Human management

Teesside NHS trust shakes up its leadership

The AN NHS Trust has overturned its leadership and brought in leaders with ‘lived experience’ following a critical report from a regulator.

The Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys (TEWV) NHS Foundation Trust has been urged to make urgent improvements following Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections last year, amid concerns about ‘unsafe staffing’ and the “bad culture within the service”.

Forensic inpatient services were found to be inadequate due to reliance on a report published in December last year, with a ‘toxic culture’ reported by some workers.

Now, a joint review panel has received an update on the trust’s “journey to change”.

Read more: Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust told to ‘urgently improve’ by watchdog

Trust chairman Paul Murphy said he hoped a tour of the 365-bed Roseberry Park Hospital in Middlesbrough had “debunked” it ahead of a committee meeting hosted by Darlington Borough Council.

He said: “It’s your hospital, it’s a sense. It belongs to the community. We are just its guardians.

“What we’re trying to do is create an atmosphere where… everyone is able to talk to everyone human-to-human.”

Paul Murphy. Image: Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.

Highlighting patients’ pride in gardening, he said: “It’s actually quite a pleasant environment in its own way and the patients play a key role in it. They are responsible for it, to be perfectly honest.”

Managing director Brett Kilmurray said: “People were saying, ‘you don’t listen to us, you don’t hear what we’re saying. There are issues with the culture within the organization and we need to be more patient-focused in the work we do.

“So we listened to that.”

He said they aimed to “co-create a great experience for patients, caregivers and colleagues and to be a great partner”.

He said: “It’s not about ticking a box around compliance. It’s about improving care and improving the quality of what we do.”

The Echo of the North: Brent Kilmurray.  Image: Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.Brent Kilmurray. Image: Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.

He said achievements in recent months include a new, more streamlined and balanced governance structure with “lived experience” roles starting next week.

He said at the meeting: “What we wanted to do is make sure we have the voice of the people using the service. The lived experience roles are a really positive step in that direction.

“It’s going to change the culture. It’s going to change the dynamic of the conversation.

“We have completely revamped all the risk registers, so we have a very clear thread from the shop floor to the board.

Read more: TEWV – Trust chief faces harsh tales of ‘abandoned’ staff and patients

“We have achieved a lot in recent months, but in fact in recent years I think we have evolved considerably.

“But what we recognize is that there is still a lot to do.”

Sarah Dexter-Smith, director of people and culture, said they were improving and speeding up recruitment and now filling vacancies better than other trusts.

She said: “We sometimes hear a narrative that TEWV can’t recruit. We recruit really very healthily.

“Our recruitment speed is significantly faster than a month ago. We are recruiting more and more each month.”

The Echo of the North: Sarah Dexter-Smith.  Image: Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.Sarah Dexter-Smith. Image: Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.

She said they were working on staff wellbeing and networks where “executives are listening”, with more freedom for people to speak up.

She added, “For me, that’s the biggest change. Confidence is listening and doing something about it.”

She said fewer and fewer people report feeling harassed or bullied at work: “All of these trends are starting to go in the right direction.”

Chief Operating Officer Dominic Gardner said they have introduced a new model of care and practice, focusing on staffing, protection and quality, and are receiving good feedback.

He said a new council of health assistants had produced “gold dust” information, along with other established groups.

He said recruitment was still “an issue for us”, with “challenges” in nursing, but they were seeing growth and having a new two-day induction for new staff.

He added that staff were “more observant and curious” about protection and were undergoing training on human rights and borders.

He said: “It’s about the users of the service and the staff who are part of this service, rather than trying to meet the regulatory requirements. That will come, if we get the other things right.”

He said they put people at ease with leaders, didn’t move staff to unfamiliar areas as much, organized wellness activities like patient-run circuit sessions, a 5K and walks. planned, and examined access to electronic devices.

Associate Medical Director Mark Speight said the lifting of Covid restrictions has helped patient opportunities: “We’re starting to see change in that regard. I think over the next few months and the rest of the year we will really see an impact.”

Cathy Byard, Clinical Director and CAHMS Specialty Psychologist, said: “We’re still not there. We still have some work to do, but it just kind of feels like we’re getting there. We’re in the process. the right way .”

Stockton councilor Evaline Cunningham said she still had concerns but “I was quite encouraged by hearing this. I think it’s reassuring that things are going and I’m delighted to see a great part of the work in progress.”

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