28 August 2014

A lot happens in a year

Although there is still work to be done, there was a renewed sense of hope at the Trust's Annual General Meeting AGM yesterday. 

Held at Jenner House and attended by over 30 service users, staff, CCG and Healthwatch representatives, the event followed our journey over the past year and plans for the next.

With pride in their voices, Anthony Gallaher, Trust Chair and Iain Tulley, Chief Executive talked about the dedication of our staff and the compassionate care they have given, day in day out, over a year of major change. 

Landmarks for this year included the move to local management of services by teams who know and understand the needs in their areas, the work of service user involvement workers across the Trust and making research opportunities available to all service users.

Stresses over the year were acknowledged as we reorganised services and roles, saw services go out to tender, and made required efficiency savings whilst balancing the books.

The Board's commitment to focus on quality of care, recovery and hope was echoed in a presentation by Medical Director Hayley Richards, who spoke passionately about investing in clinical and non clinical staff, the need to recruit staff at all levels - not only for their skills but also for the values they bring in terms of compassionate care - and the need for AWP to provide services to all people, no matter how challenging their illness or circumstance.

There were some varied and topical questions from staff and service users on what the Trust is doing to address workload pressures, to comply with NICE guidance on Borderline Personality Disorder and to promote physical as well as mental health.

Whilst heartened about what has been achieved in 2013/14, all speakers recognised that there is much more work to be done to further strengthen quality of services and to continue to improve working lives of our staff.

The energy of the event was captured in two comments from attendees, saying it was, "A wonderful experience to learn the progress and future plans the Trust has made. Thank you for the diligence and expertise you apply to your work." while another said, "I learnt a lot from it and felt encouraged that AWP is intent on constant improvement." 

Ian Tulley concluded, "The best patient outcomes will be achieved by moving away from targets, and engaging with our front line staff and clinicians. By doing this, I am convinced we will continue to move forward on our mission to become the best mental health trust and best mental healthcare employer in the country."

The minutes of the AGM will be publically available on the Trust website by the end of next week.

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