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On this blog, Chief Executive David Allison gives his weekly perspective on things happening at the Trust.

You can also follow him on Twitter.

Monday 31st October 2016

Some wards are moving…

I would just like to highlight a number of ward moves that are happening this week. This is part of our preparation for a busy winter so we are best prepared for more complex and infectious patient illnesses that we see in the colder months.

Moves will be happening on the following wards:

  • Patients on Ward 24 will move to Ward 27 on Tuesday, 1st November.
  • Patients on Ward 33 will move to other wards on Thursday 3rd November.
  • Our Step Down Unit will close by Thursday, 3rd November and patients who have not been discharged by then will transfer to Ward 33.
  • Patients identified as having an infections will move to Ward 24 and other patients will move to another ward within the Trust, which relatives will be advised about in advance.

A leaflet/poster has gone out on to the wards affected, to notify families. Our staff will be working hard to ensure this happened with minimum impact on patients.

Ward moves are not something we do lightly but this is part of our forward planning for winter to protect our patients from infection and isolate infectious patient illnesses at an early stage.


Well done Infection Prevention and Control!

Congratulations to our Infection, Prevention and Control Team who have won the Infection Prevention and Control Category of this year’s Nursing Times Awards.

This is a great achievement for Andrea Ledgerton, Associate Director of Nursing, Infection Prevention and Control and all her team who have worked tirelessly to protect our Trust from infection this year.

Judges were particularly impressed by the impact their work has had on patient flow and how patient safety has been improved through proactive infection prevention strategies.

Protecting patients from infection is a key priority this winter and I would like to thank the team for all their hard work this year.

As a finalist, Andrea Ledgerton was also invited to Clarence House to meet Prince Charles before the awards. Pictured are some of the team with their award at the ceremony in London.

Well done to everyone involved and I am extremely proud of the efforts being made to enhance patient safety at our Trust.

Congratulations also to Maria Parsonage, Respiratory ANP, who was a finalist in the Nursing Times Awards under the Respiratory Nursing category for the Pleural Services. Maria faced fierce competition to get to the finalist stage and this is a tremendous achievement.


Nursing update

We are continuing to invest in our nursing staff and enhance our nursing recruitment. In September of this year 30 newly qualified nursing graduates started at our Trust. These nurses are now being supported through the preceptorship framework. We have also started interviews this week for newly qualified nurses who will be starting with us in March.

It is great to report that 36 of our EU nurses are now registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and I know they are settling in very well at our Trust.

Our colleagues have really helped to welcome our new nursing recruits and are continuing to support them.

It is also a pleasure to announce that we have achieved 100% compliance NMC Revalidation since its commencement in April 2016. This is a great achievement by our nurses who have gone through the revalidation process. There was a lot of support in place for colleagues going through the revalidation process and I’m very pleased that the strategy has been such a success.


Flu Fighter!

It is important that we protect our patients from catching flu this year and staff are protecting our patients by getting vaccinated.

We have had a great response so far and over 2,000 colleagues have had their jab. 

Our Flu Fighter campaign is extremely important, as each year around 8,000 deaths in England are attributable to flu, according to Public Health England.

By getting the jab, we are protecting not only ourselves but those we work alongside, our loved ones, friends and patients so we are encouraging colleagues to go along to sessions and get their jab. 


Monday 24th October 2016

Name our new information and advice hub!

Many of you will have noticed that work has started on the area near the lifts at Arrowe Park Hospital. This area is being developed into a new information and advice hub.

As part of that we are asking colleagues, patients, visitors and members of the community to come up with a name for the hub.

We have launched a competition and the person who comes up with the winning name for the hub will receive an iPad Mini, courtesy of Cerner.

It follows feedback from people who highlighted they wanted a highly visible central area in our main acute hospital where they could access important information.

The new communication area will provide a central location with a variety of services for visitors, patients and colleagues. It will display a range of important information and will have a quiet room to discuss private or sensitive matters.

It will also be the new base of members of the Patient Relations team, who handle informal concerns, formal complaints and offer advice as well as reassurance. The team also signpost people to appropriate services.

Healthwatch will also be based in the hub and there will be advice sessions available from our Stop Smoking and Substance Misuse Services.

There will be a variety of information available for community carers, such as advice for those who care for people with dementia. 

Colleagues and members of the public are being tasked with coming up with a name. It must be no more than four words and the deadline for entries is 11pm, Sunday, 20th November.

When thinking of a name, entrants are urged to think about the Trust’s PROUD values and the care we provide for patients, as well as the range of services that will be available in the hub.

The winning entry will be contacted after the deadline and the winner will receive an iPad Mini.

To take part please fill in the online form, which can be accessed from the front page of the wuth.nhs.uk website, or by clicking the link.


Nursing Associate pilot

As you know we have made great strides in improving our nursing recruitment. We are continuing in our efforts to attract and nurture new nursing staff.

I am delighted to announce that we have just been successful in our bid to Health Education England to be chosen as a Nursing Associate pilot.

This should be a real boost to our nursing staff and we will be working in collaboration with a number of organisations in Wirral and Cheshire along with Chester University on this. It is about enhancing our workforce to meet the future needs of our Trust.

It is expected that the pilot will launch next year and I will keep you updated with further details on this.

Monday 17th October 2016

Infection Prevention and Control – let’s stay well this winter

It is vital that we ensure that all our colleagues follow our Infection Prevention and Control processes to stop illnesses such as flu and norovirus spreading to our patients this winter.

This week our colleagues from the Infection Prevention and Control Team are engaging with staff across the Trust, visiting wards and departments to further promote WUTH’s Infection Prevention Strategy. 

The key elements of this are around rapid detection, prompt and effective isolation and doing the basics brilliantly.

Each year, the third week of October is dedicated to infection prevention to raise awareness around the important role this plays in improving the quality of patient care as well as patient safety.

On each day the team will promote, advise and educate staff across the Trust in various departments on a particular theme, which will be screening, flu / PPE, hand hygiene, norovoruis / isolation and cleaning.

There will also be drop in sessions on the second floor café for colleagues who wish to have their flu jab.

Our colleagues are thinking about hygiene and cleanliness of areas this week and helping to “Spread the Word – Infection Prevention is Everybody’s Business”


The right skills and training

As a Trust we are committed to ensuring our staff have the right skills to enable them to provide the highest quality of care to our patients, as well as ensuring we support staff on their development journey.

In the last two quarters the Leadership and Development Team have supported over 3342 colleagues in accessing development opportunities, be that mandatory training, Apprenticeships, Leadership Skills, Interpersonal Skills or general development.

The Trust strongly supports valuing staff through developmen and offer information, advice as well as guidance on the range development opportunities available to colleagues.


Welcome visitors from Alaska’s Southcentral Foundation

It was a pleasure to host Alaska-based Southcentral Foundation, which is a non-profit healthcare organisation, who have developed the successful Nuka System of Care.

Visitors from the organisation, who are pictured along with partners from the Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust, gave an overview of their Nuka Care System of Care last week.

This way of working is one of the world’s leading models of health care redesign and is a health care system which provides medical, dental, behavioural, traditional and health care support services. It provides medical, dental, behavioural, traditional and health care support services to more than 65,000 people in Alaska.

It is aimed at achieving physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness.

Southcentral Foundation’s Medical Director of Quality Improvement, Dr Steve Tierney, gave us an overview of the Southcentral strategic vision and how it has been successful.

The Nuka System of care is built on three simple beliefs. The first is “customer ownership”, where rather than patients people are described as customer-owners who have an equal say in decision-making around their health and wellness. The second is “relationship”, between the primary care team and the customer-owner who are ultimately in control of their own life choices and healthcare decisions. The third is “whole system transformation”, realising that the customer-ownership and relationship impact the entire system

Customer-ownership and relationship impact the entire system, not just health care delivery. All five key work systems in the Nuka System of Care were redesigned, including workforce development, compliance, human resources, and finance.


Congratulations to Dr Sue Wells

I would like to say a big congratulations to Dr Sue Wells who has been elected as chair of Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group.

NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group and the Local Medical Committee (LMC) have advised that Dr Sue Wells has been elected with immediate effect following a recent ballot.

This is great news and I would just like to wish Dr Wells every success in her role.

Monday 10th October 2016

WUTH Flu Fighter campaign launch – Let’s talk about flu

Keeping staff healthy is important to preventing flu spreading to our vulnerable patients.

Patient care is always our priority and getting vaccinated is part of that responsibility when looking after patients.

I’ve already had my jab and our Director of Nursing and Midwifery Gaynor Westray has had her vaccination as well, now all colleagues are being encouraged to get their jab as soon as possible.

An average of around 8,000 deaths a year in England are attributable to flu, according to Public Health England, which is why this annual campaign is so important.

This about doing the right thing as health professionals! It’s about protecting our patients, our fellow colleagues, our loved ones and our friends.


Palliative and End of Life Care Awareness Week

Today was the launch of the Palliative and End of Life Care Awareness Week.

Our End of Life Care Transformation Team will be raising awareness of our Palliative and End of Life Care Strategy, with an information stand in the main entrance of Arrowe Park Hospital today and visits to clinical and non-clinical areas across the hospital throughout the week to ask people to pledge their support to delivering the strategy.

The End of Life Care Transformation Team are pictured with the Integrated Specialist Palliative Care Team from Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust, the WUTH Senior Nursing Team and Catherine Hayne, Consultant in Palliative Medicine.

Our ambition is to provide the best possible palliative and end of life care. Our aim is to provide care that is well planned, holistic and focused on meeting the needs of the individual as well as those close to them.

Every single patient has fair and equal access to the care they need regardless of their illness. It is our commitment to ensure this is provided.

Palliative and End of Life Care must remain high on our agenda if we are to ensure success on our journey of improvement, which we embarked on following our CQC visit last year.

We have three objectives to help us improve the service we provide. Firstly we aim to deliver system-wide improvements that make the best use of quality frameworks and specialist expertise. Secondly, we want to invest in and empower staff to ensure end of life is seen as the business of everybody. Thirdly, we must co-ordinate and plan more effectively, working jointly with the wider community.

Our approach to the compassion and care we provide at this vital point in a patient’s life is hugely important to not only the individual but also their families. 


Visitors from Alaska’s Southcentral Foundation sharing best practice

This week our Trust will be welcoming the Southcentral Foundation who have developed the Nuka System of Care, so that we can learn from their success.

The Nuka System of Care is recognised as one of the world’s leading models of health care redesign and is a health care system which provides medical, dental, behavioural, traditional and health care support services. This is a health care system managed and owned by Alaska’s Southcentral Foundation to achieve physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness.

Southcentral Foundation’s Medical Director of Quality Improvement, Dr Steve Tierney, will be spending some time at our Trust  to help us understand the Southcentral strategic vision of how this works by sharing their significant successes.


Monday 3rd October 2016

Welcome new nursing recruits!

It is great to report that we have welcomed 26 newly qualified Band 5 nurses to our Trust last month. They have joined departments across our sites and I hear they are settling in remarkably well.

We have an ongoing commitment to our nursing recruitment and ensuring our Trust is at the top of the list of places that newly qualified nurses want to join.

Due to positive placements at our Trust I am also delighted to announce that we have had three “return to practice” nurses who have also joined us. Our “return to practice” nurses are an important part of our recruitment drive and it is fantastic that nurses are choosing our Trust to return to their nursing careers.

As we head towards the busy winter period ahead, and as our nurse recruitment campaign continues, these additional Band 5 nurses will make a huge difference to colleagues, so please do make them feel welcome.

I wish all of our new nursing recruits the best of luck and I wish them a long and happy career at our Wirral hospitals.


Stoptober 2016

We are backing the Public Health England campaign Stoptober again this year and calling on patients, visitors as well as staff to consider taking on the challenge of quitting smoking in October.

Did you know, bedside stop smoking support for hospitalised patients is now available at Arrowe Park Hospital thanks to a robust electronic referral system and partnership working with ABL Wirral Stop Smoking Service?

Patients are being offered support to quit smoking prior to hospital admission and during their hospital stay. This stop smoking support continues after discharge for up to 12 weeks.

At various times throughout the month, we will have market stalls at Arrowe Park Hospital and Clatterbridge Hospital where ABL Wirral Stop Smoking Service and Wirral University Teaching Hospital staff will be on hand offering advice and access to further stop smoking support.

If you are a colleague that smokes, you can always contact ABL Wirral Stop Smoking Service on 0151 541 5656 or text ‘ABL’ to 60777. The NHS is a smokefree organisation, so it is important all health professionals do the right thing and lead by example.

If you are taking on the Stoptober challenge, or if you are guiding patients to do the same, please use the support available to you.

Monday 26th September 2016

Annual Celebration of Achievement

Last week I had the pleasure of attending our Annual Celebration of Achievement event, acknowledging the 200 colleagues the Trust has supported in gaining a qualification over the past twelve months. I appreciate that some staff couldn’t join us at the celebration event, so I would like to pass my congratulations onto  everyone who has achieved a qualification in the last 12 months.

As a Trust we are committed to ensuring our staff have the right skills to enable them to provide the highest quality of care to our patients, as well as ensuring we support staff on their development journey.

In the last two quarters the Leadership and Development Team have supported over 3,342 colleagues in accessing development opportunities, be that mandatory training, Apprenticeships, Leadership Skills, Interpersonal Skills or general development.


£100K cheque donated to Neonatal Unit

It was great to welcome guests from Greif Packaging Charitable Trust last week who donated a cheque of £100,000 to the Neonatal Unit.

This is thanks to the work of Dr Oliver Rackham and his team at the Neonatal Unit, who put forward the bid to the trust, which is the charitable arm of Wirral-based packaging company Greif.

It was a pleasure to welcome David Tillotson, Secretary of Greif Packaging Charitable Trust and Lawrence Pritchard, a Trustee of the Trust, who took a tour of the Neonatal Unit guided by Dr Rackham and Neonatal Matron Jacqui Morgan.

As you know the unit not only provides care for sick and premature babies, some as young as 23-weeks-old but also has much-needed space for parents to use.

The money will help us enhance the care we provide for babies through the purchase of the monitors and will also allow us to provide better comforting facilities within the unit for parents who are going through the most difficult times of their lives.

I would like to say a big thank you to Greif Packaging Charitable Trust for this generous donations and also to Dr Rackham and his team for their hard work in securing the funding. No doubt this will benefit many babies and parents going forward.



Monday 19th September 2016

PROUD Awards 2016

I would like to offer my huge congratulations once again to all of our winners, outstanding nominees, nominees and Long Service Awards recipients at last week’s PROUD Awards.

For the 700+ colleagues that were able to be part of the evening, this year’s event really was a celebration to reflect their dedication over the past 12-months and everything you have achieved. It was fantastic to welcome BBC Breakfast presenter and Strictly Come Dancing celebrity Naga Munchetty as our host, who stopped to have photos taken with as many colleagues as possible on the night.

Naga showed great compassion and emotion when reading out some of our winning nominations and revealing our winners. This just reaffirmed the impact our colleagues have as health professionals. It certainly demonstrated the passionate care our staff all give here at Wirral University Teaching Hospital.

