Published on: 23 February 2018

Hello everyone, happy Friday. Kevin McGee.jpg

Don’t be fooled by the beautiful sunshine today – it has been freezing, and I understand it is going to get even colder over the weekend.  We know that the cold weather has a direct impact on many people’s health and wellbeing, and, potentially responsible for more accidents and injuries. In the words of Frank Furillo of Hill Street Blues (showing my age!) ‘be careful out there’.

I started today with a breakfast meeting to launch our £1,000,000 Charity Appeal.  ELHT&Me is raising funds for a number of different themes so that everybody in our community can benefit from the donations they make.  It was great that the Mayors of Burnley, Blackburn with Darwen and Pendle all attended, as did local MP Andrew Stephenson.  We also received a donation of £4650 from the FREEMASONS to kick start the fund. Thank you so much to everybody who came and I am sure our appeal will be a great success. You can support us in a number of ways, please take a look here to see how you can help.

One of the most regular complaints I receive is about people smoking on our grounds and by our entrances.  East Lancashire Hospital is a Smoke-Free Trust and in support of our commitment to this significant health issue we will be launching a new Smoke-Free policy on the 1 April 2018,

We have also invested in an ELHT Smoke-Free service that will support patients and staff.

We really are committed to a Smoke-Free environment to protect and promote the health of our employees, patients and visitors.   As part of the build up to the launch, staff and volunteers will be going round the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital on a Big Butt Clean-up on Wednesday 28 February, meeting at the main entrance at 11.30am.  If you would like to volunteer to take part in the Big Butt Clean Up or if you’d like more information on the new policy or Smoke-Free service, please contact Claire Jones Smoke free Service Lead via

Of course, I receive far more regular compliments on our services than I do complaints, and today was no exception.  I am more than happy for people to contact me directly, and that is why we have a ‘contact Kevin’ button on the homepage of our website.  Today I got a lovely email from a mum, the kind of email that reminds us all just why we do our jobs, and reminds me of why I am so proud of our workforce.  She wrote ‘We cannot fault any part of the service and care that we as a family received. The nurses on this ward are truly amazing and made a worrying situation much more bearable for us all.  All too often people criticise the smallest of things, but from the moment we were greeted until the moment that we left, our son was made to feel special and we were far more relaxed because of your staff.’  So, a massive well done to everyone on Ward 27 at Burnley General Teaching Hospital! Thank you.

Ultimately the role of everyone in the NHS is to improve people’s health, something our staff achieve many, many times every single day. And sometimes our work is more than lifesaving and is ground breaking as well.  This was recently the case for a patient from Clayton-le-Moors who needed his jaw rebuilding using part of his leg bone. One of our talented surgeons, Ms Naseem Ghazali, carried out both head and neck surgery and maxillofacial reconstruction surgery….with amazing results!  Wow.

Finally, we have just welcomed our latest intake of student nurses. In total, 85 students – slightly higher than in previous years - started their first ward placements in January, combining practical nurse training here, with nurse education at the University of Central Lancashire. I am delighted that, over the years, we have built an excellent reputation for the high quality of our nurse training, and both the Trust and our patients will gain long term benefit as the vast majority of our student nurses choose ELHT for their careers. A warm welcome to all those students, and I very much look forward to you becoming part of our workforce family.

Well – it’s Friday, so to those of you who are working over the weekend, thank you. If you are off, enjoy it and have a wonderful weekend.

Until next week…..