Archive for April, 2015

John Tradewell’s final blog post

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

So this is my final blog as Chief Executive, the past seven months seem to have flown by.  I have really enjoyed my time as Chief.  It has forced me to get off my chair, get out of my office, and get out and about to see a bit more of this beautiful county.  I have learnt a lot more about what we do, seen first-hand the impact we make, and there are three things I take away with me from this experience:

  • Staffordshire is a great county with a great future.
  • Staffordshire County Council is a great organisation with a huge part to play in helping Staffordshire achieve its potential.
  • We are a great team – what we do (you, me and all our staff and members) really matters to the people of Staffordshire.

So thank you to all of you for the work you do, you really are making a difference.  And thank you to all of you who have given me your support and assistance as Chief Executive, you have made my job a genuine pleasure.

Next week sees the arrival of John Henderson as Chief Executive.  I would like to wish him every success in the role, and I am sure you will be as welcoming of him in his new role as you have with me, and will give him all the same support and assistance.  If you do, I am sure he will rapidly reach the same conclusion as me – this truly is the best job in the world!

Thank you all.

The first week back after Easter

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

I have had a really interesting first full week back in the office after my holiday.  On Wednesday the Cabinet approved changes to our arrangements with the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership Trust (SSOTP) which will see us continue to commission them to undertake adult social services for us for the next three years in a deal worth over £300 million.  I am really pleased with the outcome of the negotiations with SSOTP.  What we have been able to achieve is to agree a new care pathway that promotes independence for older people whilst at the same time ensuring that the cost will reduce to a level that is sustainable.  This is no small achievement, and I want to pay tribute and thanks to all those who have worked so hard on this project (Ian, Jean, Jon, Martin, Helen, Anu, Sarah and many, many more).  Well done to you all!  We should remember that whilst there may be a lot of talk by all the political parties about the integration of social care and health, we in Staffordshire have gone further and have actually made integration happen.  I think we are still the biggest example of integration in the country, and this means Staffordshire will be in a good pace to talk to government after the election about how we can further integrate the arrangements between care and health to deliver better and affordable outcomes for the residents of our county.

On Friday we hosted a visit from our friends at the Norfolk Commissioning Academy.  They, like us, are trying to embed the commissioning mindset in the public sector in Norfolk, and they, like us, have established an academy bringing together leaders from across the public sector in their area.  It was interesting to hear from them how they face many of the same problems, and they were very keen to know how we are tackling them.  Our own academy, which I am part of,  will also be going on a site visit to another area in the next few months, and hopefully we can hear about other, different approaches that will help us here in Staffordshire.  None of us have all the answers, and we have to be prepared to go and seek out new and better solutions to the issues we face.

Finally, I just wanted to thank you all for contributing to our staff survey.  SLT had a first look at the results earlier this week and we will be sharing these more widely, starting at the Business Brief on the 29th April.  All the publicity seems to have worked because this time we have had a 59% response rate, the best ever, compared with 27% last time.  This gives the survey real validity, and gives us a real insight into your thoughts and concerns.  So thank you for sharing your views with us, and we will now analyse what you have said and come back to you with the actions we’re going to take as a result over the next few months.