Sue Symington smiling and the text 'As I see it - the latest blog from Sue Symington'

As I see it – the latest blog from Sue Symington

Visiting healthcare providers and partner organisations is an important aspect of the chair’s role in a number of ways – to see and experience services first-hand, to meet staff and service users, and to gain an insight into the great diversity of services provided across our very extensive geography. 

Recently, I had the privilege of meeting the team at Care Plus, which provides community health and care services for adults of all ages and exists to support people in achieving their best quality of life. Care Plus is an employee-owned organisation rather than owners or shareholders owning the business. As a Community Benefit Society, their staff own the organisation and run it for the benefit of communities in North East Lincolnshire – resulting in a dynamic, flexible, and innovative organisation committed to social goals. 

As part of my visit, I was delighted to go to Open Door, a unique facility in the heart of Grimsby that provides GP, healthcare, and social support services, as well as information, advice, and guidance. Whist Open Door provides the services one might expect of a general practice; it has a very specific mission to ensure that people have the opportunity to improve their lives through a combination of integrated and flexible services, all based around health and wellness. Open Door is located in a bright, modern and comfortable setting – quite different to many formal health settings.

The highlight of such a visit is always meeting the staff whose hard work and commitment lead to the delivery of the very best services – this visit was no exception! I was so pleased and fascinated to speak with Kirsty Newson, Operational Manager – Primary Care and Georgina McKay, Operations Manager – Nursing. Kirsty and Georgina impressed me very deeply with their knowledge and compassion for their service users, as well as their energy, positive approach to developing services, and natural leadership approach to working with others. Their obvious dedication and professionalism inspired me. 

Care Plus is an innovative organisation. It was very clear to me that that spirit of innovation not only led to positive experiences for service users but also to positive working lives. Impressive.