Short but busy week, starting with a day off on Monday. My son and I have just joined a Gym and we are determined to get our money’s worth so we were there for the second time in three days!
Tuesday was off to Exeter first thing to meet the SNOD team. It was great to catch up and talk about our current work. The team were rightly proud of some great performance over the last year delivered in the face of some challenges. I was also reminded that whilst the South West is a great place to visit, and we have all sat in traffic jams in the summer, those same jams and lack of fast roads mean that the region takes around 4 hours to get from one side to the other.
I then drove up to Birmingham for the Management Summit we were running. The event ran from Wednesday lunchtime and included a number of speakers (including me). We talked, amongst other things, about the Managers Passport and the launch of the People First web site. This is the internet based place for all things relating to HR and employment matters. The team have done a great job of refreshing the material on the current intranet and re-ordering it so things are easier to find. The new website launches on Monday and is being deliberately delivered on the public internet to ensure that everyone can use any device to access the material they need quickly. This is a significant step along the road in my long standing ambition to kill the intranet.
During Thursday I did my presentation and talked about the challenges I think we can support the NHS with over the coming years. We also had a couple for Q and A sessions with both me and some of the Exec team. I felt the event went well and it was a great opportunity to talk to some of our front line managers about the challenges and opportunities for the rest of the year.
I then went to the airport for a trip up to Edinburgh to attend the UK Forum, a meeting of the Chief Execs and Medical Directors of all of the UK blood services. These meetings are a good way of catching up and learning about the key current issues elsewhere in the UK. As you would expect Zika was an important topic. Our conclusion was that we are doing all we need to do at the moment, but we were keen to make sure we can respond quickly should things change.
It was then a fast dash to the airport, and an even faster sprint to get on the plane, as security took ages. It was then a careful drive home from Birmingham through the snow.
It has been a great week for our Comms team, winning an industry in-house PR team award, beating off some serious competition from names such as Barclaycard, Costa and Royal Mail. The nice thing about this award is that it recognises sustained great work over the course of multiple campaigns.
I am also pleased to note that Prof James Neuberger, who recently left NHSBT has been announced as the new Chair of the Committee on the Safety of Blood Tissues and Organs (SaBTO). This is the committee that makes expert recommendations to minsters and has a vital role in ensuring that blood and organs remain safe.
Another short week next week (as I contemplate putting up some shelves at home). See you next week.