Thank you again to our key sponsor Cerner and our other PROUD supporters Hill Dickinson, Unison, Healthcare Staff Benefits, LT Print Group and Argyle Taxis. Without their support this year, and knowing the challenges we face financially, it would not have been possible to stage this important staff event. 

Our Trust website has our full list of winners, outstanding nominees and Long Service Awards recipients, but my congratulations go out to the following:

Patient focus Award – The Leverhulme Day Surgery Unit

Respect Award – Sylvia Leighton and Irene Scott

Ownership Award – Consultant Gastroenterologist Dr Paul Flanagan.

Unity Award – The Swim Team, comprising the Neonatal Unit, Eden Suite and EBME.

Dedication Award – Ward 20

Learner of the Year Award – Ethan Briscoe

Innovation and Technology Award – Sepsis Improvement Team

Volunteer of the Year Award – Paul Dixon

Patient Choice Award – Older Person’s Assessment Unit

Team of the Year Award – Emergency Department

Employee of the Year Award – Matron for Dementia, Margie Davies

Our judges had a very difficult task this year when it came to choosing the winners, as there was such a great response to nominations.

Thank you to everyone who attended and made this event the huge celebration it was. 


Annual Celebration of Achievement

This week will see our Annual Celebration of Achievement event, acknowledging the 200 colleagues who have gained qualifications over the past twelve months.

Well done to everyone who has worked so hard on their own development over the past year. Colleagues have achieved a range of qualifications such as basic numeracy and literacy, apprenticeships, Access to Nursing and Midwifery courses along with degree level, postgraduate and masters qualifications.

We are a busy university teaching hospital and we strive to support our staff through their development, learning and progression.

The annual event gives us an opportunity to celebrate our colleagues’ achievements. Through continuous development we can further enhance the care we provide for our patients.



Our Trust in the News

Wirral Globe – Doctors’ cycling challenge raises thousands for Wirral neonatal unit


Monday 12th September 2016

Global Digital Exemplar

I am delighted to share the news once again with colleagues that we have been announced as a Global Digital Exemplar (GDE). As mentioned in the global communication that went out to all staff last week the announcement was made by the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt at NHS England’s Health and Care Innovation Expo 2016.

This news is great for us and our status will put us on the map globally as a digital centre of excellence, pioneering best practice and dedication to training colleagues in digital skills. It will also strengthen our work with the Wirral Cerner Millennium system and support our work around Population Health Management and the Wirral Care Record.

This really is a fantastic achievement by everyone who has been involved in expanding our use of digital technology. I would particularly like to thank the hard work of our Informatics team and also all staff throughout the Trust as well as our partners Cerner.

Having been chosen as a “global exemplar” Trust we expect to receive funding of up to £10 million, to deliver pioneering approaches and help others in the NHS learn from our experience. We were one of only 12 trusts to achieve the status and are among just two in the Merseyside and Cheshire region.

Each Trust that received the status will be partnered with an international organisation of our choice so we can learn from their digital expertise so we are able to fast track technology implementation in the NHS.

This news is extremely positive for the Trust as it reaffirms our commitment in progressing digital technology.

We should all look forward to an exciting future as a Global Digital Exemplar.


Are you ready for the PROUD Awards?

We have just one day to go until the PROUD Awards 2016!

This year’s extra special event has only been made possible thanks to our generous sponsors Cerner and our other supporters Hill Dickinson, Unison, Healthcare Staff Benefits, LT Print Group and Argyle Taxis.

Our Communications team has had an overwhelming response from colleagues wanting to attend, which is obviously great news. Tomorrow evening is all about celebrating you and your excellent work over the past year, so if you have confirmed your place, I’m certain you will have a very enjoyable evening.

This year we welcome BBC Breakfast’s Naga Munchetty who will be presenting our awards ahead of her training for the next Strictly Come Dancing.


World Sepsis Day

We are highlighting our work around sepsis, to coincide with World Sepsis Day tomorrow.

Sepsis kills over 44,000 people every year in the UK, which is more than lung cancer, bowel cancer and breast cancer combined. As it shares similarities with other conditions such as a stroke it can be misdiagnosed or not detected until it is too late.

A great deal of work is being carried out at our Trust around the early detection of sepsis. Our Wirral Cerner Millennium system has been successful in helping us detect early signs of sepsis. 

Once again, we are showing how our use of the latest digital technology is helping us to improve the care we provide for our patients.


Cycle Challenge

Well done to our Neonatal Unit colleagues and the Neomates group for a brilliant ‘Tour De France… ish’ fundraiser. It was a fantastic effort by Dr Oliver Rackham, Dr Siwan Jones and Advanced Neonatal Practioner, Ang Albiston, who between them cycled 10,500 kilometres with the final stretch completed on exercise bikes on the day.

Many colleagues will have noticed the cycle challenge at the entrance of Arrowe Park Hospital last week. It raised thousands of pounds to help care for sick and premature babies and the cyclists were cheered on by colleagues as well as parents who turned up with their babies.

Thank you also to everyone else who joined in by completing a mile on the bike to help raise funds or who made a donation. The money raised will help fund equipment and support training along with research to enhance the quality of care we can provide for the most vulnerable babies. For those who missed the opportunity there is still chance to donate by visiting the JustGiving page.



Monday 5th September 2016

Organ Donation Week

We as a Trust are supporting Organ Donation Week, which has been launched by NHS Blood and Transplant today.

As part of the campaign we’re encouraging donors to make sure their loved ones are aware they have signed up to the NHS Organ Donor register and to encourage even more people to sign up. I have signed up and would encourage everyone to give this serious consideration.

This is an important campaign, which is also aimed at helping to save lives of those in need of a transplant.

In Wirral 100,000 people are signed up to the NHS Organ Donor Register, which is a third of the population. This is phenomenal really but we are helping to spread the word to ensure that they let their families know they are on the register. The need for transplants also still outweighs the number of donors.

Over the past five years 28 organs have been donated to Wirral residents and there have been 83 transplants received by patients. Sadly there are still many people waiting for transplants.

The theme of the week is “Turn an end into a beginning”, urging people to consider signing up and to ensure they tell their loved ones. There will be a stand at the entrance of Arrowe Park Hospital all this week offering information and advice, or people can visit the Organ Donation website.


Centre of Global Digital Excellence

As I have previously mentioned in Start the Week, NHS England has asked us to apply to become a ‘Centre of Global Digital Excellence’ which would make the Trust a world leader in health informatics.

It will be announced at NHS England’s Health and Care Innovation Expo 2016 on Thursday, 8th September, whether we have been awarded the status. If successful, it will put our Trust on the map globally as a centre of excellence. We could also receive up to £10 million to further invest in our digital infrastructure including specialist training and implementation both in-house and wider.

Selected trusts will have to show comprehensive use of electronic patient records, information sharing across the local health care system and robust data security.

If we are successful, this will put our Trust on the national and global stage in regards to our digital technology and enhance our work with Wirral Cerner Millennium. Let us keep our fingers crossed as we await this news as the competition for this global recognition is certainly fierce.


PROUD Awards

A great night of entertainment has been set up for this year’s PROUD Awards thanks to our key sponsor Cerner and our other PROUD supporters.

As I have previously highlighted, this year’s awards have only been made possible thanks to our key sponsor Cerner, and our other supporters Hill Dickinson, Unison, Healthcare Staff Benefits, LT Print Group and Argyle Taxis and it promises to be an extra special and memorable event for 2016.

The PROUD Awards offer a great opportunity to celebrate you and it is an opportunity to thank staff for their hard work throughout the year.


Winter Planning

We held our Listening Into Action Winter Planning event last week.

All the feedback and ideas from colleagues are an essential part of our planning for the winter.

Through learning from what worked well last year and any areas that did not work well we can make improvements to help us provide the best care possible for patients in the winter months.


Our Trust in the News

Wirral News - Wirral doctors near the end of cycling challenge for neonatal unit


Monday 30th August 2016

Olympian Sam Quek visits Clatterbridge Hospital

Our colleagues welcomed Olympic gold medallist Sam Quek when she visited her grandmother at Clatterbridge Hospital last week.

Sam visited the hospital and dedicated her gold medal win to her grandmother, who had sadly suffered a stroke the previous week but is recovering well.

On her Twitter page, Sam told how she missed the One Show on BBC 1 to visit her grandmother, as “the only One” she wanted to show the medal to was her “Nanna”.

It is really nice that as a Trust we are able to share special moments like this with our patients and their loved ones.

Sam also paid tribute to our colleagues on Twitter (pictured) by saying: “And of course a huge thank you to all at Clatterbridge Hospital for looking after her #TheRealHeroes.”

I am extremely proud of the excellent care our staff provide to our patients as well as the consideration you give to families.


Countdown to the PROUD Awards 2016

We are just two weeks away from this year’s PROUD Awards and there has been a great response this year with hundreds of entries nominating colleagues across the Trust.

Thank you to everyone who has submitted a nomination and highlighted the great work happening across our hospitals.

This year’s awards have been made possible thanks to our key sponsor, Cerner, and our other supporters Hill Dickinson, Unison, Healthcare Staff Benefits, LT Print Group and Argyle Taxis.

The PROUD Awards is being held at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton, on Tuesday 13thSeptember.

The PROUD Awards are a real opportunity to celebrate the work that our staff do and are an important part of our staff engagement agenda. Our colleagues continue to make our Trust an excellent place to work and receive care, so this event is about celebrating their dedication and hard work.


Welcome Mayor of Wirral

It was great we were able to welcome the Mayor of Wirral, Councillor Pat Hackett and Mayoress Elaine Hackett to the Trust to take a tour of our maternity and neonatal facilities.

The Mayor and Mayoress met with our staff including Gaynor Westray, our Director of Nursing and Midwifery. They visited the Eden Suite, Main Delivery Suite, Theatre and Recovery Rooms, Maternity ward, Transitional care and Baby Clinic and Neonatal Unit.

The visiting party were also joined by our colleagues including Debbie Edwards, Head of Midwifery; Rachael Scholler, Outpatient Matron; Alison Horton, Inpatient Matron and Angela Kerrigan, Consultant Midwife, Lead Midwife Sue Roberts and Midwife Andrea Roberts.

It is always great for our colleagues to show the good work that is being carried out at the Trust. We have fantastic facilities for babies, mothers and families.

Thank you to our colleagues for showing the Mayor and Mayoress the work being carried out to provide the best care possible for expecting families.


Well done colleagues!

It will be a great pleasure to host our Annual Celebration of Achievement this year. The event will acknowledge the 200 colleagues who have gained qualifications to support their role in enhancing patient care over the past twelve months.

This involves staff in a variety of roles gaining a range of qualifications such as basic numeracy and literacy, apprenticeships, Access to Nursing and Midwifery courses along with degree level, postgraduate and masters qualifications.

As a busy University Teaching Hospital we are able to support our staff through their continuous development, learning and progression. This annual event gives us the opportunity to thank our colleagues for continuing their learning to enhance the care we can provide for our patients.

Monday 8th August 2016

Our PROUD Staff Charter

Our PROUD values play a huge part in our day-to-day work at Wirral University Teaching Hospital. In addition, our PROUD Staff Charter defines our key principles and explains how they are of benefit to both patients and staff.

The PROUD Staff Charter was launched just over a year ago now following a great deal of staff engagement. It was formed as a result of the excellent feedback received from colleagues.

As the biggest employer locally, it is our aim to create a culture of openness and mutual respect within our organisation. For this to work, we ask every one of our staff to commit to the charter, so we can create a culture where everyone can work to their full potential.

The key principles of the charter are aligned with our PROUD values:

Patient focus





The charter highlights what we expect of our colleagues and what colleagues can expect of our Trust to ensure we are all thriving within a healthy working environment.

We continue to achieve all we can in providing exceptional patient centred care. We should all be working in an environment where our job is rewarding, where value matters, where there is open communication and also where there is recognition of achievement so that colleagues can excel.


PROUD Awards 2016

Already we have seen an influx of nominations for the PROUD Awards 2016.

The awards are about celebrating continued hard work of our staff throughout the year and the huge achievements that have been made throughout our departments.

This event is being held once again at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton, on Tuesday 13th September.

So, if there’s an individual or a team that has really gone the extra mile this year in their provision of patient care and who has embraced our PROUD values, members of the public can nominate them for a Patient Focus Award.

Nominations will remain open until Friday 19th August, so please give lots of thought of whether an individual or team deserves to be recognised and why.

for more information, please visit our website.


Heart of Wirral appeal nearing its target

I would just like to give you an update on the great success of the Heart of Wirral appeal, which has received huge support from the public. Our Trust Chairman Michael Carr, staff and patients are pictured with charity representatives at the launch just over a month ago.

The British Heart Foundation launched the 12-month appeal in June to raise £66,000 for two new heart scanners for Arrowe Park.

In just six weeks the appeal has already raised £50,000 thanks to huge public support. This is a great achievement and really goes to show how much the people in our community value the care we provide for our patients.

The charity is now making that final push to reach the £66,000 target. I know many of our colleagues have been supporting the appeal in various ways.

Thank you for all your efforts and continued support. Around 10,000 people a year who need specialist cardiac care would benefit from the two new machines.

A heart shaped display board has been set up in the Cardiovascular reception area at Arrowe Park, where the total raised so far is displayed.

For more information or to support the appeal, visit the British Heart Foundation website.


Winter Planning

Now we are over halfway through the year we are now planning for the winter months. We held a Listening into Action Big Conversation event last week on winter planning. Excellent feedback from the session will help us to plan for the cold months ahead.

We held a similar event last year which provided valuable ideas for our winter plan for 2015/16. Our forward planning along with hard work of staff resulted in a vast improvement in how we performed as a Trust last winter and faced the challenges head on.

This year we are aiming to provide even better care for our patients. The staff who attended made an extremely valuable contribution to the session.


Our Trust in the News

Wirral News – Time to salute our marvellous staff.



Monday 25th July 2016

Dr Kate Granger

Many of you will have heard the sad news over the weekend that Dr Kate Granger lost her long and brave battle with cancer.

Dr Granger visited the Trust last year and gave a very moving address to nursing colleagues about her experiences as both a clinician and a patient, and her work in founding the #hellomynameis movement across the NHS.

It was a great pleasure to have met Dr Granger and I am extremely PROUD that we are a Trust to have adopted and embedded #hellomynameis as a way of working within our Wirral hospitals. It goes without saying that Dr Granger was one of the most well-known figures in nursing in the country and a truly inspirational speaker.

It is important that we all take a moment to reflect on the achievements of Dr Granger not only as a clinician, but as a patient receiving care who wanted change in the NHS.

I am certain Dr Granger’s legacy and her commitment to improve things for the better will carry on. There has been so much good that has come out of the #hellomynameis campaign nationally and locally here in Wirral. We must therefore make sure the compassion we show to our patients by giving a simple greeting and introduction before any care is given continues.

As Dr Granger said herself: “When people are overwhelmed and rushed off their feet, I think the first thing to go is that compassionate response towards a patient. I don’t blame staff for that as I know how busy the NHS is. I think we all need a gentle reminder now and again that the personal touch really matters to patients and that’s what they take away from their healthcare experience.”

Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues.


PROUD Team of the Quarter

I am pleased to announce that the overall winner for Quarter 1 of the Team of the Quarter 2016/17 was the Ophthalmology Theatre Team in the Surgery, Women and Children’s Division.

