Updates from the CEO and senior team about the Hospice's future
8th April 2021 - SMC Update Series - John Knight
Update by John Knight
I am really pleased to bring you my video, the first in a new series of short video recordings from members of the senior team.
The idea is to give you insight in to our thoughts and work to ensure LOROS not only remains sustainable but that the Hospice thrives as we emerge from the pandemic. The information is purposefully quite general, covering a number of areas from patient care to charity governance – all of which combines to ensure LOROS remains robust in the face of all challenges.
I very much hope you’ll find them of interest as we release them over the coming weeks.
Thank you for watching. The next video in the series will be released next Thursday.
Any feedback is always appreciated – please do let me have your thoughts and ideas to help in the design of the future for LOROS.
8th March 2021 - April's Ask John Zoom sessions
Zoom sessions for staff
Thank you to everyone who has continued to attended the recent staff Zoom sessions.
The date and time for the next staff session will be:
- Tuesday 13th April, 11.30am
Please follow the link circulated by email by Rebecca Stevens on Thursday 4th March.
Zoom sessions for volunteers
The date has now been set for the next Zoom sessions for our volunteers. You do not need to download any Zoom applications to your IT equipment, just visit the Zoom home page and join the meetings using the meeting ID and password details below.
Once again, there is a maximum number of participants (100) that can join each session, so please make sure you arrive promptly for the start.
The date and time for the volunteer session will be:
- Thursday 15th April, 3.30pm
Meeting ID: 894 2735 7400
8th February 2021 - Latest Update from John Knight
Our financial future
Slightly later than promised, please find below my most recent piece to camera that I recorded for your information.
The main focus is on finances, although before you rush to watch it, I want to immediately stress that it contains only positive news. Through your own efforts, and the skills and excellent team work between our income generation, marketing and communications and financial teams we remain in a financially robust position. We very much hope that this week will see a further boost of funds from the NHS via Hospice UK. Although we are not absolutely sure of how much this will be, it will be very welcome and only serve to further consolidate our current position.
The year ahead demands our ongoing prudence, there is no room for complacency. That said, there is no doubt that we have together shown just how far our excellent team work can take us. As a working community you have been simply amazing, we must now be resilient enough to see the pandemic out and look forward to a very bright future.
Thank you all.
Meeting ID: 841 7004 3141
28th January 2021 - Latest update from John Knight
Reflections on lockdown
2021 is now properly underway as is, unfortunately, this third lockdown.
I am very conscious, as are the Senior Team and the Board of Trustees, that life is not easy for any of us. The lockdown restrictions, sense of isolation from loved ones and pressures of changes - such as home schooling - can be hard to manage especially when set alongside a very different working life.
We remain very mindful of these pressures and do hope the new LOROS wellbeing programme is proving to be of use to you? Please do contact Liz Mcintyre if you wish to add to it, or have suggestions that can help yourself and others – we’d love to hear about them.
Please view my first video message of 2021:
As always, thank you for all that you contribute to making LOROS a remarkable organisation. This is all made possible because of your dedication, commitment and adaptability.
Next week I will bring you an update on the Hospice's financial situation and our planning for the year ahead.
Thank you once again.
- Wednesday 3rd February, 4pm
23rd November 2020 - Virtual staff awards and Christmas celebration
There can be no doubt that this has been possibly the most unusual and challenging year in the history of LOROS and perhaps in all of our working lives. Everyone has worked incredibly hard and many have had to make personal sacrifices to help LOROS navigate safely to this point.
In recognition of this, and the need to have a little celebration and fun – we are organising the following event.
On December 16th from 2pm to 2.45pm you are warmly invited to join an organisation wide ZOOM session at which we will;
· Hear from our Chair of Trustees and President, Lady Gretton
· See over 45 staff receive their personal long service award – in a creatively different way
· Have some on line entertainment the likes of which you will not have seen before and
· One or two other surprises to help start the Christmas celebration.
