Published on: 26 January 2018

Hello everyone, welcome to my final blog for January.Kevin McGee.jpg

Turn on the TV news, pick up a newspaper or log on to the internet and we’re seeing lots of negative headlines about the NHS. Of course, we are under pressure and this shows no signs of reducing, something our staff and patients are fully aware of. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that, at the same time as our staff work incredibly hard treating and caring for our patients, there are also plenty more examples of progress across the Trust.

One very welcome sign of progress came recently when eight more of our experienced nurses graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with their Masters’ degrees in advanced clinical practice. After gaining their latest qualification, Advanced Clinical Practitioners are now performing extra clinical duties such as taking patient medical history, carrying out physical examinations, requesting investigations, and referring patients directly to other specialists where appropriate. Well done Alexandra McKay, Joanne Watson, Olga Byrne, Stacey Brown, David Simpson, Barbara Earnshaw, Gillian Woods and Fran Bamford.

This week we announced that the Trust has appointed healthcare technology company Cerner as the ‘Preferred Supplier’ for our Electronic Patient Record (EPR) solution. Throughout the NHS, new technologies are driving smarter, quicker and more efficient clinical systems. Here at ELHT, we believe that Cerner’s EPR, selected in conjunction with senior clinicians at the Trust, will place us firmly at the forefront of NHS health informatics and enable us to introduce further innovation for the benefits of staff and patients.

Regular blog readers will know that staff engagement is a subject close to my heart and one that I write about frequently, the NHS Staff Survey 2017 that took place last autumn. The final results will not be published for a few more weeks, but I want to thank the many staff who completed the Survey and I’m hopeful that when the results are published they will be positive. Watch this space!

I can also report excellent progress in two more areasWe were recently acknowledged by NHS England as one of the most improved Trusts with regard to sepsis, and particular credit must go to the ED, AMU, Quality Improvement and Sepsis Leads for their role in this success. Our efforts to positively engage on issues related to workforce equalityare paying off; these efforts will continue. We have a good record for few complaints of bullying and we want that to get even better – for all employees, whatever their race. And in February, we’ll be launching a new campaign to raise awareness about the Workforce Race Equality Standard, why it’s important and how our staff can get involved.  

I want to say a big ‘THANK YOU’ to all members of staff who have had their flu jab, as well as our ‘Flu Crew’ who’ve been out and about vaccinating since November. As a result of your efforts, a magnificent 87 per cent have protected both themselves and our patients against the flu. It’s not too late to get your vaccination and I know we can reach 90 per cent - check the intranet/OLI for next week’s dates, times and venues. 

Finally, I have my fingers crossed for Consultant Obstetrician Mr Martin Maher and his colleagues who established and manage the Trust’s Placenta Clinic. Based at the Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre, the team is shortlisted for an iNetwork Healthcare Innovation Award next week (30 January). Thanks to the outstanding work of Martin and his colleagues, the stillbirth rate at the Trust is at its lowest level for years, seeing a 20% decrease since the clinic commenced and a huge reduction in the number of babies born with undiagnosed growth problems. I can’t imagine anyone is more deserving of this award!