Published on: 10 January 2024

This is a statement by members of the Trust Board at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.

The start of a New Year is traditionally a time when people resolve to do things differently, to start afresh or try something new – and so it seemed fitting for us to reach out to colleagues and everyone, in all communities across East Lancashire, with a message of solidarity and of love, hope and peace.

The catalyst for this statement is rooted in the ongoing Israel Palestine conflict where horrific news reports and images continue to dominate the media each day with unbearable stories of human suffering. People are losing their lives, their families and their children and no matter your personal or political views, this must be condemned.

The Trust - the NHS as a whole – is here to help and care for everyone no matter their heritage, background, race or religion and we stand by and support people in their time of need. Seeing these images and not saying something sits wholly against our values as an organisation and as people who are committed to a life of caring for others.

There are many people in East Lancashire with friends and relatives in the region who need our understanding and support at this time, but it is clear that the sensitivities of the conflict are spilling into our day to day lives here at the Trust. We want all colleagues, patients and their families to feel supported, cared for and valued.

The NHS is here to help and care for people – colleagues and patients – no matter their heritage, background, race or religion. To support people – including those impacted by war – is at the heart of our philosophy and value, rooted in a collective condemnation of racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

In these circumstances we would like to especially reach out to Muslim, Jewish, Palestinian and Israeli people and those who have family and loved ones caught up in the war. People are suffering racist attacks and abuse physically and on social media because of the ill-conceived perceptions of others. This is not acceptable and will not be tolerated at ELHT.

If you need help or support, it is available and the Trust has a behaviour framework, policies and procedures in place across all services and settings to provide clear boundaries about what we can expect from each other.

We stand together and continue to be respectful of each other even when we have different views. We look after each other and reach out to offer support to anyone who is struggling.

Thank you for your support in these matters and for helping us to make 2024 a peaceful year where we are kind to each other, recognise and celebrate our differences and ensure everyone feels valued and cared for equally.