I would like to start this week by reflecting on the very emotional and moving event I attended last week to commemorate colleagues we have lost to COVID-19. Our Chair Joe Fielder commissioned some beautiful artwork that has been installed in at Trust HQ and invited the family members of the seven colleagues to attend a socially distanced unveiling ceremony. It was an absolute privilege for me to present family members with special Make a Difference Awards recognising the commitment and dedication of their loved ones to NELFT. We have managed to capture the emotion of the evening in a short film you can watch here: Memorial event video
This week is Eating Disorders Awareness Week and I would like to say a huge thank you to all our colleagues who work in our eating disorder services across Kent, Essex and London. I know we have lots planned this week to share the innovative and supportive work colleagues do in order to support some of our vulnerable patients and their families. You can watch a video produced by Abbi and Milly from our Eating Disorders service here. Tuesday was also Self-Injury Awareness Day and again, I would like to thank colleagues across all our services who support those in need. It is so important that we have open conversations about mental health issues, including self-injury and eating disorders in order to increase understanding and encourage people to seek support.
At our Executive Management Team (EMT) meeting this week we had an update from the Acute and Rehabilitation Directorate’s (ARD) senior leadership team, led by Joseph Lindo, Integrated Care Director ARD. I know that our inpatient services across both rehabilitation and mental health are challenging environments to work in, made even more challenging through the pandemic so it was really good to hear about the great work and innovation going on in the form of a number of pilots as well as training and support for colleagues. Our EMT are grateful for the work taking place across all of our inpatient services so thank you to all of our colleagues. We were also joined by one of our NHS Graduate Management Trainees who shadowed the meeting to understand more about how we work as an EMT. It is so important for us as leaders to empower and encourage future generations of our NHS workforce.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the situation in the Ukraine and the potential impact it may be having on colleagues across the NHS and social care sector, as well as our patients and local communities. I ask you all to act with compassion and kindness, living the NELFT values and supporting each other. If you do require support please reach out and make use of the wellbeing services and psychological support available.
Take care and stay safe.