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by Kathryn Thomson

Chief Executive

Leading the way to better services for patients and their families

I love this time of year, it is so much nicer leaving for work in the daylight.

It has been another exciting week at Liverpool Women's. Work is continuing on the refurbishment of our main entrance.  I can't wait to see the new look.  We had a look at the new signage plans today.  They are so much simpler than what has been in place since the hospital was opened 17 years ago.

Work will be completed in time for the end of April official opening of our new Research Facility; Centre for Women's Health, which is a joint project between ourselves and the University of Liverpool.  Did you know that our research facilities at Liverpool Women's Hospital are the home of the world renowned Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group.  The Cochrane Collaboration is an international not-for-profit organisation, dedicated to making healthcare readily available worldwide.  It produces and disseminates systematic reviews of healthcare interventions and promotes the search for evidence in the form of clinical trials and other studies and interventions.  Cochrane reviews undertaken here are also published in the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Reproductive Health Library. Pregnancy and Childbirth is one of 53 world wide Cochrane Review Groups and was the first group to be formed.  Our group prepares and maintains reviews of interventions that relate to pregnancy and childbirth and upto 30 days following childbirth, as well as lactation.  We have some big thinkers at Liverpool Women's and at the University of Liverpool.

Our recurrent Miscarriage Service, one of the most highly regarded in the country has featured in the media this week.  I have had the privilege of joining the two consultants, Roy Farquharson and Feroza Daewood on a number of occasions and observed at first hand the fantastic work they do.  They are very well supported by our incredible nurses.  The reputation of this service means that we have couples who choose to travel to Liverpool Women's Hospital from across the UK to access our expertise.  Our staff in this service are so welcoming whenever I meet with them.  They truly are one of the jewels in our crown.

Our Hewitt Fertility Services for Reproductive Medicine go from strength to strength. In the past 12 months we have invested in state of the art equipment and technology and introduced new working practices which have seen our clinical pregnancy rates per Embryo Transferred increase to 58% in women under the age of 35, the average across the UK is 40%. Our success rates of 58% are the now the highest in the UK. Our Hewitt Fertility Services recently featured in a documentary, Babymakers, which has been selected to be screened at the famous Cannes Film festival in 2013.  How exciting, viva la Francais!!!! I will be sharing with you in the next week some exciting developments in our fertility services.  Watch this space!!!

One of my favourite sayings at work, which my close team will be familiar with is 'what you permit, you promote'. At Liverpool Women's we are privileged to touch people's lives at some of the most joyful and some of the most stressful and sad times. Myself and other Executive Directors regularly visit different clinical and non-clinical areas to see at first hand the services we provide.  I feel very strongly that everybody working in the NHS has a duty to ensure that they approach each day with the aim of ensuring that the part they play in the NHS is the best it can be.  I take a view that if the services we provide at Liverpool Women's are not good enough for my elderly mum or my teenage daughter, Beth, then they are not good enough for anyone. I have always been confident and proud to recommend our clinical services to my family and friends.

Despite the many challenges that we face in the NHS, I could not imagine working anywhere else.

Have a good weekend.

15 March 2013