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by Kathryn Thomson

Chief Executive

Annual members meeting & open day

One day in the Trust calendar I look forward to is our Open Day and Annual Members' Meeting, held this weekend. As the title suggests, it is a combination of fun for families and a meeting where we report on our progress to our members and the public and they give us their invaluable feedback

While our families and children enjoyed a Teddy Bears’ Picnic and many other attractions, we in the meeting followed the “Journey of a young mum-to-be” presentation given by our Young Women’s Midwife, Sue Thompson.

With the largest maternity unit in the country, we delivered 8344 babies last year. Some of those were to teenagers who were often frightened and uncertain when they first came to us for ante-natal care. Happily, they were soon put at ease by Sue whose work has won her the national accolade of Midwife of the Year. As Sue described her role it was easy to see why she won the award. She is passionate about her work in befriending her patients and provides ante-natal care specially tailored to their needs with the emphasis on continuity. The girls and their partners are also given one to one parent education - including special workshops for young dads - to prepare them for how very different life is going to be with a baby.

As a mum of two teenagers myself, a daughter,17, and a son,18, I can imagine how a teenage pregnancy can be a daunting experience for some. I am pleased to reassure young women that they will be in kind and caring hands at Liverpool Women’s and proud that we are able to offer them this special service. I was especially proud when teenage mum Natalie told the meeting that having her baby at Liverpool Women’s had been one of the best experiences of her young life.

An important part of any patient’s care is ensuring they are safe. This week, like other hospitals, we are marking 'Patient Safety' week with activities around the theme. “It starts with me”. This demonstrates how we recognise the role that each and every member of staff plays in ensuring our patients are safe and identifying any areas where we can improve on measures already in place. One of only two specialist women’s Trusts in the country, with 30,000 patients a year , we were recently judged to be one of the top four NHS hospitals in the country for patient safety. This reflects our strenuous efforts to promote high quality care and a safe environment for our patients and we will continue to work to improve this even further.

Two people who always have our patients’ best interests at heart are Eva McKeown and Irene Brown, joint winners of our Employee of the Month Award. We have so many staff who are “unsung heroes” and this is just one way of recognising their dedication.

Both are Health Care Assistants in our Urodynamics department where their specialist nurse colleagues say they couldn’t cope without them. Said one: “As well as supporting staff, Eva and Irene always put patients’ needs before anyone else.’’ Both are a huge credit to our Trust and we congratulate them.

Kathy Thomson - Chief Executive

12 October 2011