Who can you trust?

Who can you trust?

Who can you trust?

I read the Paterson Inquiry report today. Which is an unusual thing for me to do. I don’t normally read inquiry reports. It’s not that I don’t care, or I’m not interested. It’s just that they so often leave me feeling hopeless and shocked.

Harm, death, missed opportunities, cover ups, negligence, pain and fear. These are usually common themes underneath the technical language and the chronological analysis. Sometimes it just feels like too much to take in.

But today for some reason I felt obliged to engage in a story about a man called Ian Paterson, a supposedly renowned and respected surgeon, now serving a prison sentence for 17 counts of wounding with intent (and many hundreds of other victims in addition). 

Maybe it’s because I’m 48 years old and everything to do with my woman’s body increasingly feels like an emerging medical issue: I’ve joined a Facebook group to prepare for the menopause, I have the regular joy of my smear test next week and my friend is starting at breast screening. These things are all our arguably admirable attempts to seek advice and support proactively and without delay; an opportunity Mr Paterson misused, and mis leveraged to the criminal hilt.

So, with all this on my mind, I grabbed a cup of tea in a motorway service station, braced myself and read the report from cover to cover.

Underneath the stories from the 211 patients and relatives who gave evidence was one over-arching and pervasive theme: who can you trust if you can’t trust the medical profession? And this is what I pondered as the service station staff cleaned around me and my tea went cold.

We place unquestioning trust in our medical and clinical colleagues of almost any designation. Even in this day and age of informed patients and Google diagnostics, we trust those who we think know better than us. We trust the people who we are referred to, the organisations that employ them, the agencies who regulate them, the bodies who accredit them, the colleagues who work with them, the managers who oversee them, we trust the reputations people create and the charisma that we see. We just trust it all. And why wouldn’t we?

So, when sadly our trust is betrayed, on many levels, in many ways and over many years what can we take from the trauma of betrayed trust?

Well we take the Right Reverend Graham James’ recommendations in the good grace that they are provided to us. We hope that this time systems, checks, culture and processes will improve meaning that we can’t be betrayed in this way again in the future. We take a more cynical, eyes wide open view into our next medical consultation. We do our research, talk to whoever we can and check our spider senses for things that don’t feel right. And after that we have to trust again. It’s all we can do. And we do it with compassion for the betrayed and contempt for the betrayers. We do it also knowing that the vast majority of the people we have to rely are thankfully not like Ian Paterson. We hope.

Lancashire and South Cumbria as a New Commissioning System: The Journey So Far

Lancashire and South Cumbria as a New Commissioning System: The Journey So Far

August 2018 marked a one-year milestone in Lancashire and South Cumbria’s journey towards a new commissioning system. This article describes that journey, focusing on the lessons learnt in the first year of what will ultimately be a long-term plan for change.

Key to Lancashire and South Cumbria’s experience is the importance of putting the right people alongside the best processes and using the most honest approach to get reform in a complex and multi-faceted system successfully off the ground. We talk about the importance of buy in and co-production as well as the need for clear project design and the incorporation of bespoke ways to make decisions based on data and evidence as well as passion and governance.


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Case Study: Set up and delivery of high-profile Children’s Transformation Programme

Case Study: Set up and delivery of high-profile Children’s Transformation Programme


In order to improve the health & wellbeing of children & young people throughout the region, a multi-agency transformation programme was initiated that cut across NHS Acute, Commissioning, Community and Mental Health services, Social Care and the Third sector. Although a high-profile programme with national scrutiny, it had not started as hoped with a clear lack of engagement within the programme board, little direction and ultimately a lack of confidence in the programme achieving the desired outcome.



Xylem Resourcing Partners was engaged to help identify specialist expertise that could take ownership of the programme at quite a critical stage, help re-define the priorities, get the programme board re-engaged and all parties agreed on the steps to take and then begin the process of implementing the plan.



What was critical to the success of this programme was identifying someone at pace whilst ensuring the individual had successfully led a similar improvement agenda across Children’s services so that they could draw on previous successes and lessons learned to deliver rapid change.



After an extensive search process Xylem partnered with Julie Haywood Consulting who over a period of 6 months delivered the following:

  • A re-freshed 3 year children’s  service transformation strategy including a new model for children’s community services; supported and signed off by system leaders.
  • A defined and implemented PMO approach with overseeing governance, reporting and accountability to deliver the objectives and deliverables of the programme effectively.
  • Strengthened relationships and programme profile across the system (internal and external, with partners, with system leads and  governing entities).


If you would like to discuss how Xylem or Julie Haywood Consulting can support you and your organisation then get in touch via 07505 476 576 or jamie@xylemresourcing.co.uk