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Moving with the times

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Everything is changing and yet everything remains the same.

During my 30 years in the NHS, including the last five here at the Countess, I’ve always heard people say: “Next year will be the hardest yet.”

Sometimes that’s been correct, sometimes it hasn’t. So far 2017 has definitely been one of the most challenging years I’ve experienced, but it’s also been rewarding to see how we have responded in the face of such adversity. I’m proud of how as a Trust we can be relied upon to be forward-thinking and brave enough to try new ways of working for the benefit of our patients.

We’ve had plenty to savour this year. Our wonderful Celebration of Achievement Awards proved that recently, with staff from all areas being recognised during what was a truly inspiring evening filled with optimism, pride and excellence. Congratulations and thank you again to all the winners and nominees for all of your outstanding efforts over the past 12 months. I know special guest Louise Minchin, from BBC Breakfast, was just as blown away by the dedication and compassion in the room – especially the creativity shown by the mix of hilarious and heart-warming selfie nomination videos!

Tony AwardLast week we also held our Model Hospital Showcase, sharing our experiences so far across a number of projects with fellow healthcare professionals from across the country. It was the culmination of 18 months of hard work by so many people – many of whom couldn’t attend because they were busy on the wards – with us passing on what we’ve learned regarding our new Co-ordination Centre, Intermediate Care Unit, behavioural framework and acuity-based workforce. It was a fantastic opportunity to share best practice with our visitors, giving us a chance to learn from one another.

When people ask what the Model Hospital means I usually sum it up by saying one word: value. It’s about making sure we are doing all we can to provide the best possible care for our patients. The numbers don’t add up – whether you’re talking about finances, recruitment or longer waiting times. We need to do what we can to make things better. Of course, we’ll play our part in finding a solution to the wider health and social care issues we see, but first and foremost we need to improve our own processes within the current system to continue providing high-quality care for the people of West Cheshire.

In 2018 it will be 70 years since Nye Bevan launched the NHS and the size and scale of appreciation for this national treasure we’re all part of will be brought into sharper focus during a year of NHS70 anniversary celebrations.

So, even if it seems like next year is going to be just as tough as this one, remember that there is still plenty to look forward to.

:: One way that we can all help to improve the NHS going forward is taking part of a new FUTURE Initiative our research team are currently working hard on. Volunteers are asked to donate 18mls of blood with a view to some individuals joining a database to take part in phase 1 clinical trials. If you would like further information on this study, please visit the FUTURE Initiative website at

About the Author

Tony image

Chief Executive of Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust.

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