Introducing our new chair

Elaine Baylis is the new interim chair of the Board of ULHT. Elaine talks to ULHTimes about her vision for the Trust and how we all have a vested interest in making it the best it can be for the people of Lincolnshire.

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Elaine Baylis is the new interim chair of the Board of ULHT.  Elaine talks to ULHTimes about her vision for the Trust and how we all have a vested interest in making it the best it can be for the people of Lincolnshire.

I was delighted to be appointed as interim chair and I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to contribute to the future role of the Trust. The timing of my arrival coincides with the finalisation of the 2021 strategy and the continued implementation of the sustainability and transformation plan (STP) for Lincolnshire. Both of these present great opportunities for the Trust in developing a different approach to the delivery of healthcare for the people of the county and I’m looking forward to being involved.

I appreciate we are experiencing some challenges, particularly at the moment after the Trust was placed in financial and quality special measures. Part of my reason in accepting this position is because I want to understand more about these issues and to see what I might be able to contribute from the other roles I have in the Lincolnshire health and care system. The emphasis must be on system wide solutions and as chair of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust and the Lincolnshire STP board, I’m well placed to do this.

At the very least what I hope to be able to do, is to ensure that we have effective plans to enable people working in the Trust to get on and do their job to the best of their ability whilst recognising the very constrained environment in which we operate. We will do what we can as a Trust board to improve services that will have a beneficial impact on both our patients and our staff.

What I have found so far is there are a lot of people working really, really hard to provide high quality care, despite all these pressures. This has been particularly evident in my first few days. Jan Sobieraj has kept me fully informed of the situation and he has stressed the significant contributions that people have made to keep services running in very difficult circumstances. I am very grateful for all the effort that has been necessary over prolonged and difficult periods of time to deliver care to those who needed it.

I am confident that ULHT has a great future. We need to make sure we are clear with the public, patients and our staff about how we intend to transform the way we deliver services over the next three years. The 2021 strategy has been informed by views from a whole range of different stakeholder groups including patients and staff. We have got a clear vision and if members of staff are not yet familiar with it, I would encourage people to learn more about it and seek ways to get involved. Ways to do this are on the staff intranet site.

I have many years of experience of working in complex organisations and I know that it is those on the frontline and those that support them in corporate and administrative functions who usually have a clear idea of what works best and can provide effective solutions. Sometimes people making decisions about services overlook this valuable resource so I’m keen to ensure that the opportunities are there for people to become more actively involved in the running of the Trust. I would encourage everyone to take an interest and some responsibility for their own areas of work and see what can be done to improve the services being delivered.

Where people think things are not working and are concerned I ask they take personal responsibility for reporting these matters through the most appropriate channels such as your manager, through our 2021 ideas on the intranet, or by contacting our Freedom To Speak Up Guardian Jayne Warner.

I have been a patient at Lincoln hospital, my parents are and other family and friends have been patients here and so I have a vested interest, like everyone who works here, to help make patient experience the best that it can be. This is a moment in time when the opportunities are present to transform the way we deliver care and I look forward to working with the Trust to make the vision of excellence in rural healthcare a reality.

NHS Improvement will review the process for appointing a permanent chair of the Trust in due course. Elaine joined the ULHT board for a year, whilst still retaining her current position of chair at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS). Elaine has over 30 years’ experience working in the public sector in Lincolnshire. With a background in policing, her career in the force culminated in the role of assistant chief constable with accountability for service delivery. For more information about Elaine please click here.