On Monday the Long Term Plan for the NHS was unveiled by Chief Executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens. Full details of the plan can be found at www.longtermplan.nhs.uk.
The plan sets out an ambitious future for the NHS and fundamental to delivering it will be ensuring many of the longstanding workforce challenges across the service are addressed. A national workforce implementation plan will be published later in the year to set this out in more detail. Now that the plan has been published local NHS organisations across the country will be working with their partners to develop system wide plans for the next five years, setting out how they will deliver the plan in their local area. We expect these system wide plans to be published in the autumn of 2019 and I will of course keep you updated on progress in Portsmouth and South East Hampshire.
The Wessex Clinical Research Network this week announced the shortlist for their annual awards and we have been shortlisted in no less than five categories. They are:
Congratulations to all those who have been shortlisted. The awards ceremony takes place on 21 March. I wish them all the very best of luck and I look forward to hearing the results.
This week I was also thrilled to learn that Mark Esbester, an optometrist working in our ophthalmology department received an MBE in the New Year’s honours list. Mark was recognised for his voluntary work with charity Vision Aid Overseas for services to eye care in Africa. Mark carries out clinical work in hospitals and health centres in countries such as Ethiopia, Uganda and Zambia. We are proud to have Mark working with us in the Trust and I’m sure you will all join me in congratulating him on this fantastic achievement.
On Monday John Knighton wrote to all staff to encourage you to participate in the safety culture survey being undertaken on our behalf by the National Air Traffic Service (NATS). We would like all members of staff, clinical and support staff at every level, to take a few minutes to download the NATS safety culture app and complete the short series of questions to help us improve our approach to safety and ultimately better protect our patients from avoidable harm.
As you will know, over recent months we have been taking steps to move towards being smoke free on the QA site and from Monday (14 January) smoking will not be permitted anywhere on the site. Rates of smoking in Portsmouth and SE Hampshire remain higher than the England average and as one of the largest employers in Portsmouth we have an important role to play in helping to reduce rates of smoking and, in turn, the serious illnesses related to it.
Supporting people to stop smoking is also a key feature of the NHS Long Term Plan. Our approach to implementing the policy is not one of strict enforcement, but of helping smokers to access support to give up. Information and signage will be introduced across the hospital to make patients and visitors aware of our smoke free policy and to direct them to where they can receive support to quit. Over the coming weeks we will also be doing a number of trolley dashes to wards and departments to explain the policy and give you an opportunity to raise any queries. Members of staff who would like to stop smoking can get help by contacting Occupational Health on extension 3352. Our hospital is at the heart of our community and we all have a responsibility to ensure our staff, patients and visitors can all share clean air.
And finally, you may have seen Director of Workforce and OD, Nicole Cornelius on the wards this week talking to staff about our how we best prevent episodes of violence against our staff. Taking action on violence against staff was one of the key actions to come out from last year’s staff survey and is an area all members of the Executive team are passionate about tackling. A series of focus groups (below) are taking place from 21 January so if you are available please do come along and tell us more about your experience and your ideas for how we can take further action on this important issue.
Thank you for the fantastic work you do every day, to support the delivery of the best quality of care to each of our patients.