Sheena’s blog – in the right direction

by Sheena Cumiskey - 20 July 2017

It’s amazing to think that we’re already over half way through 2017. With time moving so quickly, the days and weeks can often pass us by without us noticing. And indeed if we’re not careful, it’s sometimes easy to forget to take stock of what we’ve done and why.

In the NHS, it’s particularly important that we don’t let time get the better of us. We all know about the significant challenges facing health and care at the moment, and if we are going to rise to these challenges, we need to be able to evolve together by continuously learning from all our experiences, achievements and difficulties.

In recent years we have placed a real emphasis on creating a culture of learning and improvement. This is exemplified by our Zero Harm campaign, which has encouraged the underpinning principles of quality improvement throughout CWP since its launch in 2014.

In addition to our commitment to embedding this within CWP, we also regularly take opportunities to get feedback from external sources – be they our patient and carer groups, partner organisations or our regulators.

Most recently, we were asked if we would like to take part in a pilot inspection to test the CQC’s plans to work more closely together through the lens of their new ‘well-led’ framework.  This was a fantastic opportunity to work collaboratively with them to shape the way in which they monitor, inspect and regulate services.  It was also a chance to receive some valuable feedback on the strength and effectiveness of our governance processes and leadership.

We were one of just four trusts nationally – and the only mental health and community trust – to take part in the pilot. After the visit, I am delighted to say that the CQC commended our commitment to person-centredness and co-production, our nursing associate roles, and our governance processes in relation to serious incidents and complaints.

As part of continually improving, our next step is to look into all their feedback and identify where and how we can further improve practice.

I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to this recent visit – particularly those who took part in interviews and focus groups and our compliance team who managed requests for information and data so quickly and efficiently.

Echoing our feedback from the CQC, the commitment to person-centredness and co-production I witnessed when I went to shadow colleagues in our Wirral CAMHS service recently was absolutely inspirational.

This year the team has introduced a new advice and duty phone line. This provides a single front door to a CAMHS duty worker that enables people (including parents, carers or healthcare professionals) to access advice or support before referring a young person into the service. This brilliant but simple idea has led to less immediate pressure on the clinical service while providing an effective and meaningful new offer to our community. 

The team is a fantastic example of what can be achieved if we work hand in hand with those who access our service, their carers and families, using a learning and reflecting approach.

I’m always keen to get out and about across our footprint and spend time with colleagues across all our different services. If you are a member of staff and would a visit to your team useful, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line. 

Before we know it we’ll be approaching the end of yet another year. But let’s not let time get the better of us. To learn, grow and improve we need to reflect on our experiences.

Here’s my challenge to you: let’s make sure that once we’re all another year older, we can also say we’re another year wiser.

Best wishes,


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