A New Year message from Jill Copeland

Welcome back from the Interim Chief Executive.

Welcome back after the Christmas and New Year holidays. I hope you all had an enjoyable time and were able to spend some of it taking a well-earned break. Of course the NHS is a 365 day-a-year service and many of you were working hard over the holiday period. I would like to say many thanks to all those who gave up time with family and friends to keep our services running.

As we start 2016, we have the opportunity to think about our priorities for the year ahead. I spent time with a clinical team manager just before Christmas who reminded me that the work clinical staff do is both an art and a science: the science of evidence-based treatment and practice; and the art of building strong therapeutic relationships with service users and carers.

So, for the year ahead my priority is to make sure we do all we can as a Trust to support front-line staff to meet essential quality standards and develop great relationships that improve people’s health and lives. The role of everyone – whether clinician, manager, admin, support or corporate services staff – is equally important to making this happen.

2016 is definitely going to be another year of change as the NHS implements the Five Year Forward View. We know that mental health and learning disability services are under pressure, so we need to look for opportunities to work with commissioners and other providers to promote more integrated mental and physical health and social care services. Given all this change, we will also work with service users, carers, staff and partner organisations to refresh our Trust Strategy and set out a clear direction of travel – for both our local services and our regional services.

When I spend time with staff who work anywhere in the Trust, I am always encouraged by the passion people have for working in mental health and learning disability services and the compassion people have for service users and carers. It is this passion and compassion that gives me hope for a really positive year.

Happy New Year!

Jill Copeland

Interim Chief Executive