What a busy couple of weeks it’s been since my last blog.
The Organisation of European Cancer Institute’s conference (OECI) and scientific meeting in Genoa, Italy for the 62 member organisations was very impressive. There was a huge turnout, and we all valued the time together learning more about cancer services across Europe, and building relationships watching Manchester United win the Champions League – congratulations to another great Manchester team!
Dr Chris Harrison, our medical director, was elected to the OECI Accreditation Board where he will influence quality improvement and benchmarking of cancer services. This will help to increase the value of cancer research and development, and strengthen public and private research partnerships in Europe.
The date has now been set for next year’s conference – Wednesday 20th to Sunday 24th May here in Manchester. As the organisers, the challenge is on for us to showcase Manchester to our European colleagues, and put on a social programme as impressive as the scientific agenda.
And then it was half term. At the start of the week I was called to London to meet with Lord Darzi, Minister for Health, as a representative of Foundation Trusts on his report ‘Our NHS, our future’. It can be very difficult in the holidays as a working mum, torn between spending time with the children, and still feeling the pull of work. But somehow it works out and I’m grateful to be able to do both.
Just last week I went to a local summer fete with my family. It was a lovely day with the whole community supporting each other. It made me think that actually the Christie is like a little community – and everyone has their own needs.
At our last board meeting we signed off our five year strategy which was developed in consultation with our governors, management board and key partners. It focuses on improving survival and the patient’s experience, and providing the most efficient services in the most effective way both on our site and through delivering Christie services at other sites. It also looks at enhancing our research and education and being an excellent employer and a good community neighbour. In support of this, our plans for the first Christie radiotherapy centre at Oldham are progressing very well.
On Friday night it’s the Christie staff summer ball which I’m really looking forward to. We’re also planning our celebrations for the NHS’s 60th birthday on 5th July – another great opportunity to celebrate the success of our own staff and our colleagues from the wider NHS.