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Compiling our reasons to be proud

Fundamental to the care of patients in the NHS is our commitment to ensuring that we have a fit for purpose workforce for the future. I am a Board member of Health Education England North West which met on Monday in Manchester to discuss priorities. Did you know that across the North West we spend almost £700 million on undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional development for NHS staff? A key priority for us moving forward will be to test our systems for ensuring that we recruit into healthcare professions, individuals who clearly demonstrate the values and behaviours that underpin a caring and compassionate NHS.

We have a regular GREAT day (Governance, Research, Education, Audit, Teaching). This months GREAT day was led by members of the Executive Team and focussed on the report into the failings at Mid-Staffordshire Hospital. The report made 290 recommendations, to make these easier to understand we have focussed on five themes:

Clearly understood fundamental standards and measures of compliance

Openness, transparency and candour throughout the system

Improved support for compassionate and committed healthcare professionals

Strong and patient centred healthcare leadership

Accurate, useful and relevant information

Approximately 100 members of staff from different professions and different parts of the Trust came together on Wednesday morning to discuss these issues.  We will be capturing the ideas and reflections and sharing them widely with our staff. I would like to thank everybody who took part in this important session.

Wednesday was National Nutrition Day 2013. Good nutrition is an essential component of recovery for patients. At Liverpool Women's we have listened to our patients and significantly improved the meals and the presentation of the meal over the past few years. Our Chefs attend the wards regularly to get direct feedback from patients and we have Hostesses who serve the food up on the ward, so it is always fresh. Gail Naylor, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Operations and I joined our staff on our Gynaecology Wards on Wednesday lunchtime to help serve food to our patients. This was a great opportunity to talk to some of our patients and to engage with our staff. The most enjoyable part of my job is when I get the opportunity to interact with staff and patients in the clinical areas.

On Thursday morning I had a very productive meeting with colleagues on some exciting developments for our Hewitt Fertility Services. Watch this space.

At Liverpool Women's our research involves clinical trials many of which are regulated through the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). This week we have had a 3 day inspection into our management and governance arrangements for trials and received some very positive feedback as well as some recommendations for how we can improve things further. A huge thank you to our Research and Development team who pulled together the evidence for the visit.

We are putting the last touches to our annual staff awards 'Focussing on Excellence', which will be held on the evening of Thursday 28 March 2013. It is always very humbling to read the great work that our teams are involved in to improve the services that we provide. At the heart of delivering really great healthcare is to have very committed and dedicated staff. In addition to the award categories that I have previously discussed in my blog, the executive team have agreed  'Chief Executive Awards' for 'Outstanding Contribution' and' Special Recognition'. I am looking forward to announcing the winners of these categories on the night.

Last year we published a document outlining the 100 reasons to be proud of Liverpool Women's in 2011/12. We are currently compiling the reasons for 2012/13. In addition to our internal search for reasons we are this year using twitter to engage our followers in the search for reasons to be proud. The response that we have had so far has been amazing. A big thank you to all of our Twitter followers who have responded to this.

In my job everyday I am faced by a new set of challenges or issues that need resolution, some of them minor issues and some of them quite critical or major issues for which there is no easy answer.  I am incredibly grateful to the many skilled and experienced people that I have the pleasure of working with at Liverpool Women's both clinical and non-clinical who help find a resolution to our challenges. However, despite the many challenges there is not a day that goes by when I don't have cause to smile and be incredibly proud of the organisation that I have the privilege to lead.

Have a great weekend.

by Kathryn Thomson

Chief Executive