Page last updated: 28 April, 2020, 3:20pm
Message from the Chief Executive 28 April 2020
This week the NHS has launched a campaign to encourage the public to use NHS services when they need them. This resonates with the feedback I’ve heard from many of you who are concerned that people are not currently coming to us when they need to.
We continue to see worryingly low numbers of people attending the Emergency Department for example, and I know that our cardiac services and many others are very concerned that people with chest pain and other serious symptoms may not be attending promptly.
That makes it very important for us to restart more routine appointments and activity in a safe and managed way before too long. Directorates are all already looking carefully at the best way to do this. We will also start to see some wards, which have been dedicated to caring for covid patients, being returned to non-covid environments.
As we continue this work we will do our best to keep you informed as we have throughout the pandemic so far. However we hope that there will be less new information that we need to communicate every day.
With that in mind I can confirm that this week the daily update will continue Monday to Friday, but will not be sent at the weekend. We will review this again next week.
I’ll continue to provide a Chief Executive’s message at least once a week for the time being. I’m keen to hear whether you feel you have the right level of information, and I’d welcome any views to email@example.com
Over the last few days we have, thankfully, continued to see a reduction in the amount of people with COVID-19 in the hospital and like the rest of the NHS we are thinking more about the future.
Today, we have 96 people in our hospitals confirmed with the virus, and sadly, since the start of this pandemic, we have reported 84 deaths at the Trust. It’s much more difficult to be clear about the number of people who are unwell and have died in the community due to the way reporting is carried out for these people.
I know that our community teams are continuing to work incredibly hard to support people in the City with health concerns and are closely supporting the social and residential care homes to provide safe care for our older vulnerable citizens.
Earlier today, the nation paused for a moment for International Workers Memorial Day and we particularly remembered the key workers who have died. Sadly the region lost another member of our NHS family as it was announced yesterday that Fiona Anderson, a community nurse at South Tyneside and Sunderland Hospitals, had died after testing positive for COVID-19. We send our deepest condolences to Fiona’s family and colleagues.
Yesterday, I was delighted to see that our first virtual Schwartz Round took place with over 100 attendees, and over 200 who tried to attend. Schwartz Rounds allow time for reflection and sharing the emotional impact of our work and the focus on ‘The calm before the storm – preparing for COVID-19’ was very timely.
The round included two individual stories and then discussed how preparing for COVID-19 made people feel. Perhaps the single biggest shared emotion was of uncertainty – uncertainty about how COVID would impact upon us and uncertainty about the future. The other major theme was of innovation and coming together. Every one of us will need time and space to reflect upon our own experiences during these unusual times, and I’m very grateful to the Schwartz Round team and IT for creating a virtual opportunity to share this time together.
Finally, I’m looking forward to the official opening of our NHS Nightingale Hospital North East which will hopefully take place early next week. As you know, Newcastle Hospitals has been asked to provide this facility on behalf of the region and this has been an unprecedented building and clinical project. The whole team involved in this development have done an outstanding job.
We’re hoping to live stream and record the opening so that we can share it with you, and more detail of this will follow as soon as arrangements are confirmed.
Thank you for your continued hard work and dedication.
Dame Jackie Daniel