It would be really great if you could join us for what we hope will prove to be something different and special. Please come prepared with a drink of your choice suitable for the occasion.
We will forward you the log in details for the ZOOM session in due course but wanted to give you an early ‘heads up’ about the event so that you can arrange to log on from wherever you are at that time on that day.
10th November 2020 - October Review update
By John Knight
As you are aware the intention was always to take a second look at the structure of the hospice in light of the COVID pandemic and the pressures that have been placed upon the organisation both with regards to service design, responding to a now different way of living, and also the financial losses suffered and predicted in the coming months. As I write this to you we are of course entering in to a new period of national lockdown and the need for us to remain vigilant continues to be vital in safeguarding the future of LOROS.
The review has resulted in a small number of posts being placed at risk. There will be less than five posts affected and I will report in more detail as and when all those people who are impacted have been spoken to. I anticipate that this will be completed by the end of next week. In all but two cases these conversations have taken place however I undertook to write to you this week and did not want to falter on that.
The Senior Team has also been reviewed during the month of October. This was undertaken through a lengthy meeting between myself and a group of 5 Trustees called the Honorary Officers. The meeting worked through the structure and responsibilities of the senior team examining the need for the various disciplines and mapping them against real scenarios and events that the charity has faced. At the end of that process their conclusion, alongside that of my own, was that the senior team is of an appropriate size and skill mix to manage and lead the organisation particularly in times when circumstances change so quickly and we must be responsive and fleet of foot.
I would also want to reassure you that the senior team has been treated in the same manner regarding pay awards as all other staff and in line with my previous communication around pay.
There are no current plans to undertake a further review of the organisation. I would caveat this statement by saying that we must remain cautious and that a prolonged period of national lockdown would inevitably have an impact upon our finances. Let’s hope that this is not the case and that we can regain the fantastic momentum we had achieved in reintroducing services. That is absolutely our desired direction of travel.
Finally, thank you all for your continued hard work and dedication to LOROS and the care that we provide to patients and their families. The year has been totally unusual since March, it has necessitated that we work collaboratively and very differently. LOROS remains financially stable and well positioned to manage the coming winter months – and much of this can be directly attributed to you and your skills, knowledge and commitment to the charity.
22nd October 2020 - Scenario Planning
By John Knight
You may well be aware that the internal COVID management team continues to meet regularly. One of the team’s main functions is to monitor the COVID response/situation within the Hospice in order that timely decisions are made and that all actions are fully carried out. In addition, the team looks externally and considers the impact of what is going on with COVID across the country, and particularly in our region.
We thought you’d be reassured to know that at last week’s meeting the ‘scenario’ of a second full lockdown was worked through and thoughts/actions shared as to how LOROS would manage if this occurred. Please be sure that this was scenario planning and not a prediction that full lockdown is imminent.
A great deal of learning has been taken from the first lockdown and from many events across the past six months. As with all other organisations, we were having to respond daily to unpredictable events. Should there be a second lockdown then we do feel confident that our approach incorporates this learning. It would be fully applied and the safety of patients, families, staff and volunteers would be paramount in any decisions.
As always, thank you for everything you continue to do, we do seem to be in this for the long run and must remain suitably vigilant.
Hands, face, space!
15th October - Capital Projects at the Hospice
A message from John:
I have been asked a few times during recent weeks about a couple of new projects which are happening around the hospice. The main question that I’m being asked is how the charity can justify doing certain building works when we have just gone through a difficult period of redundancies and cost saving measures?
The projects in question are the poly tunnel, currently being built outside on the lawned area beside the CNS / Seminar Room area, the refurbishment of the dining kitchen and social area which we hope to commence in the early new year and also the proposed ‘well-being’ centre in Markey Harborough.
As many of you will already know, LOROS receives funds from donors that are often given in respect of a specific project – we term these ‘restricted funds’ as they can only legally be spent on the project that the donor has identified. These vary in size and nature – sometimes being equipment for the ward, for the gardens, for buildings or even for towels and linen which are equally important.
