Monday was a day off (pottering about the house if you are interested!), before starting Tuesday in London. I was with the other Department of Health arm’s length bodies; people like NHS England, Public Health England, NHS Resolution (they handle medical negligence claims on behalf of the NHS), our regulators and so on. We were talking about leadership development and working to make sure that where we can, we create opportunities for leaders to broaden their experience across the health and social care sector, so that patients get the best outcomes.
Wednesday was off to Birmingham to meet up with the NHSBT Leadership group, the Directors and Assistant Directors. We were talking about how we will rise to some of our challenges over the coming year. We also talked about Intrapreneurship, the idea of trying to make innovation happen within large organisations. I asked the people in the room to think about how they would operate if their team was their own business….
That evening I tried to get to a blood session in Mosborough Hall in Sheffield, but traffic conspired against me and I didn’t make it – sorry team! Thursday was over to the Sheffield Donor Centre. It was busy with whole blood and platelet donors. I also had a good conversation with Lauren Botham at the centre about progress on the on-session app we are building as part of core systems modernisation.
It was then over the snow dusted Pennines to Manchester to meet the ODT Team managers group. ODT are currently doing brilliantly well and are now ahead of even their most optimistic forecasts for this year – countless extra lives saved. They had been talking about how the opt out legislation had been introduced in Wales and learning the lessons. I closed the session asking them to think about how they can lead their teams by bringing together the capabilities of a big organisation (scale, reputation, influence, etc) with the heart, spirit and audacity of their individual teams – I guess this is something which probably applies to every team. I quoted from Jeff Bezos letter to shareholders about how he is running Amazon, lessons for us all, not least why Amazon is so successful.
It was then back over the Pennines to South Normanton, near Alfreton, to visit a busy blood session. The team were doing a grand job. It was good to see continuous care in action again and I had the opportunity to talk to a couple of new colleagues who were settling in well.
In was overnight in Kegworth (not really sure what that is like as I arrived in the dark and left in the dark!), before heading south to Luton. I was joining a number of blood donation colleagues at the Luton Auction rooms to host 44 loyal blood donors and their families. These donors had all reached the milestone of either 100 blood donations, or 250 platelets donations. In one case the donor had started donating before I was born, and I am not young (!), which puts the whole loyalty thing into perspective. We calculated that the room had helped about 16,000 people directly over the last few years…
One thing which did stand out at the event was the fact that everyone I spoke to was so incredibly positive about the relationship they have with us and the great experience they have had as donors over the years. I think that is a real testament to the great work done by everyone in the blood donation team. Delivering a great experience once is relatively easy, but doing it repeatedly over many years, and delivering change at the same time is really something to be proud of.
It was then on to the M25 and home.
See you all next week.
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