoned NHS manager the best part of my job is watching our skilled and caring people do what they do best. Our paediatric service is excellent. We must continue to support it to flourish.

I got to meet more of you at the staff open forum sessions I ran in the lecture theatre. Many thanks to all of you that were able to come – the first session was beyond standing room only, some of you were even sat on the floor, and I know some of you stood outside listening in. The energy and enthusiasm you shared with me was exhilarating.

At the forum we discussed the importance of us facing the things that we know we need to do improve and doing this together as one community. I shared with those that came how I see senior management visibility, and the measurement of it, as a key priority. We also talked about the kind of organisation we want to be. Studying the staff survey to read that almost a quarter of our staff (23%) report that they have experienced bullying, harassment or abuse in the last 12months is simply not good enough.

I had a particularly good discussion with the senior nurses and AHPs last week about this at their meeting. We will all work on this together. I hope you will help us to focus on listening and behaving towards each other in the right way, particularly when we are under pressure.

This links to conversations with two of our anaesthetic consultants, Huw Jones and Ruth Longfellow. I talked with both about speaking up, about the hierarchy and about patient safety. We talked about how staff in theatre work with each other. We can always be safer. We can always do better. I have asked Huw and Ruth to help me think about how we work on this.

We are beginning to make progress in improving our waiting times and access for patients. However, if that improvement is to be sustained we have to develop a new way of doing things around here. The executive team wants to lead an organisation that listens and learns.  Encouraging staff to raise concerns, in the knowledge you will always be listened to, is a good place to start. 


Mark Brandreth
Chief Executive

Image of Mark Brandreth, Chief Executive

Do you have any thoughts or comments on this blog entry?

If so, please send to rjah.chief.executive@nhs.net.