Published on: 6 December 2019

Kevin McGee Flu Fighter 2018.jpg

Hello everyone. Thank you all for coping so well, so professionally and with such dedication during another busy week.


Here at ELHT, we work hard on supporting employee wellbeing and creating a positive culture driven by happier, healthier and safer staff. Looking after our employees is at the heart of delivering great patient care, and I am pleased to share details of a new initiative which is gaining a lot of interest from staff - our Mental Health and Wellbeing Staff Network. Mental health is something we all possess. When it is good, we have a sense of purpose and direction and feel that we can cope with whatever life (and work) throws at us. But just as our physical health fluctuates, so too does our mental health; we have ups and we have downs. I’m really passionate about reducing the stigma associated with mental ill health and promoting positive wellbeing for all of our staff at ELHT, so I’m glad we’ve set up this network. We hope this will be the start of a movement for the benefit of all of our staff. We are looking for new members to join the Mental Health and Wellbeing Staff Network – next meeting is on Friday 20 December, 9am until 10am in the Trust HQ Board Room at RBTH or get in touch by emailing


Support for mental health is a subject that goes far beyond the walls of our hospitals and health centres, into the local community. Another great example of our hospital without borders’ policy is the trust’s partnership with The Prince’s Trust which has gone from strength to strength in recent months. On Friday we were delighted to welcome Prince’s Trust Regional Director Clare Crabb to join the celebrations as our 5th cohort of young people completed their work placements, bringing the total to 49 in the past 18 months. For the young people involved, this is a partnership which delivers real results, with 37 people offered employment on the staff bank following their work placements and 12 now in substantive employment at ELHT. The benefits of this programme to the young people who take part are obvious when they come to collect their certificates and speak of their pride, increased self-esteem, confidence, gratitude for an opportunity and new friendships.  I know everybody was incredibly moved to hear the personal stories and success of this cohort’s students. We very much look forward to seeing them developing even further and perhaps working with us full time.


Well done to the ELHT Finance Team who returned from last night’s National Healthcare Finance Awards (HFMA) in London where they were ‘Highly Commended Finalist’ for the Havelock Training Award. Considered to be ‘The Oscars of healthcare finance’, ELHT’s commendation recognises best practice in the training and development of finance staff and how the team financial awareness and skills within the wider non-financial workforce. And an update from last week’s blog where I mentioned that our Communications and Quality and Safety teams were shortlisted for a CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) Pride award. The excellent news is ELHT won the Gold award for Best Publication for our highly successful Share2Care publication. Both of these accolades – and our Prince’s Trust success - speak volumes about the trust but also, importantly, signal to NHS staff, students and job seekers that this really is an amazing place to work. 


This is my first blog of December and it’s very noticeable that Christmas is fast approaching. At the forefront of our efforts to celebrate Christmas at ELHT and keep patients and public up-to-date with important health messages, we’ve recruited Elbert the Elf to star in our seasonal social media campaigns throughout the whole of December. Watch out for Elbert on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. Everywhere I go I see NHS staff embracing the festive season, so why not share your passion by posting photo/video of how your ward, office or department is celebrating Christmas, include the hashtag #ElfsHealth and we’ll share your Christmas cheer for everyone to enjoy.


Until next time, thank you, and best wishes to you all.