This is my last CEO blog post before I leave our organisation. I wanted to express my personal thanks and gratitude to each and every one of my colleagues and all of our partners for all that you do. It has been such a privilege to serve alongside you, particularly during the pandemic. I have seen individual and collective endeavours that relentlessly focus on people and services at the most difficult of times. I have seen personal sacrifices, colleagues facing fear and anxiety. I have also seen joy and humanity to such an extent that it left me without words to describe how incredible you are. What strikes me most, is the most powerful and compelling element in all of this time, the importance of kindness and the need to support each other. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
This week we held our public Board meeting, which started as always with a patient and carer story. We had the absolute privilege of hearing from Karen, who shared not only her experience as a carer but also her husband Bob’s story as he was supported by our end of life care service and community nursing service in Redbridge. It was such a moving moment at Board and I felt that Karen epitomised all that we stand for here at NELFT. She was brave, courageous and insightful in the way in which she shared their journey and she focused on compassion and empathy.
Here at NELFT our focus is always people first and Karen’s participation in our board meeting really highlighted this for me. Thank you to Karen and to all the other patients, carers and loved ones who have taken the time to share their experiences and feedback with me during my time at NELFT. It truly helps us on our journey of continuous improvement.
Key to our success moving forward is the collaborations we are forming with partners across our systems. Working in partnership enables us to innovate and improve outcomes for patients and our communities. The public consultation on services at our St George’s Health and wellbeing Hub in Havering launched this week with our acute partners and commissioners. You can find out more here.
We not only want to improve outcomes for our patients, we also want to create the best possible working environment for colleagues. This is not only the physical environment but also the creation of psychologically safe environments where colleagues feel able to raise concerns, share feedback and make positive changes. Our Just and compassionate Culture programme is playing a huge role in this and we received an update on progress at our Board meeting.
I know I am leaving the leadership of the organisation in good hands with Jacqui Van Rossum as acting CEO. As of next week, she will be writing the CEO’s blog as I will be on leave throughout December. I know you will all join me in congratulating and supporting Jacqui as she takes on this role. She is a truly person-centred leader and I know she is committed to our compassionate and collaborative approach to leadership and improvement.
In the weeks and months ahead, I wish you and all your loved ones peace and happiness. Wherever you are, wherever you work, you do amazing things every day for those we serve, please don’t ever forget that.
Take good care,