These last few weeks we have witnessed three horrific incidents in England. It is beyond comprehension what has happened and my thoughts are with those that were injured and the loved ones of those who lost family and friends in Manchester and London.
Amidst all of the sadness and chaos, it has been humbling to see and hear amazing stories of emergency services, including NHS staff, responding bravely and diligently, with little thought of themselves. Such as Kirsty Boden, a nurse at Guy’s Hospital, who died after stepping in to help others who had been attacked at London Bridge. Such as Dr Malik Ramadhan. He was cycling home after his shift at Royal London Hospital and rushed back after seeing police vehicles, instinctively knowing he would be needed. After the attacks, hospitals ended up turning away doctors, nurses and other staff who were volunteering to come in and help.
These events serve as a further reminder of the great work of NHS staff and it is important we all take the time to reflect and celebrate this. These incidents also highlight our responsibilities as a first responder in a major incident and emphasise the importance of having strong plans in place. The terror attacks remind us that we must continue to remain vigilant and be prepared. If you haven’t already, please take the time to look at the plans in place for your ward or department and discuss with your manager.
I love the NHS because it is all about people – the people who work in it and the people we serve – and that is what inspires and motivates me, so it is no surprise to see staff respond in this way. Yet, for me this also shows the quiet and steely determination NHS staff have – to look out for others and try to make things better. And I see and hear this everyday within our organisation. I recently visited ward 3 and spoke to staff who were going to the funeral of a young boy who had been in their care for the past three years and supported him and his family over recent months. It is amazing the power and impact their care had and their bond with the family was so strong that they were insistent staff attended the funeral.
I am proud to work in an organisation that has so many dedicated and inspirational staff. For that, I would like to say thank you and continue doing what you are doing because you are making a significant difference to peoples’ lives.
What else I’ve been up to – some highlights from the past few weeks
- Opened the ‘Better patient care through innovation’ event held at Wycombe Hospital. The event, a collaboration between the trust and Oxford Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), showcased the benefits of innovation and collaboration between universities, industry and the NHS.
- I attended the ‘Personal, fair and diverse’ staff conference, looking at how we are improving and supporting staff, patients and visitors.
- Interviewed for the director of OD and workforce transformation and I wish Bridget O’Kelly all the best in her new role.
- Went to Buckingham with Tina Kenny to meet with a lead GP for the Buckingham locality, to discuss how we can support local GPs and develop services in the north of the country.
- Led May’s team brief, providing an overview of the year ahead to staff.
- Held public board, which included the presentation of awards to the recent winners of the CARE awards. This is always my favourite part of the meeting as I get to personally thank and congratulate staff who go to extraordinary lengths to deliver the Trust’s values.
- Visited staff in the SHAW Clinic at Wycombe hospital (picture below) and heard about the great work they’ve been doing to improve staff engagement.
- Met with Tracey Underhill who has recently been appointed at the new freedom to speak up guardian. Her main role is to support staff to in raising your concerns safely.
- Continued to meet with anaesthetics and critical care, ENT, palliative care and acute and general medicine SDUs (picture below) as part of our work to support all services to develop local plans for the future.
- Attended the quality committee.
- Attended the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB) STP executive board.
- Chaired a session on maternity and developing local maternity systems at the NHS England South Central Medical conference.
- Welcomed colleagues from the NHS Improvement clinical productivity team who came to talk to clinical and operational leads and the executive team about improving productivity.