Wirral Evolutions

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View from the Chair Oct 2019

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Welcome to this month’s View from the Chair.

If you would prefer this newsletter in Easy Read format, you can download it here.  
Wirral Evolutions were invited by Wirral Borough Council to participate in the recent Tour of Britain event. Harry (one of the people we support) was given the opportunity to ride in the lead car throughout the event. Harry’s mum told us: ‘He’s still buzzing from the experience ...and showing everyone he meets the photographs he took! Thank you so much for giving him the opportunity’ and that it was a “Once in a lifetime experience that he’ll never forget.”, as a keen cyclist myself, I am sure it was a very special occasion.


As the Board confidence continues to improve in the management of the Company, we have taken the step to focus more of the Board time on the Company strategic direction.  We are in the process of adopting a revised 12-month calendar of Board activity, which maintains the focus on Company Performance and includes more of the Board time focused on the future for the organisation.  This will allow time devoted to key topics, deep dives, committee performance and our strategic intent.
At our Board meeting in September we discussed our alignment to the Strategic Framework which we published earlier this year.  Whilst this is still fairly new, it sets out the Company Strategic Intent and as such, the Board will continue to review this Framework to ensure what we are doing, is aligned.   The Board agreed that the framework is working well and have scheduled reviews during 2020.  
To compliment the Strategic Framework, we are developing our Business Strategy, which will be focused on three key areas: People, Settings and Sustainable Growth. The method we are following in developing the Business Strategy is based on the process outlined in ‘Good Strategy, Bad Strategy’ by Richard Rumelt.  It will include a current ‘Diagnosis’ of the Company, defining the scale of the challenge and opportunities faced, the ‘Guiding Principles’, which describe the values led approach we will take and ‘Coherent Themes’, which will include the high level actions and changes we will plan to make over the coming years.  The Business Strategy will align to the Strategic Framework and from these 2 documents we will produce our annual plans, to be agreed with the Shareholder (WBC).  Whilst the above can appear complex, these documents will provide clarity and purpose for the Company.  We plan to have the draft Business Strategy developed over the next couple of months and look forward to publishing these documents and discussing these in more detail at one of the future Stakeholder meetings.   
At September Board, we held a ‘Deep Dive’ on the wider stakeholder engagement to review as a Board ‘What Works’ and ‘What Could be Better’, we are consolidating the feedback and will plan and prioritise how we take this forward.  There are some clear steps we can take to improve these meetings and we will discuss the best approach with the Stakeholder Group. We agreed that the group has been a great opportunity to engage directly with everyone.
To improve the service and alignment with the commissioner, we have been reviewing our people banding.  Jean and I would like to thank the service coordinators for the professional expertise and judgement in developing, reviewing and testing our people banding work.
We have also commenced an exercise to review and improve our resources, policies and procedures with support from our HR support providers in Wirral Council.  Once this exercise is complete, we will then be engaging with our Unions.
We have confirmed with Wirral Council IT that we will be part of their roll out of Windows 10. This will include new desktops and laptops to be distributed across sites. This roll out will improve our IT capability and bring us up to date with software.
We were joined this month at Board by members of our Quality Improvement Team who were invited to Board to provide first-hand debrief following the work they have been doing with the centres this year. The Board thanked them for the work that they have done to raise standards across the services. We had a valuable discussion about how we continue to keep those standards high now that the team are back in their previous posts. The Board agreed to revisit our approach to Quality as a company at a future Board meeting.
Our Quality Sub Committee will be meeting on 17th October and Lorraine Moran (Head of Quality) will report back to the Board.
Councillor Pat Hackett will be visiting us this month and will meet with some of the people we support. We are pleased to have this opportunity to strengthen our relationship with Wirral Council.
Our colleague Carey Bamber has announced that she will be stepping down from her position as a Non-Executive Director on the Board at the end of October. Carey has worked with Wirral Evolutions since it’s beginning and has been a key member of the Board for a number of years. Through Carey, we have been fortunate to gain early insight in to care at a national level and it was through Carey’s contacts, we managed to get placement as an early adopter of the quality improvement programme, Making it Real.  Carey has worked hard to improve how we engage with people we support and their families, and also introduced the Company to Together All Are Able. I would like to personally and on behalf of the Board, thank Carey for the work she has done for the company.
Whilst Carey will be a loss to the Company, the Board have decided to delay replacement until the new year, when we will have the Business Strategy developed and will have a better understanding of the skills we will need to bring onto the Board.     


Mike Naden – Chair of the Board

5 November 2019