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Maintaining our high standards of hygiene

As the Chief Executive of Liverpool Women's Hospital I believe that it is really important that I 'walk the floor' on a regular basis.  I do my best to get out and about a number of times each week.  This manifests itself in different ways.  Sometimes I just walk around at random speaking to staff and patients about their experiences.  At times I shadow one of our team members, which enables me to gain a greater insight into the working lives of our people and into the services that our patients access.  Every two weeks I do a targeted Infection Control and cleanliness walkabout.  Recently I was concerned that our stairwells were not up to our normal standards of cleanliness.  I was also concerned at the numbers of posters randomly placed on walls across the hospital, primarily for staff information and communication purposes.  I know some will say that there are more important things for the CEO to focus on, however I firmly believe that if our very public areas are not clean and tidy how can our patients and visitors have confidence that our more critical clinical areas are of the required standards of cleanliness.  I am pleased to say that this week our stairwells are back to their usual pristine condition and that Information Boards have been purchased for the main corridors to neatly display communications.

This week I once again spent a couple of hours on our Delivery Suite.  Our staff truly are amazing and committed, they know what needs to change to ensure every patient receives a great experience.  The new central staff station looks amazing and the old delivery suite rooms have been refurbished and look great.  We talked about some of the things that get in the way of delivering exceptional care for each and every one of our patients. These issues have been fed back to the Senior Midwifery leadership team for resolution. When I go back to the Unit in a couple of weeks’ time we will feed back on progress that the local managers have made.  At times it is really small issues that frustrate our staff and at times there are much bigger, organisational wide issues that we need to address. Thank you for participating in these events. 

Our newly opened Triage and Assessment Unit is experiencing some challenges with the new ways of working.  A big thank you to the staff who took the time this week to explain to me what the problems are.  I have spoken to the senior managers responsible for this Unit and they have detailed to me the actions they have been taking to resolve issues.  I have asked that they again communicate that to all of the staff in this area.

What I really like about my job is the unexpected visits I get from our people.  Professor Charles Kingsland, Clinical Director of our Hewitt Fertility Centre popped in to see me this week.  Over a cup of tea we talked through our strategy to keep driving forward the world leading innovations in reproductive medicine.

One of my wider healthcare roles is as a Director on the Board of the North West Coastal Academic Health Science Network.  We have been operating in shadow form for some 12 months.  This week was our first official board meeting.  It is estimated that in healthcare it takes on average 17 years to get a new innovation/intervention to the patient.  This is unacceptable.  The Board of the AHSN will collaborate with the NHS organisations, Universities and Industry to ensure that we adopt and spread at pace proven beneficial innovations/inventions, to help improve and indeed save many lives.

I was delighted to be invited by the University of Liverpool to an event in celebration of 100 years of the Medical Research Council on Thursday evening.  We had presentations on research in Liverpool into Human Locomotion and Personalised Health. Fascinating stuff.  From a Liverpool Women’s perspective it was great to hear Professor Andrew Weeks presentation on 'Maternity Care in low resource settings'.  Andrew is a Consultant Obstetrician at Liverpool Women's Hospital and he was discussing how scientists can support women with problems in pregnancy in developing countries and how this compares to methods used in the western world.  He also made available to the audience models of the different stages of pregnancy, used in the training of the next generation of medical scientists. Dr Lawrence McGinty , Science and Medical Editor for ITN News was the keynote speaker and made a number of references to Andrew’s presentation. Over dinner later that evening he was discussing with myself and Sir Howard Newby, vice chancellor of the University, how impressed he was with the research between University of Liverpool and Liverpool Women’s Hospital. Our people are doing great things that will benefit women and babies in the future.

Have a great weekend.

by Kathryn Thomson

Chief Executive

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