Leadership Blog for June 2023

Our Chief Executive Dr Sara Munro’s leadership blog for June 2023.

Dr Sara Munro, chief executive of the TrustHello,

Two months have flown by since my last leadership blog.

Back then I talked about the pressure that the ongoing industrial action was putting on us. I’m pleased to say the NHS Staff Council approved a pay deal for all staff on agenda for change contracts (which doesn’t include doctors).

However, the Royal College of Nursing and the Unite Union are still opposed to it and so we’re seeing further ballots for industrial action from them.

Junior doctors will be out on strike from 7am on Wednesday 14 to Saturday 17 June. If this wasn’t concerning enough, we are seeing consultants balloting for strike action too.

Whilst at #TeamLYPFT we’ve coped incredibly well thanks to great planning work and heroic staff making cover arrangements, this cannot continue. As before, we’re calling for more meaningful discussions to bring this industrial action to an end.


Pressure on our services

The biggest challenges facing our care services are workforce availability (that’s recruiting and retaining skilled and experienced staff), and rising demand with increased acuity in some services.

This makes meeting our access and performance standards so very hard – and why having to recover from ongoing industrial action isn’t helpful. But the numbers don’t show how hard our staff are working every day to provide great quality care in very difficult circumstances.

Read more about how our services are performing and the challenges they face in our Chief Operating Officer’s recent report to our Trust Board meeting (from page 36).


Pressures on our systems

We’re involved in developing a new operating model for the West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB). Recently they’ve been challenged to reduce their running costs by 30% by April 2025, which means finding millions of pounds worth of savings.

Tim Ryley, Accountable Officer for the Leeds Health and Care Partnership, has been leading this work, engaging with partners and coordinating a programme board made up of staff from across the organisation.

From an LYPFT point of view, whilst we’re financially stable, we’ll be contributing through our plans to reduce our big cost pressures related to use of agency staff and out of area placements.


Improving Mental Health Crisis Services in Leeds

We’ve been leading the redesign of mental health crisis services in Leeds as part of the implementation of the Leeds Mental Health Strategy. There are three key strands to this:

  1. To improve accessibility of services, through integration of information sharing and better partnership working,
  2. To develop a consistent and compassionate workforce across the system, and
  3. To ensure the environment in which services are delivered are appropriately therapeutic.

Ultimately, we’re working towards the NHS Long Term plan goal of ensuring everyone being able to access timely, 24/7 mental health crisis support through the NHS 111 service by 2028/9. The implementation of this commitment is being led through the West Yorkshire ICB in partnership with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service who manage the 111 system in Yorkshire.


Community Mental Health Transformation in Leeds gets plaudits

We’re also leading this programme which aims to have embedded a new model of care for community mental health by 2024.

We’re now concentrating on the delivery model, structure and governance, and mapping all existing funding of community services across the system to support the programme, in addition to the new money made available through the NHS long-term plan. The development of the model is now underway with the full proposal to be tested later this year.

The Programme team recently received positive feedback on the progress being made from the West Yorkshire Programme Senior Responsible Officer. The team have also been chosen to present a paper at a national conference on transformation. It is positive to see that despite the challenges the Leeds Transformation is being acknowledged as best practice.

Read more about the programme on the MindWell Leeds website.


The future of our PFI estate

We’re in discussions with national bodies about the future of our Private Finance Initiative (PFI) estate as our contract expires in 2028. This includes buildings like our Becklin and Newsam centres.

It was positive to see in a recent announcement that our colleagues at Leeds and Airedale hosptial trusts have been successful in their capital planning bids to improve their estates.

At LYPFT we’re working with our mental health, learning disability and autism colleagues across West Yorkshire to support each other on our capital challenges, as trusts like us sometimes get overlooked in favour of acute hospital developments.

We’ve agreed to develop a position statement and set out a 5-year vision to help us influence decision-makers regionally and nationally, as well as identify areas for closer working and collaboration to improve the environment for our service users.

Investing in our leaders  

Excellent NHS care doesn’t happen without excellent leaders. Which is why I’m passionate about our Collective Leadership programme currently working with over 70 senior leaders across the Trust. Our early sessions have focused on purpose, responsibility, accountability and strong relationships.

This amazing picture tells the story of our journey to date which I’ve included below.A complex drawing of the Trust's collective leadership journey

Colleagues will be hearing more about our Collective Leadership programme and hopefully, our colleagues, partners and service users will be benefitting from it too.

Comings and goings

We’ve wished a happy early retirement to our Director of Nursing, Quality and Professions, Cathy Woffendin. Cathy has dedicated over 39 years to the NHS and over five years here at LYPFT, providing inspirational leadership and being a simply fantastic colleague and team player. Leading through the most challenging times the NHS has faced Cathys expertise, passion and compassion has made a significant difference. We also welcomed Cathy’s successor Nichola Sanderson to our Trust Board meeting last week as part of her induction.

It’s also a happy retirement message for our Assistant Director of Nursing, Linda Rose. We’ll be coming together to celebrate Linda’s remarkable nursing career on 14 June.

And we’ll be saying bon voyage to Maureen Cushley, our Head of Operations for Acute and Crisis Services. Maureen will be taking up a role as General Manager for Mental Health Services on the island of Jersey in late July. She’s been with us for over eight years and Jersey’s gain will very much be our loss.


Reasons to be proud

Safeguarding vigilance leads to long sentence for sex offender

We salute Lisa Borrick, Deputy Head of Safeguarding, and Mary Allinson, Co-Occurring Mental Health, Alcohol and Drugs Specialist Practitioner. They’ve been nominated in the West Yorkshire Policing Awards in the ‘Protection of Vulnerable Victims’ category for their amazing work in helping to secure the conviction of a child sex offender, resulting in a 25-year prison sentence.


Dr Julie Robertson commended

Our older age consultant psychiatrist Dr Julie Robertson has received a commendation from her colleague Dr Sharon Nightingale. Sharon said: “I wanted to say a huge thank you as our professional lead. You are so calm, positive, and innovative and it really boosts morale. Your support to develop and prevent burn out in the medical workforce in older people’s services since COVID has not gone unnoticed. It is a pleasure working with you.”


Forensics Service leads the way on involving service users

Our Forensic Services in Leeds and York provide low secure inpatient care for people from a range of pathways, including prison settings, medium secure, community and inpatient services.

Our Clifton House team in York has been doing some great work lately involving service users. They’ve restarted monthly Patient Council meetings, hosted a BBQ, invited service user reps to feedback at their Clinical Governance meetings, received appreciation from the Recruitment Team when service users have helped on interview panels, and involved service users in staff inductions. Kudos to Sarah Russo and her team at Clifton!


ALPS climb to be Research Heroes

Research Heroes are individuals who are part of a hidden army of staff supporting research across LYPFT. Our latest research heroes are the Acute Liaison Psychiatry Team (ALPS). They’ve been recruiting service users as part of the Fresh Start self-harm study and have been the best recruiting site in the study. Donna Hanson, Clinical Team Manager said: “This programme has proven invaluable for some of the service users we see, where therapy can be difficult to access.”

Dr Sara Munro is the Chief Executive of Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Find out more about Sara on our website.

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