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z Board affiliate blog – Sandra Silva – March 2021

Affiliate Board member, Sandra Silva, shares her thoughts about working in the Trust as a physiotherapist and her role on the Trust Board.

Sandra Silva

Sandra Silva

My name is Sandra Silva, I’m a Physiotherapist working as a Clinical Lead for the Rapid Response and Intermediate Care (RRIC) Service supporting patients at their home to prevent hospital admissions and facilitate hospital discharges. In January 2021 I was appointed as the Trusts’ first non-medical Board Affiliate. The recruitment process I went through was a new one, attempting to remove bias from the selection process. The application consisted of questions that really challenged me to think differently. It set the tone for the rest of the journey as it covered areas such as inclusion; quality improvement; project management and influencing without authority. At the interview I felt my values and behaviours were put to the test and my potential had more weight than my current knowledge.

As Board Affiliate I want to bring the clinician’s voice and perspective to the Board. I also hope to develop some new leadership skills and an understanding of how the Trust is run. Additionally, it will be my responsibility to lead the next cohort of doctors-in-training as part of the Trainee Leadership Board, with the aim of analysing one of our problems and recommending improvements and solutions to the Board.

I attended my first private Board Meeting in February and here are some of my reflections:

Despite having read all the Board papers (378 pages!) in advance and having watched the most recent public Board meetings online, I was overwhelmed by the high-level discussions that happened at the meeting. However, I left the meeting feeling that all the Board Directors really have the interests of patients and staff at heart. Also, at the Board Seminar I had the privilege of learning about the amazing work Clare Daniel is doing in our Trust, as well as nationally, to raise the profile of Clinical Psychology. It was uplifting to witness the Board openness to suggestions of innovative ways of working to support both patients and staff.

Finally, I’m very excited with all the work and learning ahead of me and I hope that in a year’s time I will have made a positive contribution to influence the way the Trust is run.