Published on: 16 February 2018

Hello everyone. It’s good to be back in my blog slot. I hope this finds you well.Kevin McGee.jpg

Having had a few days away last week, I want to start off today by thanking all our staff for everything you do.  I don’t believe there is any easy job in the NHS at the moment, but I do think our patient facing staff sometimes have a really difficult and stressful time, although this is part and parcel of the job.  Sadly, these difficult jobs are only made more difficult when many people seem to think it is ok to take a swipe, particularly on social media often based on inaccuracies and dubious observations.  Social media is a really useful tool and is fantastic for communicating quickly with lots of people.  However, I do not believe it is an appropriate platform to criticise individuals, or make complaints as it is impossible to have any meaningful engagement. 

Anyway, I just wanted to repeat that I am very proud of all our staff and the excellent care they provide on a day to day basis. The vast majority of our patients have nothing but praise for you and I regularly hear from them. This includes patients who highlight the often life-changing interventions made by ELHT staff. One such story came to my attention this week when a mother from Rossendale told us about her battle with ovarian cancer and the help she received from the ‘Gyn and Tonic’ support group run by our specialist gynaecological cancer nurses. “The care I received at Burnley Hospital was wonderful. Going to this group is one of the real positives that has come from the cancer” were phrases that really struck a chord with me and say a great deal about the dedication of our staff and the difference they make in people’s lives every day.  Keep up the great work everyone.

I am delighted that later this month, the first nine qualified ‘Physician’s Associates’ will take up their posts in our medicine and surgical divisions.  This is a great example of us investing in innovative solutions, and I have no doubt they will greatly enhance our workforce.  I’m really looking forward to meeting them when they start.

Readers will probably be aware that despite our generally good performance in staff engagement issues, we have struggled in the past around meeting our targets for compliance with staff appraisals.  Now, thanks to a concerted effort by everyone – appraisers and appraises alike – we are at 92% compliance.  This is amazing.  Only in November 2017 we were at just 66%.  What a turnaround. Thank you to all involved.

Congratulations to all staff that have been nominated for a star award this year. We received more nominations this year than any other. Our internal judging day took place on the 25 January and our judges had the very hard task of reducing 329 nominations into just 42 nominees (phew rather the judges me! However, the wait is finally over and we can now share with you the 42 shortlisted nominees that will go forward to this year’s star awards. There will be 14 awards this year. The star awards ceremony will take place on 27 April 2018 at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel, Be there or be square!

See you next time!