Spring 2020 issue
Est. Reading: 2 minutes

FINAL WORD from the Chair

AFTER almost 8 years this is my final Trust Talk and as I write this I feel a great sense of pride mixed in with the sadness of realising that I will not regularly be with people who I really care about.

It has been an amazing time at ELFT, we have continuously yearned to do the best for those we serve but also for each other and for the wider NHS.

We have been courageous and taken risks, when we knew it was the right thing to do. When I reflect on how we decided to embrace Bedfordshire and Luton, to play a leadership role in the establishment of GP federations and to work with our colleagues in the Tower Hamlets Vanguard or in Norfolk and Suffolk I know that there was much considered debate but also an overriding drive to improve services and service user participation.

We have always been forward thinking and as a consequence a thought leader, systematically implementing QI in a way that other Trusts have not done, looking at all the different approaches and then adapting and developing our own version, much admired internationally.

Our service users, staff and Governor ambitions have continued to drive us forward, it is due to their determination that we had begun to implement elements of the NHS Long Term Plan when it was just a glint in Sir Simon Steven’s eye.

I am often asked what makes ELFT so successful and I do believe that it is three core things, which we must never lose. The first is the way we work alongside those with lived experience as equals in the design, delivery and evaluation of our work.

This relationship is grounded in mutual respect and an understanding that without this we can not truly improve or provide concrete opportunities for achieving a meaningful quality of life for all we serve. The second is our unwavering belief in the capabilities, passion and drive of our staff, and that is all staff, from our sub contracted facilities management staff to our Consultants, from our receptionists to our Borough Directors and from our social therapists to our Board members.

Our job has to been to create the conditions where they can question, challenge and provide the tools and space for them to achieve what they want to achieve as an individual, a team and as directorate. The third is our humility. We must always remember we have not got it right for everyone and with this humility comes a constants striving to do better because at ELFT we know we are not really outstanding until every service user and every staff member tells us we are.

I take this opportunity to thank my Board colleagues for their determination, the Council of Governors for their insight, staff for their passion and service users for their willingness to actively apply their knowledge and ideas. I have truly enjoyed my time with ELFT and will continue to work alongside you in my new role as an Independent STP Chair.

Please continue to hold me to account and I will see you on the dance floor at the next staff awards.

Marie Gabriel


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