Published on: 24 January 2020


“Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s blog.

I’m sure you will all have picked up that this Monday (“Blue Monday”) was billed as the most depressing day of the year. It is easy to be swayed by the sentiment with Christmas seemingly a long way in the past and holidays a long way in the future. But at ELHT there is a great deal to feel positive about. Just over the past week we’ve accomplished so much together. Consider the thousands of patients who have walked through our doors to be helped and cared for. The many mums to be and new parents we have supported through a special time, as well as the accolades I’d like to highlight here. These are examples of excellence, which I’m sure will help motivate us all through the end of these dark days of winter.

Firstly, a huge congratulations to our Paediatric Department who has been voted – for the second year running – as the best training unit in the North West. The Paediatric Awards For Training Achievements (PAFTAs) recognise the very best in paediatric training in the UK. Each year nominations are invited from deaneries and Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) for junior trainees, senior trainees and educational settings. What makes these awards exceptionally special is this was voted upon by the trainees themselves. It is clear that the enthusiasm of our paediatric doctors, during regular day to day contact and through challenging times, has not diminished but is continuing to influence the doctors of the future. This is excellent news for our Paediatric Department, our patients and our Trust as a whole. Well done to everyone, you should be proud of yourselves for the environment you nurture, which is both supportive and constructive!

As well as being our professional duty, protecting vulnerable patients is everyone’s business and this week we welcomed NHS England and NHS Improvement Head of Safeguarding Kenny Gibson for a working visit to learn about our excellent safeguarding practises. Kenny and his colleagues Cath Randall and Glenn Harrison visited A&E, the Acute Medical Unit, Ward C10 and the Children’s Unit as our Safeguarding staff used the patient journey through the hospital as a clever way of showcasing their work. It’s important to be aware that abuse and neglect can happen anywhere, and that makes it everyone’s responsibility to understand what we must do to protect our patients from this type of harm. However, is it very encouraging to note that the safeguarding work we carry out at ELHT is recognised – and appreciated - at the highest level.

Recruiting and retaining a high calibre NHS workforce is challenging but I’m happy that our workforce and education staff are working hard to attract the best NHS talent to ELHT – and the accolades in this blog will also help with that too. An excellent example came during a celebration event to recognise the achievement of 29 international nurses who came to East Lancashire as part of Health Education England’s Global Learners programme. With the support of our Clinical Skills team and the Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS, over the last 12 months the nurses have gained their NMC registration to practice in the UK with a first time OSCE pass rate of 100%. This is a superb achievement as I’m told that, to ensure high standards, the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) examination is quite rightly tough. Feedback from the international nurses is very positive indicating they have been very well supported in terms of the pastoral and educational elements, as well as by staff on the wards. Our hope is that many of these excellent nurses will opt to remain in their posts in the longer term. 

As you can see, there is so much to feel positive about. So, let’s dust off the January blues next week, focus on February and how we can continue to provide safe, personal and effective care for our patients.