Meet Nikki Donald, our new ELHSCP Senior Organisational and Workforce Development Officer

Find out more about Nikki Donald , our new Senior Organisational and Workforce Development Officer, in the interview below.

I began working life in the Procurator Fiscal’s office in Edinburgh as a team supervisor in charge of witness citations.  It was an eye opening role which cemented me into the public sector knowing that my work supported the people on the front line who were providing assistance to those who had been exposed to some really unpleasant circumstances but also to some of the more vulnerable people in our communities.

I joined Lothian and Borders Police in 2001 as a Fleet Administrator where I managed logistics for the G8 operation in 2005 and for Vin Diesel and his team when the MTV Awards came to Edinburgh in 2003.  Working with physical resources rather than people didn’t really suit me, so I took on the role of Police Recruitment Manager right before Alex Salmond promised an extra 1,000 police officers on Scotland’s streets. I was responsible for bringing new recruits into the Force through a ten part recruitment process, and seeing them through an intensive induction course (which involved me role playing as a criminal, and also having to escort the probationers to the city morgue to observe post mortems in a controlled environment – a very varied role!). 

After a reorganisation of the function, I moved into the role of Career Development Advisor which involved the development, specialist training and promotion of police officers.  After a number of restructures and changes to my title, mainly due to the advent of Police Scotland, a new Chief Superintendent came in to head up the team in 2017 and decided to reorganise and move the team once again, which broadened my remit to include all things development for officers and staff.  I was now a Leadership and Talent Consultant (but they wouldn’t give me the big red button for my desk), in a centralised team based at the Scottish Police College in Kincardine.

I live in Dalkeith, so the trip along the city bypass, M8 and M9 every day during rush hour was not an easy option.  When the pandemic hit, all ‘non-essential’ staff were no longer allowed in the college, so I was asked if I could go to our call centre in Bilston to answer 101 calls to cover the staff who were shielding.  This was the start of my realisation that I didn’t have to travel an 85 mile round trip every day to support the front line, but also that the front line included far more than police officers when I was taking calls from staff and patients in hospitals and care homes, social workers and also vulnerable people who had been isolated from the world.  Twelve months later I was successful in my application for this post.

I have created myself an ever expanding to-do list and really looking forward to putting it all in place.  I like hearing about what the people who I support need and want, which is why I have sent out a survey to all of the staff (although would have preferred a lot more face-to-face meetings than the Teams meetings I’ve been having).  This way I can make sure that everyone is getting something relevant that they are enjoying the development they are getting rather than getting something just because it’s always been that way.

I used to enjoy gardening which really helped me with my mindfulness, but then we got a wee pug, Joti, who just ate all the plants!  I have now dug up all of the plants and found them new homes.  I find swimming also helps with mindfulness, and keeping me active but much preferred it when I could turn up at the pool any time I wanted rather than having to plan and book it days in advance.  On sunny days that I’m not at work I like to combine two of my other hobbies by walking (the healthy/active part) with my husband to the Sun Inn and sampling some of their many different gins on their river terrace.

Gillian Neil is appointed General Manager, Adult Community

Gillian says:

‘Although we are working in really challenging times, I have had excellent support from staff across our Learning Disability and Mental Health service areas in a particular and I am really happy to be confirmed in the General Manager post.

We have a great opportunity to develop our services in which we will continue to improve outcomes for the people who use our services. I feel lucky to be leading such a great staff team, who are constantly rising to the current challenge and are always looking at creative ways to develop our services.

Interim management arrangements for East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership

General Managers

The title Group Service Manager has been replaced by General Manager. This is in line with other HSCPs and describes more accurately the role of the senior managers responsible for our services.

Myself and Iain Gorman Head of Operations (Deputy to Chief Officer) and the General Managers have discussed and agreed the following for an initial period of six months.

Chief Officer Alison Macdonald will continue to line manage:

  • General Manager Acute and Ongoing Care – Lorraine Cowan
  • General Manager Rehabilitation – Lesley Berry
  • Interim General Manager Strategic Integration – Paul Currie
  • Interim General Manager – Planning and Performance/COVID Budget Holder – Laura Kerr

Head of Operations Iain Gorman will line manage:

  • General Manager Adult Social Work – Rona Laskowski
  • General Manager Statutory Services – Trish Carlyle
  • General Manager Adult Community Services/Mental Health and Learning Disabilities – Gillian Neil
  • General Manager Planning and Performance – Laura Kerr
  • General Manager Strategic Integration – Paul Currie

Professional Leads

The professional leads – Chief Nurse, Chief Social Work Officer, Clinical Director and lead AHP – will continue to report directly to the Chief Officer in line with the agreements in the Scheme of Integration

Reporting arrangements to General Managers

There will be no changes to current reporting arrangements for HSCP teams who report to the relevant General Manager.

Social Work Pathway

There is an out standing commitment to reviewing the social work path way and we are committed to progressing this work, reporting to Core Management Team (CMT) and the Strategic Planning Group for information.