Recently one specific donor asked if they could fund a water feature in memory of his wife however after some conversation we agreed that a poly tunnel would be much more useful to the organisation and that this matched with his wife’s love of gardening. To that end the poly tunnel comes entirely funded by that restricted donation and one or two more that have come since to ensure it is fully funded. The same approach is being taken with the dining, kitchen and social area where funds have been gifted over time and in a restricted manner. The building in Market Harborough is some way off but is a fully funded and restricted initiative pledged by a very generous trust.
With the above in mind I would like to reassure you that we very rarely draw upon general funds to undertake ‘capital’ projects. This would not be an appropriate use of money during a period of time when we need to remain cautious.
As always, please don’t hesitate to come and talk to me on this or any other matter. A conversation is always very welcome.
13th October 2020 - LOROS Strategic Plan Update
The Plan on a Page by Karen Ashcroft
As you are aware, we launched our latest three Strategic Plan (2020-23) in January this year. The plan was written in consultation with our major stakeholders and sets out our route map to achieve our organisational strategic priorities.
In March 2020, a world-wide pandemic (COVID-19) resulted in a national lockdown. The impact of this has had significant consequences for LOROS in its ability to deliver its care services and to raise essential income. To address this a ‘Tomorrow Teams’ initiative was established to review and shape the future organisation. This process was entirely focused on re-stabilising the Hospice’s short and long-term future.
A ‘Plan on a Page’ has been developed as a result of the Tomorrow Teams work and provides an outline of our short-term strategic priorities up to March 2021. It is an addendum to our 2020-23 Strategy which will be revisited in Spring 2021. The Senior Management Committee will be responsible to ensure that the outcomes are achieved and regular updates will be shared with staff.
You can read the Plan on a Page here.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Thank you for all your support.
7th October 2020 - Clinical Service Review Update
Tomorrow Team Progress by Jo Kavanagh
Admissions to the Ward remain lower than normal, which is likely to be due to the impact of COVID-19 and the associated visiting restrictions. This is being reviewed on an ongoing basis and potential options are being explored if patient numbers do not increase in 2021.
There are plans to bring a small number of patients in to the Hospice, from 12th October and from Monday to Friday. It is expected a maximum of six patients will attend daily. We will provide volunteer transport as required and they will be initially offered six sessions. Virtual sessions will continue to support other patients.
All new patients will be offered a face to face or a virtual consultation. Follow ups will be face to face if needed, otherwise virtual.
The majority of the physio and OT team will have returned to the Hospice (from secondments in LPT and UHL) at the end of September. One of the physio team will continue to work at LPT during October. Opportunities for ongoing partnership working with LPT are currently being explored. The social work service has been reviewed and has highlighted an increase in workload over the last 12 months.
There will be a change to the current bereavement process from November. Clients will not receive an automatic follow-up call but will be requested to contact the service if/when they require support. In addition, the future counselling service is being reviewed including the potential use of volunteers and student placements.
There are challenges as the number of patients on the caseload has increased this year. To address this in the short term, support is now in place from the medical and enablement teams and other ongoing support mechanisms are currently being explored. A case of need is being developed which will be raised with commissioners in October.
Our CNS team have been working alongside LPT colleagues to provide the Integrated Community Specialist Palliative Care Service (ICSPC) since February. It is acknowledged that the team have worked flexibly to support the delivery of the service to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, however this model is not sustainable. Specific workforce issues have been raised as a ‘risk’ with commissioners. Extensive work continues with LPT and CCGs to agree the final ICSPC service model (expected to be finalised in November).
The service will be renamed in the coming months to reflect the inclusion of community engagement and compassionate communities. Ongoing requirements to deliver the service will be reviewed over the coming months. Some face to face visits are starting, with the majority of support still being provided over the phone.
Work has recommenced to launch the Market Harborough Compassionate Communities initative in January 2021. In addition, progress is being made with the Bowden’s Charity to build the first LOROS Wellbeing Centre in Market Harborough. It is hoped that this will open in 2022.
