NHS BLOOD AND TRANSPLANT 26 NOVEMBER 2009 CHIEF EXECUTIVE S REPORT

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1 09/84 NHS BLOOD AND TRANSPLANT 26 NOVEMBER 2009 CHIEF EXECUTIVE S REPORT INTRODUCTION Since my last report, I have spent a proportion of my time on a number of outward facing events aimed at raising the profile of different areas of our work. I visited Barnsley College to promote our Register and Be a Lifesaver education pilot programme with the Anthony Nolan Trust (ANT) on the occasion of the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families visit there on 16 October; and I hosted, jointly with the Medical Director of St George s Hospital Trust in Tooting, the formal opening by the Minister of State of the new (fifth) NHS Cord Blood Bank Collection facility on 19 October. Focusing again on Cord Blood, and the work of the British Bone Marrow Registry I attended the opening of an international Cord Blood Symposium (see later). With the Chairman, I spoke at the official opening of the Filton Centre on 29 October (also see later). The previous day I hosted the Organ Donation Campaign Preview Event in Westminster to which we invited heads of relevant professional organisations, Trusts, charities and others. This event was very moving, including a speech by a young recipient of a double lung transplant who talked about how her life had been saved and also transformed. This was followed by the public launch of the campaign on 2 November, when I had the opportunity to give a number of live and prerecorded radio and television interviews throughout the day, starting with the Today programme, and attended the photocall at St Thomas Hospital. With Lorna Williamson, I attended the meeting of the European Blood Alliance in Rome at the beginning of October where discussion topics included position papers on competition in the EU blood component market and on voluntary non-remunerated donations, future sourcing of plasma and updates from the working groups and professional networks. Internally, I attended the reception, poster session and dinner which were part of our R & D Conference in Oxford at the end of September where I was able to talk to members of the R & D Committee and other staff. I chaired the interview panel for the Chief Operating Officer for BPL on 5 October and an appointment was made, and I attended the DH ODTF Programme Delivery Board later in the month. Also in October, I spoke at the Annual Awards Ceremony in Birmingham where the Chairman and I presented certificates of achievement to a representative group of the large number of staff throughout NHSBT who have gained qualifications to support the organisation, their personal development and the improvement of the service we provide to donors, customers and patients. A few days earlier I participated, with all the Directors and the Chairman, in a two-day event which forms part of the

2 induction programme for very senior staff. This was well received by the attendees who also provided some constructive feedback and suggestions. I commissioned Ellwood & Atfield to recruit the new Director of Communications and Public Affairs, and also interviewed for and appointed an interim Director, Nick Samuels, who will join us in time to engage in a two week handover from Henrietta Joy prior to her departure on 30 November. The interviews for the permanent post take place on 14 December and I am grateful to Della Burnside who will join me, the Chairman and an external assessor on the interview panel. FILTON OPENING The official opening of the Filton Centre by Prof Sir Magdi Yacoub on 29 October went well. The event was introduced by the Chairman and myself and featured speeches by a donor and a recipient of cord blood, and a blood donor and a transfusion recipient. Sir Magdi spoke and unveiled a plaque commemorating the occasion. Following a buffet lunch for the invited guests and photograph and interview opportunities for Sir Magdi, guests were taken on conducted tours of the world s largest blood processing centre. I would like to acknowledge the hard work of Clive Ronaldson, Stuart Penny General Manager for Operations in the South West and their team over a lengthy period, to modernise blood services in that part of the country and set the new centre on the path to becoming a world class facility. I would also like to thank Alex Stone, Assistant Director Strategic Communications, and her team for their role in making the day a success and attracting a good level of media interest. CARE QUALITY COMMISSION I am delighted that NHSBT has received an excellent rating the highest standard achievable in the annual health check results announced in mid October by the Care Quality Commission (previously the Healthcare Commission). The improvement from the good rating we achieved at our previous, first health check is attributable to demonstrable improvements in infection control and medicines management, making NHSBT compliant in 38 out of a possible 40 categories. This reflects the hard work of all our staff and recognises our continued commitment to saving and improving lives through the service we provide to our donors of blood, organs, tissue and bone marrow. 2

