Hello everyone,

Welcome to this week’s blog, on this incredibly warm summers day!

I know in Britain we like to complain about the weather but the temperatures at the moment are a lot higher than we’re generally used to so please stay safe - make sure you’re all staying hydrated and encourage your patients, to drink water regularly.

It was fantastic for us to take part once again in last week’s colleague briefing on the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) where Chris Oliver our Deputy Chief Executive joined the ICB Chair, CEO and partners from the four Acute Trusts to talk through what the ICB means to us. I was so pleased that over 500 colleagues from across the region joined the session and it was really positive to have key partners sharing their passion for working together to do things differently for our population.

One of the stark inequalities is that a person with serious mental illness will die 20 years earlier than the rest of the population. That’s just not right and it needs to change. But we can only make the kind of changes needed by working with our partners; integrating our physical and mental health clinical pathways to improve outcomes and extend the lives of people with serious mental illness. For me that’s what provider collaboration is all about and it’s absolutely the right thing to do for our population.

As well as doing what’s best for our population we’re also always striving for more ways to support our staff and do everything we can to make LSCft a great place to work.

That’s why we were delighted to welcome Chris Dzikiti Deputy Director of Retention for NHS England to the Trust to discuss our People Promise retention programme. We’re one of just 23 Trusts nationally to be involved in the programme which aims to develop, trial and share best practice that support and retain our colleagues. Our HR, Wellbeing, Nursing and Quality teams really enjoyed sharing our plans with Chris which include expanding our flexible working offer, trialling 'Stay' conversations to hear what’s important to our staff in the workplace and improving development opportunities. The programme will be another way for us to keep improving and make sure LSCft is a great place to work and receive care.

The People Promise retention programme is just one way for us to show how much we value our LSCft family. We’re now heading towards my favourite time of year when we have the chance to recognise all your fantastic work at our annual Time to Shine staff awards.

I’m really excited about recognising, thanking and rewarding our most amazing staff which we are planning to celebrate at the October awards ceremony,  details about that soon but in the meantime nominations are now open!

We’ve got 11 categories up for grabs so if you have a colleague or team that you want to recognise then now is your chance. You can find out more about the categories and how to nominate on Trustnet – so get your entries in, it’s your time to shine!

That’s it from me for this week, stay cool and thanks as always for all your hard work,

Caroline