Sara's blog for July 2019

Our chief executive Dr Sara Munro blogs. This month features how we invest in our future leaders, CQC inspection latest, celebrating 100 years of learning disability nursing, exciting service develops across Leeds and West Yorkshire and Sara’s “reasons to be proud”.

Dr Sara Munro


Welcome to my blog covering June and July. As I’ve skipped June there’s lots to talk about this month so here goes.

Outstanding team work across our services

I’ve been privileged to meet a number of staff across our services over the last two months. This included our new Crisis Resolution and Intensive Support Service or CRISS for short – a new team that launched in March as part of our community mental health redesign project. I also dropped in to Ward 5 at the Becklin Centre, the North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative and our now famous CONNECT eating disorders service who featured on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme earlier this month.

Without exception I witnessed outstanding multi-professional team work on all these visits. The teams had a focus on working together to deliver the best possible service, underpinned by a culture of learning and improvement.

Future leaders – give yourselves a round of applause

Graduates from the Mary Seacole leadership programme

We’re investing in our leaders of the future and I was proud to see around 40 of them graduating from our Mary Seacole leadership programme in June.

Mary Seacole is designed to prepare aspiring and first-time managers for the demands of leadership in the healthcare system. The graduation event saw reflections from graduates from the three participating trusts which included us, South West Yorkshire Partnership Trust and Bradford District Care Trust.

CQC inspection – in progress as I write

We’re currently in the throes of our annual Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection. The inspection team has so far completed a number of document reviews, interviews and visits to front line services – with more visits expected. They’ll speak to board members and other senior managers in mid-August and our reports and ratings should be published in October.

Initial feedback has highlighted positive practice and areas for improvement which we’ve shared with the relevant teams. I want to say a big thank you to all the teams and services involved, and especially Cathy Woffendin’s team for their coordination, oversight and support.

Celebrating 100 years of learning disability nursing

This year learning disability nursing will have been a recognised specialty for 100 years. We have nurses who support people on inpatient wards, in the community and in supported living accommodation. Working as part of a wider team they help people to lead their lives as fully and independently as possible.

Find out more about what it’s like to work in this rewarding and noble profession from four of our LD nursing super stars Christina, Julie, Emily and Lindsey.

What’s going on in: the Leeds health system?

Some exciting news hot off the press is that we’re part of a collaborative that will be delivering new primary care mental health services from November this year.

The new Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service, which will be led by Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust (LCH), brings together Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (or IAPT), a citywide primary care liaison service (in GP practices) and psychological therapies for mums and parents (perinatal mental health).

There are 11 partners involved including us, the Leeds GPs and third sector organisations. This is great news as the investment will improve access for people with mild to moderate mental health problems, which in turn reduces their need for secondary care services down the line. Read more about it here. 

New mental health unit for young people a step closer

new children's mental health unit

More great partnership news as we and LCH have submitted a planning application for a new mental health inpatient unit for young people in West Yorkshire.

If approved, the state-of-the-art facility would be built on our St Mary’s Hospital site in Armley, Leeds. It will provide 22 in-patient beds and deliver much needed improvements and facilities for young people across West Yorkshire. Read more about it here.

Since the announcement was made we’ve held a joint public engagement event with LCH where we spoke with local residents, councillors and other interested parties about the proposals. Overall the plans were well received and colleagues were on hand to answer frequently asked questions about car parking, timescales, potential noise pollution and the overall benefits of the facility.

What’s going on in: the West Yorkshire and Harrogate health system?

We’re part of an exciting new scheme that will see children and young people in Leeds, Bradford and North Kirklees receive support from specially trained mental health teams in schools and colleges to help with their emotional wellbeing.

The 48 so called ‘Trailblazer’ areas will offer support to young people with mild to moderate mental health needs through six teams. This national mental health programme aims to bridge the gap between schools, colleges and NHS services.

Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) will be introduced across these West Yorkshire trailblazer sites over the next few months. Each will support several schools and colleges, covering a population of around 8,000 children and young people.

This is great news and comes at a time when mental health support to children and young people has never been more important. Read more about it here.

First meeting of new look partnership board

I recently attended the first West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership Board meeting under the Chairmanship of Calderdale Councillor Tim Swift. We reviewed the proposed allocation of £8.75 million for 2019/20 and a recommendation was made for further consideration of allocation to local places (like Leeds) versus wider programmes. A decision was also made to establish a programme at a wider system level focusing on children and young people. This work is now underway.

Reasons to be Proud

Our junior doctors continue to be recognised and supported in achieving outstanding work. Dr Zumer Jawaid, a specialist higher trainee working in old age psychiatry, has been named Health Education England’s Yorkshire School of Psychiatry Higher Trainee of the Year. This is a huge achievement and so well deserved. Dr Jawaid will go forward to the Royal College Awards.

Dr Maya Patel also a specialty trainee in psychiatry has been appointed as a Higher Education England Clinical Teaching Fellow in Psychiatry in partnership with the Leeds Medical School. We’re delighted to support Dr Patel in this two day secondment from her clinical placement. It highlights the fantastic work done by our medical education team in supporting the development and opportunities of our future psychiatrists.

One of our Practice Learning Developers and Community Service Team Leaders Kate Ward has been shortlisted in the National Diversity Awards. This is for the outstanding work she’s been leading over the past two years with the Rainbow Alliance – a network of staff, service users and carers committed to enhancing the quality of services we deliver to the LGBT+ community. Kate’s also recently been the star of a video about leadership which was played to our Leadership Forum – her story is incredible and I’d encourage anyone to watch it.

And finally, Matthew Gould, the new chief exec of NHSX (a new national unit focused on digital excellence) visited us in June. He spent time with the primary care mental health team at St Marys Hospital and our older adult services at The Mount. Feedback from Matthew was very positive and we’re arranging another session later in the year to discuss experiences and requirements of mental health and learning disability services in relation to national digital and IT strategies.

More from me

You can read a longer update from me in my Board Report which I’ll be presenting to the Trust Board meeting on Thursday 25 July.


Find out more about Dr Sara Munro.