A fond farewell to Mrs Smith — I wish her well
AFTER nearly four years, this will be my last Weekend Diagnosis and my last week as Chief Executive of the local health and care NHS Trust, having accepted a new post within the NHS.
When it comes to health and social care, Torbay has become synonymous with innovation and leading practice, with its celebrated integrated approach. As Chief Executive since 2009 , I have had the privileged opportunity to help develop and maintain this approach and to ensure our organisation retained its core objective – to do the right thing for 'Mrs Smith'.
The fictional Mrs Smith character was already in place when I arrived in Torbay Care Trust, as it was then. As a vulnerable, older person, with a multitude of health problems and care needs, Mrs Smith was developed to demonstrate just how effective integrated care can be in reducing complexity and bureaucracy, making it simple to receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
This has been the guiding principle of the Trust since 2005 and, despite a number of significant changes and evolutions to the health service at a local and national level, it has remained intact. Its resilience lies in its simplicity, and in the fact that it resonates with the local health and care community.
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We face a huge challenge with responding to our populations needs for care and treatment within the resources we have. We now need to take the next steps in really integrating efforts from the Hospital, GPs, our community services and social care .
It has been a pleasure to work at the Trust and nothing gives me more confidence than knowing my deputy Mandy Seymour will be Interim Chief Executive after I go.