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by Kathryn Thomson

Chief Executive

Another varied few days

I cannot believe how quickly the week passes (maybe I really am older than my mantra of being only 23!!!). The week has continued to be varied and as always interesting and challenging.

On Wednesday I focussed on external commitments. I Chair the Cheshire and Merseyside Workforce Group. This group reports into the North West Education and Training Board, of which I am a Board Member.  The Board has responsibility for defining the Education and Training priorities of the whole of the NHS North West workforce and has a budget of £700 million, the largest in the country.

On Thursday we had our Annual Assessment visit by the Post Graduate Dean for Medical Education. This is a rigorous process that ensures that the junior doctors working at Liverpool Women's are provided with the appropriate teaching, education, experience and support to fulfil their training programmes. Dr Devender Roberts, Consultant Obstetrician in Fetal Medicine/ Postgraduate Clinical Tutor provides great leadership to our training programmes to ensure that junior doctors get a great experience at Liverpool Women's. A particular thank you to Devender and Kathy Smith (Medical Education Manager) and the rest of the team who support junior doctors in training.

Friday morning commenced with a meeting at the University of Liverpool.  I have been asked to sit on the Mersey Deanery Integrated Clinical Academic Training Board which is responsible for overseeing the strategic development of Clinical Academic Training at the University of Liverpool and the Mersey Deanery. This is a new experience for me but I am sure I will enjoy it.

This was followed by a meeting of our Board of Directors. The meeting began with a walk around of all of our wards to take a look at our new Nursing and Midwifery Indicator displays. 

We always take the opportunity presented by the Board of Directors Meeting to have a patient story. This is usually told by our Director of Nursing and Midwifery although we have had a few patients come into the meeting to directly relay their account of accessing our services.  This is a great opportunity for the Board to reflect on the impact our decisions can have on the care that is delivered to our patients. This was followed by a presentation to a group of staff who have achieved great things recently. Firstly, Beckie Freeman, ward manager for Maternity Base, was recognised for the glowing feedback the Trust received from the CQC after their recent unannounced visit. The CQC visitors actually mentioned Beckie by name and singled her out for special mention. Chiara Mosely, advanced neonatal nurse practitioner working on our Neonatal Unit, recently completed a PHD after producing a thesis on Newborn Life Support Training and this was also recognised by the Board. Finally, the Board recognised midwives Jinnat Westcott and Jayne Moreton, and student Alex Battye, about whom I received a letter from a patient praising the care and support the three members of staff had offered them during the birth of their baby. A gorgeous bouquet of flowers was given to each of these five remarkable individuals as a thank you from the Board.

Amongst other issues our Board has focussed today on the Francis Public Inquiry report and sought assurance on how we will review the recommendations within the report. We received a report on the results of the annual staff survey and heard how we will be introducing more locally developed surveys that give more meaningful feedback in a timely manner.

Our Scientific Director updated the Board on the latest position in respect of the national Genomic Strategy.  Liverpool Women's Hospital provides the Clinical and Laboratory Genetic Service for the whole of Cheshire and Merseyside.

Some of our experts have featured heavily in the press over the past week, Cathy Atherton and Jonathan Herod both appeared on local radio to discuss breast feeding and ovarian cancer respectively whilst Charles Kingsland appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss amendments to NICE guidelines relating to IVF. I am fortunate to lead an organisation that has so many talented people working in it.

Have a great weekend.

01 March 2013