Hello, and welcome to my latest blog (following a short break while I was on holiday).

I’ve got fantastic news…I am truly delighted that LSCft have been shortlisted in no less than eight categories in this year’s HSJ Patient Safety Awards. This is incredible to hear and is testament to the hard work and determination of many people in the LSCft family.

It is particularly gratifying because patient safety is of course, our number one priority and the cornerstone for all our improvements and quality developments.  Patient safety is fundamental and I want to say a heartfelt ‘well done’ to everyone involved and I have everything crossed that our shortlistings will result in a win/s. You can read more about the HSJ shortlisting here.  Winners will be announced on September 15. Good luck to everyone!

I also received a letter last week from General Lord Dannatt and Professor Tim Briggs CBE confirming a successful one year review as a Veteran Aware Trust.  This is important work and I am delighted that we continue to support the Armed Forces Covenant and improve experiences of care for the Armed Forces Community. The VCHA national steering group particularly commended our work supporting and mentoring local voluntary sector organisations to apply for funding to support veterans and strengthen connections across localities.  Great work, and well done to everyone responsible for this, particularly Alison Commissiong, our MAPPA, Veterans and Victims Service Manager.

We were expecting to celebrate the official opening of our Wesham Rehabilitation Unit this week, but sadly, we have had to postpone due to Covid. Apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.  However, it is a timely reminder that Covid has not gone away and with cases increasing it is worth remembering the importance of protecting yourselves, and our service users, carers and visitors.  Vaccination is the best defence against Covid, so do please take the opportunity of the vaccine and any boosters.  Wash your hands well and regularly; socially distance when necessary; and wear a mask when appropriate.

was delighted to host a visit of Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS Chief Executive, Kevin Lavery to our Initial Response Service (IRS) at the Royal Preston Hospital (pictured above.)  He came on Tuesday last week and met with myself, executive team members and locality leaders, and saw a range of services including the IRS and bed hub. We also had a round table with some of our community physical health teams. Kevin was impressed with what he saw and heard and I was very proud of our people and the clear impact they are having. Thank you to everyone involved for all that you are doing, and also, for a great visit.

I am sure you will be aware that the ICS and the ICB will be statutory bodies from July 1 and the CCGs will cease to exist. We have all been working towards this for many months now.  A key aspect of the new system working is the Lancashire and South Cumbria Provider Collaborative, which is made up of the five local provider trusts. There is also a mental health, learning disability and autism provider collaborative, which will be led by LSCft working with partners across the system, including local authorities and representatives of the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector too.  A series of briefing sessions for colleagues has been arranged and the first is on Wednesday, June 29 at 4pm.  You will have received a link to join in a newsflash last week. I do hope you will be able to come along to one of these, and if you do, share what you find out with your colleagues and teams. See you there!

I want to finish by saying how proud I am of everyone in LSCft. Like all NHS organisations, we are continuing to face many new, additional challenges post pandemic – increased demand; new ways of working; efficiency savings and more. Working together with partners, reducing duplication and variation, and increasing value for our patients and communities is the only way forward. Thank you for everything you are doing, and please keep doing it. But at the same time, remember to look after yourselves and each other.

Until next time…

Best wishes,

Caroline