The team has recently undertaken a challenging relocation of its Ophthalmology theatres to Clatterbridge Hospital. Throughout the process the team has maintained a high quality of service to patients, so a huge congratulations to them and well done for all their hard work. Representatives from the team are pictured after they were presented with their certificate on Thursday.

It was a really tough decision for Quarter 1 so I would like to say a very big well done once again to our other divisional winners:

  • Corporate Services: Infection Prevention and Control Team
  • Diagnostics and Clinical Support: Unplanned Care Therapy Team
  • Medical and Acute: Acute Medical Unit (including Medical Short Stay Ward)

It is really important that we celebrate the fantastic work going on in our Trust so congratulations to the winners as well as everyone who was nominated.


Reducing litigation and enhancing patient safety

Patient safety and patient care is our top priority at all times and we have made some great improvements to reduce litigation by patients.

In April last year we submitted a Safety Improvement Plan, for which we received £300,000 of funding from the NHS Litigation Authority.

Our action has resulted in a 9% reduction in the number of claims received by the Trust and a 27% reduction in the cost of settling claims in 2015/16. This equated to around a £3 million reduction in claims payments, which is hugely significant. This reduction should now hopefully mitigate future year’s premium increases.

A great deal of work has been carried out that has helped us to reduce litigation claims, including improved nurse staffing levels, our Sign Up to Safety programme, improvement in safety, culture and staff engagement, work led by our Patient Relations Team as well as individual schemes such as falls prevention.

Patients expect to come into hospital and to not be put at any further risk and the figures reflect the great deal of work being carried out to prevent accidents and therefore reduce litigation claims.

Well done and thank you also to our Quality and Safety team for their continuous hard work in ensuring that our employees are putting patient safety first.


Heatwave thanks

I would like to thank all colleagues for their continued commitment and hard work throughout the recent rise in temperatures. I realise some areas of our Wirral hospitals are newer than other parts, which means some areas can be warmer especially during short spells of hot summer weather.

Your hard work was really appreciated and colleagues ensured our patient care was our main priority.

I would also like to thank our Emergency Department who had a very busy week with a high number of patients due to the hot weather and also all departments who worked hard to ensure there was minimal disruption to patient flow. Your hard work and the plans you had in place ensured that we managed to cope with the high patient demand.


Culture and engagement round-up

:: PROUD Awards

It is that time of year when we are gearing up for the annual PROUD Awards. Nominations will open on Monday, 1st August. Details will be released next week about the nomination process.

The event takes place on Tuesday, 13th September at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton. We are aiming to make this year’s event the best ever so we can celebrate the great work our colleagues have been doing throughout the year.


Our Trust in the News 

BBC Radio Merseyside – Presenter Helen Jones chatted to Gail Green from our Radiology Department as Helen explored the A-Z of jobs. Gail gave a fascinating insight into the world of X-ray. You can listen again on the BBC iPlayer (01:37:10)


Monday 18th July 2016

Well done students

It has been another successful year for our Diagnostic and Radiography students with eight students passing and four of them receiving a First Class Honours Degree.

This is a great result and one student also received an award for the highest academic marks over their three years at the University of Liverpool.

I know from our clinical staff just how hard the students have worked and how they are valued by the team. Our staff have also worked hard to ensure they have received the right clinical experiences as well as performing clinical assessments under exam conditions. This has been a huge team effort and I am extremely proud of the support our Trust is able to provide for students.

It is encouraging that we have successfully recruited four of our home grown local students, who started in June. I wish them a very happy career with us here at WUTH.


Macmillan Cancer Support event

It was great to see so many partners involved in the cancer health and wellbeing event on Friday, which was the first of its king hosted by our Trust for local people affected by cancer.

A number of short talks were given by health care professionals along with stalls promoting the services and support available in Wirral. The services available locally range from fitness advice and holistic therapies to welfare guidance and support for carers.

This was a great opportunity for people to access the help they need and find the right information. Professionals from across the different sectors were available to provide information, dietitians were on hand and organisations such as Age UK Wirral also attended.

Organised by our Trust, some of whom are pictured, the event was in partnership with Macmillan, Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust and Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group.

Well done to Anne Torkington, Macmillan Information Manager at Arrowe Park and her team for the organising of the event. This is about providing real help for people who are going through such a difficult stage in their lives and I’m sure it will have made a difference to the many people who attended.



A huge congratulations to Respiratory Care and Infection, Prevention & Control who have been shortlisted for the Nursing Times Award. I will keep you updated on how they get on.

And finally a quick update on the HPMA (Healthcare People Management Awards), which were held on 30th June. James Mawrey was shortlisted in the HR Director of the Year category and the 100 Day Challenge in the Staff Engagement Category. Although they were just tipped to the post, congratulations goes out to them on being shortlisted.


Monday 11th July 2016

New Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU)

I am delighted to announce that our new Acute Medicine Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU) at Arrowe Park is now up and running and here are some our colleagues pictured in the new area.

We have invested almost £400,000 in developing the unit to further improve patient care and timely review by the acute medicine multidisciplinary team.

The new area is based within the Acute Medicine Unit, which has relocated to be with the Medical Short Stay Ward. The ACU contains a six-trolley bay, 20 comfortable assessment chairs and a suite of consultation rooms.

The ACU is part of ongoing developments to streamline patient flow through the hospital as part of our plans leading up to winter. All referrals from GPs now go to the Ambulatory Care Unit, which is currently treating between 30 to 40 patients a day.

Referred patients are immediately assessed and then receive their consultant-led care in either the seated or trolley area depending on their condition. This aims to reduce unnecessary delays for patients so they are placed in an appropriate specialist bed as soon as possible, or discharged from ACU within six hours.

Ambulatory clinics are also run from the unit to provide follow-up care to patients who have been recently discharged. 


PROUD Magazine

the summer edition of our PROUD Magazine for members, staff and patients is now out.

This communication tool provides a really accessible way for us to connect with our circa 14,000 members and has been key to keeping those who value our Trust updated on major developments, challenges and achievements at our Wirral hospitals.

PROUD Magazine includes interviews with patients and staff, highlights award wins and creates a platform for us to really shout about some of our fantastic patient stories.

People can pick up a hard copy of the magazine outside the Membership Office as well as our main reception and patient waiting areas at Arrowe Park Hospital.

This latest edition includes an overview of our work around dementia and features our Dementia Matron Marg Davies on the cover. There is also the opportunity in this edition to meet the Trust Board. It also features information about how to become an elected Staff Governor or Public Governor. 


Keep people safe on our roadway

Ensuring the safety or our patients, visitors and staff is a top priority to our Trust and that also extends to travelling around the hospital grounds.

People should be aware that there is a strict 15 mile per hour speed limit across our sites at Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge hospitals which drivers must adhere too.

There may be vulnerable pedestrians crossing the road such as patients with mobility problems, elderly people and children.

There are pedestrian crossings in place across our sites and drivers are urged to be aware of these crossings. 

Colleagues are urged to advise visitors that driving without due care and attention is reportable as a road traffic offence and we would hope that we would not be in a position to have to take such action.

Drivers are pleases asked to stick to the speed limit, which is 15mph, to help our patients, visitors and staff remain as safe as possible on roads in our hospital grounds.


Our Trust in the News

Liverpool Echo – Critically ill man proposes to girlfriend from his hospital bed after miracle recovery

Monday 4th July 2016

What makes WUTH a great place to work? U do!

Every day I am proud of the hard work of our colleagues and their dedication to providing the best possible care for our patients. 

We recognise our staff do an exceptional job and this is what makes our Trust a great place to work and to receive care.

Following a positive NHS Staff Survey and an encouraging CQC report that recognised our journey of improvement, it is important we remind colleagues that they are all integral in moving the Trust forward in its positive direction.

Over the coming weeks you may notice some new marketing material around the hospital. We know that there is so much good that happens in our Wirral hospitals each and every day. As some of the marketing highlights, it is the hard work and positive attitude of all of our colleagues that make a real difference.

Our dedicated staff continue to put our patients first and I would ask people to please take the time to read some of the statements by staff featured on the campaign. 


British Heart Foundation appeal

The British Heart Foundation launched its appeal last week to raise over £66,000 to help purchase two new heart scanners for Arrowe Park Hospital.

Our Trust chairman Michael Carr is pictured with our colleagues and British Heart Foundation staff at the launch.

The new equipment will help improve patient care through the quick identification and diagnosis of heart conditions and the prompt delivery of treatment.

This could improve treatment for around 10,000 patients a year who need specialist cardiac care, so this is a really worthwhile cause.

It is great that the British Heart Foundation has decided to support us in this way and I wish them every luck in their fundraising. If anyone would like more information please visit the dedicated BHF ‘Heart of Wirral’ website.



I am pleased to confirm that the Trust is nominated in a number of categories for this year’s HSJ Awards, which recognise, celebrate and promote the finest achievements in the NHS.

It is encouraging to see such enthusiasm when showcasing the great work that you do in areas ranging from patient safety, innovation and clinical leadership to service redesign, learning and development and staff engagement.

Good luck to all of our nominees and I look forward to hearing the results in November. 


Our Trust in the News

Wirral Globe –Kind-hearted Wirral staff raise more than £3,000 for Neonatal Unit

Monday 27th June 2016

Sign up to Safety

On Friday we marked the second birthday of NHS England’s Sign up to Safety campaign. An information stand was set up in our Education Centre and a tree for staff to leave their comments.

Our Trust signed up to the initiative in January last year as this is part of our continued commitment to improving patient safety, which is of course a top priority for us.

There are over 380 NHS organisations that have pledged support for the campaign to help make care safer and to ensure staff can discuss safety openly with patients, carers and colleagues.

Patient safety and patient care must be at the forefront of our minds at all times. We are committed to this pledge in which I must say a big well done and thank you to our Quality and Safety team for their continuous hard work in ensuring that our employees are putting patient safety first.


Matrons drop-in sessions

We are making it even easier for ward based staff, patients, relatives, visitors and carers to speak to members of our senior nursing teams. Posters will be located throughout the Trust with information to patients and staff.

On Monday 4th July we will be launching our Matron drop-in sessions, which will allow ward based colleagues, patients and the public to speak to Matrons direct and on a one-to-one basis. The aim is to help answer any questions or enable us to resolve any issues we need to address.

Matrons will be based in Ward 23 Resource Room each Monday afternoon, where patients and relatives can drop in with any concerns. This new means of communication is also open to our ward based staff who may have any concerns or who may want to have a one-to-one chat with a Matron.

Listening to our patients and staff enables us to continuously improve our service and our care for patients, so this is a very welcome launch. 


Wirral Care Record 

Information regarding the Wirral Care Record was announced to public last week and leaflets are being distributed to households in Wirral from today. The Wirral Care Record is set to be launched in September to provide up to date secure information at the click of a button. The aim is to provide, safer, faster care for our patients.

The way we access health care is changing. In order to stay ahead of the game, and to be at the forefront of this change, our Trust has been working with the NHS and social care in Wirral on this complex piece of technology so we can continue to provide the best possible care for our patients locally.

This is a totally confidential record set up through the Healthy Wirral partnership, which in the first phase will allow our Trust and GPs who are signed up in Wirral to access the same patient data.

Health information from Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust, and Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, as well as data relating to social care packages that a patient may have access to from Wirral Council will be available to care professionals by the end of the year.

It will mean less chance of patient information being duplicated and greater speed in deciding on the right treatment.



Monday 20th June 2016

Wirral Care Record

The Wirral Care Record is set to be launched in September with the aim of providing up to date secure information at the click of a button to provide, safer, faster care for our patients.

This is a totally confidential record that has been set up through the Healthy Wirral partnership. In the first phase it will allow our Trust and GPs who are signed up in Wirral to access the same patient data.

Health information from Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust, and Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, as well as data relating to social care packages that a patient may have access to from Wirral Council will be available to care professionals by the end of the year.

It will mean less chance of patient information being duplicated and greater speed in deciding on the right treatment.

For example, if a patient comes into our Emergency Department at Arrowe Park Hospital and is allergic to penicillin, this information from their GP record could be accessed immediately from the Wirral Care Record.

Everyone in Wirral will have a digital care record if their GP Practice is participating however there will be an option for residents to opt-out.

More information is being distributed to households in Wirral from Monday 27th June.


Lessons from Infection Prevention and Control

It is great to see that our Infection Prevention and Control directorate has been asked to share its expertise around the multi-drug resistant bug CPE with nursing staff in Hong Kong.

Andrea Ledgerton, our Associate Director of Nursing, Infection Prevention and Control, has been invited and sponsored to present at the 7th International Infection Control Conference of the Hong Kong Infection Control Nurses’ Association on 2nd July.

Andrea will share the positive results of our three year study, which has resulted in fewer patients exposed to CPE, reduced number of new colonised patients and improved patient flow. It is good to be able to share with other health organisations the lessons we have learned through this work.

As part of our on-going commitment around Infection Prevention and Control, the role of Infection Prevention Ambassador has been relaunched. The ambassadors, pictured with their badges, will be the infection prevention representative in their area, promoting good practice, educating others and carrying out audits.

Our ambassadors will be hugely important in helping us to keep up the good work in ensuring we promote best practice in our clinical areas.


Nursing Recruitment

We are continuing to improve our recruitment for Band 5 nursing staff and it is encouraging that our vacancy rate remains low when compared to peer organisations.

As the biggest employer on Wirral we are committed to ensuring we have sufficient nursing staff to deliver safe and appropriate care. Although there is a national shortage of registered nurses, this is an improving picture however it is expected the NHS may not feel the full benefits until 2018.

Due to staff turnover, internal promotion and movement, each month we need to recruit a minimum of 12 wholetime equivalent Band 5 registered nurses. As the availability of local experienced nurses has reduced we recently launched a recruitment programme focusing on graduates.

It is great to see that nurses do want to come and work for our Trust here in Wirral. There are 26 nurses due to graduate in September this year and they have accepted posts here. We also currently have 38 EU nurses and 34 of those are being supported through our preceptorship programme.

We have also worked with the University of Chester to deliver a Return to Practice programme and three nurses have now been offered contracts.

The great work around recruitment will continue so we can ensure we have we are delivering safe and appropriate care to our patients.


Clatterbridge Hospitals League of Friends

Congratulations to Wirral Breast Centre which was named the winner of the Lord Leverhulme Award at the Clatterbridge Hospitals League of Friends Annual General Meeting.

Sam Hodkinson, Macmillan Specialist Breast Care nurse and Jasleen Kaur, Deputy Associate Director of Nursing, were presented with the award by Ken Arnold, Chairman of Clatterbridge League of Friends.

Presented every two years, this award recognises a department or team within the Clatterbridge Health Park who, in the opinion of the League’s Committee, have offered an outstanding service. Well done to Wirral Breast Centre and this really is a well-deserved award.

The event on Friday evening was attended by Chairman Michael Carr, Director of Nursing and Midwifery Gaynor Westray and a many of our nursing teams.

Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Dame Lorna Muirhead DBE, was also the guest speaker at the event, which was the organisation’s 61st Annual General Meeting. Dame Lorna is pictured at the event with our Trust colleagues.

