Welcome to April’s edition of Connect, our monthly newsletter rounding up news and developments from across Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust.
The Government’s ‘living with COVID-19’ plans are a clear signal of an attempt to return to more normal times which we all welcome, but it is also important that we don’t become complacent especially given the number of cases both within hospitals and across our communities at the moment.
We are also well aware that our staff, and those working for our partner organisations, continue to face huge pressures and challenges every day. That’s why we are keen to do what we can to recognise not just the huge commitment shown over the last 2 years, but the ongoing efforts being demonstrated across all our services to meet the high demands we continue to face.
We are therefore pleased to be offering all our staff an additional Thank You Wellbeing Day (an extra day’s annual leave) which we hope they can spend with their loved ones and those close to them. In addition, we have extended free parking for our staff across all the sites we own until the end of September 2022 alongside some other initiatives supporting our teams to reconnect.
In reality nothing we could offer would fully reflect everything our staff have done, and continue to do, but we hope this gesture goes some way to showing just how grateful we all are.
We also recognise that working in the NHS is not easy and the last couple of years have taken their toll both personally and professionally. We are determined to listen to our staff and take real, tangible actions which help them and their teams. There is a clear connection between happy, supported and motivated staff and good clinical outcomes and experiences for our patients, so as we head in to a new financial year, addressing the staffing challenges and shortages within some of our services is our biggest priority.
You can read more about initiatives to support our staff, along with other developments across our organisation in the update below.
Mark Yates - Chair, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust
Local Nursing Director retires after 37 years’ NHS service
Michelle Greatorex, our Director of Nursing and Quality, retired last week after a career spanning almost four decades.
Michelle joined the Trust in 2016 following a wide ranging career which began as a student nurse in 1985. As the most senior nurse for the Trust, Michelle has been responsible for ensuring the quality and safety of the care the Trust provides across its varied portfolio. During her time, many of our services have received national acclaim, while its community hospital leadership team, dental service, and children’s mental health services have been rated Outstanding by the CQC.
Natalie Willets has been appointed as the Trust’s new Director of Nursing and Quality and started in post on Friday, April 1st. Natalie joins us from Birmingham and Solihull NHS Foundation Trust.
Tenbury Minor Injury Unit reopens
Tenbury Minor Injury Unit (MIU) re-opened on Monday (April 4th) following a period of temporary closure.
Due in part to rising demands across urgent care services, the unit was closed for 3 months in January with the team asked to support community hospitals which were experiencing increased pressure.
We’re delighted that the unit has now reopened and is available to treat a variety of minor injuries 7 days a week. Read the full press release.
‘Thank You Wellbeing Day’ for all Trust staff
We are offering all Trust staff a ‘Thank You Wellbeing Day’ which we hope they can use to relax, unwind and spend time with those close to them.
It is really hard to put into words how much the outstanding efforts and commitment of our staff are appreciated. Nothing we can say or do will fully recognise how hard they have all worked. But we wanted to do something to say thank you for everything they have done to support each other, our patients and the wider community. They have demonstrated everything that is good about our NHS and we are really proud of each and every one of them.
New Green Plan to become Net Zero by 2040
In March we launched our new Green Plan, which firmly sets out our commitment and contribution towards meeting both local and national NHS Net Zero targets, with the aim to be Net Zero by 2040.
The impacts of climate change present a significant health and wellbeing challenge to us all. The Trust has an important role to play in maintaining the wellbeing of its staff and the health of people within the Herefordshire and Worcestershire area.
Our role in this extends to the contribution we can make in ensuring sustainability is embedded within our delivery of services and the reach that we have across our local communities to lead by example, and encourage positive change by our staff, supply chain, patients and stakeholders.
All our staff will be encouraged and supported to contribute in this important journey to ensure we make substantial progress towards our own Trust targets and those of the NHS, as we work together to deliver a net zero health service.
Knife Angel visits Worcester
The Knife Angel arrived in Worcester on 1st March and is a 27ft tall statue created out of 100,000 knives and blades received by 42 police forces across the UK.
The aim of the statue is to raise awareness of knife crime and how much it impacts individuals, cities, families, and communities. With police records showing a 29% increase in knife crime across the UK since 2011, the Knife Angel encourages conversations addressing knife crime alongside a weapons amnesty.
Our Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service ran workshops for children near the sculpture in Cathedral Square throughout the month to provide help and advice on wellbeing.
The workshops were pre-booked and attended by around 180 children. For further information about mental health support for children and adolescents, please visit the CAMHS website.
Our dedicated wellbeing website launches for health and social care staff
A new website has been launched to support the mental health of Herefordshire and Worcestershire’s NHS, care and social care workforce.
The new site is home to ‘The Hub’ – a nationally-funded mental health support programme that provides emotional wellbeing help to local healthcare workers in both counties.
With a user-friendly design, staff can get the right support for a wide range of personal and professional issues such as anxiety, stress, long covid, relationship worries and more, all in one place.
There is lots of wellbeing support on offer, however it may be challenging to navigate when you are under pressure at work and need the right help fast. The new website is designed to deliver convenient access to self-care information and offer an opportunity for people to contact the Hub team and other relevant organisations, at a time that suits them.
Anyone working in health, care and social care roles across both counties can access support via the new Hub website. They can also get in contact with the Hub team directly by calling 01905 520025, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by using the contact form on the website.