Working in Collaboration
On 10 January 2020 Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (KGH) and Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust (NGH) announced our commitment to create a Hospital Group. This new approach would see our two hospital trusts and their leadership teams working in collaboration to strengthen health services across the whole of Northamptonshire, rather than working independently and, in some respects, in competition.
Over the last year, we have taken some important steps towards creating our Hospital Group, for example:
- We have appointed our new Group leadership team alongside our existing joint Chair, Alan Burns, as follows: Simon Weldon Group CEO (July 2020); Mark Smith, Group Chief People Officer (August 2020); Andy Callow, Group Chief Digital and Information Officer (December 2020); and Teresa La Thangue, Group Director of Communications, PR and Engagement (June 2021).
- Because this is a collaboration and not a formal merger, we have strengthened hospital leadership teams to ensure appropriate focus on the needs of each Trust. Two Hospital Chief Executives have been appointed: Debbie Needham, KGH; and Heidi Smoult, NGH. Whilst both Chief Executives play an important leadership role, Simon Weldon remains the only accountable officer for both hospital Trusts.
- Clinical colleagues are working together to align our clinical services across the Group where appropriate. To support this work, we have appointed six joint clinical directors and some of our services, including Breast Surgery, Cardiology and ENT, have already started to develop collaborative ways of working between teams at both hospitals.
- The Covid-19 pandemic has enabled us to demonstrate stronger resilience by working together across both hospitals. Our people have been working more flexibly than ever across both organisations, supporting services where the patient need is greatest; and we have been able to make decisions and choices across both hospitals that previously we would not have made together.
- We have been collaborating across the Group to define what we want the future to be. More than 1,000 staff, patient representatives and others have been directly involved in our work to develop our vision, mission and values. Many more have heard about our emerging direction of travel and have had the opportunity to become more actively engaged. The discussion and feedback during engagement events and various other activities has not only been both valuable and enjoyable, but also instrumental in shaping and strengthening our proposals for the future.
As two hospital trusts we face a range of challenges, from meeting the growing demands of an ageing population, to providing consistently high-quality care with the financial and other resources we have available, and making sure we have the right number of staff with the appropriate skills.
As a Hospital Group we will be able to tackle these challenges together, helping to ensure that services across Northamptonshire will be sustainable and fit-for-the-future.
Dedicated to excellence is our new groupwide strategy and applies to both our hospital Trusts.
“We have an ambitious vision for the Group, and one which enables us to realise far greater benefits for our patients and staff than we would ever be able to achieve as separate hospital Trusts.”
Alan Burns, Group Chair
Our Group Ambition
Our mission is to provide safe, compassionate and clinically excellent patient care, by being an outstanding employer for our people, creating opportunities, supporting innovation, and working in partnership to improve local health and care services.
These are our Group vision, mission and values. They are a direct product of the extensive engagement we have undertaken with staff, patient representatives, governors, health and care partners, and others.
Our Group Vision
“Dedicated to excellence in patient care and staff experience, and to becoming a leader in clinical excellence, inclusivity and collaborative healthcare.”
Our Group Priorities
We have agreed five priorities for the Group. Everything we do across both organisations should contribute towards achieving goals within at least one of these priority areas. They represent the long-term objectives of the Group, and each has an ambition and a success measure that we can track. Every year we will analyse our performance as a Group and set annual goals designed to make the biggest impact on each of these areas. Delivering our goals will move us closer towards achieving our overall vision.
- Patient - Excellent patient experience shaped by the patients' voice.
- Quality - Outstanding quality healthcare underpinned by continuous, patient-centred improvement and innovation.
- Systems and Partnerships - Seamless, timely pathways for all people's health needs, working together with our partners.
- Sustainability - A resilient and creative University Hospital Group, embracing every opportunity to improve care.
- People - An inclusive place to work where people are empowered to make a difference.
Our Group Values
We are dedicated to being constantly excellent in all these areas and our values are at the heart of everything we do and describe how we will behave as we work towards achieving our vision. Our values were chosen by our own colleagues with the involvement of patient representatives.
Courage - We dare to take on difficult challenges and try out new things. We find the strength to speak up when it matters and we see potential failure as an opportunity to learn and improve.
Accountability - We take responsibility for our decisions, our actions and our behaviours. We do what we say we will do, when we say we will do it. We acknowledge our mistakes and we learn.
Compassion - We care about our patients and each other. We consistently show kindness and empathy and take the time to imagine ourselves in other people's shoes.
Integrity - We are consistently open, honest and trustworthy. We can be relied upon, we stand by our values and we always strive to do the right thing.
Respect - We value each other, embrace diversity and make sure everyone feels included. We take the time to listen to, appreciate and understand the thoughts, beliefs and feelings of others.
“These are all values we would want to see and they reflect our experience as patients.”
From a Patient Representative, Patient and Carer Experience and Engagement Group