And we’re off… 2017 has begun with the pace and pressures that sadly have become all too familiar to us at this time of year. First and foremost I want to thank those of you that shift after shift are doing your utmost to remain focused on keeping our patients safe and well cared for. Our Emergency Department is busy. Our wards are busy. Our theatres are busy. Our clinics are busy. Our discharge teams are busy. Our locked and stocked escalation ward (Ward 53) has temporarily been opened. It feels relentless and at times hopeless. But the truth is that we never give up.
I personally continue to be in awe of our shared commitment and determination to keep this hospital and our beloved NHS going. On behalf of the Board, our governors and the people who rely on our care and treatment, we are sincerely grateful to each and every one of you working here at The Countess at this time.
As well as managing the very pressing matter of the here and now, we start our year as we mean to go on – pushing ahead with projects, investments and schemes that will help us stabilise the hospital and secure its future. Hopefully our winter pressures will look and feel different next year.
By now many of you will have heard about our ambitions to use new technology to manage our beds, patients, staff and equipment more efficiently.
This year will see us partner with TeleTracking Technologies to install more than 4,000 infra-red sensors above hospital beds and doorways that read from small devices on patients, staff and equipment. This will provide real time information for live ward electronic bed boards and a centralised care coordination centre that supports staff in getting patients to the right beds more efficiently. The technology also automates workflows, certain domestic duties and discharge processes to allow NHS staff to spend more time with patients instead of on administrative tasks. We are interested in greater transparency and personal accountability in how we work together to improve patient care and work more efficiently across our services.
This is huge for us. Those of you requesting porters and working as a porter will be the first to feel the impact of this as we go live with the first phase, and you may be required to attend a brief training session in the coming weeks. We look to you for your support and leadership in bringing this project to life so that it benefits our patients, helps to inform our decision making and even gives us a way forward to working differently for winter 2018.
Please don’t be misled by the word ‘tracking’. It is really important to me that colleagues understand this is about making our jobs easier, knowing where people are and working more safely. We are not interested in spying or snooping on colleagues at any given point in time. We trust our staff, and know that our people come to work here every day for the right reasons.
With best wishes, Tony Chambers