Tracy Allen, chief executive of Derbyshire Community Health Services Foundation Trust, explains how the role of executive director of quality/chief nurse will be a key influencer in health and social care integration across Derbyshire

Tracy Allen was appointed as chief executive of Derbyshire Community Health Services Foundation Trust on 1 April 2011. She was previously managing director when the services operated as an autonomous provider within NHS Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust.

Tracy led the creation of Derbyshire Community Health Services and its establishment as a community NHS trust. She was previously executive director of strategy and service improvement at Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust, leading strategies which underpinned the organisation’s successful authorisation as an NHS foundation trust. Tracy is an ex-NHS management trainee and has a wide range of operational and strategic management experience in NHS organisations.

Why this job? 

The current director of quality is retiring and is providing a great opportunity to join a stable, experienced, and high performing, team of fantastic executive directors and a strong board to play a lead role in continuing to develop and improve community services across Derbyshire and Derby City, in line with our Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, Joined Up Care Derbyshires’, strategic vision.

Quality is at the heart of Derbyshire Community Health Services’ approach to service provision, built around the framework of “The DCHS Way”, which is described as “the way we do things around here”. As such, this role is hugely important in the ethos of the whole organisation, which monitors continuous performance via an internal system of scrutiny known as: Quality People, Quality Services and Quality Business. 

It means that as an organisation, and instilled from board level, is a commitment to the best possible quality underpinning the way services are provided and staff are valued. As STP work is further embedded in Derbyshire, this can only take more of a centre stage with the growing importance in the health economy of community based services and the need for strong leadership to steer it.

The organisation’s Quality Always clinical assessment accreditation system is widely recognised within the organisation as driving continuous improvement in patient care settings. The successful candidate will lead a strong, dynamic and committed team of senior clinicians in overseeing the ongoing development of this absolute focus on high quality care.

We understand the ever evolving nature of ensuring the best possible quality services, through continuous innovation and performance reporting, and you will be joining a supportive and high calibre board committed to driving forward on the organisation’s strong quality ethos.  

Why this trust? 

At DCHS, we have a recognised track record in staff engagement and living our values “the DCHS Way”. We are committed to working together to deliver high performing and innovative community services. 

We are one of the largest providers of specialist community health services in the country, rated “good” overall and “outstanding” for caring by the Care Quality Commission.

We serve a patient population of over one million in Derby and Derbyshire, delivering 3,500 patient contacts each day, in a multitude of settings and increasingly in people’s own homes. Our location incorporates the beauty of the Peak District and the challenges of delivering care in rural settings as well as in multicultural urban centres: Derby having a growing black, minority and ethnic population and a rapidly growing population generally. This makes us a trust of contrasts, with no one size fits all solutions and unique challenges and opportunities in the way care is delivered. We employ 4,500 WTE staff, two thirds of them in clinical roles.

We have a stable and growing workforce with one of the lowest agency spends in the country (0.7 per cent). As well as promoting the annual NHS Staff Survey we run a Pulse Check, three times a year, to test the mood and wellbeing of employees and teams in a mini internal staff survey. This helps us pinpoint where and how we need to give extra support and intervention on a rolling basis to maintain staff morale. 

In the 2017 NHS Staff Survey, our staff engagement score was above the national average at 3.89 out of 5 (national average being 3.78) and was based on a response rate of 55 per cent, which again is above the national average, reflecting our staff’s willingness to recommend the trust as a place to work and receive treatment, the extent to which staff feel motivated and engaged in their work and the extent to which staff feel able to contribute to improvements at work.  

We strive to create a good workplace, believing that happy staff make happy patients, and this is reflected in comments back to us from members of staff in the latest NHS Staff Survey responses: “DCHS is a great place to work and I feel supported by my senior colleagues to deliver the best possible standard of care… Working for DCHS is a pleasure. It feels like working within a very supportive family to enable me and the team that I work with to provide very high standards and quality of care to patients.”

How will this role advance your career?

As part of a high performing board, you will be at the forefront of working with system partners to develop integrated care across health and social care systems. The successful candidate will be joining our specialist community services trust at a time when place based care is being developed, and will play a crucial role in influencing these specific developments. 

As an established specialist community services trust, operating as a standalone organisation since April 2011, we have a reputation for strong leadership and in being recognised for providing an expert voice on community service developments on a regional and national level. This reputation means we have been able to develop strong networks to promote the value of community services, to support the imminent 10 year NHS Plan. Networks nationally and regionally that you will be a part of influencing.

We offer a supportive environment with great colleagues who are committed to working together for the best outcomes for patient care. In turn, this is a great opportunity for a talented individual to join our team and be an influencer in crafting the way forward in health and social care integration across Derby and Derbyshire.

To find out more about the role and apply click HSJ Jobs