What Chief Executive Sloman Says

‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness….’ So local poet John Keats described autumn, and as the season approaches I see many months of hard work coming to fruition, as well as a few patches of mist that we need to work our way through.


Also, we have just achieved the 98 per cent target in ED for the July to September quarter, following similar success from April to June.  It is important I mention this, as this is the seventh priority for the NHS this year, one to add to the six I talked about last month.  Thank you to those of you who spotted this deliberate error, particularly Mrs Hewitt, Mr Crisp and a number of colleagues in the Department of Health!


The annual public meeting that was held on 21 September was a great success and was very well attended.  In addition to our own staff, the chairs of three other local Trusts, as well as a number of local people and representatives of our patients’ forum joined us. We also used the AGM as an opportunity to give out annual achievement awards. Congratulations not just to the winners, but to all staff who were nominated for the awards.


We also learnt this month that the Whittington has been identified as one of the Top 100 organisations for nurses to work for in the UK.  The Top 100 survey was carried out to coincide with the publication’s one-hundredth birthday. It was open to both NHS and independent employers, charitable organisations, care homes and the armed forces.  Nurses themselves were surveyed to find out how good an employer an organisation is which makes the result even more satisfying.


On a similar note, I am delighted to say that the Whittington has been selected as a finalist in the category for improving care with e-technology at the Health Service Journal awards, due to be held at the Park Lane Hilton on 14 November. We’ll be wishing the team all the best and keeping our fingers crossed for them on the night.


This month, we started to implement changes to the way we run planned and emergency surgery. By December the changes will be complete with the admissions unit created within day surgery, the physical changes to Victoria, Thorogood and Trevor wards concluded and preassessment established, these changes are critical in terms of improving the care we provide to our patients and increasing the productivity and efficiency of our operating theatres. We continue to experience increased activity in emergency surgery and we have amended the theatre timetable to allow for this. I greatly look forward to all elements being in place by the beginning of December.


As you will all be aware, the financial position of the Trust continues to present a challenge to the Board.   As we continue to focus on increasing our income – through, for example, expanding our intensive care services – and reducing our spending – through, for example, addressing our high levels of sickness and introducing tighter controls on the use of bank and agency staff – it is also imperative that we reduce our costs and make further savings.


This will mean changes to the way that we deliver our services and will inevitably lead to a reduction in the number of posts across the hospital.  We have a good record of managing change in a way that enables services to be delivered more efficiently without impacting on patient access or service quality. We also have a very good track record in redeploying staff who are affected by changes to the way that we run the hospital.  These plans for reducing our cost and changing our services will be developed over the forthcoming weeks and will be shared and discussed with staff across the hospital as we work through the detail.

Working on it!