Wirral Evolutions

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View from the Chair Dec 2019

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Welcome to this month’s View from the Chair.

You can view an Easy Read version of this newsletter here

In November our Speak Up Be Heard Group had a visit from Jason Oxley who is the Commissioner for Wirral Borough Council. Jason was impressed with the work that the group have been doing this year and listened first hand to their issues and concerns, including those experienced with Transport from home to the centres.

I was delighted that Jean and I were invited to the Speak Up Be Heard festive year end meeting at The Grange. I was very impressed with the progress they continue to make and the support they give each other at these meetings.  They have made tremendous progress in giving a voice to the people we support. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Together All Are Able for their ongoing support and commitment to the Speak Up Be Heard group. 

Jason’s visit to the meeting was part of a schedule of visits to our services from 5th-7th November. Following his visit, Jason wrote to Jean with the following:

‘Thank you for arranging for me to visit your services this week. It was fantastic to meet some of the people who use your services, your staff and volunteers. I was very impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment of your staff and volunteers and would be very grateful if you could pass on my appreciation and thanks to them all for spending their time with me. It was a good opportunity for me to see the buildings which your services operate out of, and I could see some real potential for service improvements and to have a closer fit with ambitions of the service and the future service model.

It was great to hear some good outcomes emerging for the people that you support, and I would be very keen to present a “personal story” or two at appropriate meetings and committees.

Jean attended the recent Wirral Council Health and Wellbeing Board chaired by Councillor Pat Hackett, the leader of Wirral Borough Council, to present the company’s Annual Report, which can be found here. At the meeting Jean also set out plans for the future for a ‘service without walls’ with the aim of ‘putting people at the heart of everything we do’. There followed a good discussion and positive feedback from the Board members, they were impressed with company plans for further integration into the community to bring meaningful outcomes for the people we support.

At November’s Board we approved the new company Financial Rules and Regulations. Once the final amendments are made, this document will be made available on our website. I would like to thank Sue Gormley, our Finance Manager for her hard work putting this detailed document together.

Sue also shared our end of year accounts for Board approval. These will be submitted to Companies House and will be available to the public.

Lorraine Moran (Head of Quality) gave an overview of our new Quality Framework. There are not many comparable frameworks in the sector so the work that we are doing around this will be key to a new way of working and will ensure that we continue to improve the quality of service throughout the company.

Karen Smith (Operational Change Manager) has been working with our service managers to create new policies and guidance for Health and Safety. This work will ensure that we have a robust and consistent set of procedures in place and that we are working to the highest standard. Whilst we already have strong practices at a local level, we identified a need for a more overarching approach.

We had a further discussion around our Business Strategy following on from our review session in October. This time we focused on the actions outlined in the plan and checked them to ensure they are relevant and include everything we believe we need. We also visited the strategy again in December and had a valuable discussion around risks and assumptions.

As we firm up our Business Strategy for the next five years the Board will also be reviewing next year’s Annual Plan. Jean will be finalising the draft version for January Board approval and for submission onto our Shareholder. The Annual Plan will be aligned to the funding discussions we continue to have with the Commissioner and the Shareholder and will detail the company’s priorities, challenges and risks for next year. 

A significant part of our December Board meeting was dedicated to an engagement session, with the Board, Managers and representatives from the various Boards and Committees. It was an opportunity for reflection and to share what has gone well, what could be better and memorable moments. As we look back, I am pleased to report we continue to make significant progress, despite the challenges we have faced. Listening to the feedback reminds us how far we have come and what we need to focus on for 2020. It was a fantastic opportunity to hear about the impacts we have made to the people we support.

We wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous 2020. Thank you all for your continued support enabling the people we support to have choice and exercise control over their own lives.


Mike Naden – Chair of the Board

24 December 2019