There may even be tears, happy ones

This post is a variation of my weekly message to all staff in my Trust. Watch the video, read the blog and remember what we are investing in when we spend on the NHS.


Welcome to The View

Hello, my name is Rob, I’m your chief executive.


In the NHS we have a duty of candour and in our Trust we have values of being open, honest and transparent. These values have been on display at a national level this week with Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, challenging some members of the Government to make good on pre Brexit promises to invest £350m a week extra in the NHS. This was an unusually political intervention that was possible because NHS England is at “arms-length” from government. Simon was also clear about the consequences if the chancellor didn’t invest more in the NHS in the budget next week – longer waiting times and poorer services.


This has led to the usual, often academic, debate about the economics, statistics and analysis behind claims of health spend and productivity. What can get lost and what we need is to recognise that the country is investing in something incredibly special – #allofus.

This was apparent at our Excellence awards, our learner awards and our long service awards on Tuesday.


We could focus on some numbers:

  • We had 175 entries into the awards this year for teams and individuals whose colleagues felt they deserved special recognition.
  • This year we had 220 people receiving a certificate for their training and qualifications, up from 109 last year.
  • And 46 staff received long service awards, 8 of them for over 40 years service, who between them clocked up over 1,270 years of care.

I think we should look behind the numbers and see the difference we make every day to help people fulfil their potential and live well in their communities. This is apparent in the films and submissions that accompanied the awards and the pride of the learners and long service award winners. It was clear when I surprised Jo Smethhurst with her award on Priory 2 – seeing first hand what a difference we can make as ward housekeeper or support worker, cook or consultant. Jo had missed her award at the ceremony and her team had kept it a secret. There were tears – happy ones.

At this time of the year some people look forward to how the big supermarkets are going to advertise at Christmas time. One supermarket spent 7 million pounds on its ad for this year, designed to evoke the Christmas spirit, family and community.

I’d like to think our film thanking staff has inadvertently become our equivalent – but better, truer, and an accurate portrayal of why the NHS is something that we should celebrate and invest in. Please do watch this film

put together by Jude Tipper, head of communications and involvement, using her own words and material culled from the Excellence awards videos. You will recognise people – you might even be in it. You will definitely see our Trust reflected back at you and I hope it makes you as proud as I am to be here. There might even be tears. Happy ones.

This week was all about saying thank you. Thanks to the people shortlisted at the awards, thanks to people who have carried out learning to improve themselves and our Trust, and thank you to people for the service they have given the NHS. Thank you to Chris Pointon who spoke at our awards, and to our Excellence award sponsors. And thank you to every one of you.

Now let’s hope the chancellor is listening to Simon. Or watching


Have a good weekend


Chief Executive