Director of Nursing on her first 100 days at the trust

The 8 August marks the 100th day since I took up the position of Director of Nursing here at SLaM. I would like to mark this by sharing a little of what I have been doing in that time and tell you something about my priorities.


Firstly, and most importantly I have visited more than 13 community teams and 37 wards as a part of my induction. Colleagues have been consistently warm, welcoming and given time freely which I appreciate very much. What I have experienced is high quality services delivered by committed multi-disciplinary teams. I also met many outstanding nurses, I have worked in many organisations with high standards and SLaM nurses exceed much of what I have experienced elsewhere, SLaM nurses have a great deal to be proud of.


Working in the NHS whilst a privilege it also brings competing demands and many ‘must do’ actions. If we are not careful we can become paralysed by the size of the task ahead. In June, I took some time out with the Deputy Directors of nursing, heads of nursing, nurse consultants and other senior nurses to think about our priorities. There will be more to say about this in coming months but broadly we are focussing on developing our workforce and having clear standards of nursing care. A key part of this work is the newly developed preceptorship programme beginning in Sept 2017. The programme will be offered to all new registrants at the point of employment and be delivered by the trusts most senior and inspiring nurses. This is part of our investment in the next generation. I also addressed a number of colleagues to launch the South London Partnership nurse development programme at SLaM.


However, it is not all about newly recruited nurses it is also about staff who that have been committed to working at SLaM for some time. To that end I worked with a number of senior management team members to develop a recruitment and retention proposal that was presented to the Board in July 2017, it can be found here. The paper sets out several development opportunities for our staff and recognises that nurses who are well cared for and supported to develop are likely to deliver the best care to people who use our services. The senior management team are now working on an implementation plan.


I have also been listening to how nurses in SLaM want to be engaged and the influence you wish to have. As a response to this a Nurse Executive meeting will be happening on several sites in the future and staff will be welcome to attend or raise questions for the executive. From October 1st, I will be publishing a monthly bulletin to share information and opportunities. I will be inviting two students and two preceptees to join the nurse executive and I will continue to visit services and hear about nursing at SLaM first hand.


As well as working directly with our nursing workforce, part of my responsibility is representing our Allied Health Professionals workforce. I have been working closely with Gabrielle Richards to hear about the challenges and opportunities ahead. My responsibilities also include ensuring that the whole trust delivers care in accordance with our Care Quality Commission registration and therefore working with services during CQC inspections is integral to my role. During July 2017, I worked with the PMIC and Psychosis CAG leaders to support the re-inspection of community services. My reflections following the inspection were how brilliantly clinical and non-clinical services came together to ensure we were seen at our best. If we can do this consistently there is every reason to push towards our objective of consistently delivering outstanding care.


There is much more I could say, for now I will finish with  how delighted I am to be working with at SLaM and will do all I can to support high quality care being delivered to the people who use our services.


My twitter handle is @slamdon2017 for those of you who would like to follow me.


Best wishes


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