I was delighted to join 150 new colleagues at our Meet and Greet as part of our NELFT Induction last week. It is always a privilege to share our NELFT vision, mission and values as well as having the opportunity to hear feedback from colleagues about their experience of joining the Trust. I am really heartened to see so many people choosing to join NELFT and it was even better to hear about how many colleagues choose to join us following successful placements with us during their training. Recruiting, as well as retaining amazing people is an important part of supporting us to deliver the high quality, safe care to our patients.
As you will be aware, winter pressures as well as responding to COVID-19, and the impacts of Omicron on staffing levels, are causing pressure on NHS services. It is our priority to ensure we are able to deliver our core services at this time and we are working hard to look at options to respond to all of these demands. It was great to hear that we have opened our virtual wards for frailty and respiratory in Essex this week with our partners across the system. This will really help to manage some of the pressures on acute services. In our London patch our virtual wards are already in operation and supporting system partners.
One aspect of responding to these pressures is the COVID-19 vaccination programme. I appreciate the COVID-19 vaccine may be causing some anxiety for colleagues, particularly in light of the Government’s decision to mandate the vaccine. At NELFT we are working to ensure colleagues are informed and supported with their decision making in relation to the vaccine and the potential impacts.
As well as responding to the current demands on services we are still working hard to deliver on new developments for the future. The services consultation for our new St George’s Health and Wellbeing Hub in Havering is well underway and I am pleased to hear the amount of positive support being shared by members of the local community. This is a true partnership between commissioners and providers and will bring together community, mental health, primary care and acute services to deliver an integrated hub providing services for the local community. If you would like to share your views as part of the consultation please click here.
Finally I would like to finish this week by sharing my appreciation for all my NHS and social care colleagues and all you are doing to support our patients, their loved ones and of course each other while we respond to all of the demands on our services. You really are making a difference and I am grateful for your hard work.
Take care and stay safe.
Jacqui Van Rossum
Chief Executive (Acting)