NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG

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2013: a focus on quality of care

2013: a focus on quality of care

Here we are in December approaching both the end of the year and Christmas.

Christmas is often described as a time for children so I will share with you a poem

‘’Look at Me ‘’ by A.B age 11.


What do you see when you’re looking at me?

Simply the girl in bed three?

But look at me.


A person.

Insecure and apprehensive as doctors whirl by.

A person.

With thoughts and feelings ….a heart.


What do you see when you’re looking at me?

Simply the girl in bed three?


But I am a person who longs to roller skate,

Dance and skip…..

To be well again.

So, as I lie here, calm and still,

As I do as you wish, as I eat at your will,

Study me closely as you’re rushed off your feet.

You’re busy on night shift, no time for a seat.

An unusual case, a case to confirm.

No, I’m one of many.

If only you’d learn.


So open your eyes, doctor,

open and see,

not a fascinating case.

Look more closely,

Try to see me.


This year has seen a spotlight on quality prompted by the publication of reports by Robert Francis, Sir Bruce Keogh, and Don Berwick. It is clear that the three elements of quality which are patient safety, effective clinical care and good patient experience, are equally important when assessing how well the NHS is working. It has been demonstrated that not all service is of the standard expected and so I have a renewed determination to continue into next year the initiatives we have put in place in 2013 which are intended to reduce variation and bring higher standards and better outcomes for the people of Blackburn with Darwen.

One of the 5Cs that Jane Cummings the chief nurse promotes is COMPASSION. To be compassionate you need to have empathy and the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. We can and should use patient stories to remind ourselves that what we might consider as routine and straightforward may be very frightening for someone else because this may be the first time they have faced the experience. A short video which illustrates this well was shown to all our GPs when they met last month and a link to this is given here.

Over the last year I have been privileged to listen to many patients talking about their experience of using the NHS and the variability in the standard of service delivered is quite marked. The best is very good indeed but sadly I have heard others describe situations where the care has been substandard.

At our governing body meetings we start with questions from the public and we usually get one or two and this is very useful to remind all present that the reason we exist is to provide services to the public.

I plan to go to Darwen Health Centre on Christmas Eve for an event that brings people from the  community into the centre not for treatment but to share and celebrate with staff, singing carols, meeting Father Christmas and having drinks and mince pies. The Salvation Army Band will lead the singing. We get the NHS the Community and the voluntary sector all ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ – long may this continue.

On behalf of all members of the CCG I send best wishes for a Happy Christmas.

Joe Slater
Chair, NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group