Hello PPMA colleagues and friends

You’ll remember that we were really looking forward to our Northern HR Summit at the end of October. Well its been a fortnight since over 100 HR and OD colleagues – some PPMA members, some non-members (at least yet!), sponsors and speakers got together to reflect on some of the key challenges facing our organisations.

Our Vice President, Karen Grave spoke at the session on 21st Century Public Servant and she was delighted by the absolutely fantastic welcome from our colleagues in the North and particularly our PPMA members at Leeds City Council. It was very clear that Lorraine Hallam, Chief Officer – People at Leeds City Council and her incredible team put a huge amount of work in bringing the Northern HR Briefing back to the region. The event was slightly different from our typical regional event and we were determined that we opened this out to colleagues in Blue Light, Health, Universities and even the Private Sector. We wanted to make this a really interactive event and that was very much in the spirit of our key themes around collaboration.

A number of PPMA Policy Board members attended. Our President Caroline Nugent was there, as was Steve Davies, our Honorary Treasurer, Joanne Hyde, our PPMA North West Chair, Justine Brooksbank our former Yorkshire and Humber Chair and Sam Anthony our East of England Chair.

Steve and his fellow board colleagues attended as delegates, which was a slightly different format for us. He and the board agreed that Perry Timms proved an excellent, vibrant and energetic host during both days of the forum. On Monday afternoon, Councillors James Lewis and Alison Lowe from Leeds City Council opened the event outlining the challenges that councils face and emphasising the need to be more commercial in our thinking and to collaborate and work together with partner organisations to continue delivering  services to our communities. Their contribution as elected representatives was really fantastic and demonstrated to our HR & OD colleagues that their role in transforming services is absolutely critical.

Tom Riordan, Leeds City chief executive also spoke to us. He spoke about the impressive work Leeds has been doing with partner organisations to reduce the number of homeless in the City. They have no homeless in hotels or B&B accommodation and the focus on outcomes which has delivered real change to people’s lives. They use the same strong collaborative partner based approach with the focus on outcomes to reduce the number of children in care to the lowest proportionate ratios in the country. The emphasis is on individual need as opposed to systems based on thresholds. In a similar vein they also consider the worst domestic violence cases each week with 10 key partner organisations, again with outcomes being the key driver. All this great improvement in outcomes for people in difficult situations would not be possible without the strong collaborative partnership approach – giving people the opportunity to hear about work going on elsewhere is so important in sharing best practice across public service.

Perry Timms and Nicole Ferguson from Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust opened day 2, by providing an energetic and informative session about the importance of collaborative working and how an appreciation of social and group dynamics can improve collaborative working and outputs/outcomes among partner organisations who need to work effectively together to provide services to our communities.

Lorraine Hallam, observed that the structure of the event, which was split over Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, allowed us great flexibility in breakout sessions. Our delegates got to hear from existing PPMA sponsors and as mentioned above, Perry Timms, Nicole Ferguson, plus colleagues from Collaborate Out Loud. We were able to combine existing PPMA strategic themes with really practical and focused work on Collaboration techniques using Crowds, Squads and Pairs.

We know that events like Northern HR Summit give us all the space to explore key issues and take a huge amount of learning back to our organisations.

Take a look at the highlights from the 2 days in our video:

In summing up the Northern HR Summit, our President Caroline Nugent said how absolutely thrilled she and the board members are with the success of this event. We are all so pleased that delegates got the opportunity to really learn and experience the concepts of Crowds, Squads and Pairs and think about marrying the best of those, with key PPMA themes around Health and Social Care Integration, Future Workforce and Digital to think through how we can best integrate the design and delivery of a broad range of services across our Northern Communities.

Finally Karen explained that coming to Leeds was a very deliberate part of our strategy to make the PPMA presence felt nationally. She also told us of the commitment to doing a run up event to our National Conference 2018, which is being held in Newcastle-Gateshead on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th April. Based on this event, we are increasingly excited about 2018 and we have agreed that we will support an annual Northern HR Briefing – we look forward to seeing you at both events!