Reflections 2013: A cause for celebration

Christmas is always a time for reflection and celebration – and at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, we have plenty of cause for both.

We’re coming to the end of a challenging year at the Trust. Following the Keogh Review, we are embracing that challenge – ensuring that all our patients are receiving safe, high quality care, delivered with skill and compassion.

ULHT is on a journey of improvement and we know that we are making progress. In the past 12 months the Trust has achieved an incredible amount.

  • Our mortality rate is now better than the national average
  • Our hip fracture team at Pilgrim Hospital are the best in the country for speed of access to surgery
  • We have more than halved the incidence of pressure ulcers to 1.2% – compared with the national rate of 6.5%
  • Our new Patient Advice and Liaison Service, providing confidential advice and support for patients, relatives and carers, is in place and we believe having a positive impact for patients
  • We now have ambulatory emergency care centres on our three main sites which provide urgent same day treatment for patients, so our patients don’t have to be admitted to hospital if there is no requirement for this
  • We have recruited more than 300 new nurses since April
  • We have expanded the Trust’s range of services at County Hospital Louth with the new Ophthalmology service now well established
  • Grantham Hospital is working with St Barnabas Hospice to develop the unique “Hospice in a hospital”, due to open in early 2014
  • The Lincolnshire Heart Centre was officially opened in September and is matching the best in the country on response times
  • We have launched Listening into Action, a new way of working with and engaging our staff to ensure that our services are the best they can be for our patients.
  • We have adopted new values chosen by our staff – Patient-centred, Excellence, Safety, Compassion, Respect – that we look for when recruiting new staff to the organisation and expect all staff to use as principles

As ever, ULHT cannot succeed without the skill and commitment of its dedicated team of staff and volunteers. I am very proud and grateful for what they have done to achieve the successes we have made.

I always say that working in the NHS is both the greatest privilege and the greatest responsibility, caring for people when they are at their most vulnerable. That is why we have launched our staff awards, to provide a new opportunity for us to recognise and reward the extraordinary things our staff do every day. We have had a fantastic response with 250 entries, winners will be announced in February 2014.

No doubt, 2014 will bring new challenges for us – starting with our busiest time of the year. However the quality and safety of our services remains our top priority. We are completely focused on continuing to improve our services and I am very grateful to all our staff for their vital contribution to this.

As we look forward, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas – and a prosperous and healthy 2014.

Follow all the columns from the Reflections 2013 series