The work of both our Clatterbridge Hospitals League of Friends and Arrowe Park League of Friends are greatly important to the Trust. We are extremely lucky to have such great volunteers giving their free time and raising funds for our hospitals.

I would like to say a big thank you to the League of Friends Groups for their continued support for our Wirral hospitals.


Our Trust in the News

Wirral Globe – Everton FC legend visits Wirral hospital in tribute to carers

Monday 6th June 2016

Carers Week launch

This week we are recognising the many carers in Wirral who dedicate hours of their lives every week to caring for family, loved ones and neighbours.

It is remarkable that there are around 40,000 carers in Wirral who are spending more than 50 hours a week caring for someone.

We welcomed the Mayor of Wirral, Councillor Pat Hackett to Arrowe Park Hospital earlier today to help us launch Carers Week, which is about recognising the valuable work that carers do. Many thanks to WUTH colleagues, WIRED Carers Support Services and Healthwatch for helping to launch the week here at Arrowe Park.

Sadly, some carers remain hidden and are not accessing information or support. As a Trust we really want to help carers this week by providing as much advice and information as possible.

An information stand will be set up at the entrance of Arrowe Park Hospital today and Friday, June 10, where WIRED Carers Support Services will be on hand to offer advice and support.

It is not only there for visitors and patients but also for any staff who are carers and would like more advice.

Carers often put the needs of their loved ones before their own and this week is about ensuring that they are aware of the range of support that is available to them.


Thank you to our volunteers

Did you know that we have around 600 volunteers who give hours of their time for free to help patients and staff at our hospitals?

In addition to Carers Week, it is also Volunteers’ Week. I would like to thank all of our volunteers for the excellent service they provide. Volunteers’ Week runs until 12th June and I would urge staff to take the time to thank our volunteers this week for their valuable contribution.

Our volunteering team is led by Kathy Orme, Volunteer Coordinator, who is pictured with volunteer Annie Cooper.

As a busy acute trust we are a real hub in the community. We are very lucky that so many people in our community want to give something back to our Trust by helping our staff and patients through voluntary work.

They carry out a range of important roles such as assisting patients at mealtimes, befriending those in need and helping patients with dementia.

The assistance our volunteers give complements the work of our colleagues and in turn helps us to provide the best care possible for our patients.

I know our volunteers find the work extremely rewarding and it is great that we have so many dedicated people offering their free time to our Trust.

For anyone who would like to know more about the roles available for volunteers, more information is available on our website.


Welcome to our new Director of Finance

I would like to take the opportunity to welcome David Jago, our new Director of Finance, who began his post last week.

David was previously Director of Finance at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital and was later appointed Deputy Chief Executive/Chief Finance Officer in September 2013.

He brings a great deal of experience to the Trust having also been Director of Finance, Procurement and IM&T at Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, as well as a former Deputy Director of Finance at both University Hospital South Manchester and Denbighshire NHS Trust 

I am delighted to have David on board as part of our Executive Team and I am sure colleagues will join me in offering him a very warm welcome.


Our Trust in the News

Wirral Globe – Dad’s praise for Wirral hospital staff who treated ‘miracle’ twins 

Monday 30th May 2016

Recognition cards launched

Every day our colleagues go above and beyond to ensure the best possible experience for our patients, visitors and colleagues.

As part of our ongoing commitment to recognise the hard work of our staff we have launched the PROUD Individual Recognition Scheme.

I am proud to say that the very first staff recognition card has been awarded and the recipient is Millie Rodriguez, who is a Team Leader in the Endoscopy Department.

Gaynor Westray, Director of Nursing and Midwifery visited Millie late last week to present her with her personal card.

Millie, who has been with the trust since 1999 and in Endoscopy since 2002, is continually thanked in the Learning with Patients Experience questionnaire for her caring, friendly and considerate manner. Patients have also highlighted how Millie makes them feel relaxed during procedures.

Any of our colleagues can award another member of staff with a recognition card. I would like to say a big thank you to Millie for her continued care for our patients and to congratulate her on being the first recipient of the recognition card.


HSJ Summit

I was pleased to be given the opportunity to speak at the HSJ Modernising Healthcare Summit 2016 last week. I joined a number of panellists at the event, which brought senior executives from across the health and social care system together to explore how we can modernise our services through technology and innovation.

There were some great insights and discussions around investment and funding. I was on the panel discussing ways technology can modernise the healthcare supply chain and some of the quick wins that can improve supply chain management.

NHS England has highlighted the importance of information and technology in delivering safe, integrated care, as part of its Five Year Forward View.

We are already leading the way as a Trust in regards to our digital profile, especially with the roll-out of our Millennium software system and the use of digital records.

As a Trust we are committed to exploring ways that technology can be used to enhance our care for patients and make us more efficient as an organisation.


CQC five year strategy

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has now launched its Five Year Strategy for 2016 to 2021.

CQC inspections will be more focused on core services, particularly those that require improvement or are inadequate. There will be extended intervals between inspections for organisations that are good or outstanding.

Although large-scale inspections will be retained, there will be a move towards smaller inspections focused on core areas and more use of unannounced inspections.

For foundations trusts, the CQC will carry out an annual inspection which as a minimum will be an inspection of how well-led they are and of one core service.

For those who would like to see it, you can view the five year strategy by clicking here.



Congratulations to all the teams who were shortlisted for the HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards held in Manchester last week. We had four entries that were shortlisted which included: Staff Guardians, our Attendance Management Programme and the work of our Pharmacy teams in Medicines Optimisation.  

I am pleased to say the Attendance Management Programme, based on our joint entry for sickness absence management, health and wellbeing and staff engagement was highly commended as runner up in the category. The recognition of being finalists is a huge testimony to the fantastic things we have achieved as an organisation.


Our Trust in the News

Wirral Globe – New scanner at Arrowe Park women’s hospital to improve safety in maternity care.


Monday 23rd May 2016

Equality and Diversity

We have been speaking to our patients, visitors and staff about equality and diversity to ensure we are meeting the diverse needs of our community.

As part of Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week 2016, our Chairman Michael Carr, Director of Nursing and Midwifery Gaynor Westray and Mark McKenna, who is Interim Head of Patient Experience, spent time speaking to a number of people in the reception foyer at Arrowe Park last week, highlighting our awareness and commitment of equality and diversity as a Trust.  

This was also a valuable opportunity as we were able to ask for feedback from patients, visitors and our colleagues on how they believe we do around equality and diversity.

The week was organised by NHS Employers and was aimed at highlighting the work being carried out in our Trust to make sure we are meeting the needs of our local community as well as our hardworking staff.

NHS organisations across the country were involved in the week, where they each had the opportunity to show what they are achieving in this area.

Equality is a part of everything we do, from the working lives of our colleagues to the quality of services we provide for our patients. It is important that we must consider equality and diversity as part of our day-to-day work.

As Wirral’s biggest employer, all of our colleagues should expect to be treated as an individual irrespective of gender, age, disability, race, sexual orientation or religion. We are always striving to enhance what we do here at our Wirral hospital’s and this awareness week was really useful to help us do just that.

Our time in the foyer in Arrowe Park was also very useful as we were able to speak direct to the public about the commitments we currently have in place here at the Trust and to listen to views about any areas in which the public felt there were improvements to make.

Many of you will recall us distributing an informative piece of information about Equality and Diversity with your payslips a year or so ago. This information was to further promote and communicate our commitment as a major acute NHS trust of being fair and inclusive, both for patients and staff. If you would like to remind yourself about our commitment, the information leaflet can be found on the staff website.


Ophthalmology pilot update

As part of a three-month pilot, our elective day cases within Ophthalmology involving low risk surgery, moved to Clatterbridge Hospital last Monday. I am glad to say everything has gone smoothly. 

The pilot is part of a theatre reconfiguration project. A team is in place to review the performance of the pilot and feedback sessions will be held with stakeholders during this process. We really want to make sure that we are listening and are getting it right, so there will be a constant review throughout the pilot to ensure that we are aware of any issues.

There will be updates on the pilot in our various communication channels to let our colleagues know how it is progressing.

Although the low-risk cases have moved to Clatterbridge Hospital, the department’s more serious cases, such as general emergency and complex cases, will remain at Arrowe Park Hospital.

As I have mentioned before, the aim of the project is about making the best of both sites and we are very fortunate to have this as a Trust. Through the project we want to realign our theatre infrastructure and harmonise the work between the hospitals. We are also looking at running elective day cases within a smaller infrastructure with a view to ensuring sustainability in the future.

We do believe this is a positive move in regards to patient experience but as I said it will be reviewed throughout the process.

I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in bringing about the pilot. A lot of hard work has gone into this and I would like to thank our Ophthalmology colleagues for the way in which they have embraced this pilot and made the transition run so smoothly.


Flu pandemic training

Our colleagues and health partners joined us for an informative Pandemic Influenza Seminar on Friday as strong preparation and forward planning are vital in ensuring that we (as a whole health economy) are able to ensure the continued care for our patients and minimise disruption in the event of such an occurrence.

This was part of NHS England’s annual Emergency Preparedness, Resilience & Response (EDRR) assurance process for 2015/16. As a Trust we are required to undertake the exercise, which I know our colleagues found very useful.

We welcomed representatives from NHS providers, commissioners and partners to the exercise seminar. The aim of the exercise was to explore how prepared our Trust and partners are at handling an influenza pandemic, should it occur. It is something that we hope would not happen but nonetheless an event that we have to be prepared for as a Trust.

The seminar provided a background on influenza pandemic for healthcare workers and colleagues, it also provided an understanding of the Command and Control across Cheshire and Merseyside.

I know the representatives from the various organisations learned a great deal and also had the opportunity to share knowledge of their processes with colleagues. It was a great opportunity to gather partners together in one room and share best practice to ensure we are able to provide the best care for our patients under any circumstance.


Dementia awareness

Helping people with dementia is a huge focus for us as a Trust and our colleagues really do go above and beyond to provide dementia friendly care across our wards.

Last week was Dementia Awareness Week which was an opportunity for us to invite the media and the public in to show them all about the facilities we have to help our patients who are living with dementia.

Our Matron for Dementia, Marg Davies led a number of tours on Friday. She is pictured next to one of our reminiscent pods, designed in the form of a 1950s cinema.

Reminiscent pods and our reminiscent rooms are valuable tools to help trigger conversations and memories. Among the latest rooms to be developed are our 1950s salon and dining room. They follow our hugely popular Memories Pub and Memories Café.

I know staff have spent a lot of time and effort setting up these special reminiscent areas, which are really valuable to our patients living with dementia and their carers.

As I have mentioned before, the carer’s charity WIRED also runs sessions each Thursday in the Memories Pub and Memories Café offering advice and support for carers so do make sure your patients’ friends and families are aware of this service.

I would like to say a big thank you to Alzheimer’s Society for their interactive and successful information stand. This was hugely successful offering advice for carers and patients with information signposting them to a range of services available locally.

BBC Radio Merseyside was blown away with the work we are undertaking here at the Trust during our media tour on Friday. If you missed the extended news package on Saturday afternoon, you can listen again on the BBC iPlayer here (dementia news package begins at 01:40:20).


Foster Care Fortnight

Foster Care Fortnight has been launched today and runs until Sunday 29th May and I’m glad that we are able to lend our support to this important awareness drive.

The theme for the campaign is ‘Time to Foster, Time to Care’ highlighting the message to prospective foster carers that the time to care and foster is now. It is really moving to realise that every 20 minutes across the UK a child goes into care in need of a foster family and in Wirral alone 337 children were referred to the fostering team in 2015/16.

To mark Foster Care Fortnight, Wirral Council’s fostering team will be holding a stand in the reception of Arrowe Park Hospital today until 2.00pm, which I hope will help the campaign. They will be at hand to offer information to people interested in fostering and letting them know more about the role of being a Foster Carer.

People can also support the fortnight through social media by following the hashtag #FCF2016.


Our Trust in the News

Wirral Globe – Wirral’s Arrowe Park Hospital turns back the clock for Dementia Week


Monday 16th May 2016

International Nurses Day

Colleagues rallied to celebrate our nursing staff last week as part of International Nurses Day. The “PROUD to nurse” values are shown every day with the care our nursing staff provide for our patients and this was a day to say thank you for all their hard work.

It was great that so many nursing colleagues got involved in the celebration and had the opportunity to enjoy some of the activities.

We cannot thank our nurses enough for their tireless work and the care they give to our patients, so I really hope as many staff as possible had the opportunity to enjoy the day.

The day also saw the launch of our updated Nursing and Midwifery Strategy. Through this we are highlighting the importance of delivering the 6 Cs: care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment.

Gaynor Westray, Director of Nursing and Midwifery and Claire Pratt, Deputy Director of Nursing and Midwifery had some great feedback about the event, so a very big thank you to all colleagues and departments for really engaging with International Nurses Day this year.


Dementia Awareness

As a Trust we are committed to helping people living with dementia and offering support for their carers. Our colleagues go above and beyond to help our patients affected by this illness.

Our Matron for Dementia, Marg Davies, is leading a variety of activities this week as part of Dementia Awareness Week.

You may have noticed the foyer area at Arrowe Park converted into a 1950s style cinema, with one of our reminiscent pods. Reminiscent areas are extremely beneficial to patients, in that they provide comforting spaces for people with dementia in a setting from years gone by.

I am very proud of the work we do around dementia and the facilities available at our Trust. We now have a number of reminiscent rooms set up on our wards including a new 1950s-style hairdressing salon, a dining room from bygone years, as well as a number of indoor reminiscent garden areas.

This follows on from our Memories Café and Memories Pub, which have proven to be hugely popular with our patients and carers. The carer’s charity WIRED also runs sessions each week in the Memories Pub and Memories Café offering advice and support for carers.

Matron Davies will also be leading a guided tour of our facilities on Friday to show what we provide for patients and carers. An information stand will also be set up in Arrowe Park reception on Friday offering advice to the community.

There are more than 2,000 people living with dementia in Wirral and those figures are on the increase.

Our wards each display the Trust’s strategy on dementia and have specific commitments to help patients who suffer from memory loss. It is great to see how creative our colleagues have been in developing spaces within their department.


Equality and Diversity

This week we are marking Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week 2016 by making people aware of our commitments as a Trust.  

Organised by NHS Employers, the week shines a light on the ongoing work happening at our Trust to ensure we continue to meet the diverse needs of the local community. 

It is a chance for NHS organisations across the country to promote their achievements in this area, showing how they make equality part of everything they do, improving the quality of services for patients and the working lives of staff.

We expect every person, whether they are a member of staff, a patient or a visitor to be treated as an individual irrespective of gender, age, disability, race, sexual orientation or religion.

When we deliver our services our staff consider equality when we carry out our day-to-day work. There are many policies and procedures in place to protect people, and this week we are highlighting that we are committed to ensuring our Trust is fair and inclusive.

We aim to do everything we can to eliminate discrimination, to foster good relations between individuals and to advance equality of opportunity. A stand will be set up near the entrance of Arrowe Park Hospital on Wednesday where staff will have the opportunity to highlight how important Equality and Diversity is to us as a Trust.


Monday 9th May 2016

End of Life Care

The precious care and respect we give to people who are nearing the end of their life is of the upmost importance to the Trust. We are able to ensure such quality care thanks to the great work we undertake with our partner organisations.

