Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It's about quality

It's come to a pass. Finally, after much debate, negotiation, mulling and soul searching from many parties, the diabetes department of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust has a new Clinical Director.

For those who don't know her, she is Lisa Skinner, one of our Diabetes Nurse Specialist colleagues and who has been the nurse lead for many a year. I am not aware of how many departments have one of their DSNs as their clinical lead or director, but whatever be the case, she is certainly among the few. The question is however, does it matter? Should it matter what her background is..that she is a nurse..is this to be celebrated or is it just a reflection of the detachment from reality of the NHS many have? We talk a lot about valuing everyone within the team but then seem to shy away when it comes to leadership positions...we all believe DSNs are the linchpins of diabetes departments..so what does make us applaud a nurse being the lead when it should be just another person of the team stepping up to a leadership role? Has diabetes done the ultimate volte face when it comes to leadership? Is it possible that the long term condition which is all about people of different professions working together has, when it comes to the crunch, shied away from handing over the leadership roles to others beyond the medics?

It's always one of those conundrums as to where and what quality represents. People are torn between the past and the present..do you right the wrongs of the past by giving quotas or is that wrong as it doesn't recognise leadership irrespective of their job, sex or colour? 2 wrongs never made a right and India stands as an example of where quota systems can go wrong. We talk about diversity in leadership,we have Twitter groups to discuss issues, we have passionate individuals battling the cause..and then again in 2015, you have the HSJ report and you wonder whether the hashtag "Windrush" is more a Freudian slip to indicate more hot air or a genuine effort. Hashtag campaigns can only do so far..and no more.

So back to us,as a department. Many a times I have been asked about the cause or reason for our success in recent years...I could probably sum it up in 1 word..team. Sometimes it may sound a bit glib, sometimes a bit obvious but that's what has made us tick. A healthy dose of mutual respect, understanding of each other's roles and being comfortable about your own values ..mix that together and you have what you need

So to new beginnings, new vision and new management. On behalf of all, the best of wishes to a new role for Lisa...she has our support, our confidence and a belief that in her we have asked the right person to take the mantle. It doesn't matter a dime what her professional role is, what matters is whether she has the skills to take it forward.
And by the way, last 3 clinical directors of the diabetes department ? A white man, an Asian man and now a white woman. Or just people who have the backing of their team to lead and deliver hard patient based outcomes. The sex, the colour, the role never mattered..neither did ever the idea of ticking a box to satisfy the hashtag of diversity.

Spread good practice. Talk less..and do more. Appoint who's right for the job, appoint those who represent the workforce....get on with it, will you NHS?

1 comment:

  1. So does she do the job planning? Signing off IFRs and new drug requests? Clinical excellence award application? Disciplinary investigations of medics? Interesting.

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