16 May 2019

Prof. Sarah O'Brien, our Accountable Officer and Strategic Director for People's Services updates on her week and what's happening in St Helens People's Services in her new regular blog.

Hi everyone.  Welcome to my new blog which I’ll be writing on a regular basis to share my thoughts and updates on People’s Services and what I’ve been up to in my role. Like I’m sure many of you, I was on holiday over Easter which was great but arrived back to a mountain of emails and work and I’ve been catching up ever since.  I think I’m nearly there now and want to share a few updates from this week and last with you.

The Local elections took place in St Helens last week and Labour, the ruling party have now selected their new leader, Cllr David Baines and he in turn will select a Cabinet (the decision making forum of the local authority) Portfolio holders may change following this and I’ll make sure you’re all informed as this becomes clear.  I look forward to meeting David and hearing what his priorities are in his new role.

I’ve been continuing to work closely with Edge Hill University in establishing their new medical school. This will provide more opportunities for our young people in St Helens to aspire to and become doctors.  It’s also an opportunity to encourage more young people to go into health & social care across the spectrum of careers on offer. Edge Hill have offered to run a an event in St Helens in September for our year 11 students so we’ll let you know about that in due course.

Our Corporate Parenting Forum took place last week.  This group looks for assurance regarding our services for the children in our care. At This meeting they received an update on a new Care Leavers Board that has been set up and also on a celebration event called ‘Rewrite the Stars’ which is being organised by and for our young people on Saturday 6th July at the Saints rugby stadium. We've asked our staff to think about nominating young people in our care who has had an impact on them or inspired them.

We welcomed Duncan Selbie, the chief executive of Public Health England (PHE) to St Helens this week to see some of our projects we are working with partners on including Smokefree St Helens Hub and the Recovery Landing programme at the Salvation Army, which helps people with drug and alcohol dependency issues in partnership with CGL (Change Grow Live).  He was very impressed with what he saw and how we are leading the way in integrating health and social care to improve outcomes for our residents - calling us a fabulous team in his weekly PHE blog.  Thanks to everyone who was part of this visit showing that this way of working together is the right thing to do.

Also this week I attended the Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership meeting where I met Bill McCarthy, the new regional director for NHS England.  He again spoke about the great progress we're making on our integration journey.

Next week our Talkfest engagement events are talking place to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week.  Details of the events are on our website so if you are able, please come along and see what we are doing.  A special well done to Helen Newton who was voted CCG Nurse of the Year at the St Helens Nurses Day celebration event held to mark International Nurses Day.  As a diabetes nurse I appreciate the chance to celebrate nurses and all they do for the people of St Helens.   

Have a good week and I'll be back with another update on our work here soon.