Published on: 23 July 2021

Kevin McGee Sept 2020 2 - Copy.jpg

One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is being able to talk about the many team successes here at ELHT. This week I am delighted to shine the spotlight on our Endoscopy Service who have been recognised for delivering a high-quality service. The service has been awarded re-accreditation from their professional Joint Advisory Group (JAG).

JAG is a voluntary scheme that focuses on standards, identifies areas for development and is based on evidence linked to clinical quality, patient experience, workforce and training. It is the ‘Gold Standard’ for Endoscopy Departments and it is real testament to the team that the services at Royal Blackburn, Burnley and Rossendale have met the required JAG accreditation standards.  

I have no doubt that a substantial amount of work and effort has been put into this process by the teams and I am extremely grateful to all of those involved. It reflects the dedication, hard work and drive within the team to strive to make our Endoscopy Departments outstanding. This is fantastic news for the team, the Trust and our patients.

The evidence submitted is reviewed and assessed against a strict quality framework of four main standards:

Clinical Quality - The clinical quality standard encompasses the service's role in safe and effective diagnosis, treatment and ongoing management. This also includes evaluating the leadership and governance of the service.

Patient Experience - The patient experience standard looks at how we provide efficient and patient-centred care for all our patients. It also includes data such as waiting times, the booking process and the department’s facilities and environment.

Workforce - The workforce standard focuses on how we train and support our colleagues effectively. This includes the recruitment, retention and development of team members.

Training - The training standard reviews the support and development of trainee endoscopists. It also includes evidence to show that training is supporting colleagues to achieve their competencies and ensuring that they are working in a supportive environment.

The preparation for accreditation began months in advance with the team gathering and uploading evidence to the JAG website on a weekly basis to show they are meeting the standard across the four main areas.

On achieving the JAG accreditation Dr Chris Healey, JAG Accreditation Chair wrote “We would like to congratulate the team for the high standard of achievement and for their hard work during the accreditation process.” This is a great example of how the team lives our core values of providing safe, personal and effective care to our Endoscopy patients. It also provides recognition for the energy and determination of the team. I would like to say a huge personal thank you and well done to all those involved.

Our diagnostic services such as Endoscopy have, like all our services, been under an immense amount of pressure over the last 18 months. I hope this provides a welcome boost as they do everything they can to priorities our patients on waiting lists.

This seems the perfect opportunity to talk about awards. It always makes me so proud when I hear that a team or individual has been shortlisted for an award. This week it gives me great pleasure to tell you about two such people!

Firstly, our Head of Infection Prevention, Kirsty Holt and her team have been shortlisted for a Nursing Times Award. Kirsty has worked relentlessly on preventing the spread of Covid-19 within our hospitals. The work the IPC team have carried out has meant that ELHT has one of the lowest rates of nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections in the North West. As a result of this and the robust measures put in place, we have been able to maintain visiting, allowing many of our patients to see a loved one every day. A magnificent achievement and a lovely tonic for our patients.

Secondly, Catering Manager Tim Radcliffe has been shortlisted in the Public Sector Catering Awards in the Hospital Catering Category. Tim is a great advocate of fresh food well prepared and served. The unfolding of the Covid-19 pandemic provided Tim and his team a new challenge. Food-chain issues had to be responded to quickly and effectively and Tim worked with local providers to maintain a continuous and constant supply of food for our very poorly patients. But it was bearing witness to the distress of our colleagues facing empty supermarket shelves after 12-hour shifts in full PPE which spurred Tim and his team into action. The Catering Team pulled together and extended their working hours, preparing individual and family sized quick and healthy meals for their colleagues to pick up in the evenings. They say an army marches on its stomach – I’m sure a hospital does too! We are very fortunate to have Tim in charge to make sure all our patients and colleagues are well fed.

A huge well done to Kirsty and Tim. I’m sure everyone will join me in wishing you both the very best of luck for when the awards are announced later in the year.

Finally, still on the subject of awards and celebrations, I would like to encourage anyone who has witnessed or received outstanding care from any of our teams or colleagues to nominate them for an Employee of the Month Award. Giving thanks and recognising someone’s hard work or caring attention provides our colleagues with a wonderful lift. So, if you have a few spare moments, please pop your thoughts down on the form via our website here. There is no doubt you will make someone very happy.

Thank you for reading. I hope you all have a safe and pleasant week ahead.