Skip to main content

by Kathryn Thomson

Chief Executive

Our values - "We CARE and we Learn"

I always enjoy spending time with people who are starting their career. The NHS has a Graduate Management Training Scheme that has programmes designed for those Graduates interested in working in the NHS in General Management. Human Resources Management or Financial Management.  There are a small number of places available on these programmes and competition is very high to get on to the scheme.  Earlier this week I had Katie shadowing me.  She started on the programme two weeks ago.  The day she was working alongside me was a day that was primarily allocated to our senior visibility programme.  Katie got to meet and listen to the challenges, opportunities, experiences and ambitions of a staff in a number of areas including our Midwifery Led Unit, Maternity Assessment Unit, Delivery Suite, Maternity Ward, Antenatal clinics, Gynaecology Clinics, Gynaecology Ward and Hewitt fertility Centre.  I really enjoy getting out and about talking to patients and our staff,  it is also an opportunity for me to witness at first hand the care that is delivered to our patients.  Katie is a bright and enthusiastic individual and I am sure she will do well in her career.  I have asked her if she will do a blog outlining her impressions, I will share it with you when I receive it.

The Care Quality Commission inspected Liverpool Women’s a few months ago.  New eyes looking at your organisation are always helpful. Their observations and comments on our services were issues not unknown to us and indeed we had actions in place to address pressures in some parts of our maternity services.  Since the early part of this year we have been actively working with our staff to address work pressure.  Earlier this year we experienced high levels of sickness absence in some areas and also high numbers of staff on maternity leave.  We have seen those numbers reduce over recent months, which coupled with our on-going recruitment of staff, this is beginning to have a positive impact. We are confident through our regular dialogue with our staff that our plans and actions are actively addressing the issues.  The report highlights that the feedback received from the majority of women and relatives was very positive and people in the main described good experiences and good outcomes.  Patients described the care and treatment they had received as 'excellent', 'brilliant' and they described the staff as 'amazing' and 'approachable'.  Patients said that they felt safe and confident in the ability and experience of the staff supporting them.  A big thank you to all of our staff, who despite the demand and pressure on our services, strive each and every day to do what is right for our patients.

At Liverpool Women's we try our best to be transparent and open. We started to display in public areas our performance with respect to a range of nursing and midwifery indicators earlier this year and over the coming months it is our intention to display in wards and departments information with respect to;

  • Staffing Numbers
  • Patient Activity (where appropriate)
  • Bed occupancy rates (where appropriate)
  • Waiting Times (where appropriate)
  • Sickness Absence Rates
  • Mandatory Training compliance rates

On my walk about the hospital earlier this week, I encountered an extremely distraught patient, who was accompanied by her husband on one of the hospital corridors.  Fortunately two of our staff had already stepped in to assist this couple. This incident caused me to think about our values.  At Liverpool Women’s our organisation values are 'We CARE and we Learn'

  • Caring:         We show we care about people
  • Ambitious:    We want the best for people
  • Respect:       We value the differences and talents of people
  • Engaging:     We involve people in how we do things
  • Learning:     We learn from people, past, present and future

As the lady was assisted on to a ward, myself and our Director of Human Resources spoke to her husband who was quite distraught.  I obviously cannot go into detail here but I was left wondering how consistently our values are displayed by everybody who works here.  The two members of staff who had gone to the assistance of this couple, absolutely demonstrated our values and I personally thank them for that.  However on talking to the husband, who described an extremely challenging set of home circumstances, I was left wondering whether we had made some judgements about these people; that is certainly not in keeping with our values.  It certainly provoked an interesting debate at our Executive Team meeting on Thursday morning.

While on the Gynaecology ward I again encountered Mandy one of our Health Care Support workers.  Yet again she was brightening up the lives of some of our patients who were recovering from surgery.  Mandy and her colleague Kelly, regularly make our patients feel better by giving them a ‘Liverpool Women’s makeover’.  This is certainly not in their job descriptions, but clearly demonstrates our organisational values being put into practice. Not many people hug the CEO, I always get a hug from Mandy, which brightens my day.

I would like to end this week by saying a big thank you to our senior leaders in the organisation.  This morning we had our Service Sustainability Board, which is chaired by John Kirwan one of our Consultant Gynaecologists.  The purpose of this Board and the reason why it is chaired by a clinician is that it oversees the delivery of our financial challenges and indeed opportunities but ensures that any decisions we make our not detrimental to the safety of our services. It is attended by the senior management and senior clinical leaders in the organisation. There is always a very lively but constructive debate, thank you for all of your contributions today.

Have a good weekend.

20 September 2013