I want to start by sharing some feedback I received this week from a patient who needed our help. She spent some time at Queen’s Hospital Burton in ED, Short Stay Unit and Ward 5. She said the team were really busy and she felt guilty for taking up so much of their time, but everyone who cared for her was kind and compassionate. She said she was well looked after, listened to and felt properly supported and cared for, and that we’re very lucky to have our NHS which is made special by the people within in.
We receive comments like that all the time and I think this particular patient is emblematic of most of our patients. They don’t really want to be here and certainly don’t want to be a burden, but they’re grateful for the care they receive. I’m extremely proud of how, despite the intensity of the pressure you’re all experiencing, you still show our patients the compassion they deserve.
The demand we’d planned for over Easter actually peaked slightly later and this week we saw an increase in the number of patients attending ED, most of whom were really unwell and needed to be admitted. As Magnus said last week, we can only admit people into our wards if we have beds and we can only create bed space by safely discharging patients who are medically fit. That’s where we’re seeing the biggest challenge, getting patients out of hospital.
Earlier this week, Sharon Martin and Dr James Crampton wrote to colleagues about the importance of focusing on discharge to free up capacity for those who are waiting in ED and in the community. This is the area where we can all really make a difference, with a laser beam like focus on creating capacity.
We are working with senior teams across the health and social care system to take urgent action, including reviewing how social care are creating capacity in care homes so that we can transfer patients out of hospital. Your work in getting patients to a level where they can be discharged and ensuring they remain medically fit is vital for that window of time when those places in nursing, residential and community care become available.
Most of you have worked in the NHS for a long time now and know there is no silver bullet that makes a complex discharge happen. It’s a lot of hard work by multiple teams coordinating together, but the outcome not only helps that patient but the person waiting in an ED or MAU or somewhere else in the building who are counting on you.
So my headline message this week is that your work is appreciated, especially by those you’re here for. I know everyone at UHDB is giving their all, you can see it, you can hear it and you can feel it. I know for some of you a kind word is enough to keep you going, for others you’ve heard all the warm words you need to hear over the last two years and need something more.
Your patients are counting on you, and I can assure you that we have teams for you to rely on if you need them. You’re only human, you have your own stresses and strains, it’s important we don’t lose sight of that. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by what’s going on. The cost of living is rising, we’re not seeing things ease at work and the global events we see on the news each day are heart-breaking.
So not only do we have our comprehensive wellbeing offer, for those of you who feel like you need to talk, we have a 24/7 support line you can call and access to professional counselling services. We even run financial wellbeing webinars to offer support to those experiencing financial pressures. If you think you need support click here to get started > It really is as simple as a click away.
You’re here to support those in our communities who need you and we’re here to support you yourselves. We will get through this together.
Thank you for everything you’re doing.