At Liverpool Women's we touch people's lives at some of the most joyful, stressful and saddest times. With this comes an enormous responsibility to get it right for each and every patient no matter which services they are accessing. Part of Wednesday morning was spent reading and signing letters to patients who had accessed our services and not had the experience either they or we would expect from Liverpool Women's. We always welcome feedback from our patients as it is only by knowing when we have fallen short of expectations that we can learn from that and do something about it. I ensure that whenever possible I always read the complaint letters and personally sign the responses. When I am away on holiday an Executive Director always acts as CEO and they undertake this key responsibility on my behalf.
Our wards, departments and individual members of staff receive countless thank you cards and letters, which are regularly displayed in clinical areas. With all of the negativity at times in the media with regard to the NHS it really is nice for our staff to know how much their hard work is appreciated by our patients. Many patients write directly to myself as the Chief Executive, wanting to express their gratitude for the care our staff have provided. These letters and cards always brighten my day.
On Wednesday I responded to a very harrowing but also heartwarming letter received from a young couple embarking on IVF within our Hewitt Fertility Services. The letter started with 'Behind every IVF patient is a story. Our story is slightly unusual and we believe one of the first, however it won't be the last'. In order to preserve their patient confidentiality I cannot go into detail here of their personal circumstances for needing IVF treatment in their desire to have a child together. However, their story is an unusual and also heartbreaking one and hence they have been afforded NHS IVF services outside of the normal NHS criteria. A direct quote from their letter to me 'Now it's just down to science and my body. I think what I am trying to say, is that although we are about to start treatment at the Hewitt Centre, the treatment we have received so far by staff has been amazing. Your teams are one in a million. Your teams are helping us; in a way that at first we never thought was possible. However our journey goes, successful or not, you will have given us the chance to see if it is meant to be. For that we are eternally grateful'. I have to admit that I will personally follow this couple's journey and will pray that they get the outcome they so desire and so deserve. From the bottom of my heart I wish them well.
Liverpool Women's is like a small community. On Friday we say goodbye to Paul Turner one of our most popular members of staff who recently lost his battle with a terminal illness. Paul will be sadly missed by his friends and colleagues. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.