Published on: 9 February 2018

Hi everyone. Kevin is on holiday today, so it is my privilege to be this week’s guest blogger!Christine Hughes.jpg

I thought I would focus on NHS70 and the activities we’ve got planned.  I am sure you know that 5 July 2018 is the 70th anniversary of the inception of the NHS. The whole NHS is going all out to celebrate this milestone and here at ELHT we see it as a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile (even further) of the absolutely brilliant people that work here on behalf of our local community.  One of the core purposes of my job (as Director of Communications and Engagement) is to maintain the confidence of all our many stakeholders by making sure they know their local hospital and community services are great. However, as you well know, these services are only great because the people providing them are skilled, professional, caring and perhaps most importantly, compassionate.  And that doesn’t just mean front line staff. It means all of us.  I am really proud that 70 years on from the birth of the NHS, I am working in one of the best Trusts around; one that has aspirations to be even better despite the challenges and pressures; and one that has a culture of openness, transparency and freedom to speak up.

NHS70 will see us publish a high quality brochure called ‘This is ELHT’ which aims to capture and share the essence of our organisation through the words and experiences of some of our staff – watch out for this next month.  There will be events throughout the year recognising the staggering contributions of staff past and present, and, we will be collecting and posting some of your memories and favourite moments.

We will also embark on a major fundraising drive to enable our patients and our local community to show their support for their local hospital Trust.  There will be more information about this in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, do please visit our ELHT&me (the Trust’s charity) webpages to see how you can get involved or support.  You can also contact Denise Gee, our fundraising manager for information.  We know that there is lots that our staff, patients and their families already do and we are really grateful for all donations, however big or small. Thank you.

One of our fundraising activities that is already well under way is Toby Campbell’s preparations for the prestigious London Marathon which he is running in to raise money for ELHT&me. Toby is completing a training blog up to the race in April, and you can follow his progress here and donate to his cause here.

It is traditional in Kevin’s blog to highlight the importance of everybody doing their bit to help us achieve the important 95% A&E 4-hour standard. On Sunday 11 February, we will hold our first ‘Super Sunday Discharge Event’ to free up as many beds as possible on Sunday, ready for the coming week, aiding patient flow and waiting times.  More details are here, and good luck to everyone involved.  Also, I can tell you that 91% of our staff have received their flu jab! That is a remarkable number of staff and a real achievement by the occupational health team meaning that both staff and patients are protected from this awful illness. Well done guys.

Finally, this week I celebrated exactly four years at this Trust, having started in February 2014 as the Trust prepared to significantly improve quality, safety and stakeholder relations.  I’ve loved every minute; I hope to enjoy many more. So thank you for being a great bunch of people to work with, and thanks for reading my blog!