As with Medical Outpatients, the service is beginning to see an increased number of patients face to face but will continue to use virtual consultations as appropriate, particularly for low risk and follow up appointments. The potential future service model is currently being reviewed, particularly in relation to the ongoing support of non-cancer patients and the links with primary care. Discussions have commenced with CCGs to explore the potential for additional funding to support this element of the service.
In light of current service restrictions due to COVID-19, the future service model is currently being reviewed. The opportunity to explore partnership working with other external service providers is also being considered.
The service model will be reviewed later in the year (on return of the HoD) to agree the requirements to enable the spiritual/pastoral support of patients, families and staff across the Hospice to be met.
The ongoing use and management of this resource will be reviewed in January 2021.
The Head of Community and Outreach Services will be reducing her hours to three days a week from November. The areas of responsibility will remain the same, supported by colleagues and will be reviewed in early 2021.
Following the recent interview process, an offer has been made to appoint a new Clinical Quality and Patient Safety Lead. The anticipated start date is 19th October.
The patient experience agenda is currently being overseen by the EDI lead. Longer term plans to cover this work are currently being explored.
18th September 2020 - Financial Update
With John Knight and Wayne Matts
The Financial Scrutiny Tomorrow Team, led by Wayne Matts, continue to forecast the finances of the organisation.
Our projected loss of voluntary income remains at £2.3 million this financial year.
Today's video talks you through our current financial position.
It is absolutely vital that we remain vigilant about the Hospice’s finances and particularly the forecast for income from April 2021 onwards.
If you have any questions on our financial situation, please speak to Wayne Matts.
28th August 2020 - Latest update from John Knight
The Hospice moving forward and celebrating 35 years
It has been a little while since I last updated you all. My apologies for this, I have been lucky enough to take two weeks annual leave and hence the delay.
Everyone has been united in bringing our organisation through a difficult time – the clinical teams have all been incredible, and each and every support function has risen to the challenge in a selfless way.
Whilst a lot is still unknown as we move forward, there is also much to celebrate.
September marks our 35th Anniversary of providing our exceptional care and support to Leicester, Leicester and Rutland. Please do help us celebrate this landmark, after all, you’ve helped to create and achieve it!
Please view my latest video for more updates:
A special ask...
On Sunday 6th September I am due to ‘skydive’ for LOROS. This seemed like a good idea when I volunteered at the LOROS Ball last November – I’m less sure of that right now! If you feel generous enough to sponsor me, I’d really appreciate it, and it would go a long way to justify my terror!
Any donations can be made to my JustGiving page.
Jumping on the same day will be Emma, Di Linley's daughter who is also jumping in aid of LOROS and in memory of her mum. I'm sure you will agree, it will be a very special day.
Thank you for your support and please wish us well!
20th July 2020 - Latest update from John Knight
Continued Lockdown and COVID-19 Recovery
It is an incredibly difficult time for all staff right now and we would like to say thank you for your continued hard work and support.
We have recorded this video to keep you up to date on where we are, provide an update on our services as they develop, and provide an insight into ongoing work to plot the direction of the organisation as we move forward.
Don't forget - you can join the next Zoom session on 31st July at 1pm or you can email me any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
26th June 2020 - An update from John Knight
VR and COVID-19 Recovery
We thought we would take this opportunity to update you on the process to date and also bring you news about LOROS as we enter the COVID-19 recovery phase.
We continue to follow all published guidelines and are confident that we are prepared for any second wave or spikes of the virus.
We hope you have found this interesting, and we will bring you updates of Tomorrow Team decisions soon.
Don't forget, you can join any of July's staff Zoom sessions (dates below) or you can email me any questions to email@example.com.
15th June 2020 – Tomorrow Team Cross-working and the LOROS Strategy
Tomorrow Team Progress
Last week, we talked to you about the work of both the Income Generation and Business Development Tomorrow Team and the Financial Scrutiny and Management Tomorrow Team.
