Solent NHS TrustHigh quality community and mental health services

Staying close to staff and patient

Finding new ways to stay close to our staff and the people they care for.

By Sue Harriman, Chief Executive.

Now, I need to make a confession; this is my first ever blog. To have a ‘conversation’ with everyone, I need to embrace all forms of communication, and this blog is one of the many ways I can and will communicate. Maybe I should ask my 17 year old daughter how to use modern technology to its full effect, rather than nagging her to put her phone down and study!

I am not sure how you are feeling in early February after a very busy Christmas, both at work and at home, but I find the winter months difficult. The days are short and the mornings are dark, summer seems a long way off. My strategy to cope with the sometimes gloomy months is to take control and be positive.

I have started my annual diet and fitness routine, I can’t tell you if it’s making me fitter, but I am feeling in control and this has lifted my spirits. At work, I want to use this renewed energy and make sure that I do more of the things that I find most rewarding every day and that I enjoy the most.

So, what do I enjoy the most? My best days at work are those where I am out of the office and meeting staff and patients. I suppose it’s not surprising I have spent most of my working career as part of a team, supporting those who needed my professional skills as a nurse but more importantly my care and compassion as a person. I learn so much when I meet our staff, not just about the services they deliver but about the dedicated way in which they do it.

I recently spent the afternoon with the staff on Snowdon Ward, Snowdon at Home and the Transitions Team, all at the Western Community Hospital, Southampton. They were so impressive! Working in incredibly demanding roles, supporting the most vulnerable of our patients, they were all so energetic, compassionate and entirely committed to their teams and the patients they care for. I am going to make sure I spend more of my time doing what I enjoy the most; meeting people working within our services and those using our services. I am not just going to do this because I enjoy it, but because I feel it’s important that I am as connected as possible with our staff and the people they care for. I want to make it feel like I know each member of ‘Team Solent’ personally.

It’s a new year, maybe a new me (the diet and fitness campaign will continues beyond my January ‘dryathon’). It feels like a time to try new things. What are you doing differently?