This week Wirral’s health and social care sector is marking Dying Matters Awareness Week (9-15 May) by making further improvements to the care provided to people nearing the end of their life.

Last year our Trust along with our partners Wirral Hospice St. Johns, Wirral Council, Wirral Community NHS Trust and Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group launched an End of Life Care Charter, in which we all committed to 12 pledges. These were aimed at reassuring people who are dying and providing peace of mind about the services available to support them.

Further progress has been made and a new partnership website will be available on Wednesday to help people find the right information they need during what is often an emotional and difficult time.

The new website, www.endoflifecarewirral.org, which is going live later this week, will provide easy access to a range of support so that people, their families and carers can find the services that they need in one convenient location. This will also be a useful resource for health and social care professionals giving them access to policies, guidelines and training information.

This is among several recent developments around End of Life Care, one of which is also a new Volunteer Companionship Service being trialled at Arrowe Park to support patients in their final stages of life and their families. This is being offered in several wards by trained volunteers who are offering a reassuring presence and providing company to patients who may need it. We’ve had some really good feedback and are proud to hear about the positive difference it is making to people at such a difficult time. 

Working alongside our partners, we are really listening to our patients, their families and carers. Our joined efforts are bringing local resources closer together to not only enhance patient journey but to improve access to the services available.


Congratulations Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust

I would like to say a big congratulations to our NHS colleagues over at Wirral Community Trust after being granted foundation status on Friday afternoon.

Similar to our Trust, having foundation status will now enable to the Community Trust to:

  • Provide and develop healthcare according to the core NHS principles of free care based on need and not ability to pay
  • Have greater freedom to decide their own strategy and the way they run their services
  • Retain any financial surplus at the end of the year to reinvest in services and care provision
  • Borrow to invest in new and improved services for patients and service users. They will have a key accountability to the local community through public members and governors.

It is also worth noting that Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust is the last ever trust to be awarded this status, and knowing how much work, effort and time goes into such rigorous assessment, this is well deserved.

I look forward to working ever closer with our community colleagues as Wirral healthcare continues on its progressive journey of transformation and sustainability by making sure our patients are at the heart of everything we do. 

Monday 2nd May 2016

Junior Doctors’ industrial action

I would just like to once again say how extremely proud I am of the professionalism shown during the latest Junior Doctors’ industrial action.  

This was the first time the Trust has experienced industrial action of this exact nature and the great preparation by colleagues in rearranging scheduled work over the two days ensured that disruption was minimised.

As you are aware our Emergency Department remained open as normal during the action and we had robust plans in place to keep patient safety the top priority throughout. I know how tirelessly our colleagues worked during this challenging time and they are a credit to our Trust.

We are all aware that the decision by the British Medical Association (BMA) to ballot is a national issue. Our very constructive negotiations within the Trust and our excellent industrial relations has ensured that this has not become a local dispute. This has once again been reflected in the way the strike has been managed.

The priority of all our colleagues is always the safety of our patients. Our dedicated staff ensured this was at the forefront and our patients remained the key focus throughout this time.


Make May Purple

I am extremely proud of the care we provide for patients who have suffered from a stroke and thanks to the work of our dedicated stroke team we are consistently among the top performing trusts.

This month is stroke awareness month and I am happy as a Trust to support the ‘Make May Purple’ campaign by the Stroke Association. The stroke team has some activities planned during the month to link in with the purple theme.

As a Trust we are leading the way in our care for stroke patients. We admit around 700 people to Arrowe Park each year who have suffered a stroke. We are also the top performing Trust in Cheshire and Merseyside for the number of patients admitted to our stroke unit within four hours.

Our Trust delivers not only excellent hospital care but a fantastic rehabilitation therapy back into the community. The stroke team offers multiple disciplines including skilled nursing staff, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists.

Working closely with the Stroke Association, our team is very much aware of the needs of our patients. Not only is our work about helping patients to survive, in some cases improving their quality of life through rehabilitation can lead to a full recovery.

Around five million people across the world each year lose their lives as a result of a stroke however many strokes could be prevented by making simple lifestyle changes.

Raising awareness is important to help detect this condition early. I would urge people to help raise awareness during Make May Purple month by sharing the hash tags #MakeMayPurple and #StrokeMonth on social media.

Monday 25th April 2016

Junior Doctors’ industrial action

The Junior Doctors' industrial action is due to take place tomorrow, Tuesday 26th April and Wednesday, 27th April. This will be different from previous strikes, as on both days industrial action will take place from 8am to 5pm, during which time junior doctors who are involved in the action will not be providing emergency care.

Every effort will be made to ensure patient safety remains the priority. Yes this will be a challenge but as always we will give 100% to make sure our patients are well cared for.

Our Emergency Department will remain open as normal and whilst this will be a challenging time, we do have robust plans in place which ensure that patient care is at the forefront.

Messages have already gone out into the community urging people with minor conditions to consider alternatives to A&E to help alleviate the pressure in our Emergency Department. 

This will no doubt be a very busy time but we will work together and rise to the challenge. I have been extremely proud of how our staff have managed previous strikes and I am sure this professionalism will continue this week.


Staff Guardians

Our NHS Staff Survey results revealed how staff are feeling more comfortable raising any concerns they may have.

An important initiative that was set up a year ago by the Staff Engagement Team to assist colleagues was the Staff Guardian Service. This has been a really successful service and has received very positive feedback.

It is also a great pleasure to announce that the Staff Guardian Service has been shortlisted for a HSJ Value in Healthcare Award and the results will be announced on 24th May 2016.


Mayor takes a tour of dementia facilities

Our work to help people living with dementia is really something I’m extremely proud of and it was a pleasure to welcome the Mayor of Wirral to Arrowe Park Hospital last week to see our fantastic facilities.

The tour included a visit to our ‘reminiscent areas’ including the Memories Café, Memories Pub, along with the newly developed reminiscent gardens, kitchen area and a hairdressing salon.

The Mayor praised the facilities and was really interested in the future development of our work around dementia. It was encouraging that he also saw how the facilities can really make a difference to people’s lives.

He was also glad to see the great partnership work between our library and Wirral libraries in the upkeep of Memory Boxes, which greatly benefit our patients.

A great deal of hard work has been carried out on wards to help patients with memory problems under the expert guidance of Marg Davies, Matron for Dementia. I would like say a big well done to everyone who has been involved in developing those spaces within the hospital, which are really making a difference to people’s lives.


Our Trust in the News

ITV Granada Reports - Triplets born 10 weeks early are allowed home


Monday 18th April 2016

Leading the way among the most digitally advanced Trusts

When it comes to being digitally advanced, Wirral Hospitals is certainly leading the way after being ranked among the top most digitally advanced healthcare Trusts in the country.

NHS England’s ‘Clinical Digital Maturity Index’ scores healthcare organisations based on their technical capabilities. According to figures released in the media, it places Wirral University Teaching Hospital as fourth in the country!

This really does highlight how far we have come with the use of our Wirral Millennium system, which is helping us move towards the use of digital records, e-prescribing and e-referral with the aim of becoming a truly paperless patient records organisation.

As I have mentioned before in Start the Week we have also had other Trusts visit Wirral to learn from us and see how we are using the system. It has been a huge leap forward for our Trust and it is great to see that we are ahead of the game when it comes to IT.

Seeing medical colleagues with iPads has become a normal way of working and it is great to see how well the Cerner Wirral Millennium system has been embraced by everyone on wards and in our clinics.

This is also a good opportunity to highlight our journey towards a fully digitised care record for Wirral with the Health Information Exchange (HIE) system. The system, which was being tested last week and is now being rolled out, will allow our Trust and GPs to view each other’s information about patients, in real-time and at the touch of a button.


The STOP campaign

We are responsible not only for ensuring the safety of our patients but also our 5,500 colleagues. While not wanting to create a sense of fear I think it is only appropriate that staff are aware that they also have a duty to report any suspicious online activity that may be related to extremism or terrorism, especially following tragic events in recent months.

In light of that I would like to alert staff to a national 36-hour campaign, called the STOP campaign, which was launched on Friday to help stop terrorist and extremist activity.

This is a campaign run by the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) with the aim of making it easier for people to report any terrorist or extremist activity that they may come across on the internet.

While the internet and social media are fantastic tools that most of us use every day, the campaign highlights that they also provide many opportunities for those with extreme views to target young people or those who are vulnerable.

As part of the campaign CTIRU and colleagues from other specialist UK and international police partners carried out internet searches and responded to public referrals about terrorist and extremist online content.

I would urge staff to visit gov.uk/report-terrorism where there is advice on how to report online activity. For those who would like to know about the STOP campaign please visit preventtragedies.co.uk.


Plans for Junior Doctors’ industrial action

Our plans are coming together for the Junior Doctors’ industrial action following a multi-agency meeting last week.

You will be aware there are Junior Doctors’ strikes planned on 26th April and 27th April, where Junior Doctors involved in the dispute will not be providing emergency care between 8am and 5pm on those two days.

It is reassuring that we have the full support of our partners in the community who have been involved in our planning in preparation for this.

During previous strikes our staff have worked extremely hard to ensure disruption was minimised. However this will be the first time we will have faced industrial action of this nature and forward planning is essential.

This will be challenging and we cannot be complacent but I’m reassured colleagues will work exceptionally as always to ensure patient care is paramount.

We will be well prepared with robust measures in place and I’m calling on all of our staff to pull out all the stops to ensure patient safety remains as a priority.


A valuable patient experience

It is always great when our staff are praised for their care and dedication. The parents of triplets born at our Women and Children’s Hospital have praised colleagues who have helped them throughout their journey with us.

The triplets were born ten weeks early, weighing less than a bag of sugar each and thanks to the care by our staff at our Fetal Medicine, Maternity and Neonatal units they were finally allowed home just in time to mark their actual due date, which is today.

Their mum and dad have thanked all the staff who helped them throughout. This has no doubt been an exciting and nerve-wracking time for the family but our excellent staff have been very supportive in helping them through this transition.

Well done to everyone involved and I am sure you will join me in wishing the triplets well on their life at home.

This is just one example of the excellent patient experience provided by colleagues throughout the Trust and as always patient care is at the forefront of everything we do.

Thank you once again to each and every one of you throughout our hospitals who go above and beyond to ensure patients receive the best care possible.

We are also hoping to have regional television on site today covering this very good news story. This received positive media coverage over the weekend and is expected to be on BBC North West Tonight and Granada Reports this evening.


Our Trust in the News

Pressure on NHS as 900 extra ambulances arrive at Wirral’s Arrowe Park Hospital A&E


Monday 11th April 2016

Junior Doctors’ planned industrial action

I would like to begin this week’s Start the Week message by saying a big thank you for the dedication and professionalism shown by everyone during the latest industrial action by Junior Doctors last week.

Colleagues once again worked extremely hard during this period and it has not gone unnoticed how much preparation staff did to rearrange scheduled work over the two days. It is thanks to your forward planning that disruption was minimised as far as possible.

As I have previously mentioned, robust measures are in place during industrial action to ensure patient care remains paramount. The strike action we are experiencing is very much a national issue and our constructive negotiations within the Trust have continued, to ensure this has not become a local dispute. We have excellent industrial relations and will strive to ensure this continues.

We have worked hard through a number of planned days of industrial action now and are not complacent. There are further strikes planned on 26th April and 27th April, where junior doctors involved in the dispute will not be providing emergency care between 8am and 5pm on those two days.

We are meeting to discuss plans to ensure that as a Trust we will be well prepared for this. As always, our main priority is patient safety. 


Bringing no harm to our patients

Good infection prevention and control is paramount throughout our Wirral hospitals.

February was a very difficult month for us as we unfortunately saw a slight increase in the number of cases of Clostridium Difficile (C.diff) with nine infections reported. February was the same month as our Norovirus outbreak, which hit us quite hard this year. Even through this challenging time, reviews performed on these nine patients highlighted there were no lapses of care and that these cases were unavoidable.

Strong colleague focus around infection prevention and control (IPC) resulted in the Trust reporting that there have been zero cases of C.diff infection last month.

As we start the new financial year with a C.diff objective of no more than 29 cases and we expect staff to keep up these high standards. Clinical staff should be fully aware of the protocols around prevention of C.diff.  

Ensuring a proactive strategy is in place to prevent avoidable cases of C.diff is absolutely essential. Our colleagues faced significant challenges during the Norovirus outbreak and the cases of C.diff were unavoidable.

It is reassuring that we are again back down to zero levels for March and we aim to keep up the great work we are currently seeing by making sure the number of C.diff cases remain an absolute minimum this year.


Wirral safeguarding website

A new website has been launched for Wirral Safeguarding Children Board and Wirral Safeguarding Adults Partnership Board.

The website wirralsafeguarding.co.uk contains valuable information and news for partner organisations across Wirral, as well as people living or working in the community.

It is a one stop shop for professionals, children, young people and adults to access a range of safeguarding information and resources.

As a Trust we have our own safeguarding team and are committed to ensuring children, young people and adults are safe from abuse, exploitation and harm.

The Safeguarding Boards have a statutory responsibility to monitor and evaluate what is done by partner agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of everyone in Wirral.

This website is designed to support those who live or work in Wirral. It allows people to report a child or adult who may be at risk.

It also allows colleagues to arrange multi-agency safeguarding training courses and highlights the policies in place to protect people in the community.

The new website is a very important tool, providing valuable information and advice on safeguarding issues. 


Monday 4th April 2016

SAFER Start and a busy Emergency Department

I would like to say a big thank you to colleagues for their hard work and involvement during SAFER Start in what has been an extremely busy week for our Emergency Department and the rest of the hospital.

As I’ve previously highlighted, we ran the initiative in January during our busiest week of the year to help improve patient flow. Because of its focus and drive, it was decided that we would run it again during a hugely busy week following the Easter bank holiday with the aim of helping ease some of the extra pressure we are all feeling.

There was a greater focus this time though on our work with partners to ensure timely discharge of patients and also on solving problems that stop us meeting the SAFER patient care bundle.

As was the case with many hospitals across the region, there were increased pressures with what has seemed a continuous stream of people attending the Emergency Department. While it was extremely busy, there was some useful work happening on wards with partners to bring about timely discharges.

The discharges for several patients were brought forward by working with our partners. Wednesday saw the highest number of patients discharged with over 90 medical discharges on that day.

It was a great opportunity for staff and partners to gain in-depth knowledge into the processes and cultures of the organisations involved in the discharge of patients. There has also been some important feedback, which we now hope to build on.

I am aware of how challenging this last week has been for colleagues. We all continue to be passionate about what we do, ensuring patient care is at the forefront. I would like to commend all of you for your dedication in ensuring our patients received the best possible care.

I would like to also thank our partners from Department of Adult Social Services (DASS), Wirral CCG, Wirral Community Trust, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership and Healthy Wirral who all supported the SAFER Start initiative. The aim now is to establish improved ways of working by introducing solutions to any hurdles that we have faced during the week.



Apprentice Open Day

We welcomed 170 young people and their parents to our Apprenticeship Open Day in the Education Centre last week.

The event was open to young people aged 16 to 23 who are interested in a career in healthcare and three sessions were held throughout the day.

Gaynor Westray, Director of Nursing & Midwifery, opened each session and inspired everyone by talking about her journey from a trainee to her present role.

