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A Bond Of Love

Flu vaccination is available every year, free of charge to NHS staff to protect them, their families and their vulnerable patients from the risk of flu and its complications. The vaccination has been available at Liverpool Women's for 6 weeks and so far 62% of our staff have received it.  Pregnant women and immune suppressed patients are particularly vulnerable to the complications of flu so it is critical that our staff take up the vaccine.  Thank you to all staff who have so far had the vaccine and a big thank you to our Occupational Health staff who are out and about every day in wards and departments.

Delivering care 24/7 is a challenge. Ensuring that we have the right staff numbers, skill mix and experience over a 24 hour period is a challenge in itself.  We are in the process of moving from a paper based rostering system to e-rostering.  As one of our Ward Managers Sharon said, moving from paper based systems to electronic will give her more time with her staff and patients and no more playing Sudoku in pages of off duty!!!  Great to see our people embracing change so positively.

On Tuesday morning I took part in a judging panel for the Health Education England Excellence in Human Resources Awards. My lips are sealed on the winner!!

On Thursday we welcomed over 100 guests to the opening of our Orchid Room and Honeysuckle Room. A special thank you to Dame Lorna Muirhead, Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside and Gary Millar the Lord Mayor of Liverpool who both took time out of their busy diaries to be with us.  We see and treat many women and babies and as CEO I get to know only a few of them on a more personal basis.  However, these people leave a lasting impression and motivate me,  to ensure that we continue to be at the forefront of care for women and babies.  Back in 2010 we opened the Mulberry Suite , which provided space and facilities for our terminally ill cancer patients to spend quality time with their families during their final days. Unfortunately there was only funding for one such suite.  Then in stepped Kevin Bellion.  Kevin’s partner Carla lost her fight for life at the age of 34.  Kevin and family and friends decided to fundraise in order to refurbish the room that Carla had spent a great deal of time in. Liverpool Women's has also been fortunate to count amongst its supporters and friends Tommy Lloyd and his family and friends who have raised many thousands of pounds in memory of Tommy's wife Margaret. Once word of fundraising began to spread, many other families began raising funds. Today we have opened up this new facility to our patients and named it the Orchid Room, as these were Carla’s favourite flowers.

Each year many thousands of families leave Liverpool Women's Hospital proudly showing off the new addition to their families.  Unfortunately for some parents they leave our hospital with empty arms.  Although nothing can take away or diminish the pain that parents and their extended families go through, our staff do their best to support families at these difficult times.  On Thursday we opened our newly refurbished  facility for bereaved parents.  We have named the facility the Honeysuckle Room.  This name was chosen as honeysuckle means 'Bond of Love'.  Thank you so much to the fundraisers who made this possible, including John and Andrea Barnes and the Worsnip family.

Our charity is constantly looking for new ways to secure funding in order to provide additional services and equipment not usually funded by the NHS.  Solicitors EAD have pledged to support our Charity in raising awareness of Legacy Giving.  They will hold an annual 'Make a Will' week, when people are invited to attend the hospital to make a will, free of charge, in exchange for a donation to our Charity.

Over the next week or so I will be spending a lot of time in London pursuing some exciting developments for Liverpool Women's, which I hope to be able to share with you in the new year. I will also be joining our fabulous Hewitt Fertility staff at an awards evening in London as they have been shortlisted for innovations in healthcare.

Have a great weekend.

by Kathryn Thomson

Chief Executive

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