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Keeping in touch – 16 July


Thank you to everyone that came along to one of the accommodation meetings this week where Directors and I shared our plans with over 300 of you across two sessions.

The key message is that our plans will continue to be phased, measured and safe.  We have been working with you throughout the pandemic to understand what our future working model could look like and your feedback over the last 18 months has enabled us to develop our accommodation principles and the discussions we have had this week have helped us further refine our plans.

We have agreed that all existing Covid-19 control measures will remain in place in our buildings until further notice. This means we will still be operating at a 25% capacity as well as maintaining the use of face coverings when moving around the building and 2m social distancing. Signing in sheets to support our contact tracing process will remain on reception points and we will ensure there continues to be sufficient ventilation. We are in regular dialogue with Sandwell’s Public Health team and will be working closely with them to make sure we continue to prioritise the safety of our staff and families we work with.

Another focus of the sessions was the need for us to be flexible whilst continuing to meet the requirements of our business. We know from the survey last year that 95% of you want a mix of working from the office and home; we now need to develop a model that will meet the critical aspects of our service whilst recognising the benefits of working from home– something that we have been clear about in our principles.

Managers have been asked to talk to their teams over the next couple of weeks to help develop this detail. Please engage with this process, we need to capture as much information as possible.

We have collated the questions that were asked during the sessions and they will be added to our intranet, where you will also find the slides that we used during the presentation.


The Trust is represented at Sandwell’s Vulnerable People Cell which is a forum where public health matters relating to the pandemic are discussed. All of the organisations involved have been asked to provide high level data to inform the regional and national vaccination plans, and we’d like to encourage as many Trust staff as possible to contribute to this. Thank you to those of you that have already informed HR of your vaccination status, if you have not already done so we have created this simple survey to make it even easier.

All it asks for is your name and the date(s) of your vaccinations. The data will be kept by HR and only the high level number of people vaccinated will be shared. Please let us know if you have been vaccinated, and if you have any questions please get in touch with HR.

Improvement Programme

There has been a lot of activity taking place across the Trust to support our Improvement Programme. I am pleased to say that the new F to G progression process is working well and all 12 colleagues who went through this process have successfully progressed. You will be aware that we have been interviewing for the Advanced Practitioner roles and our recent ASYE recruitment drive went very well with 35 new SWs due to join us around September. The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion ‘Statement of Intent’ is out for consultation and we will soon be looking for representatives to help us embed a strong inclusive approach across the Trust.  

The Practice Improvement Board is up and running and as part of our approach to practice improvement our reflective & learning spaces are up and running. These are dedicated spaces for Managers to learn, reflect together to improve practice and I’m pleased to hear the positive feedback about them.

Long awaited hot weather will be with us this weekend, so whatever you have planned I hope you get time to enjoy it!


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