I had the pleasure of helping to set up a Learning Disabilities (LD) Transforming Care Together (TCT) event on Friday 3 February 2017. The event was designed to provide an opportunity for all of our LD clinicians to come together, get to know each other and share more about their individual services.
Gareth Howells, Director of Nursing and Therapies from Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHCFT) chaired the event and kicked off the session with an update on our partnership journey. The update was open and transparent, and was well received. It was great to see people asking questions to clarify their own thoughts on what this means for each organisation.
Following on from this we took some time to hear from all of the professional groups who had been meeting together since the last TCT event. What struck me immediately was how proactive every group was, the air had a real ‘can do’ feeling to it and I certainly had words of carpe diem (seize the day) running through my mind!
The groups fed back on their hopes and fears for the coming together of three organisations and naturally it wasn’t without voicing some concerns around: cost savings; re-design and restructure; and fear for the sustainability of the workforce from change fatigue. However, I think it was fair to say this was equally matched with hopes of being more able to: influence the national agenda; carry out more research; and explore the developmental opportunities of being one organisation.
For the latter part of the event we distributed flip chart paper around the room with a key question on each and asked individuals to walk around and write down their thoughts. Everyone actively contributed and it was good to see people discussing their comments with each other as they moved around the room.
The questions we posed were:
- What you do well and take pride in delivering?
- What in your service provision could be better?
- What future challenges do you face?
- What are your aspirations for the future?
- What could you happily leave behind?
From my perspective the comment which struck me the most regarding our aspirations was “Patients with LD get the care they need in the right place, when they need it. To remain well and be the best they can be.” It could have been so easy to only focus on ourselves and what the future holds for us as individuals in times of change and transition. Don’t get me wrong, of course there should be time to visit this and ensure we support each other as we need, but at this event we didn’t lose sight of the greater cause for what we’re here for… the patient.
I left the session feeling privileged to have heard clinicians talking to each other and working together for the good of their patients. On personal reflection, the mantra I left with was ‘patients first’ and with this mind I have no doubt these clinicians will certainly seize the day!
Programme Manager, Learning Disabilities and Childrens, Young People and Families Divisions
Programme Management Office, Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
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