It has been another busy week here at NELFT and I would like to start this week by acknowledging the courage of Marcella and Hazel who both shared their personal stories with the Trust Board yesterday. Marcella shared her journey as a carer for her son Mitchell who has a learning disability. It was really moving as Marcella was so generous in sharing both her challenges and the things she has put in place to support her son. There were some real lessons for us in health and care about how we truly listen to and enable people with a learning disability and their families to have a voice and access the care they need, when they need it most. Hazel is a patient involvement representative with us and shared her experience of COPD and anxiety and again, gave us lots of food for thought about how we can improve our respiratory services and the lives of those with respiratory conditions. I am so grateful to those who use our services for their time and energy helping us on our improvement journey.
It was also the first time we have shared a quality improvement story at Board which will now be a regular feature and the wider Board were lucky enough to hear about our hospital at home for post-laryngectomy patients, shared by our brilliant colleagues in the Speech and language Team in Essex. I had already received a sneak peek at this work at the QI Share and Learn event last week and it was great to hear the views from different patients and their loved ones at board this week. Another great example of how we are supporting people who traditionally struggle to have a voice to be heard and influence their care as well as wider service improvements.
On Monday I attended our LGBT+ Staff Network event to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia ad Transphobia. The theme this week in my welcome seems to be one of courage and having a voice. I was so proud of our colleagues Dylan and Jay for sharing their experiences of being trans at NELFT, and what changes they would like to see in healthcare and wider society. I would also like to thank Kamilla and Rico, our external speakers, for being part of the panel. Trans inclusion is a key workstream for the LGBT+ network, we want to make sure NELFT is a welcoming and compassionate environment for our trans colleagues and users of service. I hope those who attended the webinar gained some insight on the trans experience from our panel members and feel empowered to be allies to our community. As executive Sponsor for the network I feel proud to see it going from strength to strength and want to share special thanks to our previous network chair Rachel Andrews for setting us up so well to do our awareness work such as this.
The COVID-19 response has now been stood down as the World Health Organisation has declared that COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Nicky and Hayden in our Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response (EPRR) team for all their work over the last three years in this space as well as all colleagues involved in the incident response. It has been a really challenging few years in the NHS and every single one of you has gone above and beyond to support our patients and communities, so thank you.
Take care and stay safe,