Hello everyone and welcome to my blog this week, and what a week it’s been!

It began for me with the opportunity to meet with Richard Meddings CBE, Chair of NHS England who was in Lancashire and South Cumbria on a visit arranged by the ICS. It was good to be part of the delegation and get the opportunity to talk to Richard about our journey, the ongoing improvements and the continuing rise in demand for our services.

On Wednesday, I was thrilled to be involved with our celebration conference to mark International Nurses Day. It was fabulous. As a nurse myself I welcome the opportunity this important day gives us to reflect on the impact nurses have; to recognise and celebrate their value to our Trust and to our communities; and to have a little fun too. As well as being joined by Andrea Sutcliffe CBE (CEO, Nursing and Midwifery Council), Joanne Bonanquet MBE RN (CEO, The Foundation of Nursing Studies) and Professor Elizabeth Nneka Anionwu DBE CBE FRCN, we took a little time out in the programme to dance and loosen up in a session led by Dance Syndrome. It was a brilliant day and I’m sure you’ll hear much more about it. In the meantime though, take a look at some of the pictures from the day below.

 

I’d like to thank Maria Nelligan, Paul Jebb and team for organising this brilliant event, but I’d also like to personally thank every single one of our fabulous nurses for everything you do.

As the country, indeed the world, continues to recover from Covid and tries to get back to ‘normal’, I am well aware that for us – and especially our mental health services – the pandemic is in fact, far from over.  Demand for our services has increased significantly as the impact of dealing with Covid begins to be understood - eating disorder services, CAMHS and urgent care have all been greatly affected.  Looking after people’s mental health is every bit as important as looking after their physical health. I am immensely proud that we continue to push for sustainable improvements, increased quality and more effectiveness as well as treating and caring for – as best we can – this big rise in the number of people of requiring our help.  I know how hard this is, and I know that we, like every other organisation in the NHS, don’t have enough people to do it.  But what you, our workforce, do every day, is so important and so welcomed by our service users.  We all have so much to be proud of, to shout about. Perhaps if you are reading this blog and are considering working in the NHS or care services, please consider working with us and making a difference in your community.  If you share our values of kindness, teamwork, respect and learning, then we’d love to hear from you.

The CQC have been inspecting emergency services across Lancashire and South Cumbria recently and this includes our Mental Health Urgent Assessment Centres and liaison teams in A and E departments.  Despite numbers being up by 20%, across our urgent care pathways, we now see around 95% of people within one hour, and 100% people in four hours. I am incredibly proud of this and it is thanks to the tireless efforts of many people throughout the organisation that this has been possible. I know the CQC have been impressed by the staff they have met, what they had to say and by their enthusiasm, commitment and compassion. So thank you to everyone involved.

So, I’ll sign off now. Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Caroline