Published on: 4 October 2019

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Brrr… We can certainly feel that we’re into October, and for two days in a row this week I had to de-ice my car windscreen in the morning before driving in.

Director of Operations Sharon Gilligan tells me that September was the best month. Why? Not just because it was my birthday (I’m 57 in case you ask).  But, more importantly, our “end of month” A+E performance was the best monthly result since June 2018. An excellent achievement to be sure! Well done to all the teams in ED, on the wards, in the discharge lounge, and in the bed flow office for this making this outstanding success happen.

Now we’re in October, we’ve launched the “Speak up to Me” campaign promoting the work of our Staff Guardian Jane Butcher. Jane and I were out and about this week, raising awareness of the Guardian’s role at the Team Brief sessions at Blackburn and Burnley. In their first 2 years, Jane and her deputy Nicola have dealt with over 400 enquiries, an excellent step towards creating a more supportive staff culture.

And on a rather blustery Tuesday, Jane and I raised the “Speak up to me” flag on our flagpole (it’s on the Haslingden Road side of the Royal Blackburn teaching hospital)! It was the first time I’d ever hoisted a flag to be honest, and it was harder work that it looked! I had a great time interviewing Jane on camera too, for a video version of Team Brief to be released in a few days (keep your eyes peeled). Well done Jane and Nicola, keep up the great work that you are doing. If you have any issues or concerns regarding your work, don’t be afraid to speak out! Contact Jane by email:

As previously mentioned, we are placing a special focus on deliberate acts of violence and aggression against our staff through a new campaign called Your Safety Matters. The next stage of the campaign is to gather your views and understand your experiences in relation to violence and aggression at work. We are holding two drop in sessions on Thursday 10 October (11:30 to 2:30pm) and Thursday 24 October (9am to 1pm) in the Board Room, Trust Headquarters. Your feedback will help us to understand how we can support you better and avoid these types of incidents. Dates for feedback sessions on other sites will be announced soon.


Today also saw the official opening of our New Older People’s Unit, or “OPU”, located on what were Wards C1 and C3 at Royal Blackburn. After an intensive summer makeover, and a complete conversion of the first two bays of an Assessment area, the whole two-ward complex now works as an Older People’s Unit, with one side for short stay patients the other for longer stay.

The teams are working really well together, getting patients home as soon as possible and are setting a new standard for how to get multidisciplinary team working at its very best.

October also marks the start of our staff Flu campaign – yes I’ve had my flu jab, efficiently done for me at the start of the week on my way into the Grane Restaurant. Don’t forget yours J

Final thought…Having to work on a Monday means Sundays can be a little sad… but is the day before that a sadder day?

Thank you all as ever for your hard work. Have a good weekend.