Published on: 14 February 2020

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Hello everyone and happy Valentine’s Day!

As you all probably know, St Valentine is the patron saint of lovers. But what you may not know is he was also a physician who healed his jailer’s daughter from blindness. It seems quite fitting that the Florence Nightingale Foundation used this memorable day to launch a special campaign asking people to send #LovefromFlo to NHS nurses and midwives as part of the Year of the Nurse and Midwife celebrations. So, if you have a favourite ELHT nurse or midwife, why not share your appreciation over Twitter using the hashtag and including @ELHT_NHS We’d love to hear your stories!  

Having only just got over storm Ciara, we are now preparing ourselves for storm Dennis, expected to arrive this weekend to test us all once again. It’s not easy coming and going to work when the weather is cold, wet, windy and challenging – rest assured, your efforts are very much appreciated. But please do take care as you make any journeys this weekend.

Today I received the latest figures for flu vaccinations. We are currently at 94.8% - not only does that mean around 8,000 members of staff are protected against the flu but this is the Trust’s highest flu vaccination rate ever! You all deserve a huge ‘well done and thank you’, especially our fabulous Occupational Health Team who are have worked unceasingly to protect our staff, patients and community.

News about coronavirus is everywhere. And as the number of cases rises, it is understandable people are wondering how likely it is that they or a loved one will become ill. Staff are also concerned and wondering about the risks and what we’re doing as a responsible employer to prevent risks to our staff. At ELHT we’re well prepared to deal with any infectious disease that presents itself, due to excellent planning led by our Infection Prevention and Control Team. And, during the last two weeks, we’ve issued regular and comprehensive information and advice in what continues to be a rapidly changing situation. However, the main advice – which works for any infection – is catch it, bin it, kill it.

Onto more pleasant news and a milestone for our Home First service which in January discharged its 5,000th patient since the Home First pathway was first introduced. The service, based at St Peters in Burnley, also had its busiest month ever in January and continues to go from strength to strength, no doubt due to the excellent quality of referrals they receive from our hospital wards. By the way, if you want to know more about Home First and other services within our Community and Intermediate Care Division, we’ve produced this excellent short film for you to enjoy.

Further proof that our staff truly are performing astonishingly well comes from the latest delayed transfer of care (DTOC) statistics. In January, we had our lowest ever number of bed days due to delayed transfers of care (632), as well as the Trust’s best ever overall DTOC performance (2.48%) in a single month. These figures are a fantastic reflection of the partnership working within ELHT and across the Healthier Pennine Lancashire system, in particular the outstanding work of our Integrated Discharge Service.

In addition to our outstanding current performance, we can look forward with confidence to similar stellar achievements in the future with the news that our latest intake of student nurses graduate this month. The ‘Class of March 2017’ are graduating from UCLan and will start work as Band 5 staff nurses on our wards and community facilities next month. The Trust enjoys an excellent reputation for the quality of our medical training, so much so that all but one of our latest student nurse intake have chosen to accept our job offer and continue their careers with ELHT.

Finally, for those of you fortunate enough to be taking leave during next week’s half term break, enjoy whatever you’re doing. For all other staff, keep up the great work. And for everyone, let’s be careful out there in the face of Storm Dennis!

Until next time