I would like to start by wishing you a very happy New Year. I hope that you had some time over the festive period to relax and enjoy time with family and friends.
Many of you will know that the past week has continued to be very challenging here at QA and for many other hospitals across the country. This has been due to a spike in seasonal type presentations and a local incidence of flu which was twice the national average. We go into the weekend with a warning of cold weather which may well add to the pressures we are already facing, so we have worked with all CSCs and community partners to ensure we have an appropriate plan in place to see us through the weekend.
On New Year’s Eve I took the decision to put out a request for off duty staff to make contact and cover additional shifts if they were able, due to the exceptional pressures we were dealing with. This decision was not taken lightly and was in the interest of patient safety. The response from everyone, at every level was exceptional, and the Chairman and I have written to all staff to thank you for your efforts. You can read the letter here. Please share it with your teams.
Levels of flu are continuing to increase and we have not yet reached the peak season so the coming weeks are likely to continue to be demanding. I cannot stress enough the importance of looking after your own wellbeing and that of your colleagues. We have some excellent support available from our wellbeing service and I would encourage you to make use of it.
This week I am delighted to provide a special mention to Dr Joanna Walker who received an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list in recognition of her work with children and young people. Joanna has long been praised for her dedication, by her patients, their families and her colleagues and I am pleased her enormous contribution to the NHS has now been formally recognised. I’m sure you will all join me in congratulating her on this wonderful achievement.
The New Year is a time to look ahead and provides us all with an opportunity to focus on our future. While there is much to do here in our organisation, I’m extremely excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and I look forward to continuing to work with you all to deliver the very best care for our patients.
Thank you for all that you do, each and every day.
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
Tel: 023 9228 6770