3 ACCOUNTABILITY REVIEW With the Chairman and several Executive Directors, I attended our annual Accountability Review with David Harper in October. I am delighted to confirm that David, as our DH Sponsor at Director General level, was highly satisfied with our progress and plans to date and commended us in particular on the excellent quality of our financial reporting. JOINT SYMPOSIUM ON CORD BLOOD TRANSPLANTATION This joint Symposium took place on 19 and 20 October commencing with initial presentations and a dinner both of which I attended. Professor Dame Sally Davies, Director General of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Adviser for the DH and NHS, and responsible for the National Institute for Health Research, opened the event. Dr Derwood Pamphilon was NHSBT s representative on the organising committee which succeeded in attracting as speakers many eminent professionals in the various fields of cord blood treatment, both from the UK and abroad. The event was successful in engaging the transplant community and produced some good ideas to be followed up. The symposium featured, together with the opening of the St George s cord bank facility, on the ITN news a few days later and we anticipate there will also be some specialist magazine coverage. The Symposium was an initiative suggested by NHSBT who co-sponsored it alongside the ANT and the DH. It was supported by the British Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and some commercial sponsorship. COMMUNICATING OUR MESSAGE Cord Blood In advance of the opening of the fifth NHS cord blood collection centre at St George s, Tooting and the symposium on the clinical uses of cord blood (jointly run by NHSBT, the Anthony Nolan Trust and British Society of Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation), ITN ran a piece about cord blood on its lunchtime and evening programmes on 16 October. This featured the work underway at NHSBT to create blood vessels from cord blood cells and reprogramming these cells for use in repairing hearts and other organs. The Medical Director of the NHS Cord Blood Bank was interviewed about this work, with filming taking place at NHSBT laboratories in Oxford. Daniel De-Gale Blood Donation Week In what has become an annual event, the African-Caribbean Leukaemia Trust and NHSBT ran a campaign to promote blood and bone marrow donation to black and mixed race communities during the week of 5 October. Currently, only 3.5% of blood donors are from a black or minority ethnic group. 3

4 The campaign ran in Bristol, Birmingham, Croydon and London in memory of Daniel De-Gale who died in October 2008, having been diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of six. More than 340 people responded to the campaign to give blood during the week, with 36 people joining the Bone Marrow Register. National Organ Donation Campaign Considerable focus has been given to the run-up and launch of the first multimedia campaign to be run across the UK. This is the subject of a separate report to the Board. WELSH LANGUAGE SCHEME NHSBT s Welsh Language Scheme has been approved by the Welsh Language Board. This is now available on the NHSBT website. BLOOD DONATION Efforts to promote blood donation are not confined to the drive to maintain higher stocks of red cells to help the NHS cope with the swine flu pandemic but are a regular part of day to day work at local level. I was particularly pleased to see that the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals monthly magazine featured Billy Blood Drop on the front cover of its September edition and a full page article reminding hospital staff, patients and visitors about the blood donor centre within the John Radcliffe Hospital and how easy it is to book in advance or pop in there to donate. NHS INTERNATIONAL FRAMEWORK Steve Morgan, Head of International Services, and Patrick Sullivan from Specialist Services met Lord Crisp, past Permanent Secretary DH and Chief Executive of the NHS, to discuss the recently constituted Zambia UK Health Workforce Alliance. This alliance aims to support the development of Zambia s health workforce, and thereby contribute towards the three health related Millenium Development Goals. Over 30 organisations within the UK health sector have already joined, with seed funding provided by the Department for International Development (DFID). Further research is being conducted into the Zambian Blood Service before any recommendations about possible NHSBT support, and participation in the Alliance, are made. I had hoped to join the meeting but was unable to do so because of the media opportunities relating to the Organ Donation Campaign Launch. 4

5 ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION OF TRAVEL AND EXPENSE CLAIMS Following a successful pilot of a new web based expenses system supplied by Software Europe, the electronic system for submission, authorisation and processing of all travel and expense claims was launched on 1 October. This will eliminate paper expense forms, facilitate the accurate and timely processing of travel and expense claims and improve the quality of management information on staff expenses. Lynda Hamlyn Chief Executive November

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