Many of you will have received your personal copy of the NHS annual staff survey this week.
The survey is an important way for all members of staff to share their views on a range of topics about their experience at work including development opportunities, health and wellbeing, staff engagement and opportunities to raise concerns. In response to the feedback received from last year’s survey we acted on what you told us in the following ways:
I would urge you all to fill out the survey and tell us what you think. Responses are confidential and your feedback is vital for us to better understand what is working well, what needs to improve and how we can support you.
Last week following routine water maintenance and testing works in York House and Connaught House (our staff residences on the QA Site), the presence of legionella was found in tanks supplying hot water. We immediately took action to protect residents from any risk by isolating the hot water supply, and over the course of this weekend we will move all residents to alternative accommodation whilst work is carried out to address the problem. No-one has fallen ill as a result and the issue is restricted to the staff accommodation and does not affect the main hospital building. It has unfortunately caused disruption and inconvenience to those living there and I would like to thank all those affected for their patience and understanding.
Next week, to coincide with the start of ‘Stoptober’, we are launching our campaign for the QA site to be completely smoke free from January 2019. Shockingly, the number of deaths from smoking in the Portsmouth area is the second highest in the South East and despite a national decline in recent years, the number of smokers in our local communities remains high. By going smoke free we can help protect people from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke here on-site, and we can support our staff, patients and visitors to give up smoking.
Our hospital is at the heart of our community and I believe we all have a responsibility to help improve the health and wellbeing of our staff, patients and visitors. In the run up to January we are recruiting Smoke Free Ambassadors to support us in our campaign. My Executive colleagues and I will be signing up and a number of brief training sessions have been created for any staff members interested. Please join us, get involved and help ensure we can all share clean air.
Last week my message focused on our preparations for winter and yesterday the Board were among the first to receive their flu jabs. As many of you know only too well, flu had a significant impact on the hospital and our services last year so it is vitally important that we all make sure we protect ourselves and in turn, our patients. Last year the vaccine was less effective against all strains of the virus than in previous years but please do not to let this affect your decision to get vaccinated this year. Circulating flu strains can change each year and the vaccine is based on the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of which strains it should contain following a comprehensive assessment of the evidence. Details of how and where to get vaccinated can be found on the intranet.
This week I had the pleasure of meeting with some key individuals from our local community. On Monday I visited Rowans Hospice and met with their Chief Executive and Honorary Chairman. Rowans do a wonderful job supporting many of our patients at the end of their life. I was delighted to learn more about their work and discuss how we can strengthen how our organisations work in partnership.
I would like to thank the William Brake Charitable trust, who has generously donated £1,000 to the hospital charity. The money will help to fund a mini-laser to treat tumors in the urinary system. On Monday, I joined Colin Welborn from the Charitable Trust, who is also a former patient to receive the cheque and thank him for the donation.
And finally, don’t forget to join me for our next Facebook Live session (Friday 5 October 3.30-4.30pm). It will focus on what ‘working together’ means in practice but I would also really welcome any comments or questions you have for me on other topics.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to delivering the best care for our patients.