Feedback from the sessions has been very encouraging. The aspiring apprentices impressed our staff and our existing apprentices with their enthusiasm and drive for a career at our Trust.

Stands were set up by a variety of departments, which attracted a lot of attention and pictured left at one of the stands is Erin Galloway, Physio Apprentice with Rosie Jackson, Occupational Therapy Apprentice.

Colleen Banks, who is a Business Administration Apprentice in Special Surgery, joined Wirral Metropolitan College staff to highlight the range of non-clinical apprenticeships in the Trust.

The open day is an annual event that continues to enhance our work with young people in the community we serve. It also clearly shows the interest of young people in pursuing a career at our Trust.

We will be increasing our apprentice recruitment in the next year and there is no shortage of excellent applicants. It is very encouraging that our recent Maternity Support Worker Apprentice vacancy attracted 143 applicants.

Events such as this are a great way to showcase the range of career opportunities available at our Trust and I would like to thank the staff who were involved in making this such as successful day.



Welcome Janelle

On behalf of the Trust Board, I would like to give a very warm welcome to Janelle Holmes following her appointment as Chief Operating Officer here at Wirral University Teaching Hospital.

Janelle formally started her post on Friday and brings with her such a vast wealth of NHS experience to our Wirral hospitals having come from the highly regarded Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust as their Director of Operations and Performance.

Having qualified as a registered Nurse in 1991, Janelle has worked in a number of clinical areas before moving into operational management in 2004. It is very clear that she has a passion about service improvement, staff development and whole system working.

I know the Senior Management Team is looking forward to working closely with Janelle on our continued journey of improvement and I very much see her role as one of supporting Divisions and clinical services to reliably deliver operational excellence through a framework of assurance and accountability to ensure excellent clinical outcomes and patient experience.



NHS Improvement

I just wanted to draw your attention to changes in regards to the health service regulator Monitor. It was announced last week that Monitor is now part of NHS Improvement.

NHS Improvement brings together the following organisations: MonitorNHS Trust Development AuthorityPatient Safety, the National Reporting and Learning System, the Advancing Change Team and the Intensive Support Teams.

It is responsible for overseeing foundation trusts like us along with NHS trusts, as well as independent providers that provide NHS-funded care. 

The aim of NHS Improvement is to build on the best of what these organisations did, but with a change of emphasis. Its priority will be to offer support to providers and local health systems to help them improve.

For more information, visit the NHS Improvement website.

Monday 21st March 2016


SAFER Start logoFollowing a hugely successful week at the beginning of January, we are holding another SAFER Start week after Easter.

The planned week of action, which will take place from 29th March to 1st April, will focus heavily on our partnership work in improving patient flow and also our Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) working.

Similar to the initiative we ran after the New Year, we know the upcoming four-day Bank Holiday weekend will place additional pressure, not just on the hospital, but on the entire health and social care system. This is about highlighting the importance of working with our partners in the community to ensure patients are able to return home as soon as they are fit to do so.

The SAFER Start methodology aims to deliver a unified health and social care system where everyone agrees that patients, no longer requiring an acute level of care, can be safely discharged and will not remain in an acute hospital bed.

This unified approach will see partners from Wirral Council, Wirral CCG, Wirral Community Trust and Cheshire and Wirral Partnership working even closer with us to ensure a quick and safe journey back into the community for our patients.

A great deal of effort was put into the week in January and I know our staff will be hugely committed once again to supporting the focus we’ll be having over and beyond Easter.


Millennium Ambassadors

Cerner PhotoLast week four of our colleagues presented to over 300 other health care professionals at the European Collaboration Forum for Cerner, who provide our Wirral Millennium system.

Andrea Ledgerton, Associate Director of Nursing - Infection Prevention and Control gave a presentation, along with Paul Jones, Specialist Clinical IT Systems Analyst, Corporate Nurse Jacqui Cooper and Mark Blakeman (pictured), Director of Informatics and Infrastructure. More than 300 healthcare professionals from across Europe came together for the event to discuss best practice. It also gave an opportunity for those looking to use Cerner to learn from organisations already using the system.

As a Trust we have developed a strong reputation for innovation in NHS IT, both nationally and internationally, and I am very proud that we are regularly hailed as an example of best practice and asked to share our experience and success in implementing the software.


Healthy Wirral - one year on

Healthy Wirral is now a year old and I would like to take the opportunity to give an update on the work so far by the vanguard team.

The vanguard in Wirral was amongst 29 set up nationally last year which has since increased to 50. Healthy Wirral was launched to help transform care for patients across Wirral as part of the Five Year Forward View of the NHS. It’s all about making health and social care services more effective for patients as well as improving their experiences and outcomes.

It was great to welcome Jo Goodfellow, the Programme Director at Healthy Wirral to the Trust last week, where she gave a presentation on the work they have already done and are planning this year.

Jo clearly highlighted the importance of partnership work to achieve change around areas such as integrated community based care, single front door, diabetes, and the Wirral Care Record as well as looking at ways of encouraging people to help themselves as much as possible.

For more information about Health Wirral visit the website www.healthywirral.org.uk



Monday 14th March 2016

CQC Report highlights our journey of improvement 

CQCAs many of you will be aware, through the special briefing I sent last week and the local media, that the inspection report was published last week by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The report reflected how hard you have worked ahead of, during and after the visit in implementing changes to enhance patient care.

In line with most other health and social care organisations across the country, we have been given an overall ‘requires improvement’ rating. The results are as we expected and are in line with our own self-assessment, which was carried out before the inspection six months ago.

I am reassured that the CQC has acknowledged the journey of improvement currently taking place within our Trust, specifically highlighting the ‘dedicated’ and ‘caring’ staff driving our recovery. The report also recognises that we are aware of the areas where further improvements are required. 


CQC Quality Summit – 14th March 2016

As part of the inspection framework, the Trust together with its partners and Monitor have to hold a Quality Summit to formally receive the report from CQC: to receive a response from the Trust and consideration is also given to wider external support that may be required. This summit took place this morning so I am pleased to report some of the key headlines as follows:

The CQC Head of Hospital Inspections – North West reported that the Trust was well prepared for the inspection; was open and honest about its challenges and confirmed that there was nothing that the Trust was not aware of. She confirmed that the inspection team had the very best co-operation and attention from all staff at all times. They were pleased to see that staff were open and honest and keen to showcase the good care being delivered as well as showing a real understanding of where they would like to improve.

The Regional Director from Monitor reported that the Trust was well sighted on the areas that require improvement and the risks we face as a Trust. The same level of self-awareness displayed by the Trust was not always evident elsewhere nor was the positive response to the findings. He confirmed that the Trust performed brilliantly at a whole range of clinical outcomes; had great patient feedback and low levels of avoidable harms which were evidence of the right culture and foundations to improve further.

Key areas for further improvement from both the CQC and Monitor were End of Life Care; patient flow, and in particular ensuring that the SAFER work continues to be rolled out and progress is made to reduce the referral to treatment time for community paediatrics; incident reporting and training generally and maintaining the improvements made in nursing and medical staffing.


Moving forward on our journey of improvement:

We are now in the process of developing our action plan which has to be formally submitted to CQC on the 14th April 2016.  I will need your dedication and support in ensuring that these plans are the very best they can be and that the implementation timescales are adhered to rigorously. I am aware that the Easter break is nearly upon us so I would urge you to finalise these with the Quality and Safety Team as soon as possible.

I know lots of you were involved in the factual accuracy response to the CQC following the draft report so are aware of much of the content now contained in the final publication, however I would like you to receive a fuller update as part of this month’s team brief. This will allow you to review anything specific to your individual work areas as well as gain a greater insight into the overall findings.

Finally I would like to take this opportunity once again to thank you all for your continued hard work that is helping to transform patient care at our Trust. I know we are all dedicated to providing the highest quality patient care and we are now progressing well on our journey in making this happen.

For those who would like to see the full report, it is available on the CQC website, and it is also available on the ‘news’ pages of our website: wuth.nhs.uk



Monday 7th March 2016


Staff win national awards

PENNA AwardsI would just like to say a huge congratulations to a number of our staff who have been recognised in a series of national awards over the past week.

Our teams were finalists in five categories of the Patient Experience Network National Awards (PENNA).

What a fantastic achievement that staff at our Trust were the national winners in two of the categories.

Our Listening into Action initiative won the Engagement/Improving Staff Experience Award. Mark McKenna, Deputy Head of Patient Experience, also won the Patient Experience Professional of the Year.

A great deal of work has been carried out around staff engagement and improving patient experience, which was reflected in the awards.

Well done to our winners and finalists in demonstrating our ongoing commitment to improving patient care and patient experience.

I would also like to congratulate Sharon Bamber, Clinical Scientist – Microbiology, who has won the Innovation and Scientific Services Award in the prestigious 2016 Chief Scientific Officer’s Healthcare Science Awards.

Sharon is based in OPAT (Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy) Team, which was established last year to enhance the administration of IV antimicrobials by our Community Nursing teams. By delivering intravenous antimicrobials in the community we can reduce length of stay in our hospitals and improve patient flow.

Finally I would just like to take this opportunity to say how proud I am of our award winners and all our staff who work tirelessly to ensure the best quality care for patients at the hospital.



New nurses feel welcomed

NursesWe have recently welcomed new nurses to the Trust including a number of nurses from across Europe who have travelled over to come and work for us.

Since September there have been three recruitment drives and 31 nurses have been recruited from across Europe, from countries including Spain, Portugal, Poland and Romania.

An Listening into Action event (pictured) was held recently to find out how the nurses are finding their time at WUTH and I am pleased to hear that they are enjoying it so far.

There were three top things they highlighted that really helped their transition into the Trust.

The first was the huge welcome they received by the senior nurses and the friendly staff. I cannot thank staff enough for their assistance in supporting our new recruits.

Second, was having Support Secretary Margie Shakeshaft available as a point of contact, who went above and beyond to help them settle in. Thank you Margie for your efforts.

The third was how grateful they felt patients were to have the nurses here at our Trust. That is ultimately why we are here, to offer the best possible patient care and it is reassuring when patients feel happy with the service our nurses provide.

This was great feedback from our new nurses from the LiA event and I would like to once again thank staff for everything they are doing to welcome new nurses.

It is also fantastic to see that our new nurses from outside the UK have also completed their English assessments. Many have also signed up to pay for extra tuition at Wirral Met College to enhance their English language skills and I wish them well with their course.

In May last year we had a total of 595 Band 5 nurses and by December this increased to 653 Band 5 nurses and I am sure the extra staff have been welcomed on wards.

We will continue our recruitment drive and really look forward to seeing even more local nurses as well as those from outside the UK wanting to work for our Trust. Our local recruitment events continue to be very successful, attracting many new graduates from local universities. We now look forward to welcoming our next cohort of nursing recruits in March.




Monday 29th February 2016


Rising to the challenge

APH EntranceI would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our frontline, clinical teams for everything they’re doing to care for our patients following the recent outbreak of Norovirus in the Wirral community.

It has been extremely busy at Arrowe Park Hospital and the situation became so severe with patients presenting with Norovirus that we took the decision to suspend all visiting to Arrowe Park Hospital. This will clearly have been distressing to our patients who look forward to visits from friends and family.

It is taking all our dedication to work through this challenge, and all our compassion to help patients that have been affected by the outbreak either by contracting it or by being unable to see their loved ones as they recover.

We’ve also been proactive with our local and regional media around this issue to discourage people in the community coming into hospital if they have Norovirus with tips on self-care and medication.

It’s times like this that really test our mettle – and I’ve been really encouraged from what I’ve seen and heard about how our teams are reacting and performing in these challenging and really difficult circumstances. 

Thank you to staff for their hard work, and to visitors for their patience duing these circumstances.

Please check the homepage of our website to find out more about recent visiting restrictions before attempting to visit Arrowe Park Hospital.



A positive place to work

Staff SurveyI would just like to say how delighted I that the results of the latest NHS Staff Survey show that our staff are feeling much more positive and enthusiastic about coming to work.

Our Trust is the biggest employer in Wirral and the results show that we have made a significant improvement in overall staff engagement.

In several of the survey’s key findings we are in fact in the top 20% of acute trusts nationally. When we compare this to our position last year, I am extremely encouraged by how much we have improved.

A great deal of work has been carried out over the past year to ensure staff are listened to and that they are getting all the support they need.

Stress levels have reduced by 8% since 2014, which is one of the best scores nationally and our staff are feeling better supported by their managers.

We are also among the lowest in the country for the number of employees witnessing incidents that could harm patients or staff and for bullying, harassment or abuse at work.

Everyone should expect to come to work happy and be assured they are in a safe environment. Yes, we are busy and we face significant challenges but we continue to work hard to provide the best care for patients.

The results show that we have come a long way since the previous NHS Staff Survey. Our staff are at the forefront of our journey and transformation to improve as a Trust and to meet the challenges ahead. We are all working together to really make those changes happen and I am immensely proud of the hard work shown by staff.

It is also pleasing to see that there has been a significant rise in the number of staff who would recommend the Trust as a place to work or receive treatment. Despite the immense pressures, our staff are generally feeling positive and are contributing a great deal to improvements at your local hospitals.



Flying the flag for staff flu jabs

DA Flu Jab

We are really flying the flag for the number of staff who have had the flu jab since the ‘Be A Flu Fighter Campaign’ was launched in September.

In fact, our Trust is ranking as one of the top three acute trusts in England for the number of frontline staff who have come forward to have the jab.

This is a grea

t result to report to you and it means we are doing all we can to prevent patients catching the flu from staff.

Public Health England has released our figures showing 79.1% of frontline staff at Wirral hospitals have had their jab, exceeding the national target of 75%.

That means a total 3592 frontline staff, who all have direct contact with patients, have come forward to have the vaccination.

This shows true dedication from staff in keeping themselves healthy and preventing flu spreading to those we care for. As we know, flu can severely impact on existing conditions of patients and it is vital that we ensure the best quality of care by preventing it spreading from staff.

Healthier staff, also means less sickness absence, which again is of great benefit to our patients.



MP praises our neonatal unit

MP Margaret GreenwoodIt was very nice to welcome MP Margaret Greenwood to the Trust to see first-hand all the brilliant work our staff do at our neonatal unit.

The MP for Wirral West (pictured during the visit with baby Madison and her father Neil) was invited along by local resident Ben Wills-Eve, who was born prematurely at the hospital 26 years ago and has since been a supporter of the unit, as well as a campaigner for the premature and sick baby charity Bliss.

Margaret was introduced to our Neonatal Manager Jacqui Morgan and Neonatal Consultant Dr Anand Kamalanathan who explained how they are working with neighbouring hospitals to improve services.

Our neonatal unit is at the forefront of neonatal care, as one of only two level 3 intensive care units in Merseyside and Cheshire. It also has an important role to play in a Vanguard collaboration being developed between Women and Children’s Services across Cheshire and Merseyside.

It was nice to hear praise from parents of babies being treated at the unit who also chatted to Margaret about their experiences, showing how much they valued the care and treatment at the unit.

Fantastic work is being done by staff at the neonatal unit and it is great to see that this is being recognised in the community.



Monday 22nd February 2016


Working together to improve emergency care

EDWe realise how busy it is throughout our hospitals and we are doing all we can to improve emergency care for our patients.

