Hello all

First and foremost I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to all those who have played a part in keeping our hospital moving this week during the junior doctor strikes. I saw first-hand just how challenging it was out there and I know many of my executive colleagues and divisional chiefs will be reflecting on what we can learn for the future.

As I said last week, we fully respect our colleagues right to strike and a great deal of planning went into our response. We however couldn’t have predicted the higher than usual demand on services like our ED, which we haven’t seen during other strike action and I know has been an issue in other trusts too.

Despite this, it was brilliant to see every team and job role of every level coming together to deliver for patients and ensure they received safe care no matter what their circumstance. It is truly something to be proud of. I would also like to welcome back our junior doctors, I know I speak for many of us when I say, we certainly missed you!

This week, I also wanted to reflect on the 2022 staff survey results that were published this week. While I know there has been change since this was done back in th autumn including recruiting 130 more nurses and improving how we manage emergency attendances and our waiting lists, amongst other things – we are not where we want to be. 

We have faced exceptional challenges in the last year and I fully recognise the huge pressures everyone is under. You and your teams are the heart of what we do and I want to make clear, the executive team and I will be publishing a trust-wide action plan in the coming weeks to show you how we will be looking to improve the organisation for all of you in the year ahead.

Finally, in the last week I’ve also had the chance to speak to our providers about delivering better, more intuitive, mental health services across the patch. We all know that quite simply, we as a health service need to improve how we deliver for these patients. That’s why we have been working with our providers through a provider collaborative workshop – to really hone in on how we can transform our services to improve outcomes for our patients and provide better, more efficient and practical services for the staff who work in them. While there is still some more work to do to get this over the line, I came away feeling really quite excited about what could be to come and how we can all work better together.

Best wishes,

Angela Stevenson
Chief executive