This month’s Board meeting was an opportunity to share publicly our successes and talk honestly about the challenges we face. Our new Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) department at Queen’s Hospital is twice the size of the original and it is already having a positive impact on our performance, as it enables us to see and treat patients on the same day so they don’t have to be admitted. We’re planning to open a SDEC at King George Hospital (KGH).
We heard at the meeting about how those with mental health needs are still spending too long in our A&Es. At KGH in March, we saw 200 patients – 14 of them waited more than 36 hours to leave our Trust and move to a service better able to care for their needs.
We’re working tirelessly to reduce waiting lists and the Board heard how we’re exploring ways of holding outpatient appointments away from our hospitals and in primary care practices that are closer to where people live. Our teams continue to come up with innovative initiatives. A recent Gynaecology Perfect Week saw double the number of patients compared with a normal week.
Improving care for our patients lies at the heart of both our closer collaboration with Barts Health and the work the two trusts are doing together with Homerton Healthcare. The latest update shows how – while remaining two separate trusts - we’re working with Barts as an integrated group to develop shared approaches to workforce, estates, digital, procurement and financial planning.
To deliver all this we need colleagues who are committed and who feel valued. With Jacqui Smith, our Chair, I was pleased to attend a long-service awards ceremony last month. Between them, the 50 members of staff have worked with us for 1,100 years.
There have also been celebrations and healthy competition across our wards and departments this week as staff have decorated areas to mark the Coronation. The pictures show the effort that has been involved and the way it has brought teams together. They also capture how Jacqui entered into the spirit of the occasion. I will have to gently remind her that the provision of a throne was a one off!