Karen Ashcroft has a role on all four of the Teams and would like to give you an insight into this and also an update on the 2020-2023 LOROS Strategy.
We hope you find Karen's update useful and interesting.
10th June 2020 - The Income Generation and Financial Scrutiny Tomorrow Teams
Tomorrow Team Progress
Last week, Jo Kavanagh introduced you to the Clinical and Education Service Review Tomorrow Team. Today, and because they are so inextricably linked, we're bringing you updates from the two remaining Tomorrow Teams.
First, Caroline Baker is going to give you an insight into the work of the Income Generation and Business Development Tomorrow Team.
Next, we have Wayne Matts and John Knight giving you an insight into the Financial Scrutiny and Management Tomorrow Team.
We hope you find these useful and interesting.
On Monday, we'll hear from Karen Ashcroft about her role with all four of the Tomorrow Teams and she'll also provide an update on the LOROS Strategy.
3rd June 2020 - Clinical and Education Service Review Tomorrow Team
Tomorrow Team Progress
On Monday, I introduced you to the Organisational Structure Tomorrow Team. Today, Jo Kavanagh is going to give you an insight into the work of the Clinical and Education Service Review Tomorrow Team.
We hope you find this useful and interesting.
Next week, we'll be bringing you videos from the two remaining Tomorrow Teams, so that you can learn more about them.
1st June 2020 - Organisational Structure Tomorrow Team
Tomorrow Team Progress
The four Tomorrow Teams have now been meeting for a few weeks, tasked to look ahead and plan for an uncertain future.
Whilst the Tomorrow Teams are finalising their recommendations, and up until 15th June, there will be little news to report.
During this time, I thought you might like more of an insight into each of the four teams. This video introduces the Organisational Structure Tomorrow Team.
We hope you find this useful and interesting.
We’ll be bringing you videos from each of the Tomorrow Teams, so that you can learn more about them.
14th May 2020 - Tomorrow Teams
Creating a sustainable future
I hope this update finds you safe and well. Last week I spoke to you about the need for us to look ahead and plan for an uncertain future.
In today's video I would like to talk to you about the four 'Tomorrow Teams' that have been established to do just this.
Each Tomorrow Team has Board of Trustee representation and they will also undertake consultation across the organisation. It’s important to note that the groups will not work in isolation, indeed they are designed to work together and then make recommendations to the SMC and the Board of Trustees.
Wherever possible we will do that in consultation with others, however, at times we will need to act swiftly and decisions will need to be taken with limited information and perhaps without wide consultation.
The time frame that they have been given is to make their decisions is by the middle of June and then for these to be implemented by the end of July.
I have to be honest with you, we have a real challenge ahead. The biggest we have ever faced. Having researched the external environment and having sought opinion, we anticipate that the UK economy will drop by 30% and this is the financial impact we are anticipating in the medium to long term.
Simply put, there will not be as much funding available for LOROS and we will need to re-shape the charity accordingly.
The four Tomorrow Teams have been brought together to do just this. They will discuss, analyse and then make decisions about the future shape of LOROS. It has become necessary to gather these groups as we must act in advance, considering the very real downturn in the UK economy and the long term impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is going to have upon us all.
You will most probably start to hear people talking about the future and so I thought it would be useful for me to define three financial phases as we see them:
- Short term is between now and the end of July
- Medium term is August through to the end of March 2021
- Long term is April 2021 onwards.
The four Tomorrow Teams are:
A Financial Scrutiny and Management Tomorrow Team led by Wayne Matts.
This group is charged with understanding all the different funding that is being receiving in to the charity, when it is arriving, from whom, for what. Then managing how it can be spent and over what period of time. This has usually fallen solely to the finance team however currently there are a significant number of Government support schemes (furlough, retail rates relief, Hospice UK funds etc.) which will be phased out and because of this our finances are most definitely structured in an unusual way.
