Published on: 2 March 2018

Welcome to this week's blog - happy Friday everyone!Kevin McGee.jpg

Last week, I said 'let's be careful out there' as we had been warned about the likelihood of bad weather. Well, our fears were realised and the Beast from the East has certainly had an impact on our staff and patients. As always, our staff responded magnificently and we have managed to maintain 'business as usual' at the Trust. This is no mean feat and is entirely down to the commitment of all our staff, and the effectiveness of our incident response planning. I really cannot thank all of you enough. We've had reports of staff going to extraordinary lengths to get to work, and in the community, to get to their patients. And of course, our estates and facilities team have done a great job of keeping our sites safe. Brilliant work, everyone.  Please, continue to be careful out there, the Beast hasn't finished its work yet!

This week, we have seen a marked improvement in our performance against the accident and emergency 4 hour standard - it was over 95% yesterday! We achieved 82% for February as a whole. We have got to continue on this upward trajectory. Well done and thank you to all who have contributed to this improvement, and that means thank you to every single member of staff because, whatever you do, it really does make a difference. As we always say, 'every minute matters, and every person plays a part'.

Speaking of great performance, I learned this week that an incredible 92.3% of our staff were vaccinated against flu; what an achievement! That's even better than last year, so I am hopeful we will be recognised as one of the best Trusts for this. Of course, you'll hear about it if we are! I'm sure you'll be glad to know that the flu vaccination season is over now, so no more badgering from me about getting jabbed. But thank you to the thousands of you who did, and to our occupational health team for a highly effective campaign.

The STAR Awards beckon - the award ceremony is at the end of April - and the full list of shortlisted nominees is now out. You can find it on the staff app, or here. As ever, this shortlist represents everything that is good about the Trust and it's fantastic staff. I'm so glad I'm not responsible for choosing winners - I know it is a near impossible, but very rewarding and humbling task. Congratulations to everybody who was nominated, and especially to those shortlisted. I look forward to seeing you on the night! I will of course be talking about this more as the date approaches.

And it's not just our STAR Awards that recognise our great people.  Midwife Stephanie Heys has been shortlisted for the Research Student of the Year prize at the North West Coast Research and Innovation awards to be held next week.  Director of Communications, Chris Hughes has been shortlisted for regional English Women's Award as a 'woman of influence' and the Baby Friendly Team, led by Team Leader Sue Henry, has been shortlisted for the Burdett Nursing Awards 2018 Maternal Health Award. Good luck to all.

Well, have a good weekend everyone and wrap up, it's going to stay a little chilly I believe.