We're in "unprecedented" times...: A very big thank-you

With the NHS creaking under winter pressures like never before, a massive thank-you has gone out to all CHFT staff.

It’s been hailed an “unprecedented”  time of challenge for all Trusts - so critical that Trusts have been advised to delay non-urgent operations and non-urgent outpatients from the Department of Health.

It has seen our Trust coming together to explore new ways of working to cope with the situation with twice-daily emergency meetings of clinical and managerial staff to assess where we are and what further can  be done to ease the pressures and ensure we continue to safely care for our patients.

In a joint message from  Chief Nurse, Brendan Brown,  Chief Operating Officer, Helen Barker, Medical Director and David Birkenhead,  - pictured above - a massive thank you went out yesterday (Wednesday) and currently appears on screensavers. It says:

“We, as every hospital across the region and rest of England, are under intense pressure at the moment and you have rallied to ensure all CHFT hands are on deck to ensure we can keep on caring for our patients as safely as possible.

“The Department of Health has instructed all Trusts to extend the cancellation of non-urgent surgery and outpatient activity to free up beds  and staff for non-elective patients at this, our busiest time ever.

“As part of all this, you may be asked to switch into different areas or onto different shifts to support patients and help colleagues and, for this and your continued support, a very big thankyou from all of us. It is very much appreciated.

“It is not just our Emergency Departments feeling the strain, it is the whole system from the front through the assessment areas, our wards through to discharge and into community and we are all working together here at CHFT with our partners on providing the best care we can for our patients as we have always done.

“So, from all three of us, to all of you, at this most challenging of times, thank you. “

Our Dr Nick Scriven, President of the Society for Acute Medicine has been in peak demand from the national media about the national situation on Sky News, Radio 5 (live), ITV lunchtime news, ITV Calendar/National and the BBC news channel. see attached.

Commenting on the national picture he said: “The position at the moment is as bad as I’ve ever known.”  And has warned if Australian flu arrives the situation will become much worse. He said there were big issues around nurse staffing levels with extra beds being opened in hospitals to cope with the winter surge and not enough nurses to go round.

He  said it was also the same for doctors, therapists and diagnostic facilities.

The severity of the situation has demanded that CHFT looks at news ways of working to alleviate the situation including:

  • Only undertaking cancer and time critical operations
  • Increasing the numbers of  senior doctors  and nurses  supporting EDs and inpatient areas  
  • Postponing some non-urgent outpatient appointments
  • Expanding assessment facilities
  • Working with Social Care partners to expedite discharge
  • Speeding up diagnostics results
  • Suspending training sessions