Published on: 1 March 2019

Hello readers, welcome to my latest blog.Kevin McGee.jpg

What glorious weather we experienced at the beginning of this week. The sun shone and it certainly felt as though spring was in the air.

The sunshine was not the only thing to put a spring in my step this week. The results from the latest NHS Staff Survey were released on Tuesday, and they are the best results we’ve ever had! Do you feel like you’ve heard that before? Well, you have, because each year we are getting better and better and producing better and better results. I will never tire of saying how incredibly proud I am of you all. And you should be equally proud of what you and your colleagues are doing for our patients in our hospitals and in the community. I sincerely appreciate how hard you work and the pride you all take in your roles.

Your pride comes through in your response to the survey, this being the fourth year in a row that our response rate has also increased. The fact that 45% of you took time out of your busy days to put your views forward shows how much working at ELHT means to you. That means a lot to me too, so thank you for sharing your experiences and feeling confident and comfortable enough to highlight the areas that concern you. It is through your honest remarks that we are able to continue to improve and work together to provide the highest possible healthcare to our patients.

This year the survey results have been split into 10 newly introduced ‘themes’ which provide an overview of staff experience. The excellent news is that you rate our Trust above the national average against nine of those key themes: health and wellbeing, supportive management, morale, quality of appraisals, quality of care, safe environment against bullying harassment and violence, safety culture and staff engagement. We are equal to the national average for equality, diversity and inclusion – something we are working very hard to improve.

I believe the scores are a great reflection on how engaged you all are with the Trust and what we are trying to achieve. Engagement is a two-way thing – it needs everyone to be part of it, to speak up and to listen – and all 7,000 of us should be proud that we are part of developing a culture here where we listen to each other, talk honestly about our challenges, and always try to work together for patients.

And talking of patients, 83 per cent of you believe that care of patients is our top priority; which is fantastic to hear! In simple terms, ELHT is one of the best performing Trusts in the NHS Staff Survey 2018. To receive this kind of feedback from our staff is wonderful and, following on from recent positive reports from the Care Quality Commission and Maternity Survey, provides further evidence that we are working for a progressive and forward-thinking Trust.

But, no matter how good our results are from the Staff Survey, CQC or any other level of scrutiny, we will not rest. We will continue to look closely at what more needs to be done, we will continue to work closely with our partner organisation to provide the level of safe, personal, effective care that we would all wish to receive or provide for our loved ones.

Our complete NHS Staff Survey results can be found here. If you have the time please take a look. You can also check the results of other neighbouring Trust to compare how we stand up against our peers.

Going back to the sunny weather, what better way to spend a summer Sunday, than by taking part in our exciting new event - the first Big NHS Walk. Launched today, the walk is organised by ELHT&Me, our official charity, to raise funds to improve our patients' experience and to invest in state-of-the-art technologies, to name but two worthy reasons.

On Sunday 23 June, registered participants of the Big NHS Walk have a choice of two, flat 12-mile routes – one starting at Burnley General Teaching Hospital and the other setting off from the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital.

The two routes are specially designed so that walkers are able to enjoy some of the most beautiful parts of East Lancashire, hopefully with some sun on their backs, and get to meet up with amazing colleagues and make friends along the way. It is a great opportunity for us to come together with our colleagues, friends, family and patients to celebrate the work we do for our community.

All funds raised by the “Big NHS Walk will make a huge difference for patients across East Lancashire. While we receive government funding for the healthcare we provide, there is always more that can be done to improve services and environments. It's through events such as this and the incredible generosity of patients, visitors, local companies, community groups and individuals that we are able to support the development of our hospitals’ facilities and services. You can book your place now, so what are you waiting for? Your walking boots are calling! 

That’s it for another week folks. Keep up the great work – the difference you make is amazing!