When I started as Chief Executive at The Katie Piper Foundation in October 2018 I was bowled over by the passion, enthusiasm, focus and commitment to ensure the best possible support and impact for survivors of burns. The staff team was small but nimble and was in the early stages of establishing a brand-new clinical service, a residential Rehabilitation Centre – the first of its kind in the UK.
There was a real feeling of change and after I started, in quick succession, our first ever Clinical Director joined our team as well as a new Chair to the Board of Trustees. At a point where the charity was starting on a journey of new beginnings, moving the focus of our services and achieving one of our long-term goals, it seemed like a good time to ask…what happens next?
The focus to that point had been around sound structure and process and positioning the charity for the official start of rehabilitation services. This needed to continue and there was still lots to do but alongside this the charity needed a strong strategy to give a sustainable but ambitious focus for the future. Over the summer of 2019, the trustees, staff team and past charity beneficiaries worked together to ask many relevant questions about our organisation and services – what has and hasn’t worked well in the past? what would we like to have done more of? what do we think about the charity currently? and what do we believe should be the focus for the future?
The clear areas of focus of our discussions became – partnership working with the NHS, development of funding, the future of rehabilitation and governance & organisational development. We established working groups to look at each of these areas, challenging thoughts and developing ideas to come up with a shortlist of future priorities. After much discussion and debate we managed to crystalize these down to 3 main themes:
- Delivery of sustainable and bespoke services
2. Further understanding the need and impact for survivors of burns
3. Ensuring sustainable finances
These themes formed the basis of a new 3 year strategy, running from 2020 – 2022, a robust piece of work that I, the staff and trustees, intended would be regularly assessed and used to sense check our future actions and progress, ensuring we remain on track and relevant. As 2020 was the 10th year since our founding, it felt great to be putting a stake in the ground for the start of the next 10 years, laying out our intentions and ensuring that we continue to support survivors to the best of our ability. Practically the strategy will mean that we can develop our rehabilitation services to help more people in a way that is flexible and provides truly individualised care, it will also provide a framework to ensure that we listen to what is important to survivors so we can advocate for them and develop services accordingly.
We were at the launch phase of this strategy last year when, like everyone, we were thrown a significant curveball when Covid-19 hit. We had to quickly close our Rehabilitation Centre and develop our Rehabilitation at Home service, ensuring we were able to continue supporting survivors with their rehabilitation through such a difficult time. Although these developments had an impact on our ability to deliver some of the initial priorities in the strategy, our intention was always to create a strategy that would grow and evolve and this was tested earlier than expected in 2020. Now, as we begin 2021 we are working together, reassessing and adjusting to the ever changing situation and bringing the same passion, enthusiasm, focus and commitment to the new challenges we are faced with as we look forward to our next 10 years.