CEO Blog 1st February 2016
Well, after what appeared to be the briefest of breaks for the Christmas closure, the PTC re-opened for business on Tue 5 January 2016 and we have so far treated hundreds of patients who have passed through the doors of both Centres. We have already welcomed a number of visitors to the PTC including Simon Roberts the Chair of the Cheshire Police Federation accompanied by the new Federation Secretary Iain Allen, Charlie Forbes-Adams the High Sheriff of North Yorkshire, Chief Constable Mike Barton from Durham, and PCC Julia Mulligan from North Yorkshire. All of these visits were an opportunity not to just brief our visitors and to show them around, but to explain some of the changes that have been happening at the PTC recently.
One of the things that we pride ourselves on most at the PTC is the quality of all of our employees and the contribution that they make to the running of the PTC, and it is always reassuring to hear from our patients personal stories about the difference and impact that various employees have made to their stay. This has already been evident in some of the comments that I have heard already this year, and it has been something that I have been able to pass on to the PTC employees in the 7 sessions of CEO Question Time that I have hosted in recent weeks. It is also very much the season for initiating Appraisals, updating policies and procedures, and ensuring that we are well placed for the challenges of the year ahead, and that we are doing our best to look after all members of staff.
One of my personal challenges in the 12 months ahead will be to bed in the policy changes that the Trustees introduced in 2015, and then to look beyond the horizon and see where we plan to be in the future. There is an obvious challenge here in balancing this change so that we are fit for the future, but that we do not get so caught up in this change programme that we forget the present, and the fact that we must ensure that we provide the highest quality treatment to those patients who are with us this and every week, and that they believe that they are getting the maximum benefit from their stay.
After the broadly positive news from the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement last November I am aware that many Forces this year will be running recruitment campaigns for new police officers, and where this is the case within your Force, I would ask you to do your bit and encourage those new Student Officers to sign up to donate to the PTC, and tell them both how good, and how important it really is that they do so.
I visited Castlebrae Centre in the second week after we returned back to work. It was good to see how the building work is coming on, and it is really taking shape now and still on track to be completed in April, and is really very impressive. As well as being a real buzz about the Centre, I was amused to see that after a heavy overnight snowfall, some of the patients constructed what must surely be the best snowman that I have ever seen in my life, which looked like it had walked out of the Snowman cartoon. Although I did not want to even ask the questions of what injuries might have been caused or irritated by building the Snowman, it was interesting to note that literally all of the visitors who entered and left Castlebrae that day including me, paused to take a photo/selfie of the snowman. I know that this is only a little thing, but one should never underestimate the importance of these “little things” on camaraderie and morale, and it certainly remained a discussion point and the source of a number of jokes for the rest of the time I was up there.
Finally I was very pleased to be invited to the Police Scotland Burns Supper by Deputy Chief Constable Neil Richardson who is also a PTC Trustee in Glasgow on Friday 29 January which was a great occasion, and a chance to meet both the new Chief Constable Phil Gormley, and of course some of the Scottish Police Federation Team and do some business in the margins.
That is it for this month’s blog, it has been a frantic start to the year with the promise of more to come.