I am very aware that August can be a somewhat quite month for some organisations, and a chance to do some housekeeping and consolidation during a slower period of activity, but this is rarely the case at either of our Centres, and we do feel strongly that the patient who arrives in August or indeed any other month, should get exactly the same service and treatment as any other patient throughout the year.
The main piece of activity that has dominated the month on the management and governance level, has been the PTC Annual Strategic Workshop which took place at Castlebrae at the beginning of the August. This is an opportunity for the PTC trustees to get together, and plan the future direction of the charity in terms of who we are, what we do, and what services we should be delivering.
The context of the meeting was set by the significant increase in the number of patients who are applying for treatment on the Psychological Wellbeing Programme, and the fact that we expect this trend to continue in the future. This does not mean that the number of individuals who need treatment for musculoskeletal injuries has reduced, in fact far from it, but we are now wrestling with the balance of effort and activity between both types of injury (mental and physical), and trying to ensure that when a patient presents with a specific condition, we are well placed to deliver this treatment in a timely and effective manner.
There was a whole host of other issues on the Agenda as well, and it was clear that many of our Trustees felt extremely strongly about some of those issues being discussed, but we believe that it is healthy to have this vigorous debate in our workshops, and ensure that all views are heard, and that Trustees make their views known about what they believe to be the best way of future proofing the PTC. The discussion points covered both the PTC and St George’s Police Children’s Trust, and one of the important pieces of good news from St George’s, is that we are now welcoming the Isle of Man Police into the constituency.
The strategic workshop was followed by a full Board Meeting on the Saturday morning to vote on some of the proposals, and there is some further work and meetings to follow over the next few months before other issues are considered. One thing that I can assure everyone is that although we do have one eye on the future, we also recognise that if a patient arrived for treatment this week, she/he needs to be assured that they are going to receive the very best treatment when they come for their residential stay, rather than being promised jam tomorrow or next year. We do think that we have the balance correct, but do please tell us if you are not finding this to be the case.
I remained up at Castlebrae for the whole of that weekend and into the following week as I had an invitation to attend a Dinner at the Al Maktoom College in Dundee, followed by hosting a visit to the PTC for His Highness Shaikh Hamdan’s team in the UK. HH Shaikh Hamdan has become an extremely generous benefactor to the PTC, making large donations to support our work in recent years, and at the end of this most recent visit we received some wonderful news in that he was so impressed by our centre and the work that we do in supporting ill and injured police officers, that his personal representative leading the visit, announced that we would be receiving an annual large donation from His Highness in order to directly benefit our police patients.
The PTC Team work very hard to source donations of this nature throughout the year, and I have to confess that it can sometimes be rather dispiriting to either have rejection letters from some of the organisations we try to support us, or to hear nothing back from them at all. I am very pleased to say that we have had a recent run of good results, which has made all the hard work by the whole PTC Team seem very worthwhile, and which has produced some sizeable donations from various groups. I am fond of saying that once we manage to find the right person to speak to in an organisation, I am confident that we can do a pretty good job of convincing them why they should support us. In recent weeks we have done this very successfully and now got a number of external organisations who a few short months ago had never heard of us, on board. This has meant more money flowing in to the PTC to support and improve our work, and to ensure that we retain our position as the class leading Centre of this type.
We have hosted a variety of visitors to the PTC including Lisa Hogan who as well as being a Northumbria Police Officer, is also the Interim Vice President of the British Association of Women in Policing (BAWP). It was an excellent visit in which Lisa impressed everyone with her enthusiasm, commitment and engagement, and we are delighted that we have such a strong and influential ally to support the PTC both within Northumbria, and the BAWP.
The Donor recruitment and Charity Engagement Teams are also surging out on a variety of engagements and visits, explaining to new student officers, HR departments and indeed the key influencers in Federations, Associations and Forces why it is important to sign up to the PTC, so if you do see them in your Force area, do please go over and say hello.
That is it for this month’s blog, stay safe wherever you are and whatever you are doing, and we hope to see you at the PTC in the near future.