05 July 2012
A challenging year leads to opportunities for positive change
Continual service improvement informed by service users,
carers and staff - this was one of the overriding themes of our
annual general meeting on Wednesday 4th July.
Whilst acknowledging that 2011/12 was a 'turbulent' year for the
Trust, interim chair Tony Gallagher emphasised that it is now time
for us to move into a different place and that we have a lot to be
Tony set out the four key commitments of the Trust board:
- Improving the working experience of our staff
- Listening and responding to service users, carers and
- Being open, inclusive and less defensive
- Delivering consistent service quality
He further stressed the need: to be attuned to the voice of
staff and take action; to make sure there is a direct dialogue
between the board and service users, carers and clinicians; to be
more responsive to our local communities; and to play a part in
developing local social and healthcare systems.
Paul Miller, acting chief executive, continued these themes as
he discussed the challenges of the last year and acknowledged that,
in spite performing well against many national targets, there are
areas where we are still not meeting targets and where we could
perform better, such as service users experience and staff
He said, "We cannot rely on targets alone to let us know how we
are doing. One of the things we have to look at is why some people
still feel the services they are receiving are not quite what they
want. Statistics don't always reflect the real, felt experience of
service users. For me and for the Board it's about that real
experience, not just the performance scorecard."
He highlighted the positive approach we are now taking, with
service users, carers and staff playing a vital role in driving the
significant changes that we have agreed with commissioners.
Paul was also clear about how important it is for us all to have
a balanced picture of how things are in AWP by focusing not only on
the challenges but also on our significant successes. The examples
he gave included the wide range of new contracts won by specialist
drug and alcohol services and other strategic business units and
the role of our nationally-recognised improving access to
psychological therapies (IAPT) service in Swindon and Wiltshire as
a national pathfinder service for longer term conditions.
Making sure our services meet the needs of both service users
and commissioners is a challenge that is sometimes seen as clinical
effectiveness versus cost effectiveness. Paul discussed the work we
are doing both locally and with the Department of Health to develop
effective care pathways that, whilst cost effective, are
underpinned by good clinical outcomes.
Paul concluded, "We have a very viable future and we can do a
lot of good."
Sue Hall, interim director of finance, was able to give a
positive report of our healthy financial position, saying,
"Financially we're in a good place." However, she stressed that
there is no room for complacency. In spite of our £3.5m adjusted
surplus at the end of 2011/12 we are under continual pressure to
make savings and everyone in AWP, whether back office or front
line, has a role to play in that.
In response to a question about AWP becoming an FT, Paul
confirmed that we aspire to be, and will be, an FT and updated the
audience on the likely timescale for our submission to the
Department of Health. However, both he and Tony confirmed that
becoming an FT is not a stand-alone focus. Paul said, "FT status is
not an end in itself but part of a necessary ongoing process," and
Tony explained that, "We aim to be a sustainable organisation from
a finance and quality perspective. If we are doing the right thing,
listening, engaging and making changes, we will have the right
mechanics for the FT journey and FT will follow. Everyone in the
organisation has a part to play."
Discussions from other questions highlighted the ongoing
consultation in Bristol as an opportunity for positive change, and
the importance of the voluntary sector in developing and delivering
Two presentations followed that both reinforced the message that
staff, service users and carers need to drive service change.
Felicity Taylor-Drewe of the primary care liaison service rounded
off her presentation about the service by thanking all the staff
for remaining 100% positive and committed to achieving the service
Felicity was followed by Sarah Frizzle, clinical development
manager and Ashley Russell, of the Bristol central recovery team,
who talked about implementing the recovery star. In relating their
experiences of using the recovery model to develop care plans, it
was very clear how valuable staff, service users and carers have
found the model and this was backed up by the recorded experiences
of 'Tony', a service user who has taken part in the pilot.
Tony Gallagher concluded the AGM by thanking all staff for their
patience and commitment in what has been, for many, a traumatic
period. He stressed the importance of taking our time to get things
right and reminded everyone of the Trust's vision of enabling and
empowering people to reach their potential and live fulfilling
View the slides for
more detail on all the presentations.