‘Mental health services are woefully underfunded’
Michele Moran, chief executive of Manchester mental health and social care trust, says adapting resources to deliver services for vulnerable people is her biggest challenge
The NHS faces unrealistic expectations, says ; Michele Moran
Describe your role in one sentence: Choirmaster, cheerleader, challenger and champion. I’m chief executive of Manchester mental health and social care trust.
Why did you want to work in healthcare? Because I wanted to make a difference to people’s lives.
How do you want to see the sector change in the next five years? Greater integration between services and more flexibility among providers. Patient-centred care depends on everyone having a clear, common purpose focused entirely on the individual.
My proudest achievement at work was … the day I qualified as a registered general nurse.
The most difficult thing I’ve dealt with at work is … constantly flexing and adapting the resources we are given to ensure we continue to deliver the same level of service. We serve some of the most vulnerable members of our community, yet mental health services remain woefully underfunded.
The biggest challenge facing the NHS is … unrealistic expectations. With an ageing population, increasingly complex healthcare needs and more sophisticated medical interventions now available to us, we need to re-set our expectations of the NHS, which also means re-evaluating the demands we make on NHS staff. We need to be clear about what staff can safely deliver despite cuts in funding and dwindling staff resources.
The people I work with are … committed, compassionate and professional. They care about those who use our services and believe that the voice of the patient should shape the way that we develop and deliver our services.
I do what I do because … my passion for nursing, and for the NHS as a beloved institution, has never left me. I just want to make a difference and to help people be the best that they can be every day.
Sometimes people think that I … am never happier than when I’m out and about in our services – and they’d be right! I try to get out to see teams at least one day a week and that keeps me both grounded and re-energised.
Right now I want to … get out into the great outdoors and play a round of golf. It can be difficult to find time, especially during the winter when the nights are shorter, but I do what I can because it keeps me fit and helps me to relax.
At work I’m always learning that … everyone has their own perspective and contribution to offer. Some of the best ideas come from the most unexpected sources, so you have to keep an open mind (and ear!) and actually listen to those who know the services best.
The one thing always on my mind at work is … the need to put the patient at the centre of all that we do. And the need to make this more than an aspirational quote, but a real way of being for everyone across the organisation.
If I could go back 10 years and meet my former self, I’d tell them: “Don’t try to anticipate the future. Remain true to your values, stick to your professional principles and stay passionate about what you do. Other things will change, but that must remain at your core.”
If I could meet my future self, I’d expect them to be … part of a holistic pathway of care services, working hand in hand with other clinicians, medics and social care professionals to put the patient’s needs first and provider interest second.
What is the best part of your job? Seeing the difference staff make to real people and their daily lives, every day.
What is the worst part of your job? Any tragedy that occurs as a result of some vulnerable member of our community not having had access to the help and support he or she needed.
What makes you smile? A great outcome for patients – and a good joke!
What keeps you awake at night? Not a lot! The only thing that stops me sleeping is excitement. If I’ve got a really big presentation or visit – or golf tournament – coming up that I’m looking forward to, that can sometimes keep me awake.
Michele Moran, chief executive of Manchester Mental Health & Social Care Trust gave an interview which was featured in the Guardian Newspaper Healthcare Network ‘Five Minutes With’ section on Friday 9Th January, 2015. Here reproduced with a credit to the Guardian Newspaper in the Munreporter on Sunday 25Th January, 2015. Credit: Guardian Newspaper Healthcare Professionals Network
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