The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

The Leeds Way - coming to life at night!

4 April 2018

Richard Corbridge is the Chief Digital and Information Officer for Leeds Teaching Hospitals

Having been the  ‘on-call Executive’ for the first time last night my view of the Leeds Way is reinforced as not ‘just’ a set of values that this organisation holds clear and dear, but an essential way for how the team in Leeds delivers in times that are challenging and difficult.

The focus on the patient, the reason we are all here, is so clearly embodied in all aspects of the Leeds Way, but at night as pressure mounts the clarity of how this is embodied is so crystal clear to me as an Executive new to being on-call. Every conversation was started and ended with concern for the patients in the hospital; whether they were in a bed waiting to go home or a new arrival in A&E, nothing stopped the value of remaining patient-centred shining through at every moment throughout the night.

Collaborative forum could be a new name for the DOP meeting (short for daily ops) at 16:00. All of our staff effectively come together to work in a way that is text book in what collaboration should be. The operations meeting is there to consider how every department, every ward, every wing, and every part of the 24 hours service we deliver can work together to ensure that the best possible patient care is delivered throughout the small hours of every day. The pressure of individual departments and specialities are left outside the door and the whole conversation focuses on how the organisation can best work together, truly inspiring to me.

The fairness, kindness and outright concern for each other is shown throughout the night in a way that is not about cogs in a wheel and is entirely about human nature. No matter what the pressure of time and capacity, the team that coordinates the hospital through the night stay calm, considerate of each other and I guess the best word to describe the atmosphere is collegiate. Joining the team is like becoming part of a group of friends who are striving to achieve a goal.

The nature of working on call and the nature of working through the night is to be accountable. One thing that is a clear for the team is that there is nowhere to hide. They are visibly unafraid and capable of making clearly articulated, well thought through decisions that, at each juncture, make an impact on the service that the whole team delivers. Being accountable requires an element of bravery I think, over the night it is clear that the team here are unbelievably brave and able to simply keep the show on the road by relying on each other and being accountable to each other.

Not only do the team react as an empowered team only can, but they also foster an environment of empowering others. You can feel in the way the team interact with each other that the value of being empowered is part of the way of life for the team working so hard. Being empowered comes from being trusted and from having confidence; the values that make up the Leeds Way clearly deliver these feelings to the team.    

The rain hammers down on a good old Yorkshire spring day as my first ‘Exec on call’ comes to an end. I learned a lesson tonight. The Leeds Way value system makes this team special, capable, brave and resourceful. In one 12 hour period I have learnt again what the Leeds Way means to the people that make up this great team and the value it delivers to our patients.