A message from Shropdoc CEO Daniel Robinson

A message from Shropdoc CEO Daniel Robinson as we head into 2024

Dear Colleagues,


Happy New Year


Starting this blog takes me back to where we left off in October 2023, as our urgent primary care services continue to face phenomenal pressures.


I want to begin with a massive ‘thank you’ for everyone’s efforts over the extended Christmas weekend. You made an enormous difference to our capability, capacity and responsiveness for our patients. Bank holidays are always difficult, and this year was no different, but we maintained flow and were able to support people with great teamwork.


A big thank you to those who were working across the entire holiday period to care for our patients. I extend my sincere thanks to our colleagues in the clinical and corporate teams who have worked really hard to plan rotas and minimise the impact of the busy period for our patients. You are hugely appreciated.

To those who have had a well-earned break and time with your families, loved ones or those closest to you, I hope you enjoyed your downtime and family time.


On 22 December 2023, it was the Winter Solstice, which means from now, the days will begin to grow longer and the journey towards Spring and more daylight has begun. On this theme, as I look ahead into 2024, I see a busy and exciting future for Shropdoc.


Talking of our future, we are in the final stages of developing our 2023-2026 Corporate ‘Strategy on a Page’. I will be introducing this document to the Staff Forum in the near future before publishing it to the wider workforce. Our 2023-2026 Strategy has been built in collaboration with our key stakeholders and informed by the regular feedback and engagement with our staff inclusive of the outcomes of the 2023 Employee Engagement Survey.


Our Corporate Strategy is our ‘compass’ and will determine every decision we make moving forward. Our focus for 2024 will continue to be on improving health, improving quality, improving our organisational culture and improving value. I am excited about the journey ahead and really look forward to working alongside you as we continue our journey towards excellence.


Our Commitment – Ensuring the Best for our Patients

Our people ensured that patients continued to receive the best possible care over the festive season - and, as always, I have been incredibly proud of our teams through this challenging period of the year.

These figures show just how much of an impact our services have on our patients in the weeks leading up to and including Christmas. The number of patients coming through the service increased by more than 2,000 from November to December, with 2,413 base visits and 1,161 home visits.


Of the triaged cases in December, 1,718 of those were children and young people under the age of 18.


I would like to say a personal thank you to all of the teams here at Shropdoc - our GPs, office staff, drivers and everyone involved - for their commitment and effort over the past few months.


Supporting our Communities 

As we head into a new year, Shropdoc continues to further its support for our communities - above and beyond the out-of-hours services we are so well known for.

In the run-up to Christmas, dozens of items were collected at Longbow Close and donated to the Shrewsbury Food Hub, which provides supplies to the Leaving Care Team, Women's Refuge and the Food Bank.  

Our teams in Powys collected for the Knighton and Powys foodbank based in Knighton and Presteigne.

January has seen our teams gathering donations in support of the Severn Hospice ‘Regift It’ campaign - launched to call on supporters to regift presents that cannot be used or returned. 


Supporting our patients

The Steve Hugh Award 2023

Reflecting on the challenging landscape in which the NHS is operating, our first Board meeting of 2024 took place on Thursday, 25th January. It provided a further opportunity to appreciate the remarkable colleagues working in all of our services. A great example of this is the work undertaken by our Call Centre Team Leaders. 

After a number of years, December saw the return of the presentation ceremony for the Steve Hugh Award.

The award is presented in memory of Dr Steve Hugh, who was Medical Director of Shropdoc in the early days of our founding, between 1997 and his untimely death in 2005 and goes to a team or individual who has shown the same enthusiasm, drive and creativity that characterised Steve’s contribution to the healthy growth of Shropdoc during his time with us.


It was fantastic to see the “ever-present, but often unnoticed” Call Centre Team Leaders accepting the award to recognise all of their hard work, continuous effort and dedication through Shropdoc through some challenging years.


As Dr Simon Chapple said during the presentation, “in so many ways, they have held us together through some incredibly tough times like the Adastra outage last year and the pandemic, when we had to change the very ways we worked.”


Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Sub-Acute Ward initiative

At Shropdoc, we pride ourselves on being agile and responsive, always evolving to meet the needs of our patients and the wider healthcare system. That’s why in early January our Medical Director, Dr Simon Chapple, announced our pilot collaboration with the Shropshire Community Health Trust (SCHT) on a sub-acute ward initiative. Within this project Shropdoc is responsible for providing telephone advice to the nursing staff on these wards OOHs and for visiting the wards in the event of deterioration or an acute medical need that cannot wait until the SaTH and SCHT medical teams come on duty the next day.


This partnership is a testament to our commitment to collaborating, adapting, and leveraging our expertise to deliver the best possible care for our community. I’m incredibly proud of our staff for their dedication and flexibility in embracing this innovative step forward. Together, we’re ensuring a smoother transition home for patients, reducing pressure on acute services, and ultimately fostering a healthier, more integrated healthcare landscape in Shropshire.


Organisational Development 

We are passionate about building a strong, united organisation here at Shropdoc where every member feels valued and empowered to contribute. Achieving this vision requires a dedicated team with clear aims of implementing our strategic goals at an operational level, ensuring our day-to-day operations run smoothly. 

Our Senior Management Team acts as the bridge between our Executive leadership and the rest of the organisation. They are the individuals who translate big-picture goals into actionable plans, ensure smooth execution across departments, and champion the needs of our staff. They are, in essence, the beating heart of our operations.


Our Senior Management Team (SMT)

Head of Quality (TBC):  We are currently onboarding our next Head of Quality, who will be our champion for excellence, meticulously ensuring our commitment to the highest quality standards in everything we do to ensure that we deliver the best possible service to our clients and patients.

Head of Clinical Workforce, Chrissla Davis: Chrissla will lead our skilled and dedicated team of healthcare professionals. She leads with empathy and strategic foresight, ensuring that our clinical teams are represented, that they are developed and that we have the right people in the right places to deliver exceptional care.

Head of Operations, Kayleigh Jones: Kayleigh is responsible for driving performance and efficiency, orchestrating the smooth flow of our day-to-day operations. From logistics and resource management to streamlining processes, she will keep the engine of our organisation running smoothly.

Head of Finance, Melissa Bowdler: Melissa is the guardian of our financial health, ensuring responsible resource allocation and fiscal foresight. Her expertise keeps us on track to achieve our financial goals and invest in the future of our organisation.

Head of HR (TBC): We are currently searching for an exceptional leader to fill this crucial role; someone who will champion our employees' well-being, foster a positive work environment, and attract and retain top talent.

Head of IT, Kevin Sleeman: Kevin is the tech wizard behind our digital infrastructure, ensuring our systems run seamlessly and support our operations flawlessly. He keeps us connected, informed, and ready to tackle any technological challenge.

Our SMT is a diverse and dynamic team, each member bringing unique expertise and a shared commitment to our organisation's success. They are collaborative, transparent, and always approachable, ready to listen to your concerns and champion your ideas.
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