An Income Generation and Business Development Tomorrow Team led by Caroline Baker
This group undertakes the work to generate almost all of our income and to be able to predict what is going to be generated, how and during what period of time. Knowing what we anticipate receiving is vital – so we know how to manage it and invest it in service delivery.
Crucially, in a less predictable world, this team will help us know what is certain, what is probable and what is only hopeful.
A Clinical and Education Service Review Tomorrow Team led jointly by Jo Kavanagh and Liz McIntyre
This group will be reviewing all of our service delivery both clinical and education. The impact of COVID-19, social distancing, infection control and many other factors demand that we think differently about the future of LOROS. It is simply unrealistic to think that what LOROS looks like in the future will be the same as we currently know it – it cannot be and we must adapt and change accordingly. This team will lead in the review and re-design of services.
An Organisational Structure Tomorrow Team led by myself
This group will review and where necessary change the current structure of the charity helping us to adapt to new ways of working and to different financial constraints.
These teams will work to create a sustainable LOROS - one that's fit for the future and that is able to continue to care for the patients and families that need us.
This is the biggest challenge we have ever faced and I know that this news will create many questions.
In addition to being able to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, I will be hosting three Zoom sessions that will be available to all staff (including those on Furlough). I will release the dates and times of these next week.
Thank you once again for your unwavering hard work and continued support.
7th May 2020 - Thank you and welcome
Thank you and welcome
This is the first of my new weekly video updates that I am sending to all staff, including those on furlough. My hope is that these will keep you fully up to speed on everything that is happening at LOROS, in a timely fashion.
I would like to start by taking the opportunity the send you all a sincere thank you for your amazing response to COVID. I know that some of you will be scared, some will be anxious and you will be worried about friends, family and colleagues. Thank you for stepping up, for finding incredible strength and resilience and for continuing to do a great job. To all the nurses, the HCAs, the doctors, the domestics, the housekeepers, the catering teams and to all those staff working all across the organisation, or at home – it is a privilege to work with you all, an amazing group of professionals.
Looking to the future
As many of you will know, the COVID Management group has been meeting regularly since the pandemic took hold across the UK. Having initially met on a daily basis, we now meet once every week and the agenda is turning from immediate reaction and response, to now thinking about and planning for the future. The challenge is that there is so much unknown – what will the economy look like, how will the community behave in the long term, what lasting impact will there be around social distancing, how will lock down be phased out?
I could go on – but suffice to say that we are committed and organised in our planning, albeit towards an uncertain future.
That said, I truly believe that this is not a time to be ‘caught in the headlights’ and it is incumbent upon the senior team and the Board of Trustees to ensure that we are indeed leading on shaping the Hospice’s future. Wherever possible we will do that in consultation with others, however, at times we will need to act swiftly and decisions will need to be taken with limited information and perhaps without wide consultation.
At the COVID meeting on 5th May – we had some initial discussion around people’s individual views on that future – the impact upon income generation, upon future design of clinical services, the use of IT and new ways of working, financial planning, retail activities, volunteering and much more.
At their meeting on 28th April, the Board of Trustees debated an approach to planning which involves four teams working both independently and then collaboratively to shape the future. These teams are only just meeting for the first time (this week and next) and so it is my intention to tell you more about them in the very near future – once they have established themselves. There are Trustees involved in each group to help provide oversight and an external view.
We know that now more than ever, there is a thirst for knowledge - about our current situation and the future. To help, we are introducing these regular video updates from me, and other members of the senior team, along with the opportunity for you to ask your questions. We have already received some, so please do keep them coming. The questions that you ask will ultimately help us understand and address the things that matter to you, and they are bound to help and inform others too.
Email email@example.com and your question will get answered and shared with everyone. Don’t worry, just your questions will get shared, not the name of the person who asked them. We will start to publish these over the coming weeks.
May I once again say a very sincere thank you to each and every one of you for your unwavering support of LOROS. There are so many stories of flexible working, good things happening, excellent ongoing patient care and a tangible energy to take LOROS through this crisis and on to a healthy future.