The review of the social work pathway will need to be completed by early June

Revising the management structure
A revised management structure is being considered to accommodate these new ways of working; this is yet be finalised. This has led us to make a choice to have interim arrangements in place to ensure that when we, with you, have worked through any new arrangements the management structure can adapt to accommodate.

A number of options need to be considered in relation to the work around Adult Protection, Community Justice, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities.

Trish will continue in the post General Manager – Statutory Services:

  • Justice social work services
  • Community Justice
  • Carers though this will transition into the social work area at a later date anticipated following the procurement arrangements for carer services
  • SDS to be mapped into the customer journey with Rod continuing to have an operational lead
  • SW lead developing SW Governance arrangements

Rona will assume the post General Manager – Adult Social Work:

  • Assessment and Review
  • Social Work Journey
  • Care Home Team
  • Duty Team
  • SDS

In the interim there will need to be shared management put in place for some elements but we will keep you updated as things change.

Welcome event 26 November 2019

We held our first ELHSCP welcome event for new starts with the Partnership (and some not so new!)

As part of the session, we asked people five key questions – see what they said.

What would you like to hear people saying about East Lothian HSCP?

• They take notice of complaints
• They are delivering relevant services
• Value for money
• Consistency of care/carers
• Provide effective and efficient services
• Modern, up-to-date, fit for purpose
• They care for you
• That we are addressing pubic concerns like those described by Marilyn
• Improving community services
• Learning from best practice elsewhere – networking and making sure we have the resources and time to do so
• Individualised and focused
• It’s a great place to work
• That we are dynamic and proactive
• Right place, right time, right solutions, right approach
• Forward thinking
• That we listen and learn
• Respecting of others
• Know about the partnership and what it’s responsible for

What’s been the best thing so far about working in East Lothian?

  • Location
  • Community
  • Variety
  • Organised
  • Effective leadership and valued
  • Opportunity to develop
  • Transport
  • The people
  • Being appreciated
  • Proactive environment
  • Geographically mixed, e.g., towns and country
  • No traffic
  • Meeting new people
  • Views taken into account
  • Consulted!
  • Having good relationships with other staff

How do you want to treat each other?

  • With respect
  • Recognising skills
  • Utilising/recognising skill mix and using them
  • Supporting people
  • Kindness and interest
  • Approachability
  • Understanding colleagues caring needs
  • ‘no blame’ culture – accept that people make mistakes
  • Looking at what skills people have outside the workplace
  • Recognising time constraints
  • Fairness and consistency
  • Good communication
  • Valued
  • As a team.

What questions would you put to senior managers present today?

  • What opportunities are there for development and progression?
  • What procedure/framework is there for reporting issues?
  • Do you like your job?
  • Are there opportunities to shadow you in your role?
  • Is there a support framework for staff who would like to develop skills to move out of their professional ‘box’ into something different?
  • Is there any support for staff dealing with difficult issues?
  • How do you cope/deal with all the stress/complaints you deal with on a daily basis?
  • If staff have an important idea for development, where should they discuss this?

What matters to you when you are at work?

  • Team working
  • Person-centred care
  • Break time
  • Collaborative leadership
  • Recognition
  • IT working OK
  • Being valued
  • Good staff relationships
  • Hot-desking limits a feeling of belonging
  • Good support system
  • Nice working environment.

This is all valuable feedback and will be taken account of. More ideas – keep them coming to

Leaving us soon…

Times they are a changing… In the next few months, we will be saying goodbye to several well-known (and well-loved) faces. Bryan Davies, our General Manager for Planning and Performance is joining NHS Screening Services as Associate Director and Carolyn Wyllie, acting General Manager for Older People and Access, is moving to take up a Head of Service Role with Adult Services at Stirling and Clackmannanshire Councils.

And Melissa Goodbourn from the Integration Team is beginning a two-year secondment in the Transformation Team (Adults with Complex Needs).

Congratulations to all of them – I know they are all leaving big shoes to fill. Watch this space for more information on who will be joining us in these roles.

Iain Gorman joins us as new Head of Operations

Iain Gorman is the new Head of Operations for East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership. Iain began his career in NHS Dumfries and Galloway Primary and Community Care Partnership after completing a degree in Mathematics at St Andrews University and being successfully recruited onto the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. After completing his Masters in Leadership and Healthcare Management he accepted a position with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde as Clinical Service Manager for Endoscopy and Outpatient services. Iain in particularly proud of his involvement in the opening of the first patient facing services within the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital while in this role.

In 2016 Iain and his wife took the decision to move closer to family and Iain took on the post of Clinical Service Manager for General and Vascular Surgery in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Iain is proud father and family man. Outside of family life his 2 big passions are playing squash and Malt Whisky. Though he does admit that the two interests should not be enjoyed at the same time.

Over the last few years Iain has become interested in the challenges faced by community services and the need for Health and Social Care Integration. It was this growing interest which lead him to take on his new role.