Blackpool is Best

Prof. Nicki LathamThose of you who were present at the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals board meeting this week will have seen that the Trust has taken a huge step forward by signing off on the Trust Strategic Framework.

Incorporated into this framework, along with our vision and values, is a new set of strategic aims which will provide the basis of what the Trust hopes to deliver to our colleagues and patient community in the coming years.

The aims; Best Care, Best Place, Best Value and Best Team are underpinned by a wide range of objectives which should help us achieve our vision of providing Safe Effective Care for Everyone, Everyday.

When we talk about Best Care, this means delivering high quality health outcomes and experience for everyone, reducing unwarranted variation in care pathways, improving access to care and reducing health inequalities.

The objectives of Best Place include realising our ambition as an anchor institution within the local community, establishing strong partnerships and improving the health and wellbeing of our population.

Best Value looks at becoming a financially sustainable organisation, driving data and digital innovation and redeveloping our estate across the community to address key operational challenges.

The focus of our final aim, Best Team, is to promote happy and healthy teams, recruit, retain and grow the right capacity and capabilities in our and enable safe staffing everyday. We will also actively promote Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity.

This new strategic framework will provide the basis for the Trust’s continued journey of improvement, and I am sure our incoming Chief Executive, Trish Armstrong-Child, will be visiting all areas of the Trust to discuss our aims over the coming months.

Continuing the theme of strategy and I was keen to see the latest developments in the system reforms which are taking place on Integrated Care. August has been a key month for the ICS design framework for what will be a significant step in the NHS Long Term plan. The reform timeline continues at a pace, with the aim of the establishment of ICS as a statutory NHS body by April 2022.

So by the spring we should see stronger partnerships in local places between the NHS, local government, with a central role for primary care in providing joined-up care. Provider organisations will be asked to step forward in formal collaborative arrangements that allow them to operate at scale and develop strategic commissioning with a focus on population health outcomes. Finally we should see digital and data better connect health and care providers, at the same time as putting our patients at the heart of their own care.

My last point this week is to say a huge thank-you to our colleagues across the Trust, who continue to show the utmost professionalism in unprecedented times. Unfortunately Covid remains a very real threat, with inpatient numbers remaining high and local prevalence seemingly on the rise again. We have also come through a Bank Holiday where admissions in our Emergency Department were far higher than normal, placing huge pressure on our teams across the Trust.

Thankfully, I know from speaking to staff, patients, partners, families and carers that we all share the Trust vision, values and aims that Blackpool is Best in everything we do as a healthcare trust.

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