Dr Sara Munro's CEO Leadership Blog for June 2024

Our Chief Executive, Dr Sara Munro, posts her leadership blog for June 2024.

Since my last blog a General Election has been announced on 4 July. These can be uncertain times and bring with them the potential for change on the horizon. Rest assured that whatever the outcome we’ll remain focused in our commitment to lead the way in mental health, learning disability and neurodiversity care.

Sara Munro smiling in a floral dressSpeaking of the election, we must also remain committed to ensuring the people we care for are given fair and equal access to participate in society which means being supported to vote. Sadly, significant numbers of mental health service users are unable to exercise their right to vote during an election which is why we’re encouraging our colleagues to discuss this with our service users and ensure that we provide the appropriate support to enable people to vote, if they wish to.

Hearing from service users and partners

At our May Board meeting we were joined by colleagues Rachel Pilling and Katy McKewan who have been listening to feedback from people using Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) services in our Trust and our neighbouring Trusts in West Yorkshire. Our PICU ward provides intensive and specialist care. Our service users are experts because of their experiences, and we’re grateful for their openness and honesty and the work Katy is doing to take a true co-production approach. Hearing about what has worked well and not so well is so important and I applaud our teams in PICU for listening and improving, demonstrating our culture of always learning. Their project continues to learn from our ward at the Newsam Centre and the others across West Yorkshire.

We recently welcomed NHS England colleagues to the Newsam Centre in Leeds who are visiting hospitals as part of their inpatient quality improvement work. They met with ward managers and spoke with staff and service users across our wards. I was delighted to hear positive feedback on areas such as our care and treatment reviews, how we adapt our care for neurodiversity, and they were particularly impressed by the person-centred care we provide. We really stood out in this regard so a huge well done to our teams at the Newsam Centre – you set this high standard every day when you come into work and that’s no mean feat.

Showcasing our partnership work

In May we hosted a visit from Abena Oppong-Asare MP, Shadow Minister for Mental Health and Women’s Health, for her to see the citywide approach we are taking with the Synergi-Leeds Partnership to tackle ethnic inequalities in mental health in Leeds. Alongside partners across Leeds, we showcased this approach to systemic change through grass roots engagement with communities which was very well received by Abena.

A new and exciting look for LYPFT is on its way

We’ve been in the process of refreshing our brand identity – a new and exciting look and feel for the Trust so you can easily recognise and connect with us. As part of this work we engaged staff, lived experience partners and stakeholders, receiving hundreds of survey responses and holding focus groups. We’re rolling this out soon so you’ll shortly see our new strapline and proposition statement, refreshed vision and mission statements, a new tone of voice guide and a bold new visual identity – watch this space (literally).

Tackling challenges in our care services

Our Trust isn’t immune to the wider NHS challenges around recruitment and retention and, at the moment, we are feeling this acutely in our purpose-built children and young people’s inpatient mental health unit, Red Kite View. We are thinking creatively about meeting these challenges and are proactively working with partners to explore various solutions.  Our goal is to ensure we continue to meet the needs of the population we serve safely and effectively, in partnership with the West Yorkshire Children and Young People’s Provider Collaborative.

Red Kite View has a large and diverse multidisciplinary team and provides numerous opportunities for students and trainees to learn and develop their skills. See online for jobs such as this Senior Staff Nurse and others on the website.

As many of you will be aware, we are experiencing an unprecedented demand for inpatient mental health services, with more acutely unwell patients than pre-pandemic times. This strain is felt across Leeds, leading to delays in discharging patients and often requiring us to find beds outside our local area. To address this, our Trust’s senior leadership has prioritised the Inpatient Flow Programme for 2024/25 to reduce out-of-area placements for adult acute and psychiatric intensive care patients. I want to thank everyone who is improving the quality of care and reducing the need for people to receive care and treatment outside of Leeds.

Colleagues across the Trust are again busy preparing for another period of industrial action taken by our Junior Doctors in the BMA’s ongoing pay dispute with the Government. Our main focus is the safety and care of our service users, and our teams have been planning to ensure disruption is minimised and there is adequate cover. Speciality and associate specialist (SAS) doctors – medics who have finished junior doctor training but are not working as either consultants or GPs – have joined their consultant colleagues in ending their dispute.

Reasons to be proud

Our teams’ hard work and dedication to excellence were showcased at the Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards in May. This prestigious awards program celebrates the outstanding work of mental health professionals and organisations across the UK.

We had three wins which is amazing and many of our teams’ work was highly commended. Here are the winners:

  • Children and young people’s mental health services – Red Kite View
  • Mental health rehabilitation and/or recovery services – Joint winners CREST
  • Specialist Services (including Veterans, Substance Misuse, Addictions, Housing, Education and Employment) – Op Courage

A montage of our colleagues posing for photos with their certificates wearing black tie

A huge well done to all of you. I’m really delighted to see these services nominated and that our colleagues get the recognition they deserve for the fantastic work they do. Read more and see which of our services were highly commended in this news article.

Fantastic feedback

I’ve recently heard from two people who wanted to let us have some direct feedback of the positive experience they’ve had of our services. I wanted to share these with you here and say thank you so much for reaching out and getting in touch.

Nathan Johnson​

“My experience of being supported by the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) and Kate Spooner and Jon specifically was especially good. Always person centred and encouraging when I was at my lowest point and experiencing the roller coaster of psychosis, and hearing voices and paranoia. Their support and the support of the CMHT helped me to regain control of my life and start my path to recovery from a period of severe mental illness.”​

Ian Dowd​

“My Mum is in Ward 4 and has been for a few months with acute mental health problems but is starting to improve. All of the staff have been wonderful, do a fantastic job day after day, are professional, compassionate and caring.  They are patient and kind, and I could go on and on… That’s from the Consultants to the Student Nurses and Receptionists.”

Page last updated: 25th Jun 2024 11:52am