Published on: 10 November 2017

Kevin McGee.jpgHello everyone, welcome to my blog for this week. Firstly, I'd like to thank Jamie Ridealgh for filling this slot last week. I hope you enjoyed hearing from someone else for a change!

As ever, there is lots to tell you. Of course, there is much more than I can fit in this blog, so please take advantage of all the tools we use - our new look Staff Bulletin, revamped Team Brief and Staff Notices are just a few examples. You should also download the Staff App - its great!

I want to begin by thanking all of you for the various things you do to make ELHT the great place it is. We are on the threshold of what will undoubtedly be an incredibly tough winter. We have all got to push on, face these pressures and do the best we can for our patients. It is more important than ever that we work together, with our colleagues in primary care, mental health, social services and the third sector, in a joined up and consistent way. I am really encouraged by the willingness there is, to operate as an integrated system for the benefit of our whole community. I am sure it is the only way we will optimise our effectiveness and as the Trust is the biggest provider in our local footprint, I am happy to be at the forefront of championing this important way forward.

We've just lunched this year's STAR Awards - just one of the ways (but the most enjoyable) of recognising our fantastic individuals and teams who, despite working under enormous pressure, are consistently going further to deliver exceptional care to our patients. Last year’s Awards received over 500 nominations and I hope there will be even more this year. Please do nominate your colleagues and I'd encourage patients, families and carers who are impressed by exceptional care and treatment to vote in the Patient Choice Award. 

You'll be aware that there are many special days and weeks dedicated to specific 'issues' to give an opportunity of highlighting and discussing them. There are two I'd like to mention here.  Monday 13 November marks the start of this year’s Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) awareness week. During this week Specialist Nurses from the Engage CSE Team will be co-ordinating visits to various acute and community health settings, schools and youth groups to raise awareness and deliver resources around the risks of CSE in the local communities. This is a really important topic and many of us will come into contact with people who are affected by it. 

The Engage Team covers Blackburn and East Lancashire and can be contacted on: 01254 353651.  You can find more information here. 

On 8 November, it was The International Day of Radiology. This is an annual event with the aim of building greater awareness of the value that radiology contributes to safe patient care, and improving understanding of the vital role radiologists play. We have an impressive Radiology Department, and they do a tremendous job, making a massive contribution to our vision of safe, personal and effective care. To give you an indication of the scale of their input, last year they did 382,087 procedures ranging from simple x-rays to complex diagnostics. That's over 1000 a day! So thank you to everyone involved for your dedication and efficiency. 

I'd like to say a word on equality, particularly race equality. We at ELHT are committed to being a model employer for ALL our staff, whatever their race or background. However, the evidence is clear that that is not the perception or experience for many. We are taking this on and we are making progress but this is an ongoing commitment. We will be regularly reporting progress and initiatives but this is an issue for each and every one of us to play a part in so I hope you will all embrace our efforts.

Finally, it is Remembrance Day on Sunday and we will be observing the two minute silence in respect of and tribute to fallen heroes. I'd like to take this opportunity to especially acknowledge the countless contributions of members of the emergency services - including our own members of staff - who give their time, skill, compassion and expertise to help and support victims of conflict.

Until next time......

Best wishes, Kevin