Over 65 attendees helped kick-start the New Year with a fantastic insight into the current day-to-day dealings of the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust with Christine Hughes.
Christine is the Director of Communications for the ELHT and responsible for overseeing all aspects of communications, stakeholder engagement, PR, media relations and reputation management. It was clear from Christine’s presentation that the Trust and all of it's staff are fully committed to the delivery of safe, personal and effective care for the people of Blackburn and East Lancashire, and they are supported by a high level of communication, engagement and relationship building.
Key achievements highlighted by Christine included the national regulator - the Care Quality Commission, rating ELHT as ‘Good’ in January 2017 and also recently being awarded ‘Teaching Hospital’ status. Both of which they hope will have a positive impact on recruiting more Doctors and Nurses at a time when there is a national shortage.
She also pointed to the fact that ELHT now have one of the lowest levels of complaints in the country, which together with a consistently high level of positive in-patient feedback through the national Friends and Family Tests, is testament to the skill and professionalism of all the staff.
What was clear from what Christine had to say was that even with significant cost savings being required and greater pressure being placed on the NHS, ELHT will still be investing in vital areas that are key priorities. The Trust is pursuing ‘university’ status and working closely with local universities and colleges to showcase what East Lancashire has to offer and attract more staff in to the area, as well as retaining those who are already here. They are keen to continue the dialogue with business and the community in Lancashire and work together for success.