Leadership blog July 2022

This month our CEO Sara Munro ushers in a big NHS shake up, says a big thank you to staff, updates on our care services plans, talks about our Green Plan, and gives a plug for Team Leeds Hearts and Minds.

Dr Sara Munro, chief executive of the Trust

Welcome to my leadership blog for July 2022.

As we start July it’s all change for our system wide colleagues as clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have been replaced by Integrated Care Boards (ICBs).

In the biggest shake up to the NHS management structure since 2012, ICBs will take over responsibility for planning and buying (commissioning) NHS funded services for their populations. They will work at a regional level to help join up services and improve people’s health, but also delegate some funding and decisions to local places – such as Leeds which is where most of our services are delivered.

We are part of the Leeds Health and Care Partnership, which is part of the wider West Yorkshire ICB. The Leeds Health and Care Partnership will be made up of health and care organisations including different NHS organisations like us, Leeds City Council and voluntary sector organisations.


The work we are doing in the collaborative for mental health, learning disability and autism will continue as planned in West Yorkshire and I am pleased to share that I have been elected to be the sector representative on the board of the ICB.


Our services in York are part of the Humber and North Yorkshire ICB provider collaboratives for adult secure and tier 4 children and young people’s services, and so we will continue with the current partnership work that is already in place.

More info about these changes can be found on the NHS England website or there is a really helpful animation from the King’s Fund which explains the whole thing quite simply.


Saying a big thank you

The last two and a half years has been so incredibly tough, and the consequences of the Covid pandemic will be with us for some time to come. As you are reading this you will be aware of rising covid rates but thankfully with much less severe impact due to the benefits of vaccination and treatments for covid that didn’t exist two years ago.


We can all push to the back of our minds how tough the past two years have been. However, what our people have overcome and achieved in spite of immense challenges needs to be recognised. So, we have created an opportunity for colleagues to come together, in person, and take time out to reflect on their collective resilience, achievements and all that has helped #TeamLYPFT.


We’ve called it The Big Thank You Fortnight which started on 4 July.


We’re not running our Trust Awards this year, even though we could have if we wanted to, as it just doesn’t feel right to single out a small selection of individuals and teams. So, we’re saying thank you to everyone.


Staff will be holding special tea parties, picnics and presentations throughout the fortnight, and beyond. We’ll be posting content about our Big Thank You activities as they happen on our website here – don’t forget to tag me and the Trust on Twitter.


Managers will also be presenting staff with specially commissioned medals called Covid Stars. The Covid Star is the work of English artist Harry Gray and was inspired by his own experiences in hospital.


Our Big Thank You Fortnight will culminate with our Big Thank You Bash at The Royal Armouries on Friday 15 July. It promises to be a night to remember, and I look forward to seeing many of our staff there.


Care services

Our clinical teams continue to work hard on tackling the current increased demand and the backlogs created by the pandemic, whilst in some services still grappling with significant staff shortages.  This is hard work and it is important we are realistic – it is going to take time to work through the backlog and we need to ensure colleagues are well supported.

One such service is our Older People’s Mental health inpatient team. They’ve been engaging on a proposal to temporarily reduce their bed base at The Mount so that all the wards have enough staff for their patients. There are no easy solutions, but they’ve shown some creative thinking and are working together as a team to provide stability over the coming months.

We’re currently reviewing a draft of a new strategic clinical plan for the Trust. The plan sets out our ambitions and service models for all of our services for the future. There are common themes across all of them which reinforce the importance of

  • co-production,
  • working with our partners, and
  • providing evidence of the impact of what we do on the lives of those we are here to support.


Our Chief Operating Officer Joanna Forster Adams is leading this work and more detail will be shared over the next couple of months.


One element of this is our firm commitment to improving access to crisis mental health services in Leeds – also one of the main priorities within the Leeds Mental Health Strategy. The aim is to provide easier access to appropriate assessment and timely treatment options from the range of partner organisations that provide services across health, social care and third sector partners. We think we can do this by integrating our services and getting better at sharing information using agreed assessment tools. Ultimately, providing a more effective and more compassionate experience for service users that is easy to access.



Living with Covid

Throughout May and June our staff and service user Covid levels have been consistently low. That’s down to the great work going on to keep up with good infection control whilst the world has been moving on.


So, we took the decision to step our Incident Response arrangements back after the Jubilee break, hopefully freeing up the time of those who’ve been expertly supporting the incident response to refocus their efforts elsewhere. Whilst covid rates are rising our high infection control standards is helping to minimise the direct impact in our services – thank you for sticking with it, it does make a difference.


I would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to all those who’ve contributed to our incident response over the last two and a half years. There have been some long hours put in, whether it be interpreting new national infection control guidance at breakneck speeds, rolling out PPE, delivering the vaccination programme, or one of many other things, you’ve all played your part in keeping us safe and saving lives.



Delivering NHS Net Zero through the LYPFT Green Plan

The NHS has set a bold ambition to be the first Net Zero health system in the world by 2040. At LYPFT we’ve set our own bold ambitions which have been published in our Green Plan.


We can’t escape the impacts of global warming which are being felt both worldwide and locally. But what can WE actually do about it? A lot more it turns out.


The aim of our green plan is to ensure that we are best placed to adapt to the future challenges of healthcare delivery brought about by the effects of climate change. In planning for the future, we will consider and balance not just the economic and social impacts of our work, but the environmental impacts too.


Our goal is to deliver efficient care services that meet the needs of the present but don’t compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.


As a Trust we have ambitious carbon targets in 13 different priority areas including energy, estates, procurement, travel and hybrid working.


But there is also a personal element to this, and there are many pledges we can all make to improve our sustainability both at work and at home. Here’s mine:



Winning the Hearts and Minds of #TeamLeeds

We have been delivering a programme of engagement and evaluation with colleagues over the past 12 months under the banner of #TeamLeeds Hearts and Minds.


We have had some great input from across the health and care sector with rich learning to help shape how we work better together as partners over the coming years. However, we still need your input and are keen to hear from as many people as possible – even if you have taken part in any of the previous engagement.


We have devised a short #TeamLeeds survey to get your views on how effectively we are able to work together across organisations to support the people of Leeds. If you support or deliver health and care within Leeds, please complete this survey before 18 July 2022.



Reasons to be proud


In our latest team of the month announcements in May, we had not one but two very worthy winners. Congratulations to . . .


  1. The East Working Age Adult Community Mental Health Team – for continuing to pull together, adapt and work flexibly in very difficult circumstances – putting service user need at the heart of the care they deliver.


  1. The Leeds Forensic Services – for working tirelessly and dealing with a huge increase in the severity of service user’s needs. Both the community and inpatient teams have worked creatively to look after each other, and six student nurses have requested to return once qualified which speaks volumes!

Find out more about Sara on our website. Follow her on Twitter at @munro_sara