Purplegerberas's Blog

A rambling collection of my thoughts about life, my children and crafty things

And back to reality: the fellowship hangover

I’ve been in Coventry for the last four days on my latest fellowship module.  Again, I’ve returned really fired up and inspired to make changes at work. I’m also getting ideas for my future direction and generally a sense of where I would like to head.

The main message I took away was that the NHS reforms are coming in and no amount of protesting is going to make the government drop them. Andrew Lansley came to speak to us and said that once he makes a decision he sticks to it. He will ensure that these reforms go through.  With this in mind there was much discussion about taking advantage of change and using it to make a big impact. Part of me thinks if this change is inevitable, why are we wasting time complaining about it rather than getting plans into action to make sure that it does succeed. I also think that we can influence and utilise the reforms to the advantage of patients.

Whilst I was away we had a family bereavement. I’ve returned to some tension as one family member has started to help herself to the deceased’s possessions (well, strictly speaking he was still alive when she started).  She is very publicly telling people to help themselves as ‘they will only be binned’ and even offering items to people outside of the family. To say the rest of the family is horrified is an understatement. She is not an executor and is not part of the will so legally speaking she has absolutely no right to do this. It also left me questioning her morals as well. We were talking about it this morning and someone told me about this phrase –

My principles are very important to me and I rarely compromise on them, even if it makes me unpopular. Again, discussion today made me realise that this conviction of what is right was one of the main reasons I was bullied at university.

I left Coventry yesterday with the understanding that ultimately the NHS is looking at ‘doing the right thing’ and the importance that is currently being placed on clinical leadership increases my faith in this principle. There was discussion around morals and addressing poor standards in care. Whilst the Department of Health and NHS Confederation are communicating this message clearly, I remain uncertain if my trust is listening. I now understand that this is where I come in. Whenever I return from a fellowship meeting I’m excited and have more courage than usual. I have plans that tend to be reconsidered after a few days when I’ve lost my bottle. Even though I’m meant to be on a day off today I started to put some of those plans into action before the courage starts to evaporate. I’ve emailed my chief executive and asked if I can meet him to discuss the fellowship and my strategic plans for my service.

Another insight for me was being told that leadership involves ‘pissing people off along the way’. As someone who avoids conflict and is currently reflecting on my aversion to tension I interpreted this in a different way to usual. My thought is if you upset someone because you are pushing an idea or an agenda that ultimately and morally is right for the care for your patients why on earth should you comprise on your standards and expectations. Along the way people may not like my viewpoint but if I am doing the right thing then it is their problem, not mine.

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