I know you will have read about the appalling crimes of Lucy Letby and the devastating impact her actions have had on the families affected.
They are in our thoughts, as are the many staff at the Countess of Chester hospital who did their very best for the babies and their relatives.
The Letby trial has established her guilt. The public inquiry is expected to look more broadly at what lessons the NHS can learn from these terrible events.
Surgical Assessment Unit to ease the winter pressure
We are expecting another tough winter in the NHS and ahead of this, we have secured funding to help ease some of the pressure.
The £3million will go towards creating a Surgical Assessment Unit with space for eleven patients who come to A&E needing surgery.
It will help improve patient flow, reduce the waits that surgical patients face, and reduce the pressure in A&E.
We plan to open the new unit in December.
In the lead up to its opening, our waiting lists continue to be hit by ongoing strike action with our consultants currently in the middle of their second 48-hour strike.
This continues to impact our patients as we have had to rearrange another 723 outpatient appointments, and 57 non-urgent surgeries.
In total, we have now had to reschedule over 10,000 outpatient appointments and 700 non-urgent surgeries as a result of the ongoing industrial action.
I also understand and share the frustration of medical staff at all stages in their careers about the lack of meaningful negotiations, in the context of ongoing high inflation and real term cuts in doctors’ salaries, which outstrip the relative fall in pay in most other areas of the public and private sectors.
My apologies to everyone who has been affected by this and as always, I hope to see a resolution as soon as possible.
Save the date for this year’s AGM
Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) takes place virtually on Monday 11 September between 1pm and 2.30pm.
You’ll be able to hear more about our reflections and achievements over the past year and what the next year looks like from our Chair Jacqui Smith, myself and other colleagues. We hope you’ll join us.
One area we’ve continued to focus on is supporting our staff with the cost of living and we’ve just held a second school uniform marketplace which was covered by BBC London this week. This has helped more than 140 staff members over two days with free school uniforms.
My thanks to local charity Smile London and Essex and colleagues who led on the initiative.