This week has seen temperatures rise across the country and indeed, here at Portsmouth. It was clear as I’ve been out and about this week, that although we have all been affected by the weather in some way, there are parts of the hospital, notably in the older parts of our estate, where it has been incredibly uncomfortable for patients and many members of staff. Throughout the week we have been out and about providing water, water bottles and fans where possible, to a number of the worst affected areas, but I recognise we have more to do to improve the environment and support staff working in those areas. If the weather forecasters are correct, we will see more occasions of extreme heat in the coming years and we will be planning ahead for that with your involvement.
Throughout period of hot weather its important that we all keep ourselves hydrated and I am hearing stories from some departments that there is a Trust policy that prevents you from drinking while on duty. This is absolutely not the case and we are actively encouraging you to stay hydrated while you are at work, not just in extreme weather, but all of the time. In addition to the hundreds of water bottles delivered earlier in the week, we have ordered further supplies to share more widely. Thank you to everyone who has delivered additional water supplies across the hospital and I’m grateful to Bookers Wholesale in Portsmouth who kindly donated 500 bottles of water for staff as well.
Our Neonatal and Maternity departments provided additional support to one of our neighbouring Trusts this week, taking on the care of a number of women outside of our usual catchment area, as they were temporarily closed to admissions. This sort of collaboration with reminds us of the importance of partnership working with others in the NHS family, as it is in the direct interest of our patients and the communities we all serve. Thank you to all who work in both departments, as I appreciate how busy you were already.
Earlier this week we welcomed Chris Pointon, co-founder of #HelloMyNameIs, who spoke about why the initiative is so important in supporting the delivery of compassionate care. The lecture theatre was full to capacity when Chris gave his talk, which coincided with the relaunch of #HelloMyNameIs across the Trust. For those who were unable to attend, we have recorded the session and this will be available via our YouTube channel imminently.
At Thursday’s Executive Roadshow we had the opportunity to hear more about our Digital Strategy, how it will be implemented, and what it will mean for our patients and for all of us who work at PHT. I hear the event was very well attended and there was much a lot of enthusiasm for the approach. Thanks to the Penny Emerit, who is the Exec lead for Digital, and Phil Kenny, Head of IT and his entire team for taking this forward.
Our next annual Open Day will take place on Saturday 28 September between 10:30am and 3pm. With over 40 interactive stalls, activities for children and an even greater number of department tours already confirmed, it promises to be another brilliant event. Our hospital is at the heart of our community and the Open Day is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our services and the fantastic work you and your teams do every day for our patients. This will be the third Open Day I will have attended since joining PHT and if you haven’t been before, I’d encourage you to either get involved, or come along with friends or members of the family, as there is truly something for everyone. If your department would like to be involved in the open day please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, I was delighted to hear that the annual Portsmouth Hospitals Charity-Bubbles Fund Summer Fayre was a great success. Sadly I was unable to be there as I was on holiday, but I am told that not only did hundreds of people attend and have a great time, but more than £5,000 was raised for the charity. Thank you to everyone who organised and took part in the event.
When considering how challenging this week has been, particularly during the peak of the extremely hot weather, a simple “thank you’” doesn’t convey just how grateful I am for the fantastic work you do every day.