Firstly, I would like to thank our Executive Medical Director, Dr Caroline Allum, for deputising for me last week while I was on leave. It was great to have a break (even if I was poorly for some of it) and switch off from work. As always, I will remind colleagues of how important it is to take time off and I hope you are all making plans to ensure you take some of your annual leave over the coming months.
I was sad to miss our first in-person Nurse’s Day event at Trust HQ last Wednesday, but it was great to see so many smiling faces and brilliant comments on social media, particularly across Twitter. Thank you to Wellington Makala, our Executive Chief Nurse, Susan Smyth, Director of Nursing, and the wider team for organising the event to celebrate Nurse’s Day. I loved reading about people’s journeys into their nursing careers and about how NELFT has supported them to grow and develop.
Last week was also Mental Health Awareness Week and I am hugely grateful to Isobel Ringwood, our Equality Diversity and Inclusion Administrator and Lucy Millard, who is part of our Serious Incident Investigation team, for sharing their own personal experiences of mental ill health via our NELFT Talks blog. It takes bravery and courage to open up and talk about how mental ill health impacts on your life and by sharing their own stories I hope it encourages others to reach out and talk. You can read more about Isobel’s experience here and you can read Lucy’s story here.
It was also great to hear about the impact of our Coping Through Football partnership with the Leyton Orient Trust and the London Playing Fields Foundation. Sport and exercise can play a big part in supporting your mental health and wellbeing, as well helping to combat loneliness (the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2022) and I was really encouraged to hear Coping Through Football featured on BBC Radio London. Find out more here.
Tuesday was International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and I shared my support for colleagues and patients from our LGBT communities. The LGBT+ Staff Network offers a safe space for colleagues who wish to seek support, advice and guidance. The Network have also been working with the wider staff networks across North East London to deliver a unified message in support of our LGBT NHS workforce.
Finally, I’ll end this week by reminding you all to look after yourselves and each other. Our KeepingWell NEL service is open to all colleagues across the Trust, as well as health and care colleagues across north eat London, and offers a range of support. You can access it here.
Take care and stay safe,
Jacqui Van Rossum
Chief Executive (Acting)