Published on: 7 February 2020

Hello everyone, it’s me, Kevin, with this week’s blog. 

After what seemed like about 150 days, January is finally over and we are now into February at last, one of the bitterest months of winter. But the end is in sight – of the season at least - though the pressures will probably remain!

However, I do want to thank you all for your exceptional hard work.  I am delighted that we were able to report achievement of our A&E 4 hour trajectory target of 83.42 per cent for the month of January.  And whilst this may not be the elusive 95 per cent, it is a huge improvement and demonstrates a sustained performance.  You’ll know we have long been campaigning that ‘every minute matters and everyone plays a part’. This is well understood in our Trust now but the ‘everyone’ really does extend beyond these four walls.  Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, says in a recent blog:

…”Consideration of winter pressures is often focused on the performance of emergency departments, but the problems faced by individual services are symptomatic of a much wider capacity problem across the whole health and social care system. Solutions cannot be found within the emergency department alone, or within the hospital alone. A system-wide approach is essential…”

A perfect example of this is our successful integrated approach working with colleagues throughout health and care services, and across sectors, in East Lancashire.  In fact there was a fantastic article in a publication called “Emergency Nurse” in December.  Its title was ‘Meet one of the fastest improving emergency departments in the UK’ and it describes how we have been able to make improvements, together, for our patients. Please do read and enjoy!

Whatever it is we need to do, we do it better when we do it as a team.  One of our next areas of “superfocus” is on reducing waste.  You might remember a few weeks ago I talked about TIM WOODS who would be helping us with this.  Have you met him yet?  No? then let me introduce him….. TIM WOODS is an acronym to help us tackle the 8 forms of waste that should be eliminated or drastically reduced. Our waste reduction programme is vital to our improvement journey and if it is widely embraced, and if everyone does their bit, this will benefit all our patients, and our staff.  The project is led by Michelle Brown and Kate Atkinson and you can watch the Team Brief spotlight film here for more details…..

Finally, as we expect storm Ciara over the weekend, please stay safe. If you are working over the weekend, as ever, thank you.

Until next time,

Kevin