I am sorry there has been a gap of a few weeks in between my blogs. Since September we have launched the monthly CEO Brief and made it open to all staff. It has been great to see so many of you there – please come along if you can. They are also filmed so you can catch up here: CEO brief videos
I would like to update you around our financial position – which is not where it needs to be. There are a number of reasons for this: increasing demand on our services; the volume of medications we are using; our backlog of maintenance in estates; and the number of temporary staff we are having to use, amongst others. The Trust’s historic debts and borrowings also cause us financial pressures, as do our PFIs – the buildings which are run on our behalf by private companies.
It is without doubt that we have a far greater challenge this year than in previous years, and will require all your help to fix it. I would urge you all to be aware of this and take this into account as you deliver your services. Remember, as well as providing safe and compassionate care we also have a duty to look after taxpayers’ money and spend it wisely.
I am, however, actively seeking to change the tone about how we talk about our finances. When we reflect on messages about money, to date (and probably every year we’ve been talking about the issue) they are almost entirely negative in tone – ‘keep within budget’, ‘don’t spend on this’, ‘we can’t afford that’ and so on. It is right that we have to manage our money properly, but I believe that people are motivated by reward and positive change far more than by restrictions and central control.
As we go into next year I would therefore like to discuss with you, and ask you all to think about, how we can change this. We will definitely be thinking about incentives and how we can use good financial management, or more efficient ways of working, to provide reward and investment for staff and patients at department level, so we can directly link good practice to improvements in patient care and staff wellbeing.
If you have any ideas around this, please get in touch with me directly. This is critical to creating a culture where success breeds success.
Finally, I leave you with the example of Kelly, one of our domestics from our Brookside clinic, whom I met last week. If the non-clinical waste bins in her area aren’t more than half full, she deliberately empties them without always changing the bin liner, because she is conscious of the cost of replacing these. It is small steps such as this that together will achieve the bigger goal of financial stability as well as better care for our patients.
As always, it would be great to hear from you.
07920 071 814