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by Kathryn Thomson

Chief Executive

We have great people working at Liverpool Women's

Well Christmas has definitely arrived at Liverpool Women's.  Our wards and departments are beginning to look really festive. A big thank you to all of our staff, volunteers and the League of Friends who help to make the hospital look so festive for our patients, visitors and staff.  I really enjoy coming into the hospital on Christmas morning to meet our first baby born on 25 December.   Last year our first Christmas baby was a boy who was also an Everton Football Club fan; I wonder what Father Christmas has for us this year.

We have really great people working at Liverpool Women's, my blogs over the past few weeks have featured a number of our staff and teams as well as the hospital in general being nominated for and winning some highly regarded awards for health services.  I am delighted that this week a big congratulations goes to Joan Ellard, one of the Midwives on our Midwifery Led Unit.  Joan has been selected as the RCM (Royal College of Midwives) Midwife of the year for the North of England.   This means that Joan has also been shortlisted for the UK Midwife of the year Award in 2014.  The midwives put forward for this Award are nominated by women who describe how the care that they received from their midwife made a difference for them.  The RCM received nominations from 600 mothers across the UK and Joan is one of six regional winners. Well done Joan we are all very proud of you.

Cathy Atherton our Head of Midwifery has also been shortlisted for the RCM Mentor of the Year Award.  Congratulations Cathy.

Michelle Turner our Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development has been shortlisted in the North West HR Directors Awards in the category of Working Together for Patients.

Like all other public services the financial challenges we face as an organisation are significant as we move towards the next financial year.  To balance our books next year and to ensure safe and effective services for our patients we have to identify £7 million of savings or additional income from 1st April 2014.  All of our staff have been working really hard to identify how we achieve this.  Excellent progress has been made in recent weeks and we have moved from a position of identifying £2 million to having much clearer plans in place to achieve £5.5 million.  We are still not where we need to be but it is heartening to see and hear the ideas and opportunities that our staff at all levels have to support our achievement of this significant financial challenge.  I know this is not easy for any of us, so thank you all for your hard work and great ideas.

I was at the Royal College of Nursing this week which was focussing on hospital food and its importance in the recovery process for patients. James Martin the celebrity chef was there with the BBC recording a documentary on his work with 'Operation Hospital Food'.  At Liverpool Women's we worked with another celebrity chef Simon Rimmer about 5 years ago to improve our food for patients.  It was heartening to hear very much the same principles that we adopted some years ago here; the importance of using simple, fresh ingredients and food that is hot and well presented. I also met up with Peter Carter the Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing.  Peter visited Liverpool Women’s in February of this year and was reminding me again of how impressed he was with his visit to our hospital and the commitment and engagement of our staff.

Our Council of Governors held our third Partnership Summit with local voluntary organisations on Thursday. The summit was very positive and from what was discussed we will be developing a plan to work with the organisation to improve our services for our patients.

Friday was our Board of Directors meeting.  Lots of key issues on the Agenda.  A summary note of the Board meeting is always available through our website, if you would like to see the things that we discuss and the actions arising from our Board meeting.  We take the opportunity at the Board meeting to say a thank you to some of our staff who come to our attention and this month our thanks go to Lisa Binns, Deidre Power-Coghlan, Kerry Holden, Sylvia McQueen, Gloria Hall, Claire Cunningham and Caroline Clancy from our Pre-operative team.  This team provide an essential service to our patients requiring surgery.  They are a fantastic team who embrace the values and behaviours of our organisation.  Ann Morris for her work, commitment and dedication to the service we provide in our Patient Access Centre.  Her support to our staff and patients through monitoring our clinic capacity really improves our patients’ experience.  Kay Morrow, Staff Nurse for her work in improving and supporting consent in Gynaecology. Jo Lumsden, Midwife for her positive engagement in our tweeting campaigns and by way of congratulating her on recently delivering her 500th baby.  Well done to you all, you are a credit to Liverpool Women’s.

Some months ago we invited Una O'Brien, Permanent Secretary to the Department of Health to visit us at Liverpool Women's and we welcomed her to the Trust today.  We took the opportunity to show her around our new maternity facilities and also to discuss with her key issues for women’s health services that we have been lobbying for and influencing at a national level for some time.

We are also excited to announce that our Hewitt Fertility Centre will be a part of an upcoming documentary about fertility. The television company are looking for people undergoing fertility treatment to be involved. If you are considering assisted conception or have already undergone treatment and would like to know more about being involved with the programme then please ring 0207 061 8559 or you can email .

Have a great weekend.

06 December 2013