Hear from our Chair, Joe Fielder, as he reflects on his first year at our Trust, the challenges we’ve faced and are facing, and what he’s seen that’s impressed him.
“It almost doesn’t seem possible that a year has passed since I joined our Trust – it’s absolutely flown by. And it’s certainly been an eventful year for us all. I’m conscious that there have been lots of changes at Executive/Board level in the past 18 months. I am confident that the next year will see greater levels of continuity and stability which I know will be beneficial, but equally, change is a continual theme these days in most organisations.
Obviously one of the main things we’ve had to really focus on has been our finances. It’s probably been the greatest challenge we’ve faced over the past year and I’d like to thank you all for your hard work throughout this period, and particularly putting in place a robust recovery plan as we move towards getting back onto a more sustainable footing.
We’re on the right path now, but there’s a lot of hard work ahead of us, and some difficult choices I am sure.
While our constrained financial position isn’t ideal, sometimes these circumstances can bring out the best in people, by making us ask new questions of ourselves and the way we do things. How can we be better? More efficient? More effective? Everyone can help with this by continuing to eliminate waste and sharing ideas to improve.
Often simply throwing more money or staff at a problem isn’t always the answer. I’ve been so impressed since I joined at the levels of innovation, creativity and willingness to embrace new ideas and approaches – if we continue to do that and really apply ourselves, we will do great things.
Some of the most powerful examples of this I’ve seen here (particularly through The PRIDE Way work) have been when we’ve worked together, harnessing our collective expertise and knowledge. In tough times (and we know the winter is going to be difficult) we need to do everything we can to pull together, as one team, working together for the patients we serve. So, please look out for one another and be mindful of each other – even in difficult times, treating each other with respect and courtesy goes a long way.
One thing which is high on our agenda as a Board, and I know with the Executives too, is ensuring that our Trust is an inclusive, diverse, welcoming and supportive place to work, for all our colleagues, of all races, sexuality, gender, backgrounds, religions and beliefs. We want our Trust to be somewhere people are proud to work, where they can progress and build a career.
On a personal level, I have enjoyed meeting so many of you, and remember that my door is always open – please don’t be shy in bringing things to my attention if I can help in any way.
It’s been a hugely enjoyable year, despite the challenges. Thank you for such a warm welcome to the Trust and for everything you’re doing to provide great care to our patients and community – I’m proud to be your chair.”