To help with this, I have recently given my backing, along with our other health partners, to a concordat agreement with the Emergency Care Improvement Programme (ECIP).

From reading the concordat, it is recognised that here in Wirral the issues we face around patient demand and pressure is with the whole system, not just the Trust.

All local health partners are giving their backing to one shared Wirral vision for urgent care with support to develop the strategy. It will also involve reviewing the process for escalation status and rolling out the SAFER patient bundle across all inpatient beds.

Therapy services will happen earlier in the patient journey to reduce the length of stay and there will be a Single Point of Access to support clinical teams.

The overall aim is to improve performance against the emergency four hour waiting time standard, reduce mortality and increase the number of patients that can return to their home.

Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and its System Resilience Group (SRG), of which we are part of, are keen to do all they can to help the Trust in what is now feeling an on-going challenge around urgent care services. What is key however from all of this, is that we must continue to do all we can to improve our A&E standards so a minimum of 95% of patients are being either admitted or discharged within four hours when they come to our Emergency Department.

It has also been flagged to SRG and ECIP about the increased pressure we have seen this financial year with higher numbers of ambulances attending our Emergency Department. In fact we are reporting an additional 3,000 ambulances in attendance at our A&E compared to the previous year. This is currently making Arrowe Park the number one receiving hospital for emergency ambulance arrivals throughout Cheshire and Merseyside at this moment in time.

Our staff (whether they are in our Emergency Department or throughout the hospital) are doing a phenomenal job in dealing with this and I would like to reassure you all that we are doing all we can to improve our emergency care for patients, while providing the right support for our hardworking colleagues.



Maternity Unit Funding

I’m delighted to be able to share the good news with you that our Maternity Unit has just been awarded £36,000 of funding from the Department of Health.

This will be used to purchase ultrasound guided anaesthesia equipment to prevent avoidable harm in maternity care.

The Department of Health had identified capital funding that was to be used for preventing avoidable harm in maternity care and had asked for Trusts to apply for funding towards something that would meet the criteria.

Our Head of Midwifery Debbie Edwards met with Governance Lead Midwife, Donna Lloyd Jones, and Obstetric Consultant Anaesthetist, Alice Arch, to compile a bid, which was centred around implementing this equipment.

The equipment, which is an S-Nerve SonoSite, is a visualisation tool to help anaesthetists perform nerve block procedures and central line placements. This innovative tool is particularly beneficial to women with a high BMI or those identified as high risk.

The varied benefits include reducing patient harm, improving the quality of care, improving overall patient outcomes, improving patient experience and overall increasing the successful siting of regional anaesthetics.

It is great news that the bid was successful and that this funding will have huge benefits for patients receiving care at our Maternity Unit.



PROUD Team of the Quarter Winners

Ward 20Congratulations to Ward 20 who were awarded the PROUD Team of the Quarter award for Autumn / Winter 2015/16 at last week’s CEO Forum.

Since moving from Ward 14 to our newly-refurbished Ward 20 last year, the team have reduced infection rates and patient length of stay to deliver even better care for our Urology patients and much improved patient satisfaction.

The ward’s Patient Friends and Family Test score has improved to 93% and the team’s new “Hot Ward Round” has also ensured emergency admissions to the ward are seen on a daily basis, seven days a week by the On-call Urology Consultant and Registrar.

This team also contribute greatly to our status as the North West’s Urology Regional Centre of Excellence for Cancer Care.

Pictured above are members of the team receiving the award which I was really happy to present to them at the CEO Forum. Congratulations to the entire team, including Matron Jasleen Kaur (left), Consultant Nigel Parr (centre), Clinical Support Worker Tracy Rogers (second from right) and Deputy Ward Sister Hannah Evans (right).

A very big well done to everyone on Ward 20 for your hard work in recent months, and to our other divisional winners for Quarters 2 and 3.




And finally…

Ward 20 2This week, I was kindly sent some photographs from the Wirral Hospital Players’ final ever pantomime.

The multi award-winning group, featuring current staff as well as previous staff and others, took to the stage last month for their 65th annual pantomime.

Red Riding Hood was performed at the Little Theatre in Birkenhead and I was delighted to be there to show my support. It was a great evening and also night of mixed emotions for the cast and crew, who were sad to mark the end of an era but rightly very proud in celebrating their long history.

Congratulations to everyone involved – your hard work and commitment has helped to provide lots fun and memories for local families over the years.



Monday 15th February 2016

SAFER wards reporting good progress

At the beginning of the year we ran a week long programme called SAFER Start January. This was our big bang start to 2016 in which we worked closely with our health and social care partners about reviewing and escalating delays for a one-off improvement to bed occupancy.

This week long drive also had a focus on something called the SAFER patient flow bundle (a nationally recognised tool to support patient flow). Today I would like to highlight more about the SAFER patient flow bundle and the long-term results we are starting to see throughout our Wirral hospitals from implementing this.

SAFER Start January may be over but now it’s all about sustainability and the importance of the SAFER patient flow bundle.

To give you a recap, the SAFER patient flow bundle is similar to a clinical care bundle in that it is a combined set of simple rules for adult inpatient wards to prevent unnecessary waiting for patients. If we routinely undertake all of the elements of the SAFER bundle, we will ultimately improve the patient journey and their experience when admitted to our Wirral hospitals.

S – Senior review. All patients should be reviewed by a senior clinician before midday. A board round takes place before 10am to prioritise which patients to see on the ward round, poorly patients then patients to be discharged and then others.

A – Assessment. All patients will have a Targeted Date of Discharge (TDD) set and reviewed daily on the board round. This date is when the team aim for the patient to medically optimised for discharge. Any barriers to the patient leaving on this date are discussed at the board round and escalated if necessary.

F – Flow from assessment units. We aim for wards to start ‘pulling’ assessment patients to their empty beds by 10.00am, so that patients in ED can be transferred to assessment areas as early as possible.

E – Early discharge. We aim to discharge 33% of patients from base wards before noon. Completing TTHs the day before supports this.

R – Review. A weekly review of all patients with a length of stay of 7 days or more takes place with staff from the Integrated Discharge Team, social services and community trust.

There are currently six wards that have implemented the SAFER patient flow bundle (MSSW, Wards 21, 22, 24, 26, 36) who are supported by the SAFER team.

We are already seeing some really encouraging results from these wards, especially around discharge before midday and patients having their senior review before 10.00am. For example last week Ward 21 was discharging 36% of patients against a baseline of 13% a month or so ago. I would like to thank colleagues for their commitment in executing the SAFER patient flow bundle and look forward to feeding back more positive results around this area of work, in the coming weeks and months.


Cerner Millennium downtime

CernerIt’s been well over a year now since the launch of Wirral Millennium Phase 2b. This roll-out in November 2014 was a huge leap forward for the Trust.

Since then, it’s been great to see how well Wirral Millennium has been embraced by everyone on wards and in our clinics. The sight of our medical colleagues with their iPads over their shoulders has become a natural part of the experience in our hospitals, which shows how engrained the system has become in how we work and look after our patients.

It’s important that we remain ahead of the game though when it comes to IT and electronic patient records. With this in mind, a date has been agreed with the Trust and Cerner for the upgrade of Wirral Millennium to the new 2015 code.


Safeguarding backs ‘Be a Lover Not a Fighter’ campaign

HeartHands letterboxMany of you will have seen the high profile ‘Be a Lover Not a Fighter’ campaign that has been running recently in the run up to Valentine’s Day, highlighting domestic abuse.

Our Safeguarding team took the opportunity to be at the forefront of this by highlighting the processes we have in place at the Trust if a patient, visitor or colleague reports domestic abuse.

Sadly, one in three women and one in six men have suffered domestic abuse and 90% is witnessed by children. The campaign particularly focused on highlighting the impact it can have on children.

The Safeguarding team showed their support by being pictured alongside Director of Nursing and Midwifery Gaynor Westray with their ‘#hearthands’, as part of a social media campaign leading up to Valentine’s Day.

Anything we can do to raise awareness and educate people on the processes we have in place to deal with domestic abuse will greatly benefit our patients.

More information on this is available here


Culture and engagement round-up

:: PROUD Team of the Quarter

This week I will be announcing the latest winner of our “PROUD Team of the Quarter” award.

For now though, I can reveal our divisional winners who make up the shortlist for the Trust-wide award:

Corporate Services Divisional Winners: Materials Management for ordering and supplying consumables to 74 areas across the Trust. The team have recently ordered an average of 12,000 lines per month.

Diagnostics, and Clinical Support Divisional Winners: Cancer Services Team for ensuring that ever cancer patient has the smoothest and timeliest possible journey whilst in our care.

Medicine and Acute Divisional Winners: Ward 21 for delivering exemplary care on a daily basis to many of our older patients and those living with dementia.

Surgery, Women and Children’s Divisional Winners: Ward 20 for reducing infection rates and patient length of stay on the ward to deliver better Urology care and much improved patient satisfaction.

Many congratulations to all of our divisional winners I will let you know the overall winner in next week's Chief Executive's Blog.


:: Beyond the 100 Day Challenge

The Staff Engagement Team have now started to return to many departments who took part in the original 100 Day Challenge, which proved to be a huge success last year.

I’m pleased to hear that feedback from staff has been positive. The 100 Day Challenge was introduced to give colleagues an opportunity to make your ward or department a better place for you to work.

It’s great that staff appreciate the visits from our Staff Engagement Team and, more importantly, that you’ve seen genuine improvements in your area since last year’s challenge.

This progress has been driven by those of you who took ownership at initial LiA Mini-Huddles, and by our departmental managers who have acted on the suggestions of members of their team.


Our Trust in the News

Wirral News – Successful first year for hospital hub



Monday 8th February 2016


Introducing your new Director of Nursing and Midwifery

NM StrategyOn Friday, we said a sad goodbye to my Executive colleague Jill Galvani who retired after a dedicated 33 years of service in the NHS and almost three years at our very own Trust.

Following Jill’s departure, today is of course a milestone day for Gaynor Westray, your new Director of Nursing and Midwifery and Director of Infection Prevention and Control.

Having started at Arrowe Park Hospital in 1984 as a student nurse, Gaynor has dedicated her whole career to our Wirral hospitals so has an excellent understanding of the opportunities and challenges we face going forward.

Over the years, Gaynor has worked with many staff across many disciplines and has a strong appreciation of how hard people work and the importance of every individuals’ contribution. As you’ll see from the photograph to the right, Gaynor has pledged to continue our current Nursing and Midwifery Strategyand feels passionate about leading our strong team of nurses and midwives in delivering the six Cs of care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment.

Like me, Gaynor is extremely proud of our hospitals and is excited to be directing a great team of nurses and midwives to provide the best possible care to our patients.



Junior Doctors’ planned industrial action

The Trust continues to work on its procedures in preparation for Wednesday’s planned industrial action by Junior Doctors’.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has confirmed that its Junior Doctors’ will walkout between 8.00am on Wednesday 10th until 8.00am Thursday 11th February (24 hours).

The robust plans we have in place ensure the safety, welfare and service provided to patients.

Patients are advised that if they have not heard from us by the end of Tuesday 9th February they should come for their outpatient appointment/planned procedure.

Any outpatient appointment/planned procedure cancellations will be rescheduled as soon as possible, but should you have any questions about your outpatient appointment/planned procedure on Wednesday; please contact the number at the top of your letter.

I would like to thank all affected in advance for your co-operation in supporting our plans. 



Patient praise

BBC Merseyside

With the Trust being so busy at the moment I wanted to highlight a heartfelt email I received on Thursday, which I hope illustrates one of many ways in which your hard work and commitment can make a huge difference to our patients.

Last week, a gentleman was admitted to Arrowe Park with severe pain, believing he was having a heart attack and at risk of dying. The patient was treated in our resus area before being moved to Ward 14 and has described the care he received throughout his patient journey as “flawless”. He is full of praise for the staff involved with looking after him, and other patients on the ward, explaining:

“Every member of staff, without exception, during the whole of the stay, worked like clockwork to deliver cleaning, drug dispensing, blood pressure monitoring, food, bed linen, portering and technical support. My time was never boring watching your staff work so professionally with ALL the patients, not just me. Everyone was treated with respect, dignity and fairness. Given the circumstances I felt 100% safe there and did not want to be anywhere else during the trauma… Considering the (NHS) service is free at the point of delivery, my experience at Arrowe Park has convinced me that it has to be the best health service in the world.”

You will be pleased to hear that the patient not only sent this email to myself, but also to Roger Phillips (the presenter of the popular Roger Phillips Phone-in on BBC Radio Merseyside). The presenter read out the kind words from this patient that very afternoon to his many thousands of listeners throughout Merseyside, the North West and North Wales.

Even through the challenges and pressures we are currently facing when it comes to service demands, this patient could not have spoken more highly of the hospital and I am extremely proud of the feedback he has provided.

This email was just a snapshot of what goes on every day and I know patients in all areas of the trust frequently benefit from the same level of care like this individual.

Thank you for appreciating the hard work of our staff and for recognising the high standards we set ourselves.



Monday 1st February 2016


Recognising traditional nursing with modern values

Jill GThis week see’s my executive colleague Jill Galvani retire from her post of Director of Nursing and Midwifery. I wish Jill all the very best on her forthcoming retirement.

Today’s blog is my opportunity to personally thank Jill for her outstanding work at the Trust and to talk a little about her dedicated career in nursing, which has spanned 33 years.

Jill became a Registered Nurse in 1983 after studying at St James’ University Hospital in Leeds. Nursing opportunities soon followed in both Sheffield and Liverpool. In 1991 she was appointed Nurse Manager for General Surgery at Southport & Formby NHS Trust and in 1994 became Service Development Manager at the Trust. She returned to the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals in 1995, as Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Day Surgery, then went on to a number of roles in the hospital and was Acting Director of Nursing and Quality by the time she left in 2005. She then worked in Director of Nursing roles at Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust, North Wales NHS Trust and latterly Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB).

In March 2013 she returned to Merseyside and became Director of Nursing and Midwifery here at our Trust, tasked with transforming our Nursing and Midwifery. During these past three years she has succeeded in making valuable changes with support of an excellent nursing team. In the face of various challenges, Jill’s leadership and innovation have successfully improved our Nursing and Midwifery agenda.

This includes her work around Infection Prevention and Control, including a Trust zero tolerance to MRSA. Also, under her leadership the Friends and Family Test was introduced as a single key measure of patient experience and in October 2015 the Trust recorded its best recommended rate for Inpatients. In fact, our methodology has been recognised as best practice nationally.

Jill’s energy, enthusiasm and dedication have helped transform our Nursing and Midwifery. Her legacy is the brilliant team she leaves behind, who will continue the great work under the excellent leadership of our new Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Gaynor Westray.

I wish Jill a wonderful retirement and wish Gaynor and her team all the very best for the new, exciting chapter for our Nursing and Midwifery journey.



Healthy Wirral pledge

Healthy Wirral MOULast week I joined our Wirral Partners in signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), pledging our commitment to the aims of Healthy Wirral.

Healthy Wirral is the umbrella term for the transformation programme supported by NHS England, as part of Wirral’s Vanguard site status.

