The awards and nominations keep coming! – Caroline Donovan, CEO @CombinedNHS

Hi all…

Caroline Donovan CEO Web

The awards and nominations keep coming!

It’s been another week of awards and presentations for awards for staff and initiatives at Combined!  This appears to be a regular fixture in my diary at the moment – and long may it continue!


As I flagged up in last week’s blog, I had the pleasure of beginning the week by travelling to London with Mike Newton, to deliver our presentation on Combined Valuemakers Programme to the Health Service Journal judging panel for the HSJ Value Awards.  The Programme has really caught people’s imagination as an innovative and imaginative way to mobilise staff to think about all the myriad ways – big and small – that we can reduce waste or duplication, be more efficient and put more money back into patient care. The simplest ideas can have the greatest impact and those of you closer to services can often see where these opportunities are.

To support the presentation, the Valuemakers Team have produced a fantastic new film about the programme and how to get involved, which you can watch below.  You can also find out everything you need to know, or even submit your own idea, at the dedicated website

There were four of our teams presenting in London last week.

Carol Sylvester, Dawn Burston and Dave Ankers presented the CAMHS in Schools project.  This is a new model of care that improves mental health and wellbeing, building resilience and early interventions directly within schools – engaging the whole school and local community in change.

Andrew Hughes, Andy Oakes, and Dean Stephens presented the innovative Meir Hub project.  The Hub has brought together and co-located health, social care and community practitioners to provide support to the patients of five GP practices in Meir. Both the Trust and local authority have brought in existing partners to develop and focus third sector provision around the locality, which is already making a difference to peoples’ lives.

Dr Buki Adeyemo, Alastair Forrester and Jacquie Shenton presented on our learning disability pharmacy and medicines optimisation scheme.  This supported a complex patient group, which resulted in a reduction in antipsychotic medication without in increase in benzodiazepines, as well as a reduction in side effects, medication errors and appointments.

The winners will be announced in June.

NHS Employers Diversity and Inclusion Partner

Having started the week with preventing for one Award, I was delighted to end the week by hearing that Combined have been awarded “Partner Status” on the NHS Employers Diversity and Inclusion Partners Programme

This supports participating trusts to progress and develop their equality performance and to build capacity in this area. The award was given to Trusts where significant progress on Diversity and Inclusion had been made, through demonstrated continuous improvement around diversity and inclusion within their own organisation in relation to:-

  • Raising awareness of what constitutes sustainable, outcome-focused improvement in managing diversity and inclusion across their region.
  • Contribution to shaping national advice and guidance relating to diversity and inclusion.
  • Contribution to the development of emerging good practice and providing a channel for collecting case studies from which others can learn, within the wider context of NHS initiatives.
  • Contributing to a broader understanding of diversity and inclusion across both the NHS and the wider public sector, in the context of quality, innovation, productivity and disease prevention.

Congratulations are due to Lesley Faux, our Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Jenny Harvey from our staff side reps and Veronica Emlyn, Patient Experience Lead and Trust Diversity and Inclusion Group member for their sterling work in this area.

Even though it is great to have been given this status, we still have much to do to make Combined a great place to work for our BAME staff.  A reminder that every one of our BAME staff are invited to a listening into action event that I will be leading on Wednesday 9th May from 2.00pm in Academic Suite 1 &2 at Harplands.  Please let me know that you are coming on that day.

HPMA Social Partnership Forum 

And the good news doesn’t stop there!  Next up this week (Tuesday 17th April), a team for the Trust will be at the Healthcare People Management Association, presenting on the ‘North Staffs ‘Combined Action’ on Inclusion’ – which has been shortlisted for the Social Partnership Forum award for partnership working between employers and trade unions category in this year’s HPMA awards.

Of course, I’ll keep you all informed on how we do with our submissions…

New date confirmed for our CQC celebration event

The new date for the CQ Celebration event will now take place on Tuesday 1st May at Harplands Hospital, starting at  3pm and lasting around 90 minutes.

We’ll also be holding simultaneous celebrations at either Florence House or Summers View and at Dragon Square – this is in recognition of the superb job that these core services have done. Florence house and summers view to get an overall rating of Outstanding and CAMHs Community  being rated Good for all of their 5 domains. This isn’t to underplay the fantastic role that everyone has played in contributing to our overall success.

We will also be launching a celebration film at the event, featuring a selection of our staff talking about what they have achieved.

​It will be first come, first served for places, but we will also be live-streaming the event on social media and the web for those unable to attend.  This will include live broadcasts from all three locations.  It should be a great event.

STP Annual Review of Progress

The STP held an annual review of progress last week that I attended with some of our NEDs and Executives and OD team, who were helping facilitate the event.  It was a positive evening with wider partners, including Non-Executives and focussed on the priorities for the next year ahead.

Scaling up improvement

I was really please that myself and 3 other Executives met with AQuA last week to work through how we are going to really scale up our approach to improvement.  We want to build on our Listening Into Action and team-working approaches and equip more of our staff with improvement skills.  We will be progressing this further in coming weeks and all ideas and thoughts are welcome.