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Blog Mary Agnew


On trusts and trust

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Blog, Francis, NHS

‘Outstanding care, Transforming lives’ is the aim of the trust I’ve been based in this week, emblazoned on every screen saver. I’m observing a range of services for people with serious and often enduring mental health issues.

Two headlines really stand out for me. Firstly, the power of effective teamwork, built on trust, respect and professionalism, in challenging and unpredictable situations, such as the crisis team working at pace and round the clock to intervene quickly, for example to help people at serious risk of suicide or self-harm. Their densely populated whiteboards – initially completely impenetrable to a visiting outsider – spoke volumes of the challenging nature of their work and the complex coordination required on a moment to moment basis.

Secondly, the individualised and varied nature of the relationships between staff and patients, and the compassion, courage and resourcefulness shown by many staff as they work to build and retain trust with people who may be angry, confused or resentful at being within their services.

I will be back next week with further reflections from my time on the frontline. In my absence however, this week’s guest blog is from Sue Covill, Director of Employment Services at NHS Employers. Sue reflects on the progress trusts are making in implementing Francis and the task of leaders in rebuilding trust – trusting open cultures and public trust in the NHS. Trust, as Sue writes, is hard won and easily lost.

Perhaps there is something too about trust between organisations that gets in the way of sharing solutions? And something also about clinicians and indeed all staff trusting in themselves and their judgement to tackle those areas of care that are not yet outstanding? It would be great if this blog could play a part, however small, in tackling that. Do share the best of what your organisation is doing – perhaps it has improved the way it recruits for values, or made significant changes in response to staff and patient feedback and ideas. Why not leave a comment below or get in touch to write a guest piece.

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