In signing the MOU I have agreed that our Trust will support the integrated approach in keeping the Wirral population well. It involves a shift in approach to planning and designing our services as well as our interactions with patients. It is about ensuring decisions take into account the impact they will have on our partners and the wider community.

I am committed to being part of a joined-up health and social care system that will benefit the people of Wirral. The MOU is an important milestone in making this happen over the next five years.

Other partners who joined me in signing the MOU were: Jon Develing (Chief Accountable Officer at Wirral CCG), Sheena Cumiskey (Chief Executive Officer, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership), Karen Howell (Chief Executive Officer at Wirral Community Trust), Clare Fish (Strategic Director of Families and Wellbeing at Wirral Council), and Fiona Johnstone (Director of Public Health at Wirral Council.)

Healthy Wirral WorkshopOur staff have also been learning what Healthy Wirral is all about. A number of colleagues attended two Healthy Wirral workshops at the Arrowe Park site last week (pictured right), where they gave opinions on what matters to them in regards to health in Wirral.

They are among the many workshops being held in the community by the Healthy Wirral team to gauge what really matters to people in the area when it comes to health.

I would like to thank staff who attended the workshops and offered valuable ideas for the team to build on. Finally, I would like to repeat the Trust’s commitment to the Healthy Wirral aims in providing an integrated health and social care system for the people of Wirral.



Monday 25th January 2016


Positive experience for mums at Maternity Unit

Maternity UnitIt is fantastic to see that even more new mums are feeling very happy with the care they receive at our Maternity Unit according to the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

As part of a national survey, the health watchdog questioned over 20,000 new mums on their experience of maternity care across 133 Trusts.

In the CQC survey, our Wirral Women and Children’s Hospital scored higher than any other Trust for postnatal care in the hospital and at home. An outstanding 94% of new mums said they felt supported!

Other top line figures show that 90% of our new mums said they were always given enough time to ask questions during their antenatal visits. This is compared to 75% nationally. Of those questioned, 86% felt involved in making decisions during the labour, higher than the national score of 75%.

After having their baby, 79% of mums at our Maternity Unit felt their partners were involved and could stay with them, compared to 58% nationally.

Trusts were also scored out of ten across three key themes covering “Labour and birth”, “Staff during labour and birth” and “Care in the hospital after birth”, and were compared to other Trusts:


Our score out of 10

Comparison with other Trusts

Labour and birth




Care in hospital after giving birth



Staffing during labour and birth




This really is encouraging news to report, so a very big thank you to our colleagues in Maternity. As you’ll see from the picture above (featuring Debbie Edwards (Head of Midwifery), Ali Horton (Sister) and new mum Rachel Hudson with baby Annabelle), the arrival of a new baby is a very special time for a family. That extra care can really help take some of the stress from families and a positive experience will be cherished for a long time.



Endoscopy achieves JAG reaccreditation

What a brilliant performance by staff in our Endoscopy Unit who have once again achieved Joint Advisory Group (JAG) accreditation.

This is the quality standard for gastrointestinal endoscopy, with strict criteria looking at things like clinical requirements, waiting targets, patient experience and staff engagement.

Our Arrowe Park Endoscopy Unit is so much more than a diagnostic unit, as it carries out complex therapy for our patients too. In fact, the unit carries out around 300 procedures a week, so the work certainly never stops! In the year 2014/15 it carried out more than 15,000 procedures and in this 2015/16 year, as the weekly procedure total increases, the unit expects the figure to be around 17,000. Colleagues ensure waiting lists are kept to a minimum with flexible working to meet demand as patients get the results of their endoscopy the very same day (unless a biopsy has been taken) and the majority of patients the unit sees each day are dealt with and sent home the very same day.

I’m certain unit lead Dr Bev Oates, who was recently named Clinical Leader of the year at the 2015 HSJ Awards, will echo this recognition of thanks for her colleagues’ unstinting efforts to ensure excellent patient care and patient experience.




Monday 18th January 2016


A warm welcome to Wirral

It’s a great pleasure to welcome our latest nursing recruits to the Trust, with a number having travelled from across Europe to come and work for us.

I hope all of our many new and recent nursing recruits enjoy their time here.

Among our new nursing colleagues, who started last week, are 10 nurses from parts of Europe outside the UK including Spain, Portugal and Romania. A number of these nurses have travelled over with their families, especially to work for us. Some are newly qualified and others have vast experience in nursing, which will be of great benefit to the Trust.


EU Nurses


As a busy teaching hospital it’s important for us to support our new staff. Our latest recruits (pictured with some of our senior nursing colleagues) are currently completing a two-week induction programme, giving them in-depth knowledge about how the Trust works. These nurses will also be allocated with a preceptor, who will assist them in their transition into the role. They will be offered the opportunity to undertake English Assessments with Wirral Met College, which also offers places on its English programmes, for nurses who wish to fund extra tuition to enhance their English language skills.

It’s fantastic that we are attracting new recruits from near and far. Widening the net to employ candidates from across Europe has helped us to employ a greater number of nurses for our wards. In May last year we had a total of 595 Band 5 nurses and by December this figure increased to 653 Band 5 nurses.

I would also like to highlight that as a result of members of our talented nursing staff being promoted, we are having to recruit around 12 Band 5 nurses each and every month in order to keep our vacancy rates to an absolute minimum. Without our valuable nurses from outside of the UK, we could have had an extra 40 nursing vacancies that could not be filled, on top of our current vacancies.

As our nurse recruitment drive flourishes, I hope staff will see even more local nurses along with nurses from outside the UK filling available roles on our wards and clinical areas.

This is an exciting time for our nursing recruitment at the Trust and I would like to thank colleagues who have helped make our new recruits feel so very welcome.



PROUD Magazine

PROUD MagPROUD Magazine is the magazine for our members, staff and patients.

This communication tool provides a really accessible way for us to connect with our circa 14,000 members and has been key to keeping those who value our Trust updated on major developments, challenges and achievements at our Wirral hospitals.

PROUD Magazine includes interviews with patients and staff, highlights award wins and creates a platform for us to really shout about some of our fantastic patient stories.

The January 2016 edition of our magazine is now available to view online on the website, you can also pick up a hard copy of the magazine outside the Membership Office as well our main reception and patient waiting areas.

This latest edition includes an interview with ‘cover star’ Deputy Chief Nurse Gaynor Westray on her career journey here in Wirral University Teaching Hospital. It also includes information on our new Isolation Unit, details of our pioneering use of IT with Wirral Millennium and much, much more.

Please do take the time out of your busy working day to browse through the magazine. As employees, we are all members of our busy NHS Foundation Trust, we have an obligation that we communicate Trust messages to our members, whether they are staff or indeed the public. I’m sure you’ll agree that PROUD Magazine offers a snapshot of just some of the great work that is being carried out by you and your colleagues here at the Trust.



Monday 11th January 2016


SAFER Start January

SAFER Start logoAfter the challenging winter we faced last year, the careful planning of patient flow has been a high priority for the Trust over the last 12 months.

For a number of weeks we have been preparing for what was likely to be one of our busiest starts to the year. The first full working week in January is renowned for throwing a very big curve ball at the NHS nationally as it often results in unprecedented demands on the entire health service.

You may have seen in the news or via social media that a number of acute trusts in the North West region have been pretty much at full capacity as patients headed to their local GP or local Emergency Department after the Christmas and New Year break requiring NHS treatment for an illness or injury many have put off over the festive period.

To manage this sharp increase in patient numbers, the Trust has for many weeks been preparing for this.

Last Monday we launched SAFER Start January. If you have been directly involved in this initiative, I would like to say thank you very much for all that you have done to maintain timely patient flow throughout our Wirral hospitals. It’s been a very difficult and often challenging time for us all!

Feedback from the week is currently coming into me, and I’m keen to hear what went well and what work needs to be done at a planned de-brief session later this week.

Early indications however show that SAFER Start January has in fact been a very productive and worthwhile week.

The colleague teamwork I have seen from running this week has been absolutely tremendous. Our Wirral hospitals remain extremely busy, but when walking the corridors and the wards I do sense they feel calmer. It’s therefore important we sustain this and learn from any negatives or blockages we have faced over the last week.

I know there is still significant work to be done especially around patients arriving at A&E, but our ‘single front door’ is making a difference at signposting inappropriate attendances to alternatives such as the Walk-in Centre. I also recognise that even greater collaborative work is needed with our health and social care partners around medically optimised patients remaining in an acute hospital bed.

Thank you to everyone for their positive feedback on how we have communicated what’s been happening during the week. Not only has our involvement on social media using the #SAFERstart tag been picked up nationally via NHS England, we have also received some great comments from the public and staff highlighting how informed they have felt via the daily blogs from our communications team.

SAFER Start Collage 



Healthy Wirral – “What Matters to Wirral?”

Healthy Wirral GENERIC LogoA highlight of last year was our successful bid to NHS England to be a “Vanguard” site, and we have since heard a lot about the New Model of Care for Wirral that has been developed as part of this project.

Healthy Wirral, as the model is now called, is our new collective approach to support local people to stay well, living happier, healthier lives, wherever they live in Wirral.

Working in very close partnership with our partners in the Wirral health economy such as Wirral CCG, Wirral Council, Wirral Community Trust, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership Trust, Healthwatch and Community Action Wirral (CAW), we’re aiming to transform the health and wellbeing of our community, and the way we all deliver services together.

Today marks the launch of “What Matters to Wirral?”, the Wirral’s biggest ever conversation about health and wellbeing, and the Healthy Wirral team are keen to hear the views of local people at workshops taking place throughout the rest of January.

For more information please read Healthy Wirral pages on our Trust website or visit healthywirral.org.uk, where you can complete the Healthy Wirral "What Matters to You?" online survey. 

Our Vanguard status provides us with an excellent opportunity to really transform how we deliver services to our patients as part of a holistic, more joined-up way of working with our partners. Healthy Wirral is a big part of this work and so I hope you will all take this chance to start creating a happier, Healthy Wirral.



Will it be an award winning 2016?

We had a great year for winning awards in 2015 and we have already had our first finalists come through for 2016.

This year’s shortlist for the PEN (Patient Experience Network) National Awards have just been announced. The PEN National Awards (PENNA) celebrate outstanding patient experience delivered by staff in health and social care.

It’s great news as we have no fewer than five nominations shortlisted for the finals across a range of categories:

Bringing Patient Experience Closer to Home

Wirral Community Midwives

Staff Engagement / Improving Staff Experience


Turning it Around When it Goes Wrong

Rapid detection and prompt effective isolation to prevent infections associated with Carbapenemase Producing Enterobactrericeae

Personalisation of Care

Ward 21 – Dementia Care

Complaints/PALS Professional of the Year

Mark McKenna – Deputy Head of Patient Experience


Given that the judges have stated how intense the competition is this year, it’s great to have this positive nomination news. I wish you the very best of luck at the awards ceremony in March.




Monday 4th January 2016


New Year message

PROUD Slice StaffWelcome to my first blog of the New Year. I would like to wish each and every one of you my best wishes for a happy, healthy and successful 2016.

As we start a fresh year, I would like to say a very big thank you to colleagues who worked through the holiday period as it has certainly been another very busy festive period for our clinical teams.

There is no denying that 2015 has been challenging for us as we all feel the impact of changes that are taking place across the NHS.

A new year however inevitably brings with it some new challenges to contend with. This coming year will see the Trust, following agreement, implement its strategic recovery plan.

The key elements of the plan so far are:

  • The closer working with the Countess of Chester which is supported strongly by clinicians
  • The progression of the work around Healthy Wirral, following the formal contract sign off with Cerner for the work on population health management and the development of the Wirral Care Record
  • The work being explored to maximise the use of the Trust’s estate
  • The Lord Carter work on the Model Hospital to maximum efficiencies and productivity

You will see that the Trust is trying to maximise networks developed by clinicians and use the learning from elsewhere to ensure that this benefits our staff and our patients and provides a sustainable future for our valued services. 

The year will inevitably mean an increased focus on achievement of the A&E 4 hour standard, preventing and controlling infections and delivering as much activity as possible to enable us to be financially stable. The proud work undertaken during 2015 will most certainly pave the way for what needs to be done in 2016.

We should soon be in receipt of the draft CQC inspection report in early 2016 which will hopefully showcase the excellent work of the Trust as well as identify areas where we can improve further. I know that our Quality and Safety Team are already looking to roll out their own care quality inspections of wards and services to help us improve standards and raise greater awareness of the importance of having regular inspections. Details about this will be with you in the coming weeks.

If you haven’t had the chance to read through some of our 2015 milestones, please do take the time to read this. Despite the difficulties we have faced head on and together last year, it is humbling to recap on what was actually achieved over the space of 12 months.

As we say goodbye to 2015 and welcome 2016, I hope that this new year will be an equally positive, if not better year for our Wirral hospitals.



SAFER Start January

Saferstart LogoAfter many weeks of careful planning and preparation, this morning we launched SAFER Start January.

I am sure you will be asking the question as to why we would launch such an important initiative on the first full day back after the festive break? The answer to this question is quite simple. We are of course a 24/7 organisation and therefore we work around the demands of the patients we see. The Christmas and New Year break has seen no let-up in the amount of patients requiring the services of the NHS and we are predicting that there will be a greater surge in demand for acute beds in the first full working week of the year.

The increase we’re predicting this week will result in increased challenges for our hardworking hospital teams as well as our health and social care partners. 

SAFER Start January is about laying the foundations on how we want to deliver a health and social care system here in Wirral. This is a system where everyone agrees that patients no longer requiring an acute level of care can be discharged safely and timely back to their loved ones.

A briefing session was held this morning at 8.00am to launch SAFER Start January. Partners including the Department of Adult Social Services (DASS), Wirral CCG, Wirral Community Trust and Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP) will be offering even greater assistance to our clinical teams throughout this week.

We have also teamed up with NHS England’s Emergency Care Improvement Programme (ECIP) to help implement this national drive, and we are one of a number of acute trusts delivering the SAFER Start January initiative.

Many of you will be aware that SAFER Start January is being run alongside the Trust strategy to implement the SAFER Patient Flow Bundle.

The SAFER Patient Flow Bundle has been produced with a sole purpose, to help prevent blockages in patient flow.

SAFER is a national best practice bundle that includes the following five clear steps that are proven to reduce blockages in the system:



Senior review, all patients will have consultant review before 12 midday.


All patients will have a Targeted Date of Discharge (that patients are made aware of) based on the medically suitable for discharge status agreed by the clinical teams.


Flow of patients will commence at the earliest opportunity from assessment units to inpatient wards. Receiving towards from assessment units will commence before 10am daily.


Early discharge, 25% of our patients will be discharged from base inpatient wards before midday. TTO’s for planned discharges should be prescribed and with pharmacy by 3pm the day prior to discharge


Review, a weekly systematic review of patients with extended lengths of stay (> 7 days) to identify the issues and actions required to facilitate discharge. This will be led by senior leaders within the Trust. 


I would like to say a very big thank you to everyone for their involvement in preparing for SAFER Start January as this really has been a collective effort.

Remember to check out our regular blog updates on the staff website throughout the week about SAFER Start January. There will also be continuous updates on Twitter, so if you are on social media remember to follow @wuthnhs and @WUTHstaff and look out for the hashtag #SAFERstart.



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