Sir Julian Hartley visits Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust

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02 June 2023

Julian Hartley
Chief Executive

It was great to visit Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust and meet with chair Caroline Flint and chief executive Michele Moran, together with other board members and a range of staff.

Humber Teaching provides integrated healthcare services across Hull, the East Riding of Yorkshire, Whitby, Scarborough and Ryedale, and their services are delivered to 765,000 people across 4,700 sq km. I met with a range of staff, who presented their service's key achievements and challenges.

First, I met with Children's Services and Mental Health Support, which delivers evidence-based interventions for children, young people and families. It liaises with local partners and offer one-to-one sessions, whole school approaches, staff support and whole class workshops. This approach helps support the work of the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services team, who described the key challenges currently faced by the service, with staff under considerable pressure due to significantly increased demand.

The Crisis Mental Health Service offers a Safe Space – a non-ward-based overnight space for young people. It's a relatively low volume but high-impact opportunity for 14-18 year olds experiencing acute emotional distress to reduce risk, reflect and develop new coping strategies.

The team leading the pathway for younger children (newborn to 9) – works to ensure the best possible start in life for them. They engage with parents and families impacted by current economic and social challenges – particularly focused in the urban and east coast communities the trust serves. One particularly strong feature of the trust's approach is its adult inpatient and community hybrid service, which helps with continuity of care and aids recruitment and retention. As a result, there's minimal use of agency staff.

Next, I learnt more about The Recovery College – a volunteer-led college where a wide variety of free-to-join activities are on offer either online or in person, with no time limit on attendance.

The fantastic Wellbeing Recovery Employment Service – currently funded by the European Union – helps find employment opportunities and coaching to assist with applications and interviews across a range of sectors. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the trust's strategy, where it stemmed from and implementation across all key areas, and the way it links into the Health and Wellbeing Board priorities of each local authority area. The clarity, ownership and board oversight and engagement in the strategy is evident.

Finally, I heard about the importance of staff health and wellbeing from the Workforce Wellbeing team. This is a relatively new offer at the trust, in place since September 2022. A wellbeing MOT is offered to all staff, with follow-up physical health support on offer where needed.

They also offer one-to-one wellbeing sessions, digital health support, wellbeing activities and health-themed events and webinars. I was really impressed by the range of services the trust offers and how they're tailored to the needs of the communities it serves. There's also a thorough and systematic approach to staff wellbeing, which is at an absolute premium right now.

We concluded with a stimulating discussion about, among many things, the importance of provider collaboration and the need to empower collaboratives to deliver necessary change and development of services in order to tackle current operational, financial and workforce challenges.

A real feature of Humber Teaching is staff empowerment, as evidenced through its improving staff survey, where themes of empowerment, delivery and social purpose came through strongly. I left encouraged and inspired by the teams we met and by the trust's outward-looking and purposeful vision.

About the author

Julian Hartley profile picture

Julian Hartley
Chief Executive

Sir Julian Hartley joined as chief executive in February 2023, having been chief executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals since 2013, where he led a major programme of culture change and staff engagement to deliver improved quality, operational and financial performance.

Julian’s career in the NHS began as a general management trainee and he worked in a number of posts before progressing to a board director appointment at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust.

In 2019 Julian was asked to be the executive lead for the interim NHS People Plan, having previously worked as managing director of NHS Improving Quality, and in 2022 he was awarded Knight Bachelor for services to healthcare in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Read more

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