Published on: 10 July 2020

 

Hello and welcome to this week’s blog.

Over the last few months there has been a lot of talk about the massive impact that COVID-19 has had on the world, the Trust and individuals. This has not changed, the work continues and there are now a number of large projects ongoing to ensure we are able to sustain the best quality services moving forward.

These include projects such as the Phase 6 build at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital, or as it has been named, the new Acute Medical Unit (AMU). I want to thank our amazing Estates and Facilities Team and our contractors for ensuring that this work, despite the pandemic, has remained on track and will be ready to open this winter. This will be a perfect time, although we didn’t know it when the project commenced, to enhance our Acute Medical services in line with the new world we find ourselves in.

Sunday just gone saw us recognise 72 years of our fantastic NHS. We took this opportunity to thank EVERYONE, staff, all key and support workers without who we would not have been able to do what we have done. The thanks also extended to our patients and the public for their ongoing love and support; and also for doing their bit by adhering to social distancing and shielding where necessary. I know that has not been easy for many. And even though restrictions are starting to be relaxed it is still incredibly important to be aware of your social distance, keep washing your hands thoroughly and regularly, and wipe down work surfaces and desks regularly. 

Did you all see the ‘COVID’ timeline that we issued in last weeks ‘Other News…’ staff newsletter? All I can say is that it was an extremely humbling read. The ELHT Family have worked so hard together and implemented so many new ways of working so quickly. It makes me so extremely proud of each and every one of you. If you missed it, staff can find it on our SharePoint site.

Myself and Martin have spoken at length about the vast extent of work that has been ongoing and I think it has rendered both of us speechless at times. However, it has come to light that whilst we tend to focus on the big things that have been happening, we should not overlook everyday things going on without us really thinking about the sizable impact they also have.

What am I talking about? Small acts of kindness. For example, I spotted a post on social media from someone who had been trying to get a drink from the Costa Coffee shop on our Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital site. They only had cash at hand which is not accepted at the moment. She was so grateful when someone who she believed to be a member of staff stepped in and bought the drink for her. She was so grateful that she was moved to post a thank you on social media.

Also, a member of our Communications Team was walking outside on site yesterday wearing their Trust lanyard when a patient stopped her and simply said ‘Thank You for everything you are doing’. It really moved that member of staff and the impact of those small acts really should never be underestimated. A little kind word or gesture really does go a long way.

Unfortunately, there are other small things that can have a big impact in a negative way. Recently we have received concerns from members of the public relating to staff behaviour on social media. This could be about a conversation between friends, a debate with another member of a group or a video that you post. Everything you post on social media impacts on your ‘personal brand’ – regardless of whether you are identifiable as working at ELHT. So, before you post, ask yourself how do you want to be known and seen? Social media is a very powerful tool; please use if wisely and carefully. 

Finally, I just want to finish this week with some amazing news. The annual National Guardian Freedom to Speak up Index has been released and shows ELHT as the best performing Trust within Lancashire and South Cumbria! And the overall highest performing Acute Trust in the Northwest recording an increased score of 81.9%

This demonstrates that the culture of speaking up safely is truly embedded within our organisation. I would like to thank each and every one of you as it takes a real joint effort to change a culture!

Special thanks go to our wonderful Staff Guardian, Jane Butcher and Deputy Staff Guardian, Nicola Canty. They are doing a great job of supporting our workforce. Please continue to speak up by contacting staffguardianoffice@ehlt.nhs.uk

Take care, stay safe and thank you once more!

Kevin