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Yvonne's year in review

10 January 2019

The start of a new year, for many is a time of reflection, I wanted to look back over the past 12 months and highlight the things that have really stuck with me and, I hope, show you what a fantastic place we work in.

Last year was another fantastically busy year and, as ever, you've all been working amazingly hard and we've all heard some truly impressive stories that have come from you and around the Trust, so I wanted to take a look back at some of the great things that happened at our hospital in 2018.

Although the 70th anniversary of the NHS has been celebrated all year, the main activities took place around 5 July. It was wonderful to see so many staff attend the tree planting ceremony in the Jubilee Garden and to share some birthday cake. I also saw that a lot of you celebrated with your own NHS7Teas in your wards and departments raising money for our charities.

It was also a real privilege to be able to accompany three of our longest serving staff, with over 125 years' combined service, midwife Terri Jackson, nurse Jane Kirk and volunteer Pearl Naylor, to Westminster Abbey for a commemorative service to celebrate the anniversary.

Your selfies were a lovely snapshot of your pride in the celebrations and for me it really captures what it means to be part of Southend Hospital. The NHS has changed a lot in those 70 years and, as we all know, change and progress is constant in our line of work.

One of the big changes here this year has been TeleTracking, which is now live and being embedded at Southend, Basildon and Mid Essex. A huge thank you to everyone who helped with its introduction on the wards as well as to those who made it a possibility behind the scenes.

We were also the first NHS hospital in the south east to offer a new procedure to treat symptoms arising from non-cancerous (benign) prostate growth. The Urolift® operation is a short day case procedure which only takes 15 minutes to perform, meaning patients don't have to stay in hospital overnight.

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Our brand new state-of-the-art £1 million Kitty Hubbard High Dependency Unit opened in May, caring for both elective and emergency patients who have had  major surgery or who no longer need intensive care but still require specialist  monitoring and require a higher level of organ support. 

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We were also lucky to have  the temporary loan of a Mobile Stroke Unit (MSU) for a three month period. In the  same way as other projects, the data gathered from this limited time project will be  analysed, evaluated and we look forward to seeing the results later this year.

It is fantastic for the quality of our services to be recognised. For example, as featured on the front of this very issue, we received great news with the accreditation  and certification of our Radiotherapy Service by CHKS. This is a significant  achievement and means we are internationally recognised for best practice.

We also recognised all the great work that teams and individuals do right across the  hospital as part of our annual Hospital Heroes awards, which is always one of the real highlights of the year for me.

Talking of awards, we were this year shortlisted for two Nursing Times Workforce Awards and shortlisted for a Health Service Journal Patient Safety Award for the hard work we do to support our urology cancer patients. It's really valuable to  share our innovations and promote the great work that goes on within the Trust,  whether it's your team or department improving clinical practice, quality and  safety, or making Southend a more attractive place for staff to come and work.

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You all help make us the success we are, so thank you from me and the senior leadership team.

Here's to more great